Monday, November 15, 2010

Raves: Last year's Christmas faves

Every year about this time, I panic because I've got to think of things to get the kids for Christmas. Things that will actually get used--not just stuffed in some closet or abandoned in the garage.  So looking back to last year, I'll give you my faves and their faves in case you're stumped too.  But I will require some ideas in return! Help a sista out. Anything that can be purchased online instead of having to drag children into stores where they will beg and whine and throw tantrums gets brownie points.

1. For kids five and older (given to Alex--although coveted and occasionally stolen by Aidan):
The Razor Rip-Rider. Cheapest at amazon. The back wheels spin completely around so that you can go really fast and then turn and spin and do all sorts of cool and semi-dangerous tricks. Alex has almost completely worn the wheel down in a year's time becuase it's gotten so much use. Three reasons I love it: it's an outside toy, it's exercise, and it's not electronic. That last one is really difficult to fulfill because it seems all toys and gifts geared to a 10 year old are electronic games, gaming systems, gadgets for those games, etc.
2. The toys that the boys have played with the most: Fisher Price GeoTrax. We got both the railroad and the airplane tracks. They link together so you can be running the trains and the airplanes at the same time. Which in my house = less fighting over the remotes. Super fun, although they take up some significant floor space. We usually have them out and running for a couple of weeks at a time, then they get put away for a break. Fun part: you can buy all sorts of different tracks and trains to add to the set to change it up. So far it seems that ToysRus gets the biggest variety around Christmas, though you can find them on Amazon and at Target as well.
3. Fun for all: Arcade style basketball. We actually got this awhile after Christmas, but it would've made for a great Christmas morning gift. Avery has to tip toe to reach the ball return, but that doesn't slow him down. It took Jeremy about a year to assemble, but after all the effort, it was worth it. Even adults have thrown down some serious competitive shooting on this thing. It keeps score, will time you, and is great for indoor play.  We got ours on the Costco website but you can find it other places too. Minus: Serious area required for this bad boy. We had to rearrange our big playroom to fit this in the back corner. Fits fine, but plan on it being bigger than you thought. Also could be used in a garage if you don't live somewhere where the summer's are like being dropped into a pot of boiling lava. 

4. For ages 3 and up: Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookie set. Given to Maddie but played with by the boys also. The different pieces velcro together so you can stick them to the pan and then change up the decorations on top. You can pretend to cut the dough that velcros together and slides in the tube. She also got an Easy Bake Oven which she loves, but this is something she can do that is great for creative play and there's no mess or parental involvement required.

That's all for now, but I'll add to this if I think of more later! Any good ideas for me? Let me know!

And just for fun: **Much too expensive and NOT available at stores near you**
Trace says hello.


Candice said...

Is it just me or does he look like a miniature Jeremy? What a cutie.

Amy said...

Awesome idea. Just bought a GeoTrax train set at Toys R Us.

My big idea is the Playskool Busy Ball Popper. James got it for his first birthday and has played with it daily since then. Paige now loves it and, seriously, they play with it every day. Sometimes I let them put paper confetti in it (cause I'm messy like that) and we watch it fly. It's for younger kids but mine LOVE it.

Amy said...

Oh, my other idea is a white board. I bought three small, magnetic ones at the Crate & Barrel outlet and hung them in the playroom. They play with magnetic toys and draw on them all the time (with washable dry erase markers, of course).

Travis and Jamie said...

I don't know about toys. My kids move from thing to thing and aren't too attached to any of them.
But your newest little dude is a such a cutie. I think that he looks alot like Jeremy in that picture.

Travis and Jamie said...

OH...and incase you ever check FB again, I hope that you had a great b-day chica!

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