Toddlers / Preschool / Early Years

Christmas 2018: Gifts for Young Kids

When shopping for my oldest son at Christmas, I try very hard not to get swept up in the latest, flashiest toys, with all the bells and whistle.  I focus on the things that he is currently into, as well as what interests could be coming, or can be developing.  My oldest son loves to design and build things.  He loves to build train tracks, marble runs, and build Lego.  He has a big imagination and can create a story about anything.  As the holiday season approaches I wanted to share a few of the top items that made our Big Man’s Christmas List:

Lego is always a fantastic idea.  With a wide range of themes and options it is something that no matter what your kid is into, they will enjoy.  (Here are a few of categories.)

Our top picks are:

  • Creator 3-in-1:  “Sets deliver a rewarding build and play experience with highly detailed and colorful LEGO houses, vehicles and creatures.” (Lego.com)
  • Technic Lego:  This can be for older kids but the ones that we got this year are BASH! (there are a few options) or one of the STUNT vehicles.
  • Friends:  “Lego Friends are creative, buildable toys for kids ages 5-12, set in a world inspired by real life, mixed with the five funny quirky main characters and built with imagination.” (Lego.com)

Playmobil Coast Guard

Playmobil:   To be honest I have a love hate relationship with Playmobil.  I love how it inspires my boys imagination but I loath all the small pieces.  SO in our house the tiny pieces (forks, food, flowers anything that is smaller than a dime typically) usually gets put away and the boys play with the animals, people, scenery and vehicles.  There is a huge range of Playmobil options, our favorite is the Playmobil City Action Set.  (When you go on the Playmobil Site you can also download printable games and coloring sheets.)

mystery-mosaic.jpg

Mystery Mosaic by Discovery Toys:  We were at a friend’s house, and she brought this out for my oldest son to play with.  When I saw it, I remembered having it as a kid at school and loving it.  My son loved it to.  Mystery Mosaic is both fun and educational.  “This set of tiles appeals to your child’s creative and mathematical nature. Set offers plenty of shapes, textures and colors to recreate 50 stunning patterns suggested in the accompanying manual, or to create original designs from among thousands of possibilities. Tray and 100 pattern tiles in 4 colors.”  (DiscoveryToys.com)  It even sparks the adult’s interest in recreating the various patterns.

GAMES:

DOS

  • Dos Card Game:  “In this fun game, two is more important than one and numbers are king!  To start, there are two piles in the middle of the participants, and on each player’s turn they can play on both piles with either one or two cards.  In a fun twist, if a player has two cards that add up to the number of the card in the center pile, they are able to put down both cards.  Just like UNO, DOS is a race to get rid of your cards before your competitors do.  The first person to 200 points is the winner!” (Mattelgames.com)

BLink

  • BLINK:  “Using sharp eyes and fast hands, 2 players try to match the shape, count, or color on their cards to either one of two discard piles.  Play all the cards from your draw pile to win the game! (Amazon.ca)

Blokus

  • Blokus:  “Perfect strategy game for the whole family – less than a minute to learn with fun challenges for all ages.  Stake your claim and protect your territory by fitting as many of your pieces on the board as possible while strategically blocking your opponents.  The game ends when no more pieces can be placed down, and the player with the lowest number remaining wins. (Mattelgames.com)
    • We also just got Blokus Duo which we are excited to break out at Christmas.

Puzzles:  My boys love puzzles.  They always have if it is for a rainy day activity or just needing some down time, they love getting out puzzles and putting them together.  Hands down my favorite puzzle company is Crocodile Creek.  They have a wide selection of puzzles and they have held up to our excessive puzzle-putting-together afternoons.  You can find Crocodile Creek in many stores, but I linked (above) their website just so you can see the variety and get an idea of what would best fit your child (and family).  Our favorite ones are Poster Puzzles (for the family) and vehicle puzzles.

Zip Track

Zip Track by Discovery Toys:  My boys loves cars.  They love playing with their Grandpa’s vintage Hot Wheels track.  This year I started looking for a car track set for them, however every review or person I talked to said that their kids loved car tracks but they didn’t hold up.  Track pieces would break and crack after multiple uses.  Most people told me they spend a ton on a set but ended up throwing out a lot of the pieces because they broke.  I didn’t want to put money into something that was just going to break.  I started looking of another options and found Zip Track by Discover Toys.  The Zip Track “Snap & click to design your own interactive roadway. Hundreds of different configurations and color combinations.  Turn off the lights for bonus light-up action. Experiment with building principles and simple physics to keep your battery-powered vehicle on course.”  (Discoverytoys.com) plus they have an add on set & booster set.  An added bonus is Discovery Toys warranty policy, click here to read, which gives me peace of mind that I am buying a quality toy that will last for a long time.  To see a video of the Zip Track in action click here.

What are some of the items on your kids Christmas list this year?

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