Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WFMW--Toys That Are Worth It

Wow. Wow. Wow.

I'm trying to clear my head to get back to other thoughts other than the momentous shift that just happened here.

Keep in mind, for my house, boys rule. So I can't give you great ideas for little girls, as much as I'd love to think that there are some toys all kids would love.

First, Shannon stole my thunder: the Thomas toys rule, especially the wooden ones. I'm a little sad that they are fading in the house (not least because of the huge financial investment of many family members in it). But if I even suggest replacing the train tracks on the train table with Something Else, even the Something Else they are playing with at that moment, I am met with howls and howls of protest, and secretly I am pleased.

Second, as went the country, so go my boys. After a solid four-year dominance, the trains are slowly, slowly, slowly being replaced by cars. You can't do better for the money than the Hot Wheels or Matchboxes, and my kids are at an age where volume counts. But the remote control cars are really coming on strong here. The humongous hit of birthday season (ages 5 and 3) was the Morphibian "shark" car.

Third, the strong back-benchers for us have been the play kitchen; Geotrax; Chicken Dance Elmo; TJ Bearytales; construction-themed lacing cards; and an assortment of electronic toys I can't recommend in good conscience (the Leapster, and, my more-favored, a "computer" with various learning games based on the "I Like It When" penguins) because they are too loud or too easy to memorize and move on.

Finally, the oldies-but-goodies are still huge here. Anything with balls or wheels (scooter, bikes, trikes, soft sports sets) are huge. And books are always popular and even better when twinned with a stuffed animal that goes with it. (Most recent example: my aunt sent my older son a stuffed roadrunner that coos with the book "Lizards for Lunch" and he adores them.) Books that are huge winners in our house that I don't see listed very often include: When Pigasso Met Mootisse; Wacky Wednesday; Double Trouble in Walla-Walla; Fish Out of Water; and Bird Calls, complete with the soundtrack at the bottom.

Also, as the idea here is a "no junk" theme (and we are firmly in the throes of the "Little Plastic Bits" era here), we are working hard on event presents (lessons, events) to cut down on "stuff" and to stretch the season a bit.

Looking for other good ideas? (I am.) Check out today's WFMW at Rocks in my Dryer.

And one other note: In another stroke of pure genius, on Amazon today, they are advertising "Frustration Free Packaging." They are starting with just 19 toys and other items that come without impossible-to-open plastic packages, or 8,723 twist ties trapping everything in place. Next to stringing the lights, freeing the toys was my husband's least favorite Christmas chore and Amazon has eliminated it, at least for these, with promises of more to come. I'm ready to order the pirate ship on principle to support them in this effort.


Holly said...

I've read several of today's WFMW, and there's definitely a's the basic toys that are best. Trains, cars, anything with wheels...

Val R said...

Great ideas for tried and true toys. I am seeing a theme that Geotrax are great for boys...think that might be a great gift for my little guy this year!