Saturday, November 13, 2010

Giving - For the Cool Kid

When the lovely Mrs. CoolKids asked for gift ideas for her 16 month old son, I had so many suggestions that I decided to do a post on some of the toys that are popular with my own boys.  So without much further ado... here are some suggestions for "almost 2" to 5 year old boys--

The Boy Equivalent to a "Doll House": 

Happy Vee received this as a gift last Christmas when he was 17 months old.  It was a hit then, and is a hit to this day.  He and his brother (and his brother's 4 yr old friends) always gravitate to it.  I call it the boy equivalent to a "doll" house, except with a lot of fun gadgets.  Currently, Happy Vee is using it at a garage and most of the time there is a Hot Wheel dangling from the hook that he cranks up and down.  It's a sturdy toy (especially necessary for my 2 year old whose nickname is "doctor destructo") and is great for independent play!

If you prefer wood, this fire/police station is another option.

 Trains & Things that go Vroom:

For the 6 and under crew, you usually can't go wrong with a simple train system.  The easier the tracks are to assemble the better.  This Christmas I'm planning on buying some economical wooden train tracks so that the boys can creatively assemble their own tracks and drive their cars on it (they prefer cars over trains).    Our current tracks that came with the Kidkraft train table give me grief --

frustrated children + whining = mama grief

BTW, in my experience, train tables are not necessary-- too small for the boys creativity and way too big for me... it's a space hog. Ours is currently being used as a coffee table... trust me, not the aesthetic I'm striving for. ;) 

We have the Geo Trax Transporation System.  The boys love it, the remote controls are fun and, most importantly--  it's sturdy.  Happy Vee has walked on it, sat on it, even thrown it... still hanging tough and still looks new (the same can't be said for our floors though!).  They've recently come out with the Disney/Pixar CARS characters that are compatible with the Geo Trax system.  I have a feeling that Lightning and Mater R/Cs will be making an appearance in a stocking near us this Christmas.  

  The Cons:  The tracks are a little difficult to snap together and it does take a lot of batteries (3 AAA's for the train and 3 AAA's for the remote control).  Our rechargeable batteries can't keep up.

 Cars (Widescreen Edition) Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales Disney Cars Series 1 Original Lightning Mcqueen 1:55 Scale Die Cast Car
cars, cars cars...
Some boys are train fanatics, some are dinosaur experts... mine LOVE cars.  Not a day goes by where they aren't playing with their beloved cars.  I don't even try and understand, I just know that they love Hot Wheels, they love Matchbox, and most of all... they LOVE the Disney/Pixar CARS characters.  After watching the movie a few hundred times, I now have a special place in my heart for Lightning and his buddies. The CARS movie and the Mater's Tall Tales spinoff are favorites around here.


In my opinion, this is the perfect ride-on for a 2 year old boy.  Small, not tipsy and I think the green color and sound effects seem to capture their attention.  I could do without the sound effects, but it really is a good ride-on.  Both boys have used it (as well as their friends) and it's still in good shape.  In contrast, we received a Harley Davidson version as a gift and it's TERRIBLE.  It tips over very easily. It's currently out of commission and is so dangerous that I'm not even comfortable donating it.

So those are just a few suggestions for the young boys.  Come December 26th, the next challenge will be to keep all these new toys in some sort of order so the mamas & papas don't go crazy!  I use the method of  storing the kid's toys in plastic bins and rotating them in and out of "circulation" every month of two.  It really does keep the toys "fresh" in their minds.  When they come back into circulation, it's almost like they have new toys all over again!

Hope you're having a great weekend!