Saturday, December 5, 2009

What's Your Favorite Children's Toy?

As my hubby and I were trying to decide what to get our two-year-old little girl this Christmas, we talked about how we really wanted to get her something "good" :)--we wanted something that she would love to play with but at the same time something that would last, something educational, and something that would encourage age-appropriate discovery and play. We decided to get her one of these:

A play kitchen with some fake food and dishes. Our little girl loves to help mommy in the kitchen, so we thought this would be perfect. I liked the idea of a play kitchen because it encourages dramatic play and language development as children play pretend, it helps develop motor skills, it would last a long time and I remember loving mine when I was a little girl :) It could also be used to reinforce colors, shapes, sizes, teach science concepts while "cooking" etc. I hope it is a hit!

So, this got me thinking about what other parents thought about when purchasing Christmas toys for their little ones. I am sure in the years to come and as our family grows, I will once again wonder what "classic" toy my children would enjoy. So tell me...

What is your favorite children's toy? And WHY?
What ages would you recommend it for?
What "classic" toys do you remember playing with as a child that you think your children would still enjoy today?


Alyssa Harper said...

Legos. It's one of those things you buy: crib, diapers, clothes, and legos. I think it's a parenting staple, but I seriously LOVED legos. Clear up into high school, my siblings and I used to get them out every Sunday afternoon and build whatever came to our minds. Apparently it was deemed a Sunday-appropriate activity...I tend to agree. It was so fun, and some of my fondest memories with my siblings were gathered around the huge pile of legos in our family the way, we had A LOT of legos, which was pretty important, because legos increase in awesomeness proportionately to the number of pieces you have.

Erin said...

Our boy's basketball hoop. It encouraged him to be active (like he needs encouragement) and it kept him entertained for hours because it was something he loved to do. It also really helped him develop hand eye coordination and he is a pretty good shot. We also gave him a mega blocks truck that can carry around other little cars and he loves it. He's played with it all year long, and I think that's what makes a good toy. For younger kids we loved the leap frog learn and groove musical table.

Kelly, did you find a good deal on the kitchen? that's what we got the kids for christmas this year and we got one for 35 at has pretty good reviews too.

Jared and Delia said...

I so want a play kitchen for my kids too but it has taken a back seat to some other classic toys...bikes and tricycles. THere is just something so memorable about getting a bike or some kind of riding toy from Santa too. :)

I agree with Alyssa. Legos are the very best toys for kids older than 3/4. The big legos are nice too. My older son will still play with them with our 14 month old.

Another good one that I always loved getting as a child was an art kit. Something to make or create. That can keep them busy on Christmas day too. ;)

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On The Go Family said...

I must agree on the Lego comments -- they are great. Our daughter got a huge set of the blocks around age 1. Then for Christmas at 2, Santa brought her the zoo set and her imagination really took off. I think some kids have a hard time making much out of the plain blocks; once we got some Lego animals, her imagination really soared. She's 5 1/2 now and she still plays with these on a weekly basis. The next time we get Legos, we'll get a set that comes with wheels. I think our little guy would really love that.

p.s. I like the Lego Duplo size -- they're perfect if you have babies/toddlers in the house so you don't have to worry about the tiny pieces being swallowed.

Jessie said...

I remember playing for hours with my barbies (and my brother's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures), with my brothers and with friends. I think dolls in general are good for imaginative play.

Other memories revolve around legos (we also had massive amounts), and our play kitchen set. I look forward to having one of those for my girls, someday... when we have the space. We also spent a large amount of time playing house, or hospital, or orphanage (we might have been slightly weird kids, pretending to be orphans...? :)), which really didn't require many props at all, just our imaginations. So in that case, maybe just exposing the kids to stories and books so they can imagine new settings to play in would be a great gift, too.

Megan said...

Legos and Lincoln Logs were always popular at my house (in fact when we get together to watch conference, all the men still play with the legos). The play kitchen set and dishes, etc. were always great too.