11.14.2007

Preschool Gift Ideas: Toys

So the holiday-buying season is here again. I swear I thought it was just Halloween. There have been a few discussions on my Yahoo mom groups about good gifts to give kids. I thought this might be something to investigate, starting with looking around our house at the toy favorites. My kids are in the two to four range, but many of these were purchased when they were even younger so they ended up being good toy "investments."

By far the number one favorite in my house these days are the Legos--Duplos and big kid Legos. They love them. They don't build big elaborate things, but they love building. Which then led me to think they might like some different kinds of blocks like Bristle Blocks/Krinkles. Do you remember those?

Dress up falls a pretty quick second with my kids. Both of them love to dress up. We have animal, princess, knight, Elmo, dragon and Buzz Lightyear costumes--shoes, hats/crowns, and accessories to boot. They may not do anything in their costumes other than run around the house, pretend to shop, build or eat, but the costumes seem to change the tone of their play. One of the favorite accessories for Anna has become her "clip clap" shoes. Those are the cheap plastic ones with pictures of princesses on them, butterflies or flowers. She loves them. In fact, every girl loves them so much that I bought an extra pair on sale after Halloween to fill our dress up corner for friends who come to play. Alex and Anna both love the foam swords when they're playing dress up. I know weapons in the house are probably not a good idea, but I figured if they were foam would could reduce the rate of injury. I bought ours at Tree Top Toys, but the Lego store in Tyson's had some fun ones.

While we're talking about pretend, both kids love Anna's little tea set. Believe it or not they both will sit down to the table and have tea. How very civilized they look until someone throws the cup at the other. The stroller and shopping cart have become a favorite for Anna. She doesn't necessarily put the doll or food in, pretty much everything goes in it. But in her mind she has a mission and is playing some kind of game with all of it.

We bought our daughter a cash register for her second birthday, and it gets a lot of use by both kids. They have started to combine the play of the cash register in with the shopping cart and play food. Anna just likes to sort the money in it. The one we have has a scanner and a little microphone. It also is a working calculator.

Lately my kids have fallen in love with books on CD. An aunt sent a few Curious George books along with the accompanying CD. My kids love to sit down and listen to the story. For them it's good downtime without the TV.

Musical instruments tend to dominate a noise level in our house--besides the clip clap shoes and screaming. Turn on the music and immediately the drums, xylophone and recorders come out. Last year someone gave Alex a Saxoflute. Great, great gift. Also it's one of the few toys not made in China!

Arts and Crafts are fun for kids of all ages. Anna tends to be my little Picasso and will spend quite a long time crafting and drawing, but Alex still enjoys the process of art time. Last year, we got them a Melissa and Doug easel for Christmas. While it does take up a lot of space on our main living level, they do like to stop and draw on the paper/chalkboard. You can never go wrong with a MagnaDoodle. They are inexpensive and grow with your child. I still love to draw on ours.

Alex is a puzzle pro. Before he was even two years old he was into 24 to 48 piece puzzles. The ones from Melissa and Doug are really our favorites. We have so many of these, and he still enjoys putting them together. Since they're designed for the floor, you need a bit more space, but the cardboard is almost indestructible.

One toy that we're still growing into is the marble run. It's a toy that requires some adult supervision in order to get the marbles to run properly, but both love to watch the marbles and Alex is starting to try to build some of the runs.

Here are a few other suggestions for preschool gift ideas:

Woodkins--I saw these at the toy store and they looked a lot of fun for 3 to 4-year old girls.

Wedgits--I have not seen these, but they look fun as well.

Play kitchen, Play tool bench--We have the tool bench and it's used quite a lot. Not a real favorite, but still fun.

Mr. Potato Head--My daughter really loves this toy.

Stay tuned for more favorites: books, CDs and more.

6 comments:

unique said...

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unique said...

One of the things that make Christmas special is the spirit of giving. As children we can’t wait for Christmas morning to open presents. We thought in terms of receiving. As adults we think in terms of giving. And hopefully, our unique Christmas gift ideas are gifts of love. Men look for just the right gifts for women. Women usually shop for men, their own children as well as others, and for family and friends. Here are some suggestions to get you started. http://unique-christmas-gift-ideas-tips.blogspot.com .

zafran said...

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