Top 5 Toys for Boys

Well, it’s that time of year again. The catalogs are arriving by the dozens, the relatives are asking for gift ideas, and my 4 y.o. son is adding items to his Christmas list daily. (The latest additions: a bathrobe and a lava lamp. Who is he, Hugh Hefner?!)

I don’t generally do gift guides or product reviews mainly because I think they’re completely subjective. Just because MY baby loves his toy toolbox and ignores Sophie the Giraffe doesn’t mean YOUR baby will.

And I can honestly say that just about every “award-winning” book and toy given to my kids has gone straight into the Bin of Neglect—that out-of-the-way toy box containing the stuff your kids don’t really play with but that you can’t bear to get rid of. Because it’s AWARD-WINNING!!

But I can tell you what my kids like. And isn’t word-of-mouth from other moms the best way to get the real scoop on anything? So behold: I present to you 5 toys that are winners in our house. These are toys that my boys and their friends go back to again and again. Toys that I’ve even replaced the batteries in, rather than claiming the toy was “broken.”

Please note that I bought exactly NONE of these, proving that complete strangers have better luck giving my kids gifts than their own mother. Enjoy! Only 48 more shopping days till Christmas...

Cool Tools Activity SetCool Tools Activity Set
Age: 18 mos. +
Amazon* Price: $18.99
Part shape-sorter, part toolbox, part catchy-tune player, this toy is a compact kit o’ fun. I love that it has just a handful of parts that click into place and can be closed up inside the box. Years later, we haven’t lost a single piece.

(*Because that's where I usually buy stuff.)

Melissa & Doug Stacking BlocksNesting & Stacking Blocks
Age: 24 mos. – 6 years
Amazon Price: $9.99
These are great because they don’t take up a lot of space and they appeal to kids of almost any age. They can stack them, put things in them, and of course, knock them down. One caveat: they’re cardboard, so they’re not indestructible. But for $10, you can’t complain. We’re on our second set.

Interstar ringsInterstar Rings
Age: 2+
Amazon Price: $16.77
Babies can use them as teethers, older kids can build things out of these star-shaped plastic thingies. The shape makes them easy to hold and connect together. We've made towers, spaceships, even silly hats and glasses out of them.

Winnie the Pooh carWinnie The Pooh Ride-On Car
Age: 12 mos. – 3 years
Toys R Us Price: $25.89
We have a slightly different one, with a keyboard and some other random stuff on it, but I think just about any ride-on toy would be as appealing. Toddlers can use it as a walker and bigger kids can push it with their feet. And every age likes pushing all the little buttons. Warning: ours plays especially annoying tunes and doesn’t have an off button. Though you could always “lose” the batteries and the car would still work.

Fisher Price BatcaveFisher-Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Batcave
Age: 3-7 years
Amazon Price: $37.99
Santa brought this for Miles last Christmas, and he’s been playing with it ever since. I think of it as the boy’s version of a dollhouse. (Though I’ve seen plenty of girls playing with it when they come over, too.) It comes with a whole bunch of little characters and plastic pieces, the smallest of which I confiscated so the baby wouldn’t eat them.

If you’re wondering why there aren’t any wooden toys on this list, it’s because the only wooden toys we own have broken. I can’t recommend any, because they simply don’t hold up in our house. Now off you go. Happy shopping!

And since I have such a terrible track record with my own offspring, please tell me: what toys do YOUR kids like best?


Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

I second the Bat cave. We have it and it's a terrific toy. We also have a train set that we got from Toys R Us--Imaginarium, maybe? But don't quote me--on which we replaced the battery-powered engine with one you push around (because I loathe battery toys), and it has now captured the imagination of our youngest. It's a great toy, with a magnetic crane that you can play with the barge at the seashore. But the wooden helicopter did break, I grant you.

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

Haha! That Hugh Hefner comment really cracked me up.

I can vouch for that cool tools set. A neighbor of ours had one and Kellan LOVED it. I'm still kicking myself that I never got him one of his own. Also, for his first Christmas, we got Kellan a ride-on thing like that Pooh one (ours actually can convert to a push toy as well) and he still loves it. In fact, just this morning he rode it out of his room, down the hallway and into the kitchen.

Those Interstar Rings look cool!

Mom2Miles said...

Ooh, Kate, find a picture or a link for me! Riley loves trains.

Shannon, you're alive! I haven't seen you much on Twitter & wondered how you're doing. Every time I make your spinach quiche (which is often, because R loves it) I think of you. :)

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

I'm so happy to hear you're still making that quiche! And even happier to hear that it's still a hit with the little guy. ;-)

Yeah, I've been a little out of the loop. But I'm missing my online friends. Hoping to get back into the game. :-)

Melissa {adventuroo} said...

Those all sound awesome... I'm pulling for Santa to bring some Batman into the house this year.

angie mizzell said...

I love the Bat Cave and the tool set. Thanks for the tips! This is the first Christmas Dillon has started making a Santa list. He asked for Thomas' Misty Island Rescue. But he's going to flip over the Bat Cave.

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