As some of you know I am the proud mother of two 7 year old twin boys. I wouldn’t say that they are “spoiled” but they’ve been given a lot of toys over the years, whether its from Santa, their generous aunts, uncles, and grandparents or Mum & Dad. Some get loads of use while others gather dust in the corner until they magically disappear…
Here is a review of about 20 toys. Some are classics that you will remember as a kid and others are one hit wonders.
Kids’ Gift Idea No. 1 – Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels cars and a Hot Wheels track go together like boys and dirt, right? Not exactly. They love and still use the cars but the track was a disappointment. A bit of a one trick pony you could say. It was used only a handful of times before it was abandoned. The cars still get a lot of use, though.
Kids’ Gift Idea No. 2 – Board Games
Around the age of 5 we introduced some classic board games. These were (and still are) still hits with the kids (despite their awful cheating streak).
Candyland. An old time classic and fun for the whole family! This is the ORIGINAL version that you remember as a kid (not the ‘new and improved’ version with the updated characters).
Operation! Maybe I was just feeling nostalgic but here is another great game from my childhood. It stands the test of time and most importantly the kids love it (I think they love the zapping noise more than actually winning).
We had a lot of fun with Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad. It still makes me jump ever time Dad jumps out of bed “wakes up.”
By the way, we store all of our board games in this awesome board game tower. Here is a picture from the play area in our basement (plus a few more game ideas).
Kids’ Gift Idea No. 3 – Educational(ish)
Here is my attempt at getting them something to “use their brain.” Marbulous Marble Run. What a disaster! This was used a grand total of 1X with lots of parental supervision. We just couldn’t get the pieces to stay together without toppling over. A total bust!
I cannot say enough good things about Magna Tiles. Everyone – kids and grown ups alike – love playing with these. Definitely a great gift and quite possibly my favorite of the all the toys reviewed here. So many different possibilities (although with my boys it tends to be either a village or a giant rocket). We have given this as a gift many times, too. Check it out! I’ve linked to a 100 piece set but there are smaller starter sets, too.
Well maybe this one is not educational but I didn’t know where else to put it. The stomp rocket got a lot of outdoor use. Its easy to setup and safe. Pretty self-explanatory. They stomp, it flies. Maybe this helps teach them about gravity?
Kids’ Gift Idea No. 4 – Star Wars
My boys are absolutely Star Wars crazy! Here is a sample of some of their Star Wars toys. Except for the Yoda, they are all “hits” in my kids’ book.
Star Wars Hero Mashers. If you do not know what a “masher” is it simply means that the pieces are interchangeable. They have a similar Avengers set and its not uncommon to find Darth Vader’s head on Captain America’s body. The smaller pieces have been largely lost or scattered over the years.OK. Pay close attention to this one. If you are going to get a light saber you need to buy the Disney light saber. It makes all the right “Star Wars” light saber sounds and lights up. There are so many other less expensive hunks of junk out there but they all make the wrong sounds, light up like a disco ball or do none of the above (just plastic). I know this because I bought (and returned) them all! It must be a copyright thing. Talk about trial and error! At any rate, do not fall for the imitators or your kids will be sorely disappointed!! Also, an important thing to remember: different colors light sabers = different characters (or sides of the Force!). For example, Luke Skywalker uses blue and Darth Vader uses red.
A slightly creepy Yoda – he talks and his head moves side to side. I can’t say that this one gets much use.
And here is R2-D2. This is the droid you are looking for…
The Millennium Falcon. They love it. Lots of play time. This thing is awesome. Great sound effects. Its big but not “too big.” It opens up and the characters can go for a ride inside. The whole thing is well done.
Here they are together. Best of pals…
Kids’ Gift Idea No. 5 – Super Heroes
And of course, my boys love superheros. Here is a sample of some Super Hero toys in their toy bin
Thor’s Hammer. This lasted about a year before the strap broke. I wouldn’t consider this “dangerous” but they did suffer a few bonks on the head.
Captain America Launch Shield. I have to give this a mixed review. They use the shield a bunch but got bored with the launcher rather quickly. Plus, I think we lost the spiral thingies that shoot. If you are looking for just a shield, you can probably get it for less.
Captain America’s Mask saw a good amount of use. Not much to say about this one…
Kids’ Gift Idea No. 6 – Wrestling
Although they are not allowed to watch professional wrestling Santa brought them a wrestling ring and some figures. They use it far more often than I thought they would and some of their other toys make “special appearances” in the ring (think “Woody vs. Buzz Lightyear”). Easy set up.
Well, that is it for now. Please let me know if you have any questions. Good luck with all of your shopping and stay tuned for a separate blog about Star Wars Legos, a/k/a the bane of my existence!
And if anyone out there wants to be buy me a gift this year, I will gladly have a new spin bike for my Peloton alternative!
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
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