the best toys we’ve ever received

Tis the season of toy shopping. And sometimes even the coolest aunt or uncle, mom or dad, grandparent or friend runs out of ideas. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the toy department – trust me, I’ve wandered there for what seems like hours. So in an effort to help you get your Christmas shopping done and somewhat pain free – I’ve decided to write about the best toys my kids have ever gotten.

Now legos, books, sidewalk chalk and playdoh are all certainly favorites. Fisher Price is near & dear to my heart. Yes, even Barbie has enjoyed quite a long moment in the sun around here. But there are certain toys that are played with for years. Toys that cross all age spans. Toys that are truly the best toys we’ve ever gotten:

Dry erase drawing easel: this was given to my oldest when she was just two years old and not a week has gone by in the 10 years since where this thing hasn’t been drawn on. It’s been used for imaginary play, for making signs to greet friends, for drawing amazing pictures that are far bigger than can be contained on paper. It’s been used for homework, for fill in the blank games and for poetry. That thing will probably still be in use when my kids are in their 20s.

Frigits: This toy is a kid magnet – literally. Actually, it’s a people magnet because I don’t care how old you are, it’s nearly impossible to resist playing with this. It goes on the fridge (or any magnetic surface) and you get to create paths for the marble to roll down. Simple? Yes. Addictive? Very. Tons of fun and in a sneaky physics sort of way – it’s even educational. I’m dying to buy the add-on set that takes the tracks around the corner.

Stomp Rocket: As some of you may recall, I bought this toy for my son when he turned six a few months ago. It has proven to be one of the most fun toys in our house. If you’ve got a tall enough ceiling you can even use it indoors. Another toy that is hard to resist for all ages.

Scooter: And I’m talking a kick scooter here – no motor, just foot power. Scooter races up & down the sidewalk. Scooter trips around the neighborhood. Scootering down the neighbor’s driveway that has a slight slope so they can really pick up speed. Drawing crazy scooter tracks on the driveway (with sidewalk chalk) and scooting around for hours. This toy gets them outside and having fun. It’s just a bit more accessible than a bike (as far as the learning curve in riding it) and our scooters have racked up miles of fun.

Dress-up clothes: No Amazon URL for this one – though you can indeed buy dress up clothes online. We’ve got a large basket of dress-up clothes in the basement. Old Halloween costumes, discared purses, a few old ties, lots of random hats & props. Those dress-up clothes have been used to create countless events for my children – plays, rock concerts, pirate battles, fashion shows… the list goes on & on. And they aren’t too old for them yet so they definitely have staying power.

You know what I just realized? There are no bells, whistles or batteries involved on this list. And yet, honestly, these are the toys that my children play with exhaustively. Sweet.

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