As you noticed with my many recent posts about the holidays – I love Christmas. I love the events, the music, the activities. And while I am an avid deal hunter and love stalking great deals – I am not a huge fan of buying things just for the sake of it. One of my least favorite parts about Christmas is giving a gift to someone that was purchased just because I need to give them a gift – not because they need it, want it or truly will enjoy the present. Even worse is having to spend a certain amount – not too much or too little – which can make finding the right present even more challenging. Every year I find that there are people I can find 15 things I would love to give them in a variety of price ranges and then there are people who I am stuck with well I guess they are getting socks and sweater again or let me just grab a gift card. While this gifting dilemma is usually reserved for siblings or extended family, this year I have found the problem with my kids – especially Flynn. Flynn plays with the same few “sets” of toys – his Disney Cars “Collection” and Ikea Rug, his Blaze Diecast Characters and his Planes guys regularly. Nola and he also enjoy playing with the kitchen set from Santa and the tent Nola got for her birthday. Then there are the other toys that get played with fairly regularly. At this point, I am not really sure what exactly Flynn (and really Nola) need. If you are struggling for ideas for your Toddler/Preschooler below are a few things we have and love or are on the list for this year.
- Magformers These were a Christmas Gift last year and both Nola and Flynn really enjoy them. Nola has been playing with them daily lately asking for her “mag-gets”. While these sets can get pricey, we found a great deal last year from Kohl’s of all places. They had sets buy one get one free plus we doubled up on coupons. I have not seen the BOGO deal yet this season, but I have seen buy one get one half off. If these are on your radar keep an eye out on Kohls.com and be sure to use a coupon code for 15-30% off, however, they are currently cheaper on Amazon and probably will have a drop or promo over the course of this holiday season.
- Marble Run This is a toy I had growing up. My mom actually still has her set from a Discovery Toys demonstration (you know back when people had Tupperware and MaryKay demonstrations) and so we added on to the fun with a new set from Amazon. Currently our 1980’s set mixes in with the 2015 version and makes for loads of fun. While we are really happy with our Discovery Toys version, there is a Hape wooden version that always caught my eye and comes with great reviews.
- DC Figurines Set Flynn is always asking me for Batman figurines, but I have yet to find any that are the right size and not a huge pain to stand up and play with. Dominique informed it is because DC has contracts with Imaginext and while they may be great for some kids – Flynn isn’t really a huge fan. He is always looking for something similar to the Ninja Turtles Half Shells, but we have yet to find the right match. Two sets that we own that he does seem to enjoy are the Little People Super Friends Pack and a wooden set from Pottery Barn Kids.
- Cape and Mask Set There are a ton of these on Etsy and we scored a Batman Cape and Mask from a shop in the Outerbanks last year.My sister also sent a set of Ninja Turtle masks awhile back that are still in regular rotation. Flynn uses his capes and masks and old Halloween costumes regularly. This year he has been asking for a SpiderMan set to add to the mix and this is a gift I happily will give. I love the imagination as well as the amount of time both Nola and Flynn will spend running around reenacting scenes, even if they often result in unmade beds and messy rooms.
- Diggin Active Box Sets Last year I was able to score a Diggin Active Planes Box Set for under $25. It was a gift I wasn’t too sure about as I didn’t know much about the brand or Flynn’s, but ended up being an awesome toy. It is really well made and perfect for travel. All the pieces fit inside the box making for easy storage, clean up and best yet travel. The box opens up and becomes part of the playset with track pieces and the planes/cars included. This is a really neat toy that we play with at home often, but also pack up and carry with us when we need an easy toy on the go.