Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Best toys for Christmas (and other winter holidays)

(Sheesh, as if I weren't verbose enough, now I feel the need to qualify every reference to Christmas with an inclusion to all the other winter holidays. If I slip, it's nothing personal. Consider yourself officially included, okay?)

It must be holiday purchase frenzy time - the toy reports are out. According to this report, the lowly cardboard box was enshrined in the National Toy Hall of Fame, along with old favourites CandyLand and the Jack In The Box.

If you're looking for something a little more modern to wow the kiddies this year, the Canadian Toy Testing Council has released their annual (and excellent) report on the best and the worst toys of the season. They have categories like "Children's Choice", "Best Bets" and "Greatest Books." You can read the report at Award Winning Toys 2006. I particularly like the look of Balloon Lagoon, under the Children's Choice category, for Tristan this year. If you go back to the CTTC main page (my first link) you can see prior year reports as well.

This got me thinking - wouldn't it be nice to have a thread where we talked about favourite toys and best gifts for kids? Sort of like our own bloggy toy testing council. For example, last year we got Simon this Playskool Ball Popper. Not only does Simon love it and still play with it a year later, but Tristan loves it, I love it, and every kid who comes over to play loves it. It is noisy, but so are my kids, so that doesn't bother me much.

Our gift list this year will be, as usual, full of all things Thomas, with a healthy dose of Bob thrown in for good measure. The boys (and their father) love these toys so much that it's hard to resist the tidal pull of them. In addition to a roundhouse, a DVD and some Thomas lego, I managed to find a 36 piece puzzle that will keep Tristan busy for hours. We're also hoping to expand his train horizons with a GeoTrax set. Simon is a little harder to buy for, as he isn't as demanding or particular as his brother. I'm thinking along the lines of musical or creative expression for him.

What do you think? What are your favourite toys? What are your kids' favourite toys? What toys would you only give to your evil sister-in-law's mouthy brats? What will they still be playing with in January? What toys did you bury in the backyard at first thaw?