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The presents are opened, the boxes are gone, the Christmas tree drops handfuls of needles every time someone walks by… so what toys are the kids STILL playing with? Here are the top 10 presents from this year’s holiday haul. (See what they liked last year here.) This post contains affiliate links… but only because I buy 95% of the things in our house from Amazon; see my full disclosure policy here.
Our kids are 4.5, 3, and 22 months so in the preschool/ toddler realm, and after the Christmas dust has settled, here’s what they’re loving.
1. Penguin Race
Martha gravitates to our games of repetition and this is the mack daddy of repetition. All 3 kids spent more time than I care to share, just sitting and watching the penguins climb up and sliiiiiiide all the way down. Be forewarned, this makes the same sound as those miniature barking dogs so not necessarily Zen. But quiet kids count for something.
The Artful Parent mentioned these fun art supplies and I suggested that Santa might wrap them up for Eleanor. They’re like regular pens, but instead of ink, they use tempera paint. Eleanor’s been a paint pen fool since she opened them… they glide across the page like finger paint and have gorgeous bright vibrant colors that she loves.
Martha likes herself a hammer toy. This one has the nice little detail of a xylophone underneath. You can either hammer the balls through and listen to the xylophone or flip it over and hammer the xylophone directly. It’s made of wood, so don’t expect a melodious concerto, but it’s nice to switch things up every once in a while.
4. Hot Hugs
Mark bought these at a Christmas market in Bryant Park and I wasn’t sold. The stuffed animals have a lavender scented insert that you can either microwave to heat or freeze to cool. Two weeks after Christmas, and the kids still ask to have their animals warmed up before bed. What do I know?!
When I saw 250 pieces in bold lettering on the box, my pulse started racing as I envisioned the storage needs and the inevitable clutter that would come next. BUT… the tracks stick together unless you pull them individually apart so you can disassemble your track in large pieces. The cars go super fast and don’t jump the track because of the sidewalls… it’s really easy to move around and change the shape. Oliver’s loved it as have his two sisters. Except for the one time one of the cars ate Eleanor’s hair.
My mother-in-law gave Eleanor and Oliver these adorable sleeping bags. Things have changed from the musty smelling camping ones that I used as a child! Both kids LOVE theirs and have used them every night since Christmas. (Disclaimer: we’ve had to go in and move Oliver underneath his real covers each night because he gets a little wound up, but Eleanor loves hers.)
I mentioned this in my Unique Gift post, and it’s lived up to the hype. Also? Turns out my eldest child might never be the newest member of the WNBA. This jumper comes with 2 heights and 3 speeds. You can remove one side to make it more compact (and easier!). It’s also nice because the times when Martha gets in on the action, the turning poles gently stop when they bump into her non-jumping little legs.
In 4 years, this might be considered a lame gift, but now? Martha wears hers a few hours a day. Maybe it’s because she can actually take it on and off herself and maybe it’s because it’s awesome. Who knows. Regardless, she’s developing her own suburban hipster look.
This is a basic game, but Eleanor loves the fancy cake decor. All you do is spin the spinner and add that number of cake pieces: plates, cake tiers, etc. For a preschooler, it’s the right kind of game- simple and fun!
This is a grown up gift! Remember the days of the 6 CD turntable or the Bose speaker for your iPod? Well this might be the next wave… Set this up anywhere in your house and use either your existing router or this bridge and control music from your iphone. You can play from your music library or tap into sites like Pandora or Rhapsody.
Bonus. If you haven’t read the stories of Robert Munsch to your kids, you should. They’re ‘just for fun books’ with no moral per say, but they’re hilarious and give young children a real belly laugh with their absurdity. Smelly Socks is Oliver’s favorite. Natch.
Phew… so that’s a glimpse of our haul. We are truly fortunate and blessed to have such generosity and abundance spread out before us. Christmas snaps this reality into focus for me every year as I realize the good will and good fortune scattered around our home. Next up? Clean up! What were your favorite presents? Any tricks for culling through existing toys to make room for all the new ones? Please share!
Tune in Thursday for a little DIY post that involves something you may or may not use every day!
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