Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Out of the Box Toys

When it comes to toy shopping, it's easy to go immediately to the obvious character figurine. These are great toys to spark play - trust me on that one (or ask my girls and their piles of said toys). But sometimes the best toys to grab are the ones that are a bit more out of the box.

I never would have thought to check these toys out, but now that they're in our house, the girls have found some new favorites. I'm excited to pass them on to you!

We received these toys to try out free of charge. But trust me, all the squealing and excitement actually happened. A lot.

Glow stick markers. How cool are these? If you ask my children - very. Crack and shake them like a regular glow stick, then use them as a marker. The girls loved writing "secret messages" (which, admittedly, were not at all secret, because they're pretty bright. But they could read them in their rooms in the dark).

Note: these are NOT washable, and if you get them on fabric, they will stain. If you have kids with a tendency to get marker on their clothes, you may want to supervise. Or, you know, you could have them wear an old white shirt and turn it into something fun!

Remember Colorforms? From a Gen X childhood? They are here and they are just as fun as we remember. The girls are obsessed with stickers, so they absolutely loved these. Both girls had fun creating stories on the story board and moving the "stickers" around. Minions and Frozen scenes are always a hit.

Hatch N Heroes are sort of a cross between figurines and transformers. They start as an oval, and with a little manipulation, become a favorite character. The girls got Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, and they loved rolling them to each other to "rehatch" and play. 

The girls take after their mom, and they love bath time. I'm content to soak and read and relax, but they love some fun water play. We added these two Rubba Ducks to our collection. These ducks are big and sturdy, and the characters are so much fun. We've added a few new ducks to our collection already.

Ubongo is a really fun game! Reagan is definitely too young to really "get it", but Madison definitely picked it up really quickly. You solve geometric puzzles to earn gems and race each other. It works really well for math, geometry, logic, and honestly, a competitive spirit. There's an app you can download that goes very well with the game. A great addition to family game night. 

Since she started preschool, Reagan has discovered a fascination with super hero characters. Madison is a girly girl all the way, but Reagan has much more eclectic tastes. She came home singing the praises of Superman and how awesome he is, so when these showed up, she laid claim to both. Power Poppers are a combination of regular suction cup poppers and superballs. When they pop, they pop. Superpowers for sure.

My girls love technology, stories and all things Disney, so this Storytime Projector went over very, very well. You download an app to your smart device, place the character on the device to unlock the story, and the story is projected onto your wall. It's not a movie. It's a picture book, but one that everyone can see. There are three modes: read aloud (parent or child reads on the tablet while the pages are projected), storytime (a narrator reads while you "turn the pages") and bedtime (the narrator reads aloud, turning pages automatically, then switches to the night sky and relaxing music). There are many different stories you can add. We started with Toy Story and the girls are happy to explore the others!

Ever since Madison saw the 3D printer in action at one of our homeschool days, she's been very interested in building her own toys. I saw this 3D maker in action earlier this fall at a toy fair and I knew she'd be into it, so I was excited when we got to test it out. You trace your design with the special gel pens, then put it into the machine to "cure". Then you assemble the parts, and you have a toy that YOU have built. It's LED light, not heat, so it's safe for kids. You can use the stencils provided, buy add on packs, or design your own. Replacement gel is also available for when you run out. The kit comes with four pens.

We're a huge fan of kinetic sand and the fun texture and play it inspires, so just like with the markers, adding glow just made it better. The girls loved creating magical villages in a darkened kitchen. Even I had trouble staying away from this - the sand feels SO GOOD on your hands and it's fun to mold glow in the dark creations!

It's always fun to try new things, and I love that I have some new ideas for gifts and surprises! Which toys are you most interested in trying? photo mediumsignature_zpsbff01a79.png
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Real Time Web Analytics