Exploring adventures and styles for kids without the girl/boy stereotypes.

Toy ideas: Instant hits versus play gems

At Christmas, Santa delivered a handsome sack of toys to our house and looking back at all that my little pirates received it’s interesting to see a common thread giving me some toy ideas. There are the toys that provide an instant smile, they usually make a lot of noise, are a bright colour and made from plastic. If you are thinking Light Sabers then you are with me. We actually have lots of fun with ours but it does usually result in one child crying!

Then there are those toys that when opened little ones are unsure what the toy is all about and it’s put to one side. I am usually left feeling deflated, as I was sure they would be desperate to know more about how you play such a toy. I am also chomping at the bit to tell them how I loved playing this game as a child – or maybe not!!

I am not going to focus on the instant smile toys mainly because I am fed-up with listening to the singing bird that repeats what we say (its name is Olivia)!

But I have been thinking about the toys initially put to one side as there is hope – after a small about of persuasion these can be the hit of a half term or the best for winter family gatherings when you are stuck indoors.

– Don’t give up on buying the games you loved as a kid. Connect Four became the hit of the Christmas holidays and my little pirates are already asking to play it over this half term – we’ve taken it away with us. What I have loved about this is that our 5 year old was recently able to play with her 16 year-old Cousin and beat him (plus his friend, much to their frustration). It got us all hooked on this fab retro toy.

connect4 toy ideas

– Some toys are worth building. Hot Wheels are just the best – we all have our favourite car and it was great to build the track together. We are now working out ways to make the track even trickier! This toy keeps them occupied for ages – winner! I’ve yet to find a good picture of us playing this, but I will keep looking.
– Mixing up toys – we have loved building a Hex Bugs track with Lego. Both pirates really got stuck in with this and built a maze like masterpiece – genius!!

Hexbugs toy ideas

Lego City is the best Lego toy! Not only is it cheaper than the Star Wars and Ninjago but we have also loved playing with the helicopter, and other bits, since Christmas. Remarkably (until now) the pieces have stayed together!

Silly Faces bath toy is really silly but a keeper and a great gift idea. The youngest pirate gave me the strangest of looks when she unwrapped these funny faces bath toys yet jumped for joy when she did the same with the paw patrol bath pups. However, the bath pups are completely overlooked in favour of these bizarre faces you can make-up on the side of the bath. It has also stopped a lot of bickering – the girls really seem to play together in the bath now– unheard of!!

silly faces toy ideas

– I couldn’t skip a pirate game, could I? Well Pesky Pirates is a winner and it is amazing how much you want to win those pieces of treasure. Also, I love that there isn’t a huge amount of fuss setting is up. We can get quite vocal playing this one though!!

Pesky Pirates toy ideas

I love finding new toys that are great for girls and boys plus kids of all ages to play, so please share your favourites?

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