So you’re on the hunt for the eco-friendly, educational, durable toys to buy your kids this Christmas.
If you’re anything like us, you also want toys that are going to work for both girls and boys, and stimulate your creative kids to action. Not every toy can do that.. but we’ve managed to find 4 that did what they promised. These toys engaged the age group we selected them for and for both kids in each of our households. That’s no easy feat. We contribute this to their open-ended learning style – the toys invite the kids to try them in a way that speaks to them.
We also ran them through their paces with our kids who routinely smash things just to make sure they could take a little heat. They took it with ease.
As parents, the philosophy behind this company is one that makes us want to stand up and say YES!
We want to be a voice to children that says it’s okay to be curious, to be pensive, to be loud, to be happy and sad all at the same time, to be generous, to be afraid, to be quiet, to be wild, to be fun, to be open, to be scientific, to be poetic, to be giddy, to be serious, to be smart, to be free, to be you.
So here are the toys:
Little J is just 15 months old. And like a typical boy, he loves cars. These remote control cards are perfect for little kids as there is only one button! You push it once and it will make the car go forward. Push it again and the car will rotate – just let go of the button when the car is pointed in the direction you want to go! Push again and forward it goes. There are variety of styles to choose from such as the UFWhoa spaceship we have, an SUV and a rally car. The Wheeee-Mote Control Newbies are from their B. Curious line.
Not only are they easy to use but they are also FUN. There is a multitude of lights which turns a darker room into a disco! It also makes a lot of fun sounds. The remote is the perfect size for little hands. While Little J doesn’t quite understand the dynamics of the remote just yet, his sister sure does. She is 3 and likes chasing her little brother with it. When Little J gets his hands on the antenna on the car and starts swinging it around, I don’t have to worry about what will happen. It is very durable and handles those bumps down the stairs and onto my tile floors wonderfully.
The car takes 4 AA batteries which are included but you will need a 9V battery for the remote – make sure you include this if you’re giving it as a gift!
Pop-Arty is a big bucket full of beads that pop together to make funky jewelry from their B. Creative line. This isn’t your normal pop-together bead set. There are so many interesting pieces in here, particularly the ones Miss O describes as raspberries. While this product is designed for ages 4-10, Miss O is only 3 and enjoys making jewelry. Like everything else in her life, she tends to just use the pink pieces. Luckily there’s a lot of them! It also includes ring & bracelet bases for attaching the beads to.
While Miss O really enjoyed this toy, I understand why it is for ages 4-10. Some of the styles of the beads are snug and can be difficult to pop together. Her little hands had difficulty with some of them so this is definitely a toy that I had to help with. If you are more than happy to sit and make jewelry with your little ones, then this is a great gift – just don’t expect your 3 year old to be able to do it all alone. This is a great product to inspire creativity!
Our kids love to do what we do and love to help where they can. One of the problems we almost always fall into is that we don’t have the right sized tools for them to use. Finding these simple tools makes it fun to do what we think of as chores.
With our farmhouse, one task that we do frequently is sweep the floor in the kitchen area. The kids have taken a great interest in the dustpan especially for helping with this task. The Tropicleania has enough brooms not to cause a fight, and also at the right height that kids can manage the long broom all by themselves.
Getting kids to help sweeping the floors – priceless. They are so proud to help!
The soft chimes of these bells are my favourite. My girl seems to have a musical bend, so I thought these would be perfect for playtime.
The bells themselves play notes from A to G, with a clear, pure tone. Although a song sheet is included with 7 playable songs, our favourite way to play right now is to strike them in sequence and sing along with them. Or if you’re Mr. J, you can get them spinning in a fast circle and then use the stick to play a beautiful crescendo.
Check out our kids interacting with some of their new favourite toys!
Andrea can always be found with a new craft in front of her, a form of technology on her right and a coffee on her left. This is how she survives suburbia with her two crazy toddlers in tow.