Monday, December 15, 2008

[JessFinds] Cool Toys for a 2 year old & 4 year old

So in this age of craptastic plastic (thanks for the new vocab Jen) I have weeded out a few things that I think are just plain cool.
In the toddler category, I think this is great craptastic plastic:
Little People: Learn About Town - It folds down to something manageable for storage and it expands upon the idea of doll house play. I think there is a hospital, a pet shop and a tree house. A doll house is great, but generally boys tend to shy away from it. This encourages play without a gender specific bend. It is just a cool idea. I hear it is sold out, but I saw one at Target the other day. I may go back and pick this up for Gonzo.

And on the toddler gender-specific front... these are a hot toy this season and with good reason. Grown women are competing with kids to get their hands on one! Apparently Penelope Peapods are incredibly collectible, the fabric patterns are limited. They go from cute little handbag in to a cute little bassinet with a cute little baby inside. It is a mom-based business (you go girl) and the product really is darling. Again, this is a Gonzo type thing. Miss Crab has light interest in baby dolls.

I am not sure if this fishing game is worth the $39 price tag, but it is charming. I love wooden toys and this is something that would be good for a 2 year old's coordination and basic counting.

I have a 4.5 year old daughter who is completely nutso over pirates. She has loved pirates since she was 3 and had a pirate themed birthday party out West. She loved the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disney World. She dresses like a pirate. Essentially, she is a pirate. Her Papa is getting her a wooden toy pirate ship for Christmas. I started looking for pirate figures to populate said ship. It was tough for two reasons. One, I am not a big fan of gun play and most pirate figurines have firepower of some sort. Two, where are the girl pirates!?? Then I found Odyssey Toys and their Pirate Legends series. Hello Anne Bonny! These bendable 4-inch toys are dressed in real clothes and ALL of them carry swords. No guns. I found a three-pack (the Blackbeard set) of pirates on eBay and bought the Anne Bonny pirate from the Kites Tail Toys site. These will go in her stocking from Santa.

The Tag Reading System from LeapFrog. It is rated for 4-8 year olds and is a great tool in the edu-play arsenal of LeapFrog toys. Crab's Grandpa Floyd picked one of these up for her for Christmas - I think it will be a big hit. Crab is buried in books and is showing some signs of word recognition. We encourage reading as much as possible. Yes, these things did not exist when I was a child and I am an avid reader. But today's kids are bombarded with 100x the information at 100x the pace - enough to put them all on ADD medication. They are doing things in preschool that I did not learn until 2nd grade. So, if this keeps her interested in the land of books, and keeps it fun, I am all for it. I am keeping an eye out for deals on more Tag Books that can be read with the pen. I find that in stores, they run upwards of $15 but can be found for under $10 online.

I want this! Miss Crab has boundless energy and I am scared (scared!) of the winter months trapped inside. What a cool idea - multiple inserts, the balls are trapped so no hunting under chairs for them. Brilliant. Plus, it serves my agenda of turning her in to a Sk8er Gurl.

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