Today's installment of "Christmas Toy Shopping 2004" covers only a few of the better toys out there, for all of you procrastinators with children to buy for.* Again, this is not a comprehensive list. Please feel free to add your recommendations.
- Dirt Devil 2-in-1 Vacuum. I admit there are cuter, probably better toy vacuums out there, but none of the others I found actually pick up dirt. I say, as long as you're going through the motions, you might as well be doing some good!
- Alphabet Pal, by LeapFrog. We actually got this one for Little Man. It has two volume levels, will recite not only the letter name but also the sound the letter makes, as well as colors. Good way to start them on the path to reading. (I'm adding this one to the list not because I know it to be a great toy, but because I am hoping we made a good choice.)
- The Whoozit. Every infant should have a goofy looking friend. This one features different colors and textures to stimulate the senses, as well as lots of great places to grab onto. For the traveling tot, there is also Baby Whoozit. (A smaller, cheaper version.)
- Basic Doodle Pro This allows the artistic of any age the ability to draw to their heart's content without the mess of paper and crayons, markers, etc. There are also travel versions, and they come in various colors for those picky kids on your Christmas list. (Although the little magnate shapes are fun, this mom believes the fewer pieces the better.)
- Baby Einstein DVDs, Videos, or CDs. Even though I'm trying to encourage less TV in my house, these videos are wonderful, from about 3 months up. They are not full of animation and annoying songs. Instead they contain nice music and "real world objects". These are great to pop in if you need to put your youngin's in their exersaucers so you can shower, or just need 30 minutes of quite time. And if you watch along and interact with your kids, they become great learning tools.
Tomorrow's final installment includes toy buying tips for the childless (or for you parents who haven't figured it out yet.)
*I am not a toy expert. Recommendations made here are mainly for entertainment's sake, and based on nothing more than "it looks good to me". They are not necessarily made based on personal experience with said toy. Opinions here should not be taken as advice.