I was seriously tempted to find another company to bash after I got so much amazing feedback after last week’s blog, but then something really cool happened. If you follow me on Twitter (@Momontherun1974), then you know Kid 2 has been home sick quite a bit lately and we have been stuck at home (not the cool part – stick with me here…). Well….Kid 1, had just about run out of patience with all of this downtime when I had a sudden flash of Mommy clarity (as opposed to the usual Mommy foggy) and remembered a board game I had put away because it had been too old for her.
Cranium Zooreka is awesome. I have a nature girl and this game was her complete cup of tea. The object of the game is to build and name your own zoo by collecting different animal habitats. Players are able to earn habitats by collecting animals, shelter, and food cards. There are some more twists and turns to keep the game interesting, but nothing too complicated. The box said ages 8+, but she is 6 and totally loved it. The game had a number of simple elements to differentiate it from the usual roll-the-dice and follow the board around until there is a winner type of games. As I was playing I felt great about this game – she was able to practice reading, counting, taking turns, and using her imagination without getting frustrated. And I was thrilled that I didn’t have to jump up and down, sing a silly song, or pretend to lose.
While we were playing Zooreka, Kid 2, took our box of Magna-Tiles,dumped them on the floor beside us and kept himself busy. If you have ever thought that Magna-Tiles are a toy that seems far too expensive for what it is, please know that you are 100% wrong. I normally wouldn’t so obviously try to insult any of my reader’s by calling them 100% wrong (I usually save that for hubby), so trust me when I write – these tiles are AWESOME.
Magna-Tiles are completely age appropriate for a huge age range of kids – from young toddlers to older age elementary kids. I first saw them at a friend’s house, and after watching my kids be super-engaged for a long time I added them to my toy wish list. My kids love building and creating all sorts of towers, houses, vehicles, etc. with them. This is also a great toy to pull out when we have friends with small children over. The bigger kids are entertained and there aren’t tons of little parts that may be harmful (like LEGO! Just kidding, I really do love LEGO’s). When we first bought Magna-Tiles we got one of the smaller size boxes. Shortly thereafter we figured out that we needed to pick-up another small box, or the larger box. Go big on this toy – Magna-Tiles are well worth it.
Since I started writing for What the Stuff, I have spent a considerable amount of time interviewing real life toy users. Kid 1 loves the blog, and really wants to participate in my research – and she has been after me to fill everyone in on her favorite toy. As our discussion progressed, I thought she was going to say her Wild Science Worm Farm, or her Best Ever Bug Jar, so imagine my surprise when she said her doll house. It is the Fisher-Price Loving Family Grand Dollhouse. She told me she loves making up stories, and using the furniture to design all of the rooms (a girl after my own heart.) When I first decided to get her a dollhouse I really couldn’t decide if I should go for the really pretty, super fancy, extraordinary dream house, or to go for the more practical definitely-not-as-expensive one. We opted for the latter, believing that if for some reason (namely Kid 2) the really pretty, super fancy, extraordinary dream house one got broken or colored on, I would be upset – and I never want to be upset at a kid for playing with their toys. One of the best parts of this toy is that buying furniture and accessories is easy because they are affordable and available. I also like that it folds up nicely and I can throw everything inside, so it nicely tucks away in the corner of her room.
If you have toys that you want me to research or write about I would love to hear about it! Thanks again for reading and see you next week!