All Things BOY






BOY WONDER WINNERS

Toys
When I was younger I had aspirations of being a toy buyer, little did I know my employers would be 5 little men.  Coming from a world of girls {3 sisters and me}, I loved diving into the world of boys.  I am a researcher through and through, so, I would like to say I know a thing our two about what makes a toy not just good, but great.  I probably get just as excited about a new toy as my boys do, and thought it might be fun and helpful to share that with you based on five criteria:

*fun/wow factor
*age appropriate
*educational
*durable and safe
*longevity  

All toys mentioned can be found in our home right now {c'mon over and play}, so our testing is real as it gets friends! Our boys are now 22 months so most fall within this age range.  

  The following toys are boy wonder approved {grin} and receive the highest
5 little monkey rating from this most adorable panel of experts...


{in no particular order below}

1. made by Viking Toys
found at our local Chalkboard Store or online at International Play Things These colorful molded plastic vehicles are dishwasher safe, great for travel, perfect for small hands and creating that first memory of him saying whoosh with a little yellow airplane.  



2.  made by Radio Flyer

 In our house we call it the Red Flyer Gang.  Our boys absolutely love these.  Not only are they super fun and great for the indoors, they are the same, so with multiples, there is no fighting over which car is better.  Since they do not make noise our boys come up with their own, which I love.  Who knows Vin Diesel may just come calling looking for some guys who know how to drift cars.

We, err Santa, picked these up at Wal-Mart for under $20 a piece.   


3.  from the smart folks at Melissa and Doug

Not only have so many of our Melissa & Doug toys lasted for so long, we love how they are made.  They also offer the option to repurchase puzzles with missing pieces for a percentage of the original cost.  Both are so good for fine motor skills, matching, and memory.  


crepe foam puzzles and stacker pegs are awesome.  The toddler tote is great for travel, the pieces can also be replaced if you contact Lauri and overall they are inexpensive, washable, long lasting.  They can help with fine motor, color sorting, and are great for lengthening attention spans too.


5.  Fisher-Price
Shake n' Go Cars, while we only have one ka-chow Lightning McQueen {hint big 2nd birthday coming up} these are great for teaching cause and effect.  
6. Hats
 any shape, any kind, usually the whole costume isn't even necessary.  My boys put these on and take them off all day long..  Ours have typically been purchased at our local learning/educational store or the party store.  Again a really inexpensive way to add some fun to a day indoors.  


7. Trains
from Melissa & Doug and Fisher-Price Geo Trax.  We apparently have the classic GeoTrax, in the past few years they have made all sorts of additional cars and themes.  We have yet to bring out either of these sets for the little boys, but we will this fall once we're indoors again and they are sure to provide endless hours of entertainment again.  We love the Melissa & Doug railway because it is interchangeable with other wooden sets and it is inexpensive, but still very well made.


8. The NILO table is amazing.
Again something our boys are almost ready to play with, right now they would probably take everything off and climb on it.  It is so versatile because you can get different inserts for it...lego, train mat, and it is the perfect height for a kids table at a party.  There are holes all around the table that you can also hammer pegs into.  Some really cool features and very well made.


9. Play-doh
what kid doesn't love playdoh?   Our favorite so far came in a little beach bucket by Play-doh and it had one container that smelled like the beach with little sand particles in it.  There are so many amazing versions you can make, but we always come back from Ethan's former preschool.

• 1 cup flour
• 2 Tbsp cream of tartar
• ½ cup salt
• 1 to 2 Tbsp cooking oil
• 1 cup water
• food coloring


Mix flour, cream of tartar, and salt in a pan. Mix desired coloring with water, add with oil to dry mixture. Cook over medium heat until thick. Mix in coloring later if preferred.  


While we have collected most of our tools from over the years, this is a great starter set from Discount School Supply.  




10. Water & Sand Toys
We have this Step 2 sand and water table.  We also have a sand box.  The key to outdoor play is keeping clean sand and organized toys.  Here is a post with an idea for sand toy organization.



Are these some of your little boys favorites? What else would you include on the list of must haves?

Next up in this series...A trip to American Science and Surplus {a store that carries everything under the sun} with Ethan and his picks for best boy toys 5-8 years.  

We have not been compensated for these reviews, just my honest opinion as a mom of 5 boys.  Girls would love these toys too {we know they do}.  Please do not copy or print opinions here, but you can link to this post and give credit to Our Wonderfilled Life  Thank you!!


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