I’ll preface this post with the fact that Im a simpleton when it comes to “playing”. I was brought up in a household that watched very little TV and entertainment was playing with my siblings. We thrived on inventing games with very little resources: balls, sticks and nets. So, when it comes to toys with my own kids, generally I have the most fun with the basics. But that doesn’t make for a fun read. So if I had a nerf gun to my head, I would rank my favorite kids toys in the following order – saving best for last:
#5: Magantiles: Here’s the thing about these things. Do I personally have fun with them? No – cant say I ever constructed anything other than a cube. BUT, my kids (nephews and nieces) are obsessed. You can expect kids to play with these things for way longer than you’d ever guess. No reason to figure out why. It gives Mom and Dad a break (and its not rotting their brain), so, Im a fan! And its pretty cool when your 4 year old, who can barely put on his own pants, constructs a freakin castle the size of your living room. Highly recommend.
#4: Lincoln Logs: A lot like Magnatiles, but the only reason I rank it higher is because I had them growing up and they’re super nostalgic. They’re less forgiving as magnatiles – in other words, my 4 year old COULD NOT construct any resembling a castle or any free standing building maybe other than a small wooden porta-potty. But again, they capture your kids attention and allows them to get creative. Super cool.
#3 Fake Food/Kitchen: For my daughter’s first Christmas we got her a kitchen set and I think her older brother’s had more fun with it than she did. I have fond memories myself of playing with my little sister’s easy bake oven play kitchen – my younger brother and I would pretend it was a bar and we were in the wild wild west and get in fake bar fights crashing into it and launch the plastic cups and food all over the basement. Classic. In all seriousness, it’s super cute seeing my kids play pretend “restaurant” – service is terrible and the staff usually ends up wrestling with me. 1 out of 5 stars. Would consider going back though.
#2 Any nerf gun: Selfishly these are very fun for Dad. But generally, we don’t really have many guns. But the ones we do our pretty big hits. And for the most part, surprisingly, the kids don’t torment each other with the guns. A few Christmases ago, my mom gifted the kids some popper guns (like the originally ball nerf guns) from Costco. And those things were awesome. Super simple. Air pumped ball gun that packs like 10 balls – and you can launch them rapid fire. Those we fun. I’d recommend getting extra balls for back up – Dad…urgh…I mean the kids tend to lose them.
#1 Legos: Nothing better than Legos. Not even close. Its fun to build random creative things from scratch. And its fun to follow directions and build the kits. I love that my kids (and I) are happy doing both! Its super nostalgic seeing my own kids have a HUGE bin of ALL the mixed up Legos just like I did growing up. Always cracks me up when my oldest (6) will take hours following the directions of a pretty intricate set and by the next day its completely destroyed and the pieces have been donated to the junkyard bin of Legos. Donated to the cause! The best!