DD2.5 will be getting a balance bike as her main present. DS is 5.5 and he already has a scooter and a pedal bike and I'm struggling to identify something with equivalent "wow" factor . So far we've generally avoided most character-based merchandise and have gone for presents with longevity for the children (play kitchen, train track, dolls house, books, lego, dressing up clothes). However, this year I am thinking I may have to relax a little and pick something that will be regarded as suitably "awesome" and will have some playground kudos. It doesn't have to be equivalent in price to a balance bike because thankfully the DC are fairly oblivious to the cost of presents still.
He has played a bit recently with a set of plastic Angry Birds and a catapult thingy for them (that teaches about physics of projectiles, right?!), and some plastic pirate figures (all given to him by his friends). He's not into Star Wars figures (although most of his friends arre, he finds the characters a bit scary). We are aiming to keep him away from electronic screen-based games for a bit longer, he gets to play occasional games on our phones as a treat and that seems addictive enough. I am sorry if I sound a bit worthy, I'm all for a bit of fun honest, but I prefer not to spend a load of money on a heap of plastic tat made by people in miserable conditions in factories that break after a couple of plays!
What is cool for 5 year olds at the moment? Would a furby or smilar be a good idea?
Just wanted to say OP I really wouldn't worry about the "what's cool" or playground kudos etc at this age - IME children that young really don't give a monkeys and so often the fad toys actually have very limited play value. There's a few threads on here about that very issue (search "shit toys" ) so you will do much better choosing something based on his likes. You know your DS better than the adverts do.
It's great isn't it and I enjoy smugly wandering round toy shops (not with DCs!) and rolling my eyes at all the tat, knowing that I will NOT be taken in by the adverts... I know the DCs will start wanting 'the latest thing' when they are a bit older so I'm making the most of being in control able to choose stuff.
We got DS a VTech kids camera for Christmas when he was 5.5 yrs. he loved it, spent the whole day taking photos and and videos of everyone throughout the day and then we connected it to the TV in the evening and watched the 'show' together before bed.
Other ideas are: -go kart for the garden -swing for the garden -remote control car -electric train/car racing set -dressing up outfits