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Great toys to buy for Christmas

(162 Posts)
cloutiedumpling Sat 10-Nov-12 19:45:36

I read the other thread and realised that I'd bought most of the toys listed there, so I thought it'd be nice to have ideas from other mnetters about toys that'd be good to buy for the DCs. Ones that'd be played with every day and would last for years so I don't make any more expensive mistakes!

My first suggestion for other people is the duplo Thomas the Tank train set. We've had it for years and it has had a lot of play but is still in great condition. Also, the pieces are chunky enough that even kids aged 3 or so can put the tracks together without needing adult help.

Beccawoo Thu 14-Nov-13 21:16:37

Kellestar, my DD must be almost same bday as yours - 2 on dec 15. I've got her a (second hand) wooden dolls house for her bday. And a scooter for Christmas, plus Melissa and Doug wooden sandwich kit for her kitchen :0)

Luggage16 Thu 14-Nov-13 12:51:22

spookysal - go for a play frame instead of a theatre. We started with a theatre and beautiful as it was it kept falling apart and was awkward for them to use. The playframe sets up as a theatre and is much sturdier, plus you can also use it to build dens, a shop etc so much more versatile and packs up small too. We have this one: Play Frame
but this one is excellent too:

Luggage16 Thu 14-Nov-13 12:42:03

Haba marble run - expensive but gets used daily and has done for nearly 4 years now (hubby likes to play with it too so recon it will still come out when they are teens)

Brio train track



connecting straws (these are only about £1 in the range too and have been played with so so much)

wooden play frame

octonauts toys - yes they are over priced plastic tat - but again they are played with daily so worth the money

wild science perfume kit

anything made by schleich

anything made by pintoy

almost anything made by Melissa and Doug

Stevie77 Thu 14-Nov-13 11:43:45

Has anyone seen Lalaloopsy house furniture sets? Annoyingly, they seem to sell the house, empty of contents but a Goigle search has mainly found stuff on EBay for ££££

DTisMYdoctor Wed 13-Nov-13 19:19:34

In our house:

Lego, basic bricks and themed sets like Star Wars and City
Duplo sets - fire, police etc and Thomas the tank engine
Thomas take n play much more popular than the lovingly collected brio & Thomas stuff angry
Bag of wooden blocks (different shapes)
Happyland (older stuff - the current sets are lacking compared to what we have)

mathanxiety Wed 14-Nov-12 02:15:54

OMG -- we have this, but again, bought it years ago, and it wasn't a fraction of the Ebay price.

This was a lovely set. It had a secret key and secret teaspoon, towers that came apart and became teacups and saucers, the castle itself was a teapot, and there were tiny figures. It came with a tray. Constant vigilance required however, in order to keep it all from getting lost. It was one of those toys we hid when having friends over.

Can't believe that price..

Thumbwitch Tue 13-Nov-12 12:08:11

Thanks jepa! smile

jepa Tue 13-Nov-12 11:18:31

I have the Van toys castle from GLTC.
DS aged 7 plays with it for hours def recommend
Hope that helps

shaztwins1 Tue 13-Nov-12 11:15:07

my boys love
remote helicopters

dd loves
polly pocket
mini lala loopsy
anything crafty such as aquabeads, make own bracelet sets

nothing else gets a look in, not cheap to buy in but many many hours of peace for me of enjoyable playing by all grin

GoldenHandshake Tue 13-Nov-12 10:10:19

Toys DD has had over the last few years that are played with consistently:

Disney store figure sets, she has the tinkerbell fairies, nightmare before christmas, toy story 3 and disney princess sets and they are always played with, they often move into the ELC rosebud house she has.

Sylvanian families house and dalmatian family.

Moshi monsters, she has about 30 of the moshlings and adores them, we have the treehouse put away for Christmas.

Mini lalaloopsy dolls are played with very often.

Basically for DD anything that involves small character figures, and an assortment of houses she can fashion into a village.

fuzzpig Tue 13-Nov-12 09:56:57

Favourite toys in our house:

Happyland - they have absolutely loads of it, it lasts brilliantly and is very versatile.

Wooden train set - not brio as we can't afford it. I'd recommend getting starter sets from a few different brands as then you get a nice range of accessories and bridges.

Wooden bricks - obviously! Mine have loads including mine from childhood.

Duplo - excellent quality and hopefully a high resale value grin as mine are moving on to proper Lego this Xmas

Disney figures - we have loads, some new, some from eBay, all very much loved and good quality.

Toy dinosaurs, animals, cars, food etc - no particular brand, it's just great to have them.

mumtoaandj Tue 13-Nov-12 09:42:15

imaginext- so robust, my boys have 3 years age gap and both play with it.(3 and 6)
micro scooter
make own playdough
happyland train set- both still play with this.

Oblomov Tue 13-Nov-12 08:05:09

marks place.

IsabelleRinging Tue 13-Nov-12 07:51:28

Essential toys for every kid in my opinion are:-

Toy kitchen
Good quality large wooden bricks
Pens, pencils, paints (an easel is great)

exexpat Tue 13-Nov-12 00:58:31

spookysal we have a wooden theatre and hand puppets, and it has had sporadic use, but not necessarily enough to justify the cost. But I think a lot of it may depend on your family set-up and how often your DCs have friends round to play - I think it is very much a social thing to be used by two or more children together, but my DCs are far apart in age (more than 4 years) so never really played together. If you have a cluster of similar-aged children, or have friends round to play a lot (and of course imaginative/theatrical children) it would probably be more worth it.

A low cost alternative is to use a cardboard box as the base for a theatre and sew yourself some basic curtains, and get the children to make themselves some sock-puppets or similar.

exexpat Tue 13-Nov-12 00:53:21

blondieminx I think 2.9 is still a bit young for Sylvanians. There are so many tiny fiddly and easily-lost pieces. At that age I'd stick to chunkier things.

Sylvanian families really start to be good from around age 5, when they can cope with setting out all the miniature pieces of food etc. DD and her best friend still play with it all now they are 10, so you would still get plenty of use out of it even if you wait a couple more years.

mathanxiety Tue 13-Nov-12 00:20:14

They also loved the Izzi puzzle on many different levels.

Tangram set with a puzzle book like this was great value for money.

Rush Hour was also a hit.

So was Labyrinth but for older children. Great strategy game.
Also Hoppers. Best to let people of similar ages play that one together.

mathanxiety Tue 13-Nov-12 00:05:30

I got someone a great book ('Sleeping Beauty') that included a cut out bit at the top of the pages (boardbook construction, but large pages and story complex enough for age 5-8 to read) so readers could set the book up and act out the drama to an audience while reading out loud. 'Beauty' was not the usual insipid portrayal. Here. It was far cheaper when I bought it shock

Great entertainment -- they used it a lot and their friends loved playing with it when they came over.

Worley Tue 13-Nov-12 00:04:01

hopeforthebest - my ds2 is 6 and LOVES his batcave.. he actually has two. one is the older style one he got a few years ago and he got the newer tall one last Xmas. he plays with it probably every day. has been a brilliant toy. he has his eye on the Gotham city jail now.. my living room floor looks like an action film set when he is all set up to play smile

blondieminx Mon 12-Nov-12 23:55:38

great thread smile

I've been looking at Sylvanian Family stuff for DD 2.9, and wondering if she's too young for it? they really have thought of everything... grin

FloellaDaVille Mon 12-Nov-12 22:48:23

We bought a puppet theatre for Christmas about four years ago when DDs were 2 and 4. Can't remember the make but it's the one that can be a theatre or a shop depending on which way round it goes. We still have it now and they still play with it from time to time (8 and 6 now). We kept the original box so it doesn't have to be up all the time. The string puppets are a bit of a nightmare and get horrendously tangled. They preferred a set of finger puppets, nice ones with wooden heads and main fairy tale characters like king, witch, prince, princess, dragon. Also have a set of Red Riding Hood hand puppets. They have made other puppets of their own over the years too. It's also had lots of use as a shop too. Great toy IMHO.

spookysal Mon 12-Nov-12 22:31:40

Do any of your dc play with a wooden theatre and hand puppets?

DD1 wants one. Great in theory but in reality I can see me paying out a small fortune for puppets and the theatre to collect dust.

Or am I being too cynical. What are your experiences of them?

girliefriend Mon 12-Nov-12 22:05:44

My dd is 6yo and her best presents have been

fifi forgetmenot watering can house - she plays with that a lot




a car playmat thing, a garage and cars (she is a bit of a tomboy grin )

kiddicamera thingy.

This year she wants a leapster - can anyone recommend any good games for them?

Tricccky Mon 12-Nov-12 22:01:24

What's the best K-Nex set to buy for a 3 year old?

SminkoPinko Mon 12-Nov-12 21:26:42

Baby Annabell is my 3 y.o daughter's favourite toy by quite a long way, survivingautumn. She is the only toy that my daughter plays with every day (unless books count as toys). She has a nice face, is a good size, cry not too annoying and the off switch works so I like her My daughter likes most dolls but BA is the top baby of all and gets the most rides in the argos dolls pushchair. Any child from 1st tottering steps stage up to 4ish without one of these £5 buggies should be bought one- I have never met a young kid who doesn't like to push a cheapo buggy about.

Other toys my daughter quite likes are her scooter, her wendy house containing play kitchen, teasets (especially when she manages to illicitly fill the teapot with sticky juice to pour into every cup and onto every clean surface), felt tips and paints and occasionally her happyland boot. Duplo, brio type train-track and schleich farm animals are so far quite a disappointment- bought because her now teenage brothers LOVED them so we thought we were onto a surefire winner but played with only with adult help/direction really. I think she might grow into them though. Our duplo collection is quite small and I think a few more bricks might encourage her.

My teenage boys love: google nexus 7 tablet (I would HIGHLY recommend this as an xmas present for a teenager if affordable for you as a family- it's excellent and not as pricey as some tablets), mobile phones, ipod and stereo, comics graphic novels and manga, digital camera, nerf guns and super soakers, skateboard, designer clothes(!).

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