Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Toy Worth Buying: Magnatiles

Good toys are so few and far between. I see all these commercials for bulky, unattractive, and complicated plastic toys, like Dora's Interactive Singing Volcano (okay I made that up), or Jack Sparrow's Spinning Dagger (that one's real), and something inside me says, "Oh heck no." Happily, my kids don't have too many of those kinds of things. Hank has tons of cars, and Laura has a metric buttload of Barbies and dolls, and they both have lots of dress-up stuff. We stick to what works, but I'm always on the lookout for toys that will really occupy them, especially Hank. A busy two year-old makes a happy mama. And Rocks in My Dryer has a great Works for Me Wednesday today: Toys Worth Buying. I am going to be looking over that list.

My recommendation is Magnatiles. I've already raved about these to my friends:

These are kind of spendy--the 32-piece set above is around $50. I don't know why they cost so much, but they are worth it. We have ours in a tray on the coffee table in the sunroom, and everyone who comes in wants to play with them. They are magnetic around the edges, and snap together in all kinds of ways. A great, open-ended toy. I think the best buy might be the 48-piece set, which is $64.50. Some of the sets come with round pieces and little cars. Santa might be bringing one of those. I first saw these clear magnatiles on a preschool's light table. If you happen to have a light table, they're awesome with that.

Other things on my list are this easel from Ikea. It has a chalkboard on the other side, and it's only $24.99: Also, I would like to get a cool Doctor's Kit for Hank, though I can't quite find the one I want. And more giant pads of paper are always needed around here. Laura is tricky. At seven, she really doesn't ask for things unless she sees them. Like, if we went to the American Girl store, she would probably say, "I want a Julie doll!" or something. But she has two AG dolls, and they don't get played with every day. She likes to read, play on her bike and scooter, run around outside, do Webkinz, write and draw, play karaoke, and put on "shows." She is pretty well-supplied for all those things. I did get her this Lands End fluffy robe with her monogram on it. She loves that stuff. Hurry, it's $19.99:

I would like to give her just one thing that delights her. But I am kind of stumped. Anybody have a girl this age? And we're definitely keeping it simple around here. That's why it's so important to get worthwhile things, I think. And Santa, if you're reading, I would like hardwood floors upstairs, a bigger deck out back, Jonathan Adler needlepoint pillows, and a laptop battery that lasts for hours and hours and hours. And peace on earth.


Casey said...

That easel looks cool. I'm so sick of toy sets with a million pieces, my kid isn't two yet so the pieces end up scattered around the house. His favorite toy at the moment is the set of blocks I have from my childhood.

The Messy Mom said...

Those magnatiles look really cool. If Santa is reading your blog then I would like to add that I could use a label maker, some new kitchen knives, and crown molding in the living room. Thanks.

Keely said...

What, you don't want to get her the Twilight books? *snicker*

...those Magnatiles are awesome. I'm hooking me, er, Xander up with some for Christmas.

Bren said...

I foresee another long night at the computer perusing the links in that post.

My big recommendation (I have 3 boys) is a wooden marble game. Not quadrilla - freeform is essential. Something like this:

Those magnatiles are in my Amazon cart - just waiting for some sort of sale!

Bren said...

An idea for Laura? It's another big stupid THING, but Santa got the boys marionettes from here:

They love them, and they seem to go well with the performer in her AND the lover of pink and fuzzy (cuz I'm looking at that $25 pink poodle) We got the dragons, of course. They're nearly as big as Solomon. Pretty impressive.

Becky said...

Ooh, that poodle is cute. And I like the horses and goats too. I wonder how hard it would be to build a little puppet theatre? Thanks for the link to the marble game, and Casey, maybe what we need is MORE and bigger blocks.

Messy Mom, I need knives too, so I'll make it a double order. And Keely--I play with the magnatiles as much as the kids, seriously!

Cassie said...

You've probably seen the doctor kit by Parents:
A friend has this and our kids play with it non-stop.

But this one just might be my personal favorite:

Love the Magnatiles! My boy would love 'em; my girl would eat 'em. Maybe next Christmas...