Sunday, November 29

I Have a Question

An interesting side effect of Christmas Crazy for Kids is that I have been paying an unnatural amount of attention to what toys actually get played with everywhere I go. I've already started acquiring toys for the massive drop-off that will be taking place the evening of November 30th, and I'm totally eying stuff that I've seen get lots of use.

At home, Alexis has three toys that she plays with pretty much every day. She looooooooves her dollhouse, she cannot be kept from banging on her toy piano, and she has been playing with her kitchen for nearly three years now.*

Thanksgiving was spent with more kids than I could possibly count, but they were all about the play kitchen as well. Boys and girls, toddlers to almost-tweens, they were all little chefs in training. If what kids play with today is an indicator of what our future will look like, we're all going to be drinking broccoli-flavored iced tea and eating a heck of a lot of M&M cookies. We probably won't be wearing any clothes while we do it, by the way, because it seems like my kid isn't the only one who feels the need to rip the clothes off of every doll within reach.

I still have a lot of toys left to acquire, so tell me, what gets played with a lot at your house? I'm especially curious about older kids (i.e. the tween set) and boys.

* Amazon Affiliate links, yo.

33 comments:

  1. Well, I can tell you that my 11 year old boy, and several of his friends, actually, are really into things they can build. Legos. There's even a Lego Club at the middle school he goes to. Who knew?

    Anyway, Legos and Bionicles are really big with all the 10-12 year old boys that I know.

    And I really hope the iced tea of the future comes in flavors other than broccoli. I have a hard enough time getting my boys to drink it now. Although they DO actually like broccoli, so maybe.....

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  2. Some ideas for boys: Transformers, building sets, and Bakugan. Bakugan is HUGELY POPULAR. I had no idea of this until I worked at a day camp this summer, and now I see it everywhere, including on boys' shirts. Licensed character clothing must mean it's a big deal.

    I know tweens that love board games, but I'm not sure how widespread that really is. At Target the other day I saw handheld electronic games, Radica brand, that were not that expensive, $10-$20 range. There was a Tetris one, solitaire, sudoku.

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  3. G. is around the same age as Alexis, and likes all things "boy." Cars, swords, action figurines, etc. And he loves his kitchen too!

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  4. Anonymous7:10 AM

    boy hot wheels, and any type of set up to go with it, legos, bakugon,k-nex.
    RC cars, planes, etc.
    for younger ones, kitchen play set, fisher price little people, pla-doh, mega blocks, ride on toys,
    girl littlest pet shop, zhu zhu pets, dress-up stuff,
    finger paint, sidewalk chalk, sidewalk paint

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  5. I know they're highly controversial, but guns and knives and swords are the go-to toys for every single boy I've ever been around. If they don't have toy ones, they'll pretend other things into gun/knife/sword existence.

    Trucks, tractors, and Hot Wheels are incredibly popular as well.

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  6. K'Nex. Lego. Building systems are HUGE. Bakugan's not as big here, but Yu gi Oh and Pokemon cards for dueling haven't entirely died out, either. (This is for the boys)

    For the girls? Barbies. Littlest Pet Shop. Mine's a bit younger than official tween, but I'm watching the girls move into Barbie. LPS isn't far behind. And the girls seem to like music they can dance to, also. God help me on that one...

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  7. Legos, Little People, play food and a shopping cart. Those are the three things Dylan plays with every day.

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  8. For my boy it was Lego sets, die cast cars and tracks, and radio controlled cars.

    My daughter always loved books and jewelry making kits.

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  9. My son is 2 next month *sob* :) and he is obsessed to no end with trucks, cars, ANYTHING with wheels on it that he can "vrooooom" all over the house.

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  10. I agree with the others, Bakugan, Pokemon, cars, trucks, trains, Bionicles, skateboards, scooters, Legos. My oldest is only 9 but how about CD players, MP3 players for the tweens?

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  11. For a boy......Handy Manny with the Handy Manny workbench or little truck. The truck is like $50, but the Handy Manny is only about $20.

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  12. My nieces (4 and almost 3) love love love their blocks ( I think they have Lego brand, called Quattro? They are bigger than regular legos) Any dress up they can find, especially "fairy wings" and silly shoes, books books books, coloring accessories and my digital camera (which is why they are getting their own fisher price ones for christmas)

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  13. I have one tween and one teen boy. They love video game stuff to play on a PSP. Music is a favorite so iTunes and Gamestop gift cards are their favorite. RC cars, building sets, They still loved matchbox cars when they were 10-11. Of course nerf guns, sports equipment like footballs, soccer balls, hockey.. Roller blades, skate boards, the little finger skate boards. These are/were what my boys enjoyed.

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  14. my tween plays with her webkinz-she actually plays with them more offline than online. She and her friends get together and play webkinz on the porch or backyard. Not too long ago they had to send a rescue basketball up into the tree to fetch the tiger stranded up there.

    She really was into her polly pockets and I think she still would be as on occassion I go up there and she is playing with them. She just doesn't do it with the friends anymore.

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  15. My daughter who is 2 loves her trike, building blocks, dump truck, paints (ALL THINGS PAINTING WORTHY) and musical instruments. My 6 month old likes anything he can put in his mouth.

    I do remember, when I was 12ish, I love, love, LOVED those Klutz books. You know, those how to make...bracelets, nail paintings, french braids.

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  16. Empty boxes, sticks, and our couch pillows.

    When they aren't playing with those: my boys LOVE playing blocks (legos, lincoln logs, etc). They're also very much into role-playing...doctor, kitty/owner, cowboys, space men, everything. Our couch pillows are often "horses".

    One is more into computer and video games, makeup, and reading books. When she and her friends get together, they often play board games (Sorry, chess, Sequence).

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  17. My younger boys love anything to do with the movie CARS. They also love balls--cheap super bouncy balls can keep little boys busy for HOURS!
    My older girls love bead sets to make jewelry and craft kits.

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  18. The kitchen set is also played with, heavily, in our boy-filled house. Cars and trains are also an everyday toy item of choice/argument. Buzz/Woody are equally, if not more so, popular. Those are probably are Big Three.

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  19. My 4.5 year old boy plays with legos/k'nex a lot, Star Wars ANYTHING, loves to color with twistable colored pencils, cars, and trains.

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  20. My kids still play their DS's. They read. Beat each other with sticks. Play cards. The boys like the Klutz books. Puppets used to be a lot of fun.

    Oh, and I'm all for eating plenty of M&M cookies in the future.

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  21. Master J has been obsessed with Legos for the past two years. Prior to that, it was matchbox cars. My nieces loved their play food & little people dollhouse with all the furniture & people. Pretty much anything that requires imagination and not batteries is something that will be played with for a long time.

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  22. The boy - from the time he was a toddler, and even now at 13 - has always loved Legos. They get played with more than any other toy.

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  23. Anonymous6:35 PM

    My tween sister-in-law is really into Twilight/New Moon stuff. And she also got this really cool thing that put stripes of temporary hair color into her hair from that store in the mall called Justice. It was like lipstick for hair, and she loooved it.

    Other ideas for tween-teen girls: Diary with a key, Nail polish, Hair stuff, Change purse, Flavored lip gloss

    As a child I always wanted a doll with "real hair" so I could brush and style the hair.

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  25. Peanut loves Duplo blocks and his Melissa & Doug puzzles.

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  26. My home contains 3 boys, ages 12, almost 7 and 5. The 12 year old is all about the video games, but also loves his ipod shuffle and Star Wars action figures, especially the clone troopers. The 7 year old would be happy with anything Star Wars, Transformers, or Dinosaurs. The 5 year old still loves Diego(I know that is personal,shhh) but would be happy with the same things as his 7 yr old brother. They all like dress up, mostly ninjas and army, sometimes a chef. Can't go wrong with legos. Star Wars also has the equivalent to lil people action figures. My younger 2 love those. Oh yeah and my 12 yr old asked for the board game Trouble. Wow, really? Really.

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  27. Laura9:26 AM

    my 5 year old girl is into anything arty, it doesn't matter what it is crayon rocks, markers play-doh, craft kits she loves it all. Her favourite go to toys are legos, her little Mommy Dolls from Fisher Price and her Loving Family Dollhouse.

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  28. my little boy's favorite toys are his kitchen, his farm (Schleich figurines and a random barn), his ball, puzzles, and right now his nativity set (little people and we only bring it out for the season).
    For Xmas he has requested (and I no doubt will play heavily with) a robot, a train, a helicopter, rockets, and cars--he's been playing pretend right now with puzzle pieces and broken crayons that he already has these things. A winter break project with his Dad is going to be to make plastic pop bottle rockets, since he's waaaayyyy too little for the solid fuel motors.

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  29. my boyfriend's neice is 6, and she LOVES to play school. we make her fake worksheets with math problems, spelling tests, etc, and she'll sit for hours filling them out, or pretending to be a teacher and "grade" them. she gets stickers and stuff to put on the ones that get an A!

    my little cousins who are all boys, really like these new things that just came out. basically it's a little transformer type thing, but it's in a ball, and comes with a card. when you roll the ball, and it hits the card, it pops open into some form of robot guy. i think mcdonalds was giving them out in happy meals a while back, but i cannot for the life of me remember what they're called!

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  30. Anonymous12:19 PM

    For boys -- Bakugan. These little round things that spring open when the magnet inside comes in contact with metal. They are SO. COOL. this from a mom who thought they were stupid before I got one in my hands. Way too cool! And older boys like them, too.

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  31. My tween girl is into arts and crafts, posters, make-up and perfume, bath stuff, hair accessories. Those are all good generic things. She's just realized that there's nothing interesting in the toy department anymore. Maybe some Twilight posters? Jonas brothers posters? Jewelry making kits? I'm trying to think of things that you don't need a video game system or DVD player to use. Would suck to get movies and have them not have a DVD player. Oh -- duh! Board games! My tween is really into card games, board games, etc. All of my kidlings -- 12 year old boy, 10 year old girl, 9 y.o. boy and 6 y.o. boy like games. Clue, battle ship, apples to apples, jenga, mexican train dominos.

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  32. Tweens and teens are the hardest because they are getting to the age of Music (CDs, iTunes) and video games, but those are dependent on they having the system to play it on. CDs might be a safe bet, but that comes down to taste.

    Sports equipment is a great idea. My daughter is actually more into basket ball, soccer and football than my son was at 10, so its a good gender neutral toy.

    Books can be good. The Twilight series is hot but I'm not sure past the first book its appropriate for tweens even. Ask the book seller...

    Hair stuff, purses, nail polish, all GREAT for the tween girl set. Just go to Claire's, stifle the vomit, and shop away.

    I think some board games are good too. Monopoly is always a winner (though I LOATHE it) and Risk is a good boy game.

    The craft idea is good too. Oh, easy bake ovens are pretty reasonably priced now too. That's for younger kids but both my boy and girl loved their easy bake.

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  33. The umbrella stroller. I *think* both girls like to actually play with it and they aren't *really* trying to booby-trap my path... Also, the legos/duplo blocks and books, books, books. The drum set is something they always fight over but, again, that could just be them trying to bring about my mental breakdown.

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