Holiday Toy Shopping:
Finding Cool Toys for All Kinds of Kids
It seems like toy shopping should be one of the more enjoyable tasks of the holiday season, but as it gets closer to the big day and there are still names left on your list, it can be stressful. Adding to the worries is that different kids have radically different tastes...and they can change at the drop of a hat. But don't fret. We're here to help you get on the right path to finding the perfect plaything.
Cover Your Bases
There is no one toy right for every kid, but some toys are made to please many different personalities. The interactive robot pup shown here has appeal for sci-fi fans, doggy lovers, those who can't own a real pet, and any child who likes cute toys with moving parts. Or take the ever-popular LEGO building bricks. While LEGO has dozens of popular licensed sets (featuring everything from superheroes to Star Wars characters to SpongeBob SquarePants), you may be better off with a basic set of bricks and base plates. Kids may not be as into Batman a year from now as they are today, but they will probably enjoy building their own creations well into the teen years.
Everybody Likes Funny
True, everyone has a different sense of humor, but everybody likes to laugh, especially kids. And the right toy can generate giggles better than any joke book. Consider the silly stuffed animals shown here that share a gag when you squeeze them. Games with an element of lighthearted suspense can also leave kids laughing out loud. The slapstick surgery of Operation always gets a chuckle when someone hits the buzzer. And the stacking tension of Jenga elicits nervous laughter from kids and adults alike, making it a great choice for family gatherings as well as gifts.
You Can Count On The Classics
Kids love dinosaurs. Period. OK, maybe not every kid, and maybe that appeal skews more towards boys than girls, but from decades past to today, dinosaur toys and models have remained consistently popular among children. There are many other time-proven toys that show no signs of losing favor with kids either. Little ones have been trying to make the longest primate chain from the game Barrel of Monkeys since the mid-60s. And need we mention Barbie? She may not be every girl's favorite toy, but with enormous sales of an array of Barbie dolls and accessories since 1959, it's clear she's been the first choice for many for a very long time.
In Tune With Tots, Tweens And Teens
Musical styles go in and out of fashion, but the love of music itself is nearly universal. Musical toys can encourage kids to take up a real instrument, but even if they don't do that, the best make wonderful presents for children discovering their own sense of rhythm and melody. While replica instruments are a reliable gift, there are countless other kinds of musical toys aimed at kids of all ages. Just be sure they know when and where to indulge their composing and performing efforts, because in the wrong place at the wrong time, they just might drive the grown-ups crazy. Still, it's better than them playing percussion with your cooking utensils!