As a mom, teacher, and child life sepcialist, I love picking Christmas toys- seriously love~(In case you missed my master toy list here it is) I love to peruse great museum gift shops and find the coolest and most creative toys. I look for stuff that is authentic, open ended, and generally doesn't make noise or require batteries. Throughout the year I acquire them and stash them in the upstairs closet. I can post them on my blog because although smart son reads- he has yet to become one of my loyal blog followers, so have no fear Christmas will still be a surprise. Also smart son's birthday is only a few days before Christmas so lest you think me extravagant (I actually keep to a very strict tight budget)- December is the only time in which our toy closet really grows!
some of my tentative pics this year- for smart son 5 and smart baby 17 mo.
more historical action figures to add to our collection (I love my freud, ben franklin, jane austen, einstein and you wouldn't believe the hilarious play they yield)the fandex series of field guides (there are all sorts butterflies, trees, old testament, presidents way cool info for brainy type kids)
some safari ltd. tubes - the galapagos island animals, ancient egypt, monkeys and apes, wild west(life just would be complete with out some mini pioneers to celebrate your heriatge with) and a great butterfly collector case Identiflyer, folkmanis toy puppet some great specimen blocks , the plan toys airport (i totally dig the ferry and garage we got those last year)
a globe, playmobils (okay brief discourse on the virtues of playmobils- they are well constructed, generally gender neutral, durable, classic and I love how they represent real life things- we have a giant bin full... the playmobil house sets, OR doctor suite, you name it-- they have everything from laundry rooms to house painters, my kids love them and begin playing with them before they are even 18 mo. (yes disclaimer beware of chocking hazards- supervised play only!) not only are they fun but I have used them to act out events and they have helped in preparing my kids for everything from sleeping in a big bed to going to the doctors (yes so classic child life specialist), when I was pregnant and Smart son was 2 he used to act out me wretching in the toilet with his playmobil mom and playmobil toilet- really if you don't have them- you must check them out! okay back the list) diggin the playmobil treehouse also some dino expedition, etc) mini titanic (so smart son can act out more magic treehouse books), some more instruments, plasma car at 17 mo old smart baby was totally having fun driving around the toy store on this. Some child size brooms/mops. a lunar module toy, lego shuttle (we the other rovers and rockets and you can build cool stuff with those exotic pieces- so much better than the plan lego unit bricks- so buy the crazy sets because they give you more creative pieces) red sox shirt, rock collection, my favorite game- Guess Who, some "1001 Things..." usborne books (i.e. 1001 things to spot on a farm- must have!I got at the ben and jerry's factory a few years back and adore!) possibly another architectural block set (smart son has had the best time building middle eastern temples for the past year) and more bare books for Smart sons "field guides" he likes to write.