Holiday toys that may not be on your list but should be…

Posted on Nov 28 2015 - 8:21pm by jennynweston

Each year, I’m determined to come up with some gift ideas for the kids that won’t end up in the trash or at the Goodwill within a year. When I make our Christmas list, I shop around (usually online), read reviews, and try to pick at least one unique gift that I think will be a hit. Through the years, I’ve bought some losers, but we have ended up with quite a few that are long lasting favorites at our house. Consider these for your holiday list this year – I think you’ll be glad you did!

Perplexus – A giant ball maze that will keep not just the kids but the entire family busy for hours! Do your best to get the little ball from 1-100, but don’t let it fall off the track or you’ll have to start over. When you’ve conquered it, there are several others to choose from, like Perplexus Epic. That being said, we’ve had ours for a couple of years and still don’t feel the need to get a new one yet. I love that you can take this in the car – great for road trips!


Wedgits – The sky is the limit for what you can build with these pieces. Create your own structures or purchase the additional design cards to get them started. The kids will often each take a stack and compare what they can build. Any additional wedgit set will fit with this set if you want to expand in the future.



Qwirkle – We love games at our house. We would be more likely to choose a game night over a movie night, and Qwirkle is one of our all time favorites. Even our five year old can play. He may not understand the strategy, but that hasn’t stopped him from wining once or twice! With blocks of six different shapes and six different colors, players add their tiles to the board to earn points. Simple rules to follow and a fun game for everyone.


Plasma Cars – What is it about the Plasma car that is such a hit? I’m not quite sure, but every kid who has one loves it! In fact, we purchased it because the kids rode one at a friends house, and several friends have purchased it because their kids rode it at our house. You would think it’s just for little kids, but our older kids still love it too! It moves a little by itself if you turn the steering wheel back and forth, but the kids love to race them, which is why you need one for each kid for sure.


KEVA – I love toys that can be played with again and again and have multiple possibilities. KEVA products definitely fit that description. What looks like simple wood planks becomes endless hours of fun building various contraptions or structures. There are a few different sets. The contraptions (marble maze, etc.) and the structures sets are a bit more pricey but are a lot of fun if you’re looking for a bigger Christmas gift. If you’re just looking to test the waters, consider giving the catapult or the trebuchet a try. What says fun more than building something with wood and glue and then being able to launch something across the room as a result?


Snap Circuits – last but certainly not least are my personal favorite – snap circuits. Would your kids love to build a circuit board that can make lights, sounds and even a fan? These are a favorite for all three of our kids. I would start with the basic 100 set, and if the kids love it (which they will) you can expand to other sets like the 100-300 upgrade set.

Those are long lasting favorites in our house. Feel free to share some favorites in your house too!

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5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Pam Barefield November 29, 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Hi Jen! Congratulations on starting your blog! I like it & found it useful being a grandmother now, but out of touch with all things NEW in children’s games. Can’t wait to try some of them with my Sweetie who just turned one! Love you! Pam Barefield (Aunt B).

    • jennynweston November 29, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      So good to hear from you! Hope you all are doing well. =)

  2. Laurie November 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Jenny!
    Do you think the Quirkle would be frustrating to 4 yr. olds? (Playing with older folks, of course) Laurie

    • jennynweston November 29, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Laurie,

      We will often help our five year old with the best choice. The four year old definitely wouldn’t get the “strategy” or purpose of the game, but I think he would find the matching part of it fun with some help.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Judy Williams December 5, 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Love, love, love those games!

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