Toy Reviews

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Cool Toys for Kids (and parents too)

by Jane Day Rasmussen

I love toys. Sometimes I wonder if I had a child just so I could relive my passion for playing with Play-Doh, beating the pants off someone in a board game or constructing anything with Legos.

I spend a lot of time searching for the best toy I think my 3-year old son, Jake, will enjoy. I am often on the quest for the coolest gift at a birthday party, or for my latest obsession: toys my 2½-year old twin nieces, Dinah and Djuna, will get a kick out of.

I tend to discriminate when it comes to toy shopping, because everyone knows: there is a lot out to choose from out there. I look for toys that are fun as well as ones that offer some type of learning component, whether it is color or letter recognition, hand-eye coordination, or something that encourages imaginative play. The toys I select must be well made and constructed to stand up to normal wear and tear. The cutest toy that has parts that break off only causes a child frustration and has me at the return counter all too soon. Toys that are more interesting to my family and me are also less complicated – lots of intricate buttons or game pieces that could get lost are not realistic for a family constantly on the move. Perhaps most importantly, the toy must be a good perceived value – after all, who has money to waste on toys?

So, if this sounds like what you’d like in a toy for your child (or secretly for yourself) then read on. We’ve tested all the toys reviewed and/or talked to parents/kids who have. All the products reviewed will always be appropriate for either gender, because while I do discriminate when selecting toys, I don’t discriminate when it comes to having fun, regardless of one’s gender. There’s plenty of time for that later in the real world. And don’t forget to let me know what you think. Because if I don’t know about/have the coolest toy out there, then I obviously have more work — I mean playing — to do …

If you too have got some serious playing to do, then read on.

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