It's that time again! Everyone's making lists and checking them twice. And since I'm always looking for good recommendations for affordable, high quality toys I wanted to share what was most loved by Jude this past year. Below are our very favorite toys for four to five year olds, plus one item I still haven't invested in but wish I did years ago.
Note: As Jude ages I've noticed this list leans a little "boyish". However, while I may have missed the perfect "girl" toy I feel all these suggestions would be enjoyed by both genders.
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Cardboard Pirate Ship - Last year Santa brought Jude a colorable cardboard castle that provided hours and hours of fun. I found the castle at Michael's (much cheaper) but this pirate ship one looks super cool.
Stomp Rocket Jr. - This toy is so fun! You know those days when your kid's energy level is through the roof? It usually coincides with you being exhausted. Grab this toy, head to a park or open field and sit back while they jump and run and jump and run some more.
Cube Puzzle - Puzzles are always a win in my house. I really like the cube ones because they are challenging without tiny pieces strewn all over your floor.
Kid Galaxy Robot - This was the best $20 bucks I spent all year. (Correction, that my parents spent all year, thanks Na & Pa!) I don't usually go in for the battery operated toys but this one is super cool. Jude named his Marble and he's practically a member of the family. He's super easy to control so this isn't one of those toys that require your help (I need more of those).
Ed Emberley's Drawing Book - I'm not sure who has more fun with how to draw books, Jude or I. We are both the kind of people who get frustrated when we aren't instantly good at something (I struggle a lot!) so these types of books help up create and actually enjoy drawing. I adore Ed Emberley but Ralph Masiello's Robot Drawing Book (or any of his) are great too!
Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes - I am a huge fan of Klutz books and you can find one for just about anything your child is interested in. Jude needs help creating the more complicated planes but it has brought him hours and hours of fun.
Connectagons® - Jude has a very similar toy that was a hand-me down. He loves this style of building and I think your little one will too. Plus, unlike most building toys these take up very little storage space, score bonus!
Schwinn Bicycle - This is a big ticket item, but four to five is a great age for your first real bike. We found one on Craigslist, but this seems like a very good quality at a fair price.
And lastly, do you ever look at heirloom quality toys and think "Those are so beautiful but I really can't justify the price." For me there is one that really stands out, the Grimm's Large Four Elements Building Set. I can't tell you how many years I've wanted these for Jude but skipped them due to price. Then I was recently cleaning out his room and after about the fifth peice of junk toy I added to the garbage bag it hit me. If I added up all the one, two, and five dollar impulse toy purchases I've made in the past five years I could have bought these twice over. So if I can swing it I think the boys might find these under the tree this year.
I hope these suggestions help you find the perfect gift for the little ones in your life.
Now I need your help. Any favorite toys for 5-6 year olds?