Friday, January 2, 2009

Best Toys

We found some cool toys this year, so I figured I'd blog about them. All three that I'm commenting on are inexpensive and fun and appropriate for a wide age range. First up, the treasure chest. This is made by Wild Planet. There are two parts of the treasure chest -- one is the treasure and one is the map. One person hides the treasure, making sure to turn it on. Then the second player turns on the map and carries it around. The X on the map flashes different colors as you get closer to the treasure. It also beeps more frequently and at a higher pitch as you get closer, a la parking radar. What we like: it's a two-kid toy and promotes taking turns. The kids love it. What we don't like: it requires 6 AAA batteries and the noise gets annoying.

This toy is called Hyper Dash, also by Wild Planet. It's an electronic game -- the player holds the controller and uses it to strike whatever target it calls out. It calls out either numbers or colors and on higher levels has commands like Double Strike and Reverse. It uses RFID, so the targets can be as far apart as you want. It has multiple settings for playing with different numbers of people, etc. What we like: it makes the kids run around, it's fun even for adults. What we don't like: our older kid almost always wins. Luckily V doesn't care.

And last, MY winner for coolest toy this year (the kids would probably choose one of the others) ... the AquaDoodle! Just put water in the special pens and write on the mat. The pictures fade quickly and then you draw again. What we love: writing with water! Doesn't ruin anything. It's perfect for our 2-year-old who can't stay clean using markers. M even likes the suggestions for how to draw things. What we don't like: the mat only comes with one pen, so you have to buy extras.

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