Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas Series #2 - School Age Children

I love picking out special Christmas gifts for children, I had quite a bit of fun buying presents for my children over the years, and I thought I would share some of our favorites from over the years to help you with your holiday shopping.  The last post in this series I shared my top ten picks for little ones, in this post I am sharing my top ten for school aged children, toys that Sarah and Joseph loved when they were between the ages of 4-9.  For more information about these toys you can follow my Amazon affiliate links.

What's Under the Tree?

#1 -Pretend and imaginative play is high on the list for this age group.  My first pick is a wooden train set.  We purchased the first wooden train set for our kids when they were about 3 years old, and added on pieces every year.  Wooden train sets were a hit for quite some time, the nice thing about this gift is that you can build on it over the years. I would buy less expensive brands of basic tracks so we could have plenty to run the train set all around the room, or down the hall, and would spend a little extra on the special "name brand" train pieces, like maybe a special mountain or bridge.  Here is an inexpensive starter set that looks like fun!

KidKraft Bucket Top Mountain Train Set

#2- The same year we bought our first train set, my daughter also received her first wooden dollhouse.  I can no longer find the brand of dollhouse she had, but Melissa and Doug make a similar house.  I would also suggest Plan Toys Dollhouse Accessories, like this cute Plan Toy Doll House Vegetable Garden,
we would add on different accessories over the years.  Just like the train set, the dollhouse could grow over the years and was enjoyed for quite some time.

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Furnished Dollhouse

You could also start out with this very cute fold and go dollhouse.

Melissa & Doug Fold & Go Mini Dollhouse

#3-  Building Toys were always on the list all through grade school, here are my classic favorites.  Both my son and daughter always enjoyed these.  Again, these are toys you can build on, we were buying Lego sets until just about a year ago, we all enjoyed them.

Lincoln Logs Classic Edition Tin Lincoln Logs

#4 -  Outdoor exploring- bug jugs, and other outdoor exploring tools are fun for nature walks, and exploring the backyard.  I remember having a bug jug as a child myself, and loved watching spiders spin their webs or potato bugs walking around, of course setting them free when we were done observing them.

#5-  Art sets are always fun, this type of set was usually a gift from great grandma, along with a nice tablet, this gift is perfect for rainy days and quiet time.

Cra Z Art 250 Pc Deluxe Art Set

#6- Younger kids spend a lot of time with their imaginative play- We  always had baskets out with pretend food,  I love the wooden varieties, they look so beautiful, and hold up really well.  Melissa and Doug toys weren't out when my kids were little, we purchased wooden foods from brands like Haba, these from Melisa and Doug look like so much fun.  We never purchased a play kitchen, they always looked too bulky to me, and the wooden ones were out of our price range, instead the toy shelves would turn into the fridge, or the store, or whatever they wanted.

Melissa & Doug Fridge Food Set

#7-  A pretend Doctor kit is a classic toy, perfect for playing doctor or veterinarian with your baby dolls and stuffed animals.  I grew up with the classic Fisher Price version, and so did Sarah and Joe.

Fisher-Price Boy Doctor Medical Kit [ 3 years and up ]

I just came across this beautiful wooden Doctor set from FAO, this would be quite a treat!

FAO Schwarz Wooden Doctor Kit

#8-  For pick number eight I can't ignore the classic wish of many girls- the baby doll.

My pick for a baby doll is this classic look baby doll, this along with a baby basket and disappearing milk bottle was always welcomed by my daughter.

#9-  For pick number nine, I will go with one of my sons favorite choices, his action figures.  I enjoy wooden and natural toys very much, but I will say, my son absolutely loved his Fisher Price action figures from his Rescue heroes to his Fisher Price Imaginext figures, he would play with them for hours.  He always loved his Fisher Price Castle Set.

Fisher-Price Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle

# 10- And for a cuddly item under the tree, we bought these long arm hanging stuffed dolls for Sarah and Joe through grade school- sometimes a monkey or gorilla, sometimes a frog.  I still think they are pretty cute!

Wild Republic 17" Hanging Monkey Chimpanzee

This is a huge category, and I could list a lot more items, like our favorite Schleich animals, some of the beautiful fashion dolls that girls love so much, beautiful wooden figures from Ostheimer.  I always made sure to keep a balance between open ended toys made of natural material, and modern toys that the kids would have their heart set on.

Next up in my Christmas Gift Ideas Series- Tweens!  Come back tomorrow. :)

What is your favorite choice for school age children?

Christmas Gift Ideas Series #1- Little Ones

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