Little People Christmas Story Nativity Playset

Little People Nativity SetWe bought the Little People Christmas Story Nativity Playset this year to add to our Christmas decorations. We were surprised to see that our 1 year old played with this set for almost an hour the first day that we set it up!

We had really purchase the set as a “child safe” nativity set that our young kids couldn’t break — we didn’t really consider it to be a play toy — but that is exactly what it has turned out to be.

Just like all the Fisher-Price “Little People” toys, it’s high quality and safe for toddlers and young kids. The star above the manger lights up and plays the song, “Away in a Manger”. This set is a cute and fun way to teach your young children about the story of Christmas.

LEGO City Advent Calendar 2011

Lego City Advent Calendar 2011The LEGO City Advent Calendar is a best selling toy every year. This toy is a fun way to celebrate the tradition of Advent with your family. The Lego’s are designed for kids age 5 years old and up and include 232 pieces. Each day for 24 days, you open up a new compartment to reveal some new Lego’s on a Christmas theme. After opening up all 24 days, you can put all the pieces together to create one larger scene.

Melissa and Doug Wooden Pound A Peg

Melissa and Doug Pound a PegThe Melissa & Doug Wooden Pound-a-Peg toy is a great classic toy. This hammer toy with pounding bench is perfect for toddlers. It’s low tech and high in fun for young kids. Simply hammer the pegs and when all have been hammered down, flip it over and starting hammering all over again. This toy is great for developing eye hand coordination and some basic motor skills

Our boys have spent more time playing with this toy than our girl, but she still loves to hammer also. Right now, our 1 year old boy is in love with this toy and just hammers all the time. You can’t go wrong with this classic toy for toddlers.

Melissa and Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set

Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Cookie SetPretty much any toy by Melissa and Doug is awesome and their Slice and Bake Cookie Set is no exception. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve “eaten” these cookies served up by my kids. We’ve had our set for a couple years and they don’t look any worse for the wear.

Girl Baking CookiesThe kids love to bake and serve these cookies. They are made of wood and all the cookie “dough” sticks together with velcro and allows kids to “slice” the cookies with the included wooden knife. Then the dough is place on the cookie sheet, again, sticking with velcro. After “baking”, kids can add frosting which again, sticks on with velcro.

This toy is suggested for kids age 3 year old up to around 9 year old. Our kids enjoyed this toy from around age 2 year old and up. This cookie set makes a nice addition to our play kitchen. Who doesn’t love cookies?

Rocksmith Video Game

Rocksmith Video GameOk this is just down right cool. If you played and loved any of the video game versions of Guitar Hero or Rock Band over the past few years, then get ready to be blown away. The new Rocksmith game allows you to play using ANY REAL GUITAR. The game is for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It includes a 1/4 inch to USB cable with the game so that you can plug your guitar directly into the game console.

This game has the fun factor of a video game, but it does really teach you how to play guitar — on a REAL guitar. In addition to the 50 songs that you can learn and play along with, there are also “mini-games” within the game that help to re-enforce guitar player skills such as scales, harmonics, etc.

This game is great for beginners who have never played guitar before all the way up to advanced players. No one is promising that you will become a all star guitar player over night here, but if you want to learn and improve your skills, this is sure a fun way to go about it.

Check out this video which is the video games official launch video.

Shake and Go Disney/Pixar Cars 2 World Grand Prix Speedway

Shake and Go Disney Cars SpeedwayThe Fisher Price Shake and Go Disney/Pixar Cars 2 World Grand Prix Speedway is a fun racetrack for young kids. This toy is rated for kids 36 months up to around age 7 years old, but as you can see from the video below, even kids as young as 1 year old will get excited to see this go!

We bought this for our 5 year old boy who LOVES anything with the characters from the Disney “Cars” movie. He loved it as expected. What surprised me is how much his younger sister and our 1 year old enjoy this toy.

Older kids will play with this toy the “correct” way by shaking up the cars, hearing the engine sound effects “vroom – vroom”, and then race the cars on the track. The cars can be raced on any hard surface, not just the track, so this gives some variety in playing with the toy. Disney also sells the “shake and go” cars individually, but I found this set which includes the race track and two cars to be a great deal.

Shake and Go CarsOur one year old enjoys watch the older kids race the cars around the track. Since the cars have an on/off switch on the bottom, when the cars are “off”, he enjoys just pushing the cars around with his hand and making his own “vroom – vroom” sound effects!

This is a simple race track that older kids would probably get bored with quickly, but for younger kids up to around age 7 years old, this toy is a winner!