Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide Part Two: Toys for Big Kids 6 and Up,17.html

This year, we've created handy gift guides with our best toy suggestions for different age groups at various price points. Ask for one in the store or browse our website for more gift ideas.

Part One in this series: Toys for Big Kids Ages 6+

Older kids these days have a lot of distractions. Many spend a lot of time interacting with various electronic devices, which is fine as far as it goes. But almost every kid still thirsts to create real world objects that require imagination. An engaging toy can be a powerful antidote to a plugged-in world.

The YOXO Construction Toy, Haba Marble Runs (aka Kuglebahns), Djeco Paper Craft Kits, Potholder Loom kits, and KEVA Planks are all excellent building and creating toys for this age. Each is an invitation to fire up imagination and create something new that didn't exist before (in the case of the potholder loom, kids can actually create something useful and appreciated!).  Each of these toys will challenge an older child's manual dexterity in different ways.

Older kids also like physically challenging toys that create a thrill when mastered. Sweets Kendamas, for example, is a portable ball and cup toy from Japan that offers almost infinite levels of challenges.

For an outdoor physical challenge, we recommend our Slacklines and Ziplines. Our kids have spent hours playing with both. We love them because they offer low-risk opportunities to be physically daring. All you need is two sturdy trees in a back yard.

Older kids appreciate a toy that speaks to their own special interests, whether that's a 98 piece anatomy puzzle, a build your own trebuchet kit, binoculars for outdoor exploring, an all-natural facepaint kit, or an aeronautics science kit.

If all else fails, try a wooden sword. Always a hit in our house!

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