Santa’s loading up his sleigh…are you wondering which Christmas toys he’ll be bringing for your kiddo? Here’s what our kids (ages 1 to 12) are loving the most
Has your little one been on their bestest behavior (and already sent their letter to Santa)? If you’re still looking for extra presents to reward your little cherub – or perhaps you’re looking for gifts for nieces, nephews, cousins, or your helper’s kids who are of a different age than your own – then your first port of call should be our gift guide for kids of all ages.
If you’re still wanting more, mamas, our own Sassy Mama team has put our heads together to share our kids’ tried and tested toys for ages 1 to 12. These are the items our own kids simply can’t get enough of (and we think they’re pretty great, too). We’ve of course linked to where you can find them in Singapore. Happy shopping!
Click through our gallery for our kids’ fave toys!
Image by Bike SLO County via Flickr
Our active toddler is ball-obsessed, and loves nothing more than to throw balls all over our apartment, then run around collecting them and putting them back in the basket. He seems to take special pride in following instructions, like when you say, “Can you put this in the hoop?”. This combination basketball hoop-teeball tee-golf set from Toys ‘R’ Us ($99) has been a HUGE hit with our little jock.
Honorable mention: Google Home. Maybe the seventh word our toddler uttered was “Google” because he loves asking the Google Home to play “Bah, Bah, Black Sheep” and “Baby Shark”, then rocking out to them.
We have a singing teapot and picnic set which my little boy loves! He sets out all the plates and then gets the cups and pours us all tea. Its the cutest, he even tries to get our dogs their own tea.
Honorable mention: Building blocks. Louis is loving his Melissa & Doug blocks, which he builds up and knocks down again and again and again!
My 3-year-old daughter LOVES to play dress-up and will find any occasion (such as coming home from school) to do so. Coco Chanel’s advice for a lady to remove one accessory before leaving the house does not resonate with my daughter as she mixes and matches a (magic) star wand, little straw bag (to keep her “lipstick”), Peppa Pig clip-on earrings, crown, all of her bracelets, Frozen necklace and then off she goes to play with friends, build Lego or her favourite little Maileg mouse.
As I am not a big fan of the plastic looking, synthetic material dress up options (so bloody hot in Singapore!), I have found a few more natural, cotton dresses at Cotton On, H&M and Cuckoo Lifestyle, who stocks this Mama’s all time favourite brand Numero 74.
Image by Cotton On Kids
No matter how many times I say “no scooter in the house” the moment my back is turned it’s inside! My daughter loves to go for a scoot with me or Daddy around the block. Because we have an adult scooter I think she considers herself a very big girl that she can do the activity with us. It’s a great way for us to expend that additional energy and also talk about things that we see happening around the neighborhood.
Image by Micro Scooters
This is probably my all-time best purchase (my kids played with this from 1 year+ and are still interested in playing at 7 years old!). The colourful, translucent flat tiles can be used to make 2D shapes and patterns on the floor, or you can build them up as 3D shapes and houses. There’s a satisfying click as the magnetic edges connect, making it easy for younger kids to construct. If you buy the little electric candles at IKEA you can light the houses up from the inside, making an extra fun element to this game – hours and hours of fun (and peace for parents as these are so easy to use you don’t have to join in — but you will want to anyway!). STEAM approved, too. Find Magnatiles at Playhao!
Honorable Mention: Castle Logix is a fun game that can be played solo from very young. It’s made of high-quality wood (so that’s a tick for avoiding plastic toys this Christmas!). Castle Logix is another STEM toy which promotes critical thinking and problem-solving. There are a series of 48 Challenges included, from easy to very complex and kids have to figure out how to recreate the puzzle result.
We’ve been doing puzzles like crazy this rainy season. Last year Maggie was gifted a DJECO puzzle and she loved it. We lucked out and came across three more at a yard sale, and they’re among her most treasured possessions. The 24- and 36-piece puzzles have become a bit easy for her, so we’re starting to move onto the 100-piece ones. I recommend doing on a high table out of the reach of baby sibling hands! They seem to have the best selection at The Better Toy Store.
Honorable mention: Three Little Piggies. I came across this in some article a couple years ago about games that provided a good precursor to coding concepts. Based on The Three Little Pigs, it gives you various layouts in a basic block where you need to protect the three little pigs from the Big Bad Wolf by arranging their houses in a particular order. Not only does Maggie love the game, but the four little figurines have made for hours of imaginative play on their own, as well. (Just be sure to keep track of them because they’re not huge). I’d recommend this for age 3.5+.
Image by DJECO
Our son loves to play ball, and this year it’s all about school playground balls. He plays with it at school with friends, but also at home against a wall.
Honorable mention: iPad. He is obsessed with iPads, any games will do. To keep him smartly entertained, we installed a chess game called Play Magnus that he is allowed to play whenever he wants and he loves it. He’s gotten really good at it, too!
Drawing books and art supplies are still a winner with my 6-year-old. We are big fans of Chris Hart, who is easy to follow and has a very cute style of drawing comics and manga. Drawing Shape by Shape still gets lots of use and is available online at Kinokuniya. A bigger selection is available on Book Depository. This Big Book of Everything Manga is a hit with my 9-year-old as well.
Image by Chris Hart
Every day my 6-year-old son will happily schlep his sports stuff downstairs to play with his condo friends. Luckily he does so on rotation by giving a little love to all of them: his bicycle, micro scooter from White & Black Trading, archery bow and soft arrow from Decathlon, skateboard from Longboard Love, bodyboard from Decathlon, boomerang, ball, and frisbee. His love for being active outside together with his friends and us is like a gift that keeps on giving!
Image by Islabikes
Top Trumps makes a fab stocking filler. This card game has been around for donkeys years but there are many different versions and topics (from Roald Dahl-themed to Football and Earth’s Natural Wonders). Each card contains a list of numerical data which kids compare to try to trump their opponent’s card. A fun no-screen game that travels well.
Honourable mention: LEGO — can a kid ever have enough LEGO? Lego cleverly brings out new themes and twists on old favourites. Ninjago is a big hit with my son but this mama loves the Creator 3-in-1 series giving kids three models to build using the same pieces — result!
It’s made a comeback and now my son is obsessed with solving it. He’s even joined the Rubik’s Cube Club at school to learn the strategies. Great for the school bus and on rainy days when he’s not out playing football at lunch, there are groups of kids that sit in a corner at the playground showing each other their tricks.
Of all the things she has, my daughter likes reading books the most. This year these were her favourites: The Secret Series (P. Bosh), The Sinclair’s Mysteries (K. Woodfine), Percy Jakson Series (R. Riordan) and The Littlest Bigfoot (J. Weiner).
Our 9-year-old has been doing an after school activity called Drone Club at school so we are confident that he is ready to have his own and won’t break it in the first 10 minutes. We are looking at the Parrot Mambo line and trying to stay under $200. Haven’t picked out the model yet because drone shopping is very overwhelming!
Honorable mention: These Modarri Sets from playhao that were featured in our Gift Guide look very cool. I plan to stop by playhao at The Forum and get some more inspiration – they have a great selection of high quality and creative toys.
Image by Parrot Mambo
At this age it’s all about fun games you can play with the family and when friends pop over. Classics like Monopoly, Cluedo, Guess Who and Scrabble are a hit in our family. It’s a great way to get the family doing something together on a Sunday. We always bring a pack of Uno on holidays to play even between courses at a restaurant.