Best Christmas Toys of 2012: 3 Months On

My kids received a mountain of toys this past Christmas, and as I was cleaning out their toy storage this week, I am saddened to say that just three months later some are heading to the donation box. This led me to think: what were the absolute best toys they received last year? If I could travel back in time and only buy my kids a couple of toys each, what would they get? 

Here are my top five picks from last year:

1. The Wheely Bug from Prince Lionheart. This little bug is so cute, I can actually bear it being left around the house, which makes me happy. And both my 3 year old and 1 year old have a blast riding it, which makes them happy. I am really impressed by how sturdy it is built, too. I think I will keep this little guy for a long time to come.

2. The Haba Pancakes and Frying Pan Set. We bought a play kitchen this year, along with a bunch of play food and cooking equipment, and this is easily the most played with of the lot. It is larger than all their other pots and pans which means it fits a lot more for "recipes". 

3. The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Piggy Bank. I hear you, "more plastic". But seriously, this piggy bank gets played with every single day by my one-year-old. At her stage of development putting things into stuff and taking them out again is basically the best thing ever, which is the entire premise of this toy, plus not-too-loud music/sound effects. And it still works. And the batteries have not even needed changing yet. Perfect.

4. Play Silks from Sarah's Play Silks. It seems like such a weird thing to buy, but these play silks are an incredible toy! My one year old likes to hide and play peek-a-boo, while my three year old uses it for a cape or a cloak, to be a ghost, or to pretend his teddy bears are babies and "put them to bed". They take almost no space at all in their bedroom, and can easily be taken out in my handbag for emergency entertainment. I can't believe we never had one before this year.

5. Hot Wheels Monster Trucks. Well, what can I say? Sometimes, getting the thing for your son or daughter that they absolutely want most of all is the best thing you can do. So my son loves monster trucks, and got monster trucks. Three, in fact. He doesn't need a thousand, doesn't need to collect them all, but three special monster trucks is just the right amount. 

So they are the favorites at Casa Gerber. What do you think were your best Christmas purchases, now that the novelty factor has worn off? What toys have stood the test of toddler play-time at your house?

(Images: as linked above)

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