Townscaper

What is it: Townscaper is a very fun and relaxing town-building toy. It’s not really a game since there is no objective. The interface is extremely simple and intuitive. From the game page: Build quaint island towns with curvy streets, small hamlets, soaring cathedrals, canal networks, or sky cities on stilts. Build the town your …

Plus-Plus

What is it Plus-Plus is a building toy made up of pieces that look like two plus signs: ++ They are sort of like Legos, but also sort of like Play-doh Who is it for Anyone old enough to manipulate small objects and also old enough to know not to put little things in their …

Bloxels

[amazon_link asins=’B01FUFJ4ZQ’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c15763e9-5acf-11e8-9873-efc5257a865a’] What is it Bloxels is a free make-your-own videogame app that lets kids (or adults) create 8-bit style sprites and levels for 2D platformer games without needing any coding. The Bloxels kit includes a 13×13 grid with colored blocks so that younger kids can manipulate ‘pixel blocks’ (bloxels) physically …

Slingball

[amazon_link asins=’B06XH36HFP’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’445435d2-427b-11e8-9784-65fb46f3a333′] This was a gift from Grandma. She found it for $4.99 at a drugstore or somewhere like that. It was not meant to be a Major Gift (the way Lego sets are, for birthdays and Christmas) but the Slingball set ended up being the Essential Toy that went with …

Magformers

[amazon_link asins=’B002NGOH1W’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4abc6a27-1d6e-11e8-a40d-c5c0ca798c19′] These things have been standard fare at childrens’ museums and science museums since they were developed in 2008. I had seen them many times but didn’t know what they were called. Unlike some other magnetic toys, these are perfectly safe for infants to gnaw on. From the website: “Each …

Japanese Eraser Animals

[amazon_link asins=’B00WJ6NPNC’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’da76d1a4-09e9-11e8-9f4f-fd1d1cc4fd51′] I don’t know whether this is the Next Big Thing, but my kids love these little things. They come in animal shapes, vehicles, pastries, etc. They are made of eraser rubber (but don’t actually fit on a pencil) and are each composed of multiple pieces, so each creature is …

200-VS Attack – Bump ‘n Eject RC Battle Bumper Cars

[amazon_link asins=’B01MZEDJCJ’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’05de0e4e-053e-11e8-a819-c1b392dd7c5f’] This was a gift for the birthday boy at a party we attended and we got a chance to play with it. It was a lot of fun. Remote control cars have been around a while (Tesla built an RC boat in the late 1800s!) and whenever I’ve played …

B. Fish N’ Splish

[amazon_link asins=’B002YITFB6′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e5180f30-ffa7-11e7-8485-3d5d3a77cd3b’] Of all the toys in our house, this one has probably been played with the most (apart from legos). We got it as a gift for our oldest’s first birthday and it has been an essential part of the tub toy collection ever since. It’s a well-designed toy with …

Mudpuppy Puzzle Wheels

[amazon_link asins=’0735344302′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’93134772-e66c-11e7-963b-abc7e94b6c37′] We get lots of gifts for the kids, and it’s very hard to tell in advance which ones will get played with a lot, and which will just stay at the bottom of the toy box. I don’t even remember who gave this to us, but it is one …

LeapPad Ultra

[amazon_link asins=’B00CS1WDBI’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’matchstickkidboo’ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’cda524b4-3f5d-11e7-9c2a-4d2b722af7c0′] We got this second-hand. It’s pretty expensive and we wouldn’t have bought it new. The kids love it, to the point where we have to confiscate it when screen time gets out of hand, and we can use it as a bargaining tool. It’s basically a computer tablet, like …