Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer has posted a themed Works for Me Wednesday this week: Toys Worth Buying. Just in time for the holiday shopping season. We have a few favorites around here, and in no particular order, here they are:
Hullaballoo by Cranium: Think Simon Says meets Twister. You put out 16 colored pads; each one is a different color, shape, and has an item on it: popcorn, tiger, star performer, etc. Press the button on the accompanying box, and a voice calls out instructions: “Spin to a square,” “Bounce to an animal.” After a few (maybe 10) commands, the voice calls out “Freeze! Is anyone touching the…” If you are, you win, which means you get a special command, like “Do a funky dance.” This game is great because it holds my kids’ attention for a good half-hour, and it’s actually fun to play with them (I’m not a particularly playful parent, sadly). It works fine for just one kid (Little Sis is playing by herself now as I type this) or the whole neighborhood (up to 6, according to the box).
Uno:The classic card game. Even my four-year-old can play, though usually with the cards face-up. Since it’s just a deck of cards, it’s great for travel. It really saved us a while back when my mom was in the hospital and I had to bring them along. We played hand after hand while waiting around or hanging with Chiquita.
Wii: Of course. While my husband is a Nintendo fan from way back, I’ve never owned a gaming system. Until now…and I’m glad I waited. It’s great because using the remotes is so intuitive, and you don’t have to be a “gamer” to have a blast. Literally the whole family (and neighborhood) loves it! It’s a great icebreaker, too. Distant relatives coming to visit and you don’t have much in common? Hand them a remote. Games we love? Wii Sports, which came with our system, and Wii Play, which we bought for the included extra remote, but love to pop in months and months later (cow racing, anyone?). And don’t forget Wii Fit, which is a really fun way to get a little exercise, especially when the weather is lousy. If you’re buying it this season, you’ll need the console, which comes bundled with Wii Sports and one remote. I recommend purchasing Wii Play, which will give you another remote (so you can play 2 player games), plus two nunchuk controllers, which plug into the remotes for some games (like boxing). For Wii Fit, it comes with the Wii Balance Board.
Apples to Apples Kids 7+: Big Sis, who was 6 at the time, came home from first grade begging for this game. Guess they played it in class once in a while. Players are dealt a hand of red cards, each with something on it: “A Surprise,” “Kittens,” “Playing Checkers,” etc. Each player rotates being the judge, and on his turn draws a green card with an adjective on it: “Noisy.” Players choose the card from their hand that best fits the judge’s green card. Players are encouraged to advocate for their card. If the judge picks it, you win. I noticed when Big Sis played, she was amazingly articulate…she sounded like a lawyer advocating for her client! This one’s also fun to play for Mom.