the unnatural mother

embracing mother-ing and all its glory – from wet diapers, spit-ups, tantrums to first smiles, hug-a-bugs and sweet cuddles

Toys for my boys September 27, 2011

Being a mother of 2 boys, I’m so used to looking and shopping for boys toys & clothes. In any store, I’m immediately drawn to the boys section – probably because of the need to shield myself from griping (at the beautiful girl-y dresses and close-to-the-real-thing cooking sets). From match-box size cars to parking lot playsets and make-believe carpenter tools, I’ve gotten the knack for eyeing anything red and blue or has wheels on it but moreover, I can appreciate well-made, safe and educational toys that boys naturally prefer. And In today’s hard times, I’m learning to spot good craftmanship and durability.

Thus, I’ve come up with a list of (my) finds that are worth my money – be it a splurge or deal – and why!

Bright Starts License to drool (around P 179)

My second son played with this almost every waking hour when he was about 4 months old and every so often after that. We have the blue and green one and with such bright colors, it is an easy attraction to babies. It encourages grasping as he can hold it in his hands and eventually, put it in his mouth as a teething toy. This is a great alternative for those liquid filled teething toys that get punctured by uber excited babes.

License to Drool

Baby can practice grasping and is encourage to bite.

Duplo vs Megablocks.

This is MY Duplo set from (i’m guessing) 30 years ago! See how the bricks are still in good condition and fits nicely and snuggly with each other.


Duplo (circa 1980)

Duplo #45. This is how it's supposed to look when all set up.

Duplo is really expensive locally but in the U.S., you can get an assorted brick box of 33 pcs (item # 5416) for $20

Duplo #5416

Duplo 5416 (33 pcs) recommended for 1.5 yrs - 5 yrs. Duplo assorted bricks comes in a special storage box.

This is my son’s 4-year old Megablocks – they are loose and won’t stay together 😦 so they are deemed totally useless. We even have 2 bags of 70 pcs each. I should have just saved up for Duplo instead.

Megablocks. The actual blocks are loose and won't stay together. It is a relatively cheap buy but poor quality.

LeapFrog Scribble & Write (P 1599.99 @ Toy Kingdom)

My first son received this as a gift for Christmas when he was 3 yrs old. At that time, he already knew the alphabet and liked pressing the letter buttons and hearing it “talk”.  Now he is almost 5, in kindergarten and has learned to write his name. He’s enjoying this to the full potential. There are 4 different playing modes – drawing shapes, tracing the uppercase letters, tracing lowercase letter, guessing the letter. It also guides the child in drawing or writing by visual and audio aids.

LeapFrog Scribble&write

LeapFrog Scribble&write. Recommended for children 3 yrs old & up

Wooden toys by Wonderworld

I’ve been seeing this kiosk in front of Mothercare Shangri-la selling wooden toys. As I have an impression that wooden toys tend to be expensive (compared to their plastic counterparts), it’s an effort not to stop and look. From afar, their toys do look expensive but they also look fun and playable. Finally, I chanced upon them in a mommy sale and was immediately converted to a wooden-toy-lover. Not only are they environmentally safe (i.e. they degrade naturally in the environment and has a CSR to plant more trees), they rarely have small pieces that pose as choking hazards to little ones. Most of their toys are designed to be educational and simply made – no outrageous designs and complicated mechanisms that overwhelm the child and the parent. These are the 2 toys I bought for my boys:

3D Transport Domino

3D Transport Domino

This is for NY who’s turning 5 this November. The toy is actually recommended for at least 3 years up and domino is just really matching but I’m hoping this can enhance NY’s creativity in designing layouts instead of just matching them.

Transportation Matching

Transportation Matching

This one is intended for SKY who would be 1.5 yrs old on Christmas. He can move the pieces around without losing them! And as the title says, the skill to learn is matching. It comes with a removable stand; though I doubt it’ll be staying on it for more than 5 seconds.

There are so many toys out there – so many to choose from – and the “best” toy for your child really depends on his/her preference, interest and age. Know your child and you’ll surely get the best bang for you buck! Good luck!


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