Cool Toys for Your Cool Kids
As a budget-conscious parent, you can't afford to indulge your kids by picking up every new, trendy toy they may desire. At the same time, getting them toys they never play with is a waste of money no matter how low the price. But there are some constants in the ever-changing world of what qualifies as "cool." Here are a few common elements that always seem popular with kids.
Classic Characters Never Go Out Of Style
Whatever the latest wave in toy trends might be, you can bet that there will be best-selling choices featuring characters that were as popular when your grandparents were kids as they are today. From Mickey Mouse and other Disney favorites to comic book heroes who have been thrilling youngsters since the 1930s, some characters never age in the public eye.
Beyond The Building Blocks
The continued, massive popularity of LEGO toys shows that kids still love building things. While traditionalists may go with basic building blocks, Tinker Toys or Lincoln Logs, there are countless varieties of building sets out there for your future architect or construction foreman. Really creative kids may even combine elements from different sets to add variety to their creations.
Remote control planes and other aerial toys are perennial favorites -- so much so that Dad or Grandpa may be anxious to take a turn guiding the aircraft as well. It's not hard to see the appeal of these toys. After all, how many ways can you take to the skies without ever leaving your yard? R/C planes come in detailed, collectible-worthy models, as well as much less pricey versions that won't leave you aghast if Junior crashes it into a tree. Just make sure he does his flying outside. You could be in for a cleanup disaster if your little pilot decides the dining room is the airport and a stack of your favorite home decor catalogs is the landing strip!
Colors And Light Are Always Awesome!
Children are drawn to vibrant, visual toys, so be on the lookout for play items with light and color features. They don't have to be elaborate either. Just look at how pleased kids seem to be just waving around neon-colored glow sticks or wearing glow necklaces at amusement parks and special events.
Name That Tune
Musical toys can inspire a lifelong love of music and even encourage a child to take up an instrument. But whether they become virtuosos or not, there are toys made to please any kid who enjoys a bit of melody and rhythm. Maybe a replica instrument is the perfect gift for your little one. Or, if your kids really like to belt out a song, a home karaoke system can be a diversion the entire family enjoys.
Let's Go For A Ride!
Whether your children have reached bike-riding age or not, they probably still love the speedy fun of ride-on toys, scooters, wagons or skateboards. Slightly older car-loving kids will also love the thrills of driving a go-cart. There are outdoor amusement park venues with these kinds of mini-vehicles, but the really passionate racers can build their own go-carts (with a little help from Dad or Mom, of course) for Soap Box Derby-type competitions.