Both my kids have their birthdays in August so they have been on the receiving end of lots of great gifts lately. I thought I would share some of the ones that most appealed to them and they have been making great use of.
Each title links to Amazon where you can buy them (photos are all stock ones, not my own).
Doodles (age 3)
My First Sticky Mosaics
This was a huge hit, and kept her sitting still for ages. It reinforces colours and shapes, as you have to stick the correct shape on to the base picture to create the finished product. There are 4 pictures in the box and they lasted her quite a while. They also have sticky hooks to attach to the back so you can display them afterwards.
Moon Dough Pizza Set
Both Doodles & Spiderboy played with this one although I have to warn you, don't let it into your house if you have anything resembling OCD tendencies! It was the first time I have come across Moon Dough, & it has a strange dry texture which crumbles easily (but it does sticks back together). The best thing is that it doesn't dry out unlike play dough so it has been sitting on our kitchen table for a good week or so, with the kids returning daily to play with it.
This was a cute set with three colours of moon dough (although they quickly got mixed together) to make pizza bases and then toppings.
Melissa & Doug Self-Correcting Number Puzzle
I love the fact that you have to match the pictures up to the numbers in this puzzle - each with a unique jigsaw fit so you know if you make a mistake. She pretty much has her 1-12 numbers down pat but this goes up to 20 so it's great for that next stage.
Spiderboy (age 5)
This has to be one of Spiderboy's favourites. You get a small tank to fill and various sachets that you have to add to the water over a period of time. After around 5 days, some tiny shrimps hatch and begin to grow. You need to feed them every two days with some powdered food that's included. I am worried that Spiderboy will eventually be disappointed because he keeps asking how big they are going to grow...I think he has visions of actual monkeys!
If you're slightly squeamish, don't Google them and read the Mumsnet thread about them essentially being lice... :/
It's a Chicken
This is like a child's version of pictionary, with some fun elements. Spiderboy doesn't like drawing or colouring of any kind so I was interested to see that he enjoyed playing this. Its great for developing fine motor, and the simple drawings you have to copy from the card are easy enough for children to follow, aided by pre-printed circles. Of course they love the clucking chicken timer that you have to compete against too!
Magic Tooth Fairy Game
This is one of those games that you can't understand the fascination with...and it quickly begins to grate although to be fair, there are no noisy elements to it. You each get a "mouth" with a set of teeth and you have to work your way round the board, losing teeth and collecting gold coins from the tooth fairy in exchange. Warning: Do not play this 10 minutes before bedtime because it can go on for *ages*!