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Gift Guide For Boys

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

So, toys are obviously on my list this year.

A few months ago, Marty purged the toy boxes of all the toys with battle scars including those missing legs, arms, heads, batteries and pieces. The trash can was full of plastic stuff made in China, not only to our dismay, but that of the boys. They learned a hard lesson in "taking care of your stuff" that day. Their toy boxes actually shut at the moment, and some of what is left they have outgrown. Poor kids, they've taken to playing with soup cans lately.

Toys are pretty easy. I'm going with action figures for the most part. But, there are a few things on the list that I've put some thought and mommy reasoning into.

First, there are going to be puzzles. When we stayed in the cabin on the Grand Mesa, Jonas couldn't get enough of putting together puzzles. He was pretty good at it. The trouble is finding puzzles that aren't super-easy but aren't super-hard either. He is only 5.

I like these puzzles made by Ravensburger.They have a whole assortment of puzzles with dinosaurs, dogs, and cartoon characters with 60 pieces instead of 200. I think 60 pieces would be pretty challenging.

Last year, Soren got LEGOs from Santa. Grrrr .... LEGOs. I have a confession to make. In the past year, random LEGO pieces have been all over my house. I suck them up with the vacuum.

The problem with LEGOs was Soren impatiently ripped into all the sets and then there was no way we could figure out how to build the Ninjago mansion. We tried to follow the instructions, but hooking c35 to red no. 1 was nearly impossible. I got bored and started building bridges and houses and pizzas or whatever came to mind. This kind of divergent thinking infuriates Soren. He's the kind of kid who plays by the rules, puts things in their exact place, and he finds there to be no good reason to deviate off the chosen path. I do NOT think like this. So, we butted heads, he deemed his LEGOs useless, and they ended up lying all over my house getting sucked up by the vacuum.

I would love for him to just build freely. How can he be an engineer when he can't build freely. So, when I saw this toy at Sam's Club I thought it might help him improve his building skills.

The purpose is to build something to take a marble from point A to point B. It's more functional than a LEGO and I think he'll like that.

Soren has also asked for a chalkboard.

When we go hiking, the boys' pockets are filled with rocks. Their undies are showing because their pants are sagging down from rocks and then they wonder why they're sooooooo tired. I think we need a rock tumbler so we can at least do something with these treasures after we get home.

Those, for the most part, are the big ones. Or, at least, what I've figured out so far.

Games and books are also on my list, but I have a couple of custom books coming for the boys and I'd like to save the games and books post in order to show those to you when they arrive.

Just for the record, I have not shopped for any of these items yet and my list is still subject to vast change in the next month. I still want to hear your suggestions.


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Margaret loved doing puzzles, too and we all liked the Ravensburger ones the best. Soren might enjoy Captain Underpants books. They are geared towards boys, but Mar liked them just the same. We like Cranium games such as Hullabaloo which is an active games that gets kids moving and following directions.

This proves that the children imagination goes beyond what we may think. They can have fun playing with all kind of disposable objects. We should pay attention to the hazardous waste though. There’s a list of precautions we can find on this hazardous waste disposal Los Angeles resource. I hope it will be useful.

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