If you’ve spent any time in the virtual toy department of Amazon’s Prime Day, I’ll bet you have a headache.
But there are some really good buys in the STEM and STEAM categories, as well as some fun family games. (And if nothing else, pick up these Prismacolors.)
1. Telescope – my husband will be thrilled. I’m super excited about this one.
2. Picasso Tiles – 60% off!!! These are basically Magnatiles, just a different brand…but the reviews are pretty good! Magnatiles are some of our most-used building toys EVER. The boys have been playing with them since they were two….and still going strong.
3. Bristle Blocks – years and years later, and these still get major play. Usually fashioned into guns, but hey: engineering.
4. Hape Handyman Kid’s Wooden Toolbox Set – this seriously cool set has a ton of building possibilities – the entire thing can become a robot, for example. Hape is one of my very favorite toy companies simply because of their open-ended nature and high quality. (Non-toxic, too.)
5. Basic Train Tracks – these are compatible with all wooden train sets, and will provide a HUGE range of building possibilities for little engineers. Truth be told, I’m not a fan of “train tables” because they are so limiting. Instead? Buy a giant set of track and let them loose.
6. Wonder Workshop Dot Robotics – this is a fun, hands-on way to get your kid coding. I personally think there is a bit of a learning curve, but we plan to sit down with the boys and figure it out together.
7. Tegu Blocks – these are a little tricky, but kiddos will learn about magnetic poles while building.
8. Ravensburger Puzzle – my kids love a good puzzle, and this brand is the best. For some reason, this picture cracked Pax and I up. He can’t wait to build it.
9. & 10. Legos – Base plates (buy multiple) and a huge, classic Lego set -This is a playdate trick of mine – set everyone up with a plain, clean, baseplate, and put a ton of classic bricks in the center. It’s amazing what the kids will come up with.
1. Prismacolor Mixed-Media Set – We have this set!!! I’m a HUGE believer in high-quality art supplies (not wasted on kids – to the contrary, I think), and this set has been our hand-down favorite. Tons of colors, varying degrees of softness/hardness, my kids take these EVERYWHERE. They’ve literally come on every trip (and to most restaurants).
2. Sharpies, 23 Piece Set, 50% Off – YES. Come to Mama. There’s colors, highlighters, and a few metallic sharpies. YES.
3. Old-School Pencil Sharpener – still the best. And I love the vintage vibe – it wouldn’t look out of place anywhere.
4. Play-Doh, Giant Pack, 30% Off – My policy to is always (always!!) have a giant pack of play-doh hidden in the basement. It’s never failed me yet, no matter what ages are hanging at our pad….
5. Expo Dry-Erase Marker Set, 40% off – These are on Raines and Pax’s school supply list every year.
6. Fashion Plates – I LOVED this set as a kid. Hours and hours spent designing. (Pro tip: the back of each tile is textured, which is how you can make patterns – just use crayons to rub gently!)
7. Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera, $99 – This would be a seriously fun camera for kids. They’d be limited by the paper, which would mean they’d have to choose their shots carefully.
1. Blokus Trignon Game – 30% off – Pax and I have become obsessed with the original (square shaped) Blokus….and this take it next level. Yup. Adding to cart now.
2. GIANT JENGA, 11% off – Not a huge discount, but I’m OBSESSED. This Jenga stacker starts at 2 ft tall, but as the game progresses, can get as high as 5 ft! The blocks are 8 times bigger than the original.
3. Scrabble, Deluxe Edition, 30% off – This is easily the coolest version of Scrabble I’ve ever seen. The board rotates, the whole thing folds up, everything is high quality and the reviews are off the charts.
4. Rummikube Twist – 30% Off – Another family favorite. I love the updated design, and the extra jokers could be seriously fun. Raines’ fav (but even Pax can play).
5. Say The Word Memory Game – This one sounds like a total crack-up.
6. Axis and Allies, extra 30% off – We bought this for Raines a couple of years ago, and while the game was challenging, he LOVED it. He also loved playing with all of the pieces, so……time for a new set.
1. Green Toys Dump Truck Set (with boat and sand toys) – Green Toys really stood the test of time over here. While other plastic toys broke quickly, our Green Toys trucks (and buckets and shovels) lasted for years. Dishwasher safe, and made from recycled water jugs, too.
- Green Toys Wagon Set (with watering can)
- Green Toys Bucket With Stacking Cups (THE best for babies – especially in the bath)
- Green Toys Dump Truck With Scoop
2. Nerf Guns – I know I’ll probably get some side-eye for this one, but Nerf Guns mean HOURS of imaginative play for my guys. Also, if you include the hypothesis creation and testing surrounding the best “armour”, as well as the accompanying fort-building, we can give this one a STEM nod, too. (Besides, it’s oddly satisfying, blasting away at one’s children.) Just maybe throw in a pack of goggles.
4. Hape Gourmet Kitchen – We never bought this for Pax, and I’ve always regretted it.
5. Mahalo Ukulele – Make no mistake, this is a real musical instrument. And the best (and richest sounding) kids’ guitar out there! Ours was recommended by a musician friend, and we LOVE it.