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All They Want For Christmas

By Amalah

My children are pretty easy to shop for. Because they want everything. You can set them loose in a toy store, pointed in just about any direction, and they’ll immediately find the One Thing They Have Wanted For Their Whole Lives, Or At Least The Last Three Minutes Of It.

(Though I admit my five-year-old did present a small challenge this year by asking Santa repeatedly for one specific discontinued Thomas the Tank Engine set. That he somehow saw on YouTube, what the hell. I found the [toddler-aged] set for sale secondhand for about a bajillion dollars, only to realize that we already own a good three dozen Thomas the Tank Engine sets that he never, ever plays with anymore, so instead of instant gratification we went with a drawn-out campaign of Redirection and Reasons You Don’t Really Want That and Oh Look At This Mind-Blowingly Awesome Toy Instead.)

Anyway. I know you’re probably completely burned out on Gift Guides and such, so we won’t call this a Gift Guide. More like a few items that my children MAY or MAY NOT actually be getting for Christmas, I will never commit either way. (I mean, YOUTUBE. HE KNOWS HOW TO FIND TOYS ON YOUTUBE.) Call it a guide to a few really amazing toys guaranteed to blow the minds of your average two- and five-year-olds.

Oh, and a chance for three of you to win any one of these toys for your own kiddo. Or someone else’s kiddo! (see below)


1) YBIKE Balance Bike, $79.99 at

YBike Balance Bike

I’ve been fascinated by the many options for a toddler-friendly balance bike for ages now. Instead of a traditional tricycle or four-wheeled ride-on toy, the balance bikes actually help small children learn the fundamentals of bike riding from the start, albeit SAFELY. The results? Better balance, motor planning and bilateral coordination, plus an easier (and possible training-wheel-free) transition to a real big-kid bike later on. And all Ezra wants in the world is a big-kid bike of his very own.

2) Razor A3 Kick Scooter $44.99 – $49.99, at Kmart and

Razor Scooter

I came to the sad realization, recently, that Noah has simply outgrown his truly fabulous Mini Kick Scooter (by Kickboard). It was a great little starter toy that gave him months and miles of fun, but he is now too tall and too heavy for it. So it will now get stashed away in a closet until Ezra’s next birthday, and Noah will also move into the world of Big Kid Things, with a junior-sized Razor. I mean, MAYBE. If he’s good. And Santa feels like it. I have nothing to do with any of this.

(Don’t forget to go up a size on the helmet and pads, too.)


3) Tegu Magnetic Blocks, $22.50 – $100, at Tegu

Tegu BlocksI first read about these blocks right here at AlphaMom, and had an immediate reaction of “holy crap, those are COOL.” Kids love blocks. Kids LOVE magnets. Parents love the socially-responsible story behind the company and the blocks and the added bonus of getting children in Honduras out of the dumps (literally) and into the school houses. Tegu sent me a set, which I immediately hid in a closet…until my kids fell asleep. Then my husband and I busted them out and got to building with them, and holy crap, these are COOL. (Update: because of the magnets, these blocks are recommended for kids aged 3+)

4) Lego Toy Story 3 Trash Compactor Escape, $34.99, at Lego and

Lego Trash Compactor

Aaaaaand on the other end of the educational, environmentally-friendly, small-business scale, we have…the omnipresent licensed-character Legos. Whatever. YOU try watching your preschooler sit on Santa’s lap and say that all he wants for Christmas is…”THE CLAAAAAAAWWWWW!” in a little alien voice, complete with a claw-like hand motion, and NOT buy it for him. Seriously. Try it. I totally sucked at it, because it was SOCUTEYOUGUYS.


5) KidKraft Red Retro Kitchen, $99,

Kidcraft KitchenYes, it’s true. We have so far avoided the purchase of the obligatory toy kitchen monstrosity, but no more. This is the year. Ezra’s our budding little chef and Noah wants to play “restaurant” and you know, I loved my own childhood kitchen from toddlerhood through grade school. I’ve always wanted one for my kids to love too.

Our biggest problem, as usual, was space. The toy kitchen would likely need to live in our actual kitchen, thus I refused to consider most of the plastic versions. We also didn’t want — you know — PINK. (Don’t even get me STARTED ON THAT.) Both boys (and I) feel DEEPLY in love with Pottery Barn Kids’ awesome red retro-style kitchen pieces, but oh! My God! The prices. I thought the wooden kitchen at IKEA was more our speed…until I realized that it didn’t include a refrigerator. (I won’t even lie — I saw that thing online and in-person but the fridge thing didn’t occur to me until we were practically standing in line to buy it.)

Enter our compromise: this adorable all-in-one retro kitchen from KidKraft. Winner of Creative Child Magazine’s 2010 Product of the Year award, and on sale for only 99 bucks. (It is on the small side, height wise, but given our space issue, we simply couldn’t commit to anything larger.) I’m not sure who’s more excited about Christmas morning anymore, me or my kids. Or…I don’t know. I’ve heard it might be a good one for them this year, but I certainly couldn’t say for sure.

Okay, now here’s the REALLY GOOD PART. Thanks to this column, I actually was offered a couple of my kids’ presents for free this year (a YBIKE and Tegu blocks). I still get kind of floored when this happens, and I always feel kind of awkward about it, because I can lather myself up into a nice froth of guilt over stuff like that pretty easily. Even though, DANG, who doesn’t appreciate a little help with the kid-spoiling around the holidays?

Nobody, that’s who. (Giveaway has ended. We have contacted the three winners and are awaiting their replies. Check your email inbox– and spam folder just in case– for an email from Isabel at Alpha Mom.)So AlphaMom wants to help you guys out too. Leave a comment on this post between now and Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. We’ll randomly pick three winners, and each of the winners can pick any one gift they want from this list — for your child, your future child, your grandchild or niece or nephew, your local preschool, whoever! We’ll contact the winners by email and get your choice of gift, and take care of the rest. Consider this our humungous sloppy thank-you for reading the Advice Smackdown and other features here at AlphaMom all year. (Sorry, but this giveaway is only open to readers in the United States.) (Legal: here are our official contest rules)

Here’s last year’s “Advice Smackdown gift guides” for babies and for preschoolers.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Clare

    I think I also have Toy Story Legos (and Duplos) in my future.  I saw those Tegu blocks here before, and they look super fun.

  • Kim

    I totally wish I known about the YBIKE before my son’s recent 2nd birthday.  I totally would have gotten that instead of the Skuut that he’s too short to ride yet.  And the Tegu blocks look super cool!

  • beanss

    YES!! I’m sure any of my 3 nieces who are under 5 would LOVE this. Or else as you say I could stash it for a while. 🙂

  • Amy

    My son just turned a year, so we aren’t ready for those toys yet. I’m on the fence on buying him any toys for Christmas. He seems really happy with a Starbucks coffee collar.
    On a different note, I need some ideas for gifts for older kids. I like to donate to Toys for Tots every year, and they always need toys for older kids (12+) who don’t want a Fisher Price piggy bank. For girls I go with makeup kits, but what do you buy a 13 year old boy that’s not electronic or a gun/knife/sword/etc.?

  • Heather Miranda

    Love this list! It’s so hard to think of gifts for a little brother who already has all of big brother’s hand me downs. Not to mention said big brother’s early January birthday, leaving me at a loss for what the heck he could possibly want after he already got it all for Christmas. Our boys are similar ages, so your suggestions are always a big help when it comes to finding something original.

  • Kim

    Wow, those are great toys! The retro kitchen is so so cute!!! And the bike- I always hated training wheels, ours were bent and it’s hard to ride a bike lopsided- it looks really cool. And who knew you could build poultry out of blocks? Awesome!

  • Amy J

    Those blocks look so neat!

  • Holly

    I love reading these kinds of reviews because it totally gives me ideas for what to buy my daughter in a few years – she’s only 9 months right now!

  • Michelle Joiner

    I love how having kids has made me feel like a kid again! I am counting down the days until Christmas because I just can’t wait to see them light up with excitement! My boys would absolutely love the YBIKE or the Kitchen. Such fun! Merry Christmas!!!

  • Becki

    I love these ideas! We have been searching for the perfect kitchen too. . . right now she loves mixing, stirring and pretending to feed her baby dolls. Too cute! 🙂

  • Becki

    I love these ideas! We are searching for the right kitchen for our little one right now.

  • Jaida

    Loving those blocks!!

  • Elizabeth Hosto

    Thanks for the great ideas, love the blocks and the bike and I would love that kitchen, my boys are all about cooking as well. Hope you guys have a great Christmas no matter what is under the tree!

  • Jenny

    Those gifts looks awesome. Amy, I enjoy reading your advice, especially since I have a son with some sensory issues too. Have a great time building with those blocks and playing in the retro kitchen!

  • Laura Fair

    My daughter would love the blocks!!!

  • Lani B

    The giveaway is AWESOME…except for the fact: how do you choose just one from the list of awesomeness?

  • The tegu blocks look amazing!

  • I would go with the kitchen. My boy is always playing with the fridge and trying to reach for the knobs on the oven. I think h;ed love his own set.

  • EB

    Those Tegu blocks are SO COOL!
    Not sure whether I’d save them for the hypothetical child or give them to the niece.. or give them to my husband so we can play with them on Christmas morning!

  • We have had the KidKraft Retro Kitchen for several years now and I can report that it is truly a good quality kitchen. Another bonus is that it provides a fair amount of storage space. A word of caution, allow yourself plenty of time to put it together!

    This year is the Christmas of Playmobil and Super Mario Bros. My kid has been asking for a toy Bowser from every Santa he meets, I am sure Santa and his minions are all “WTF?”

  • Lauren E. E.

    Those Tegu blocks are the stuff of my kid’s dreams. Please and thank you!

  • Jeana

    This is SUCH an amazing give away!  I would love to win the Tegu blocks for my three boys.  Or four boys if you count my husband, too 🙂

  • Natalie

    I LOOVE legos (having worked in a toy store all through college I am pretty good with them) but my little girl is two months behind Ezra and I just don’t think she could handle them yet…though it occurs to me now that it was probably Noah asking for the Claaawwww.

    I love the kitchen…we have a beat up one that was handed from my mom (it was once mine) to my aunt to my great aunt and uncle for them to use with their grandkids back to me. The thing is a piece of 25 year old fisher price plastic junk but I feel bad throwing it out and getting a new one only because it was free and made it through so many other kids!

  • Jenn Bo

    All of the suggestions are cool! The ones I most want to play with are the kitchen & the blocks. I had a wooden kitchen that kept me entertained for years.

  • Rachel

    Oh man, my 2yo would go nuts for a bike like that!

  • Alissa

    BLOCKS!  Oh how my kid loves BLOCKS!  Thanks for the awesome advice – I see a bike in our future, too…

  • Kate

    I think I need a bike like that for myself!

  • Therese

    Thanks for these suggestions, they are great! My son is about 6 months younger than Ezra and I have found your recs for toys for Ezra most helpful. My son loooooves the Laugh n Learn Puppy and Ball Popper (could that music be more annoying though? 🙂 that you recommended last year. We’ve finished Christmas shopping for this year but I definitely see some of these suggestions as birthday possibilities.

  • The blocks are awesome! I also am dying, dying to get my son a kitchen, but we have a major space issue. Bummer.

  • Kris

    My son just now showed me the great escape toy, right before I read this article. Perfect timing.

  • Lovely suggestions!  I have a hard time between the blocks and the kitchen set, because I want them both!

  • Laura

    I remember drooling over those blocks when they were first featured.  I would most likely pry them out of my children’s sticky fingers so I could play with them! 

  • aly

    those tegu blocks look awesome, but so does that kitchen!!!!

  • Sharon

    Oh my gosh, those blocks are awesome. Not that we don’t have 80 bajilion blocks in this house already, but… 

    Or a bike.

    Or… man, so much cool stuff! Anyway, pick me pick me pick me!

  • Chel

    I want the bike. I really, really want the bike.

  • See, these are things I never would’ve thought of. Can we go shopping together? Geez. I don’t know how to choose between those blocks or the bike though.. tough.

  • Wow, those magnetic blocks are so cool!

  • Kim

    I would love those magnetic blocks! They look awesome!!

  • Kailee

    Cute kitchen!! Growing up, I loved my little kitchen too. It was a nice gender-neutral yellow, and I cooked many a fine meal for my stuffed animals.

    Although, word of caution for your kitchen. I, too, got mine for Christmas. Santa decided to send me on a scavenger hunt for it since I was famous for waking up early and peeking at all of my presents! Santa put it together in our small, rarely-used half bath. The problem? When my dad tried to move it to my room, he found it too big to get through the doorway! So, it was taken apart and reassembled. I think that was my dad’s least favorite Christmas!

  • Karishma

    this list is AWESOME, amy. the boys are going to have an amazing christmas!

  • What a generous giveaway! I would love to win  the ybike! But those magnetic blocks are so cool too!

  • Jennifer R

    OMG! Those blocks! I love them so, but I can’t find an age recommendation anywhere. 
    Would love to get some of those for my 16 month old, but fear they may be above his age

  • Becky

    Those blocks are so cool (though I don’t think I’d be able to get them away from my husband to let the kiddo play with them).

  • I love those blocks!

  • Aimee

    I can’t wait until my son is old enough for a play kitchen. I have such fond memories of my pretend canned goods.

  • I haven’t had to buy gifts for kids since *I* was a kid, but my husband and I are moving soon, and will be near his niece and nephew. The little boy is 7, and I have NO CLUE what we’re getting him this year – maybe you will remove my uncertainty. 😀

  • Katy

    These are so cool! My son is only six months, but I can’t wait until next year when he’ll be able to really play with stuff.

  • Jen W

    Oh I love love love that kitchen. Definitely on my wish list for my boys.

  • Michael would love that Scooter. He also has a starter spiderman scooter that he has outgrown.

  • Lillian

    Ooooh!  Those tegu blocks look really cool.  

  • SavageAnderson

    Love the kitchen, we have a budding chef as well.

  • maya

    all that is so cool! i have a 3 year old son who would have a difficult time choosing!

  • Ann

    Attention toymakers!  Stop making toy kitchens, toy strollers, toy cribs, toy vacuum cleaners, etc. PINK.  Boys like those toys, too.  Green is a nice gender neutral color – I’m just saying.

    Thanks.  I had to get that off my chest.

  • So cute. I’ve been looking for the right kitchen for my boys, but haven’t actually made a purchase yet. That one’s great.

  • Nicole

    I want them all…for me! A 30 year old who has had the most pooptacular year trying to adopt and now deserves my own toy kitche. lol.

  • Meghan

    Excellent list. We purchased a balance bike for our 3 year old this year. I am so excited to give it to him. We waited 2 hours in line to see Santa at Tysons. We wouldnt have survived without my husband standing in line and my son being able to play at Pottery Barn Kids with their play kitchen. Oh I covet, but oh the price!!!

  • I literally JUST purchased a KidKraft kitchen about 20 minutes ago! Yes I went with the pink version because I have two girls. Love the red one though!

  • sarah

    we played with those blocks somewhere, and my two and a half year old LOVED them – and so did i…

  • Kelly F.

    Aw it would be so awesome to win one of these prizes, especially because my husband was laid off last week (and I am a SAHM). I wish we could get our kids more for Christmas, but the money’s not there. A free gift, however, that I win from Alphamom… WOW! That would be so great. I love the Tegu blocks.

  • sysmama

    My younger daughter would love that kitchen and the lego claw. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Lesley

    I love the kitchen! The other stuff is great too, but I’m gravitating towards toys that don’t have one and a half million tiny parts to pick up at the end of the day for my 17 month old boy. Pick me! Pick me!

  • Linda

    I would love those blocks and the KidKraft kitchen. My Short Man loves building AND food, so it works out perfectly. (And I just unintentionally made the World’s Worst Talking Heads joke. Bonus!)

  • Bethany

    I LOVE the magnetic blocks and the balance bike! Amazingly cool.

  • Kaela

    Oooh, pick me!! 🙂

  • Leigh Ann

    Great suggestions!

  • Kate in the Shade


  • Patty G

    Love the suggestions especially the balance bike and kitchen. I too fell in love with th pottery barn kitchen, but the price… OMG.

  • Kate

    Same issue with the kitchen – would love to get one for my son but we have NO room for it!

  • Kate

    Wow, those Tegu blocks look awesome. It’s such a perfect combo!

  • Merry Christmas! That kitchen is gorgeous!

  • Renee

    My son wants a kitchen. Daughter never cared for one. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world. Red (not pink) kitchen please!

  • NinaN

    Boooo!!!! What about your loyal Canadian readers?????

    Ah well…… Any idea where I can find a rainbow machine???? That’s what my 5 year old would like.

  • Just sent my husband the link for the bike. He can’t wait for our 2 year old to ride!

  • Megan

    Love the un-pink and un-plastic kitchen!

  • Christa

    Awesome giveaway.

  • Jennifer

    Those blocks are sooo cool!

  • I love them all. Seriously. I’d be happy with any of those toys. Great gift guide.

  • Those Tegu Magnetic Blocks look awesome!!

  • Adrienne

    Love the balance bike and the tegu blocks

  • Cassie

    My son is only 9 months old, but I’d love to have that bike waiting for when he’s ready. That looks cool!

  • Mavis

    My sister and I were JUST talking about where to find a reasonably priced and un-pink kitchen set for her two and five year olds. Because the toy box doesn’t make a great refrigerator, no matter what we try to make them believe.

  • Jenn

    Love, love, LOVE the kitchen. I know a little girl who’d go nuts over it. (Bet big brother would too!)

  • Monica

    Great list, I love discovering new toys. The blocks look awesome….although if i win this I’m totally requesting that kitchen set!

  • Layla

    That kitchen is fantastic, but those blocks are TEH AWESOMEZ.

  • Christy

    My son is 19 months and is already a hellion on wheels.  He would love a bike of his own.  Maybe Santa (or AlphaMom!) will bring him one.

  • Ooh, I want. I mean, I want for my kids. And possibly for me, too.

  • Trish

    balance bikes got popular a little too late for us but they are totally awesome

  • livlaugheat

    oh I would love the tegu blocks! for…the baby who can’t play withthem yet so I will play with them for him!

  • Mama likes the blocks!!!  YAY!

  • Ginna

    My 21 month old is so into blocks and magnets – those blocks look amazing!

  • Michal

    I want the blocks!!! and the bike!!! I mean, I want them for my kids…..really.

  • Kira

    The balance bike looks awesome.

  • Liz

    Jeez, those toys look amazing. Thanks for pointing them out for us! The blocks – wow, they take lego to a whole new level.

  • I don’t even know what I would choose!

  • Regan

    Got my older nephew a Strider bike a couple of years ago.  His little brother would love this version.  I personally would build an architectural wonder with the blocks!

  • Those blocks and that kitchen are cool. I bet my kids would love either!

  • Jackie

    Magnetic blocks, what?! Seriously cool.

  • LauraP

    The kitchen is our daughter’s one and only gift this year due to money being oh so very tight. She’s not even 2, so she won’t actually know she’s only getting one present from us. I was really hoping to get a nice wooden kitchen or something cool and retro-y, but alas, we had to settle for a kitchen that was super on sale and super plastic-y

  • Cecilia

    Your kids are scoring big time this Christmas! I love that YBike!

  • Laura

    Oh, I’ve been wondering where to get one of those Ybike things- I didn’t know what they were called! Friends of ours have one and it is SO COOL 🙂

  • Jen

    Ooooh! That exact kitchen was on our list for our two-year-old too (it is sitting in our basement waiting to be assembled as I type this), and he’d go crazy for either the blocks or the bike… and so would we!

  • The bike is the coolest bike of all bikes I have EVER SEEN.

  • Christina

    Pick me! Pick me!

  • Jen

    I’ve been eying the Tegu blocks for a while! But I recently saw the YBike and I know my very short 2 year old would love it- she can’t reach the pedals yet on her sister’s hand me down Kettler trike.

  • Jennifer B

    Ooh, I think we need one of those awesome bikes!

  • Samantha

    I have a two year old daughter who would love just about anything on this list. I’d have a hard time choosing!

  • Rebecca S

    Love all of these–it’s hard to choose what might be best… but those blocks are pretty awesome. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Catherine

    Oh, love the Tegu blocks. If I don’t win some, I am so going to buy them. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Laura jeanne

    I’ve had my eye on those Tegu blocks – my daughter would LOVE them!!!

  • Brooke

    Ooooh, the blocks look awesome. I can hardly wait for my current fetus to be old enough to play with them!

  • that kitchen is fabulous!

  • Sysha


  • Brenda

    So in love with both those toys, so out of reach this year.

  • Melissa

    I would luv luv luv the red kitchen set. If we have to have a little kitchen, it will definitely be this one!

  • I want free stuff! Mostly the blocks, though. And the bike. I’d love the kitchen, too, because the one I have is laaaaaaame.

  • Mindy Barker

    Toys just keep getting more awesome, don’t they?  Almost makes you want to have another one – oh wait, you’re doing that, aren’t you?  🙂

  • bouncy

    Those blocks do look very cool!

  • jennifer

    Would I have to share the Tegu blocks with my son? Those look so cool!

  • Lisa

    Looooove the little kitchen! My baby is only 14 months, but I can’t wait to get him a play kitchen. Adding the KidKraft kitchen to my wishlist now.

  • YetAnotherAmy

    Those toys sound amazing! I’ll have to remember this post when we’re buying for our boy due in March and our nephew.

  • Emily

    My son is also all about getting a big boy bike this year…and he’s 2 and a half. It’s so cute, but at the same time, it’s hard to find something appropriate for his age and size!

  • margie s

    Thanks Amy – last year’s ideas were ‘poifect’.

  • Kathleen

    Ohhhhh! My little one has a wooden balance bike under the tree, but I”m guessing it’ll be large for him still – those ybikes look so much more perfect (darnit!)

  • Kate

    I love those Tegu blocks, and the company’s policies are fantastic: I think I will be purchasing some this Christmas!

  • I COVET that kitchen. My daughter would have strokes if that showed up in our house.

    But the blocks and bike are pretty awesome, too. My daughter has an unparalleled obsession with magnets, and she’s nearly as fond of blocks as she is of magnets. I like the bike, too. She has one, but it’s made for a much older kid (even though she’s the right size) and has no idea what to do with it.

  • Homa

    Got a kidkraft kitchen last year for my daughter, she loves it. Ikea has awesome little pots and pans, btw (duktig, I think). This year we got her a balance bike from costco. The tegu blocks next year, perhaps? 🙂

  • Kelly

    Love the bike and the blocks!

  • Bear

    The magnetic blocks are for the children? Right. I can remember that. For the children. Check.

  • How would I decide?  The bike?  The Tegu blocks?  The kitchen?  So neat!

  • Oh, that kitchen is amazing! Can it be MY kitchen??

  • Melissa

    We have a balance bike (unused, so far) and are getting the kids mini-kick scooters, but those blocks! That kitchen! They all look awesome.

  • Miranda

    Thanks for the great gift ideas. I’m intrigued by the balance bike.

  • Melanie

    So many comments! I wondered what was in this post.

    Anyway, I LOVE the Tegu. And the kitchen. And most of the other stuff. I want to win them for my adorable cousins!

  • Oh what fun toys! My husband will certainly have fun playing… with my son… with the toys… with my son…

  • Lauren

    Super cool blocks!

  • Tara

    Great list!  I love those blocks!

  • Blythe

    Those Tegu blocks would rock my boys’ world

  • Diana

    My boys would never forgive me if I didn’t enter this one.

  • Brita

    What a cool idea. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • thisisrobin

    Great ideas for my boys. Thanks!

  • LeeAnn

    These are all great toys!

  • Britt

    Wish you had “the claaaaaw” video for us so we’d need to get him one, too 🙂

    LOVE those retro kitchens.

  • Elizabeth

    Count me in for these!! So excited about these ideas!

  • Lisa

    Not gonna lie, I totally want the Tegu blocks for me!  I promise to share nicely with my children.

  • Katie

    Some great ideas, thanks!

  • Ooh, I want the balance bike to reduce possible ER time when we teach the kids to ride big bikes!

  • My son would love that kitchen. We have one of the plastic monstrosities, because it was $5 at a yard sale (seriously, 5 bucks!), but it is huge and bulky and, yes, pink & purple. Getting it out of the house is my Christmas wish.

  • My son would love that kitchen. We have one of the plastic monstrosities, because it was $5 at a yard sale (seriously, 5 bucks!), but it is huge and bulky and, yes, pink & purple. Getting it out of the house is my Christmas wish.

  • Melissa

    We actually got my daughter a KidKraft kitchen. We were going to go for the retro red one – hubby and I were actually going back and forth about it – until we realized it’s short. Like really short. Like she’s not yet 3 and significantly taller than it is. So we went with the larger one (white and red – with a fridge and freezer) which was only about $25 more. She got it for Chanukah and is starting to really like it more and more. 

    Family got her play food and pots and pans to go with it. 

  • alexa

    I have a 2 year old that would love the kitchen or the toddler bike. Your boys are going to be happy campers Christmas morning! What great gifts.

  • I want the YBIKE Balance Bike for my neice!!! What a great idea!

  • Dana

    My 2.5 yr old neice would simply pass out if presented with the Awesome Red (her favorite color) Kitchen! Then she would make pretend pizza’s for her favorite activity, A Pizza Party. Complete with chocolate lolly pops for dessert. Not that I let her eat that stuff when she’s with me. Oh no. I WILL NEVER ADMIT TO THAT.

  • My daughter will turn 7-years-old on New Year’s Day and she would love the scooter.

  • Lindsey

    Great ideas! Next year can you do it before Chanukah, so I have some decent ideas for my boyfriend’s nieces? I was a bit clueless! 🙂

  • Amanda

    The lovely thing about having kids is the excuse to get a whole bunch of fun toys that you’d get funny looks for owning yourself.  They all look like a ton of fun.

  • Michelle

    I love reading these because our kids are almost exactly the same age (and I’m pregnant now as well!) Toy shopping at this age is so much fun!

  • Kelly

    Those blocks are sooo cool! I want some! I mean, my toddler would really enjoy them.

    Also, balance bikes are genius.

  • Julie

    My two boys have had a set of basic blocks for a few years now, and it is still one of the most played with toys we have. And now they make them with magnets? Brilliant.

  • Kelly

    There is a Strider balance bike waiting under the tree for our 17 month old (tho we have already let her test it – so cute!) I am loving the kitchen – I agree, when we get one, it’s going in our kitchen so she can cook with us!

  • Meredith

    My 8 mo. old just had his first Chanukah and enjoyed the wrapping paper more than most of the presents, but I love to see the possibilities for next year and beyond!

  • Ellen

    My 19 month old would LOVE that YBIKE!

  • Shannon

    We have major space concerns in our condo, but my daughter would flip for that kitchen. I’d sacrifice access to my cabinets to see her play with that.

  • Chaya

    That is hugely generous of you guys! My kids would LOVE that kitchen.

  • andrea

    Try Craigslist for the Kitchen if you are looking to save money. Found that same kitchen on craigslist for $50.

  • Heather

    Love the balance bike!

  • Olivia

    The bike looks really cool. Think I’ll bookmark it for my daughter’s 2nd birthday in March.

  • Bethany

    I too was on the quest for finding a kitchen set that wasn’t enormous or pink. Those blocks also look awesome.

  • Jessica

    We’ve also managed to avoid the play kitchen so far, but with my oldest turning 4 this year I want to get him one sooo bad. Unfortunately, we’ve found that he has no interest in pretend cooking/baking so we’ll have to see what the baby likes when he’s finally a toddler.

    I’m thinking those blocks would go over well at our house…

  • Katy R

    OMG magnetic blocks are genius!!

  • Carrie

    Oh, I never win anything, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right? I love EVERYTHING but I’m thinking I’d pick either the scooter or the kitchen set. My boys would love either one!

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks for the ideas. My two year old would definitely like everything on your list.

  • Laurski

    My daughter’s only 3.5 months old, but I can’t wait for her to have a toy kitchen! I have fond memories of playing with my cardboard kitchen…this one looks much cooler and sturdier. (Also, the bike and Tegu blocks? Awesomeness. I want the blocks for myself…)

  • Nicole White

    Loving that red kitchen! So cute!

  • Man, I want those magnetic blocks. How super cool are those?

  • Jodi

    My kids love blocks and bikes!

  • Julie V.

    Those blocks look really cool!

  • Susan

    Oh man, I thought I was finished buying presents for the girls. But those blocks look super cool.

  • Forget my son–I want to play with some of those toys. He’s too young (ten months) to really care about presents this year, thankfully, but next year I’ll have to come up with something good. Or maybe I should just leave the good stuff to his grandparents; they seem much better at picking out the mind-blowing stuff I would never buy.

  • Martha

    Awesome gift ideas – I have a little boy of my own who is a bit young for these but they are great ideas for the future!!  I’d love to win something from this – that kitchen is awesome.

  • Julie

    I want the tegu blocks for myself!!!…..but I’ll probably share them with my daughter. Probably.

  • Becky

    Very cool toys, Christmas will be fun at your house!! My son is just a few months older than Ezra and would LOVE that YBIKE I think 🙂

  • Becky

    What a great list with a nice variety of items. I would love that kitchen for my daughter!!

  • I have a feeling we’ve already gone overboard this year but it would be awesome to have the bike or the blocks for my “thinks she’s already 4” 20-month old.

  • Dawn K

    AHHH! LOVE the play kitchen AND the blocks!

  • Melissa

    I wish I had found out about that bike before my older son got a tricycle–this one looks way better!

  • Courtney

    Omigosh, I so want to give my daughter that awesome play kitchen. I made a DIY attempt at a play kitchen and it’s rather sad. When she’s old enough to know the difference, she’s totally gonna resent me for it. Save me from resentment!

  • Mary Kay Smith

    Very well written post! You captured so many of the thoughts and feelings parents experience this time of year, regardless of their kids’ ages and the toys they think they NEED!

  • Christine

    My daughter would love the bike!

  • I love that kitchen, and so will my nephews!

  • Emily

    Those Tegu blocks are genius. Pure genius. My daughter loves to build but gets so annoyed when her creations always fall down! She would LOVE those blocks.

  • Megan B

    WOW!! All of those toys look awesome! I want them all!

  • Julie

    Those blocks look super cool!!

    I wanted that kitchen when my son was little, but my parents ended up buying a plastic monstrosity at 18 months. And, actually, it has been great. He’s almost 5 now and taaaaallllll and it’s still big enough for him.

  • Mary

    Oh that kitchen is awesome!  We had an awful plastic Dora one that my MIL gave the kids. I had to take the batteries out of b/c it would randomly start singing in the middle of the night.  The doors would fall off, so yeah, not fun.  That red one is awesome though!!

  • Elizabeth

    If I win those blocks it will be really hard to share them with my six year old!

  • Shari

    Great list. My son would go ballistic over that balance bike.

  • Erin S.

    Ohhhh . . . the grandparents might just be giving our daughter that very same play kitchen! Love it! I think she’d love that balance bike too!

  • Mia

    I won’t lie, I kind of want one of those toy kitchens for myself, too.

  • Wow, that kitchen is so stinkin’ cute! They have so many cool kid toys out now it’s hard not to want to buy them all! Fortunately my little stinker is still young enough he has no idea what’s going on with this whole Christmas thing.

  • Lindsey Ward

    What a fabulous idea those balance bikes are!!!

  • Emily

    That kitchen is so awesome.

  • LOVE the kitchen and the blocks!!!

  • Jenn S

    the lego toy story set and the balance bike are so cute!

  • Andrea

    Magnetic wooden blocks! It sounds so simple. Why didn’t I think of that?! I want to play with them right now at my desk…or give them to a kid for Christmas.

  • Ooh, I am very tempted by that kitchen. And those blocks– awesome!

  • Rachel

    Those blocks are awesome; and I really wish that kitchen had been around when we were looking for one several years ago. Love it!

  • Those are such great ideas! I don’t even know which I’d pick.

  • EBR

    Obsessed with the YBIKE. How have I not heard of this before???!?!?!?

  • Dee

    You’re right – those are really cool toys! My daughter would love the kitchen and the balance bike and maybe the blocks. Ok, fine, she probably wouldn’t care about the blocks but I’d love them.

  • Joanna

    I saw the Tegu blocks here a while ago and bought them for my twins for Chanukah – they love ’em! Great for sticking to the fridge too…

  • Jennifer

    I think the blocks are awesome!  My 3 year old would go nuts!

  • Leah B

    The retro kitchen and the Tegu Blocks both make me swoon just a little bit! Thank you for the great list!

  • I love the red retro kitchen. And I agree, you definitely need a fridge.

  • Nan

    Great ideas here. LOVE that kitchen.

  • Katie V

    I’ve always wanted that kitchen, I mean, for the kids. Cool blocks and 100% supporter of the toddler balance bike, hence, my prodigy two wheeler biking children at age 2!

  • Jenifer

    We already ordered a kitchen…aaaaaand hey look – no fridge. How could I have missed that…

    hmmm…..could it be sleep deprivation or the fact that I am often too scared to open my fridge due to the developing alien life-forms in last months spaghetti?

  • Laurie

    We bought that kitchen for our son’s second birthday. He is now three and a few months and it is still awesome. It comes with a couple of pans plus we bought him a set of red Melissa and Doug pans that match perfectly!

    But I want that balance bike for him! And the blocks!

  • liz

    Wow! Those toys are awesome! I would love the kitchen for my little nephew. His mom’s kitchen has lots of stuff in the same color red.

  • lbh

    I want those blocks. For me. (I mean, uh, for my son).

  • Jen K.

    OK, need to go out and buy the Tegu blocks. My older DS gets mad at blocks that don’t stay in the precarious places he puts them. This may be the answer!

  • Saja

    My daughter has a Kidcraft retro kitchen, though a slightly different model. It’s her favorite activity by far. I loved it for not being garish plastic and having such a cool aesthetic. We also have a Kidcraft upholstered chair that she loves. This list is great!

  • Swoon, SWOON!! If we must specify to enter, my first impulse is the bike. But HOW WOULD ANYONE CHOOSE, HOW OH HOW??

  • Melissa S.

    Some great ideas! My three year old has asked for nothing but a kitchen for months now – he has absolute faith that Santa will have it for him on Christmas morning. (And of course, he will… can’t resist such blind faith in the magic of Santa!)

  • Ali

    Oooh, I really love those blocks!

  • Erin

    I’m about to have a little boy, and I’m already excited about the prospect of getting him a play kitchen! Love that it’s red instead of pink and sparkly!

  • Erin

    Love them!  Love you guys!  Happy holidays!

  • such a great list – I’m sure I’m going to be getting the Tegu blocks at some point – maybe my dad will spring for them?

  • allison

    the blocks are so cool & i LOVE the kitchen!! looks like your kids are in for an awesome christmas morning!!! 🙂

  • Dena

    My boyfriend’s nephew would love the blocks!

  • I’m wrapping up a box of Cheerios for my 10 month old to open on Christmas. She gets to rip wrapping paper and gets her fave snack! 🙂

  • lawyermama

    That’s the sturdiest looking balance bike I’ve ever seen – awesome, and thanks for the good ideas!

  • Sarah Boye

    My daughter would love the ybike!

  • Amy

    A chic, red kitchen play set? Yes, please! LOVE.

  • Amanda

    Like everyone – I think the Tegu blocks are just awesome.

  • Jillian

    Our daughters both have special needs — one is in a wheelchair and the other has Asperger’s — but the one thing they have in common is a passion for playing with the most random stuff around the house. A blanket, pots and pans, oversized t-shirts… just about anything finds its way into some imaginary world of fairies and princesses and such. We love to find new educational toys for them to play with, but they inevitably get incorporated in with the other stuff from around the house.

  • Amy-Beth Arnette

    Those Tegu blocks look amazing!! I would love a set for my children to enjoy!! I hope I win! Thanks for sharing your kid’s wish lists!

  • Sherry

    My daughter would LOVE the kitchen.  I’ve been on the fence about buying one.  I really like the one you suggested!

  • Rita Gerleman

    My children loved their toy kichen. I look forward to my new grandson enjoying one also. It is such fun to get back into gift buying for kids.

  • Jennifer Fox

    YAY!! I love the bike – my little one would love it!!

  • hydrogeek

    Oh man. I would LOVE those Tegu blocks! I mean…my kids. My kids would love those blocks! 

  • Laurski

    I love that kitchen! It totally blows away the cardboard one I had as a kid. The bike and the blocks also look awesome…I can’t wait until my 3.5 month old is old enough to play with these kind of toys…

  • Rebilou

    Thos tegu blocks are pretty cool. I’m betting my husband might like them better than my daughter.

  • julie

    Those tegu blocks look so cool!

  • Laura

    Cool stuff!

  • kerry m

    This is a super-cool list of items that my boys will love!  I especially like those Tegu blocks–my 6 yr old loves the “bad” magnetic toys, and with 1 year old twins, I just can’t let him play with them anymore 🙁  These would be a great compromise!  And the balance bike–awesome!  My big boys love playing with their plastic kitchen–it’s a great gift for anyone, even boys 🙂

  • How are you even supposed to choose??? Those are all AMAZING.

  • Chris

    I love those Tegu blocks!  I’m also a fan of the bike — how cool!  I know a few little boys who would love any of these toys!

  • gizella

    you know I love your show Amy….my little girl could sure use that bike. Now that she’s 3 and tall, scooting around on her little bike with 4 wheels is not working…

  • MaryC

    Awesome gifts! My daughter would love any of these.

  • Thank you!  Thank you!  I am torn between the blocks (though her Engineer Gramps would totally buy her those) and the kitchen (I hate pink).  

  • Susan

    The Y Bike looks cool, and that little kitchen is so adorable. I’m kind of itching to buy my 19-month-old boy a kitchen, but I’m resisting the urge until I see what kids of stuff he gets from the rest of my family. There’s only so much room in a house for plastic, you know.

  • Oh this is a hard one. I love that balance bike and the retro kitchen.

    But my son already has a balance bike at his dads house…so the kitchen.

  • Beth

    I’m LOVING the look of the YBike and the Tegu blocks, and I’m sure that my 6 month old son would love either at some point over the next year or 2!

  • Mi

    Oh my! My guys would flip over those blocks. The kitchen would be tempting as well, for one little guy I know.

  • Steph

    Our boys would LOVE the Ybike, though the Toy Story legos are great too!

  • Mia

    whoo hoo!  love the kitchen, are we are just about to buy one.  

  • Hillary

    Oooooh, pick me! Love the blocks and bike!

  • ooh those are cool blocks!!

  • Kim

    My baby is only 8.5 months old, but I’m just DYING for her to be old enough to play with all my favorite toys. Which pretty much guarantees that she won’t like any of the things I liked…

  • Great toy list. I really like the bike, but have to admit I kinda want the Tegu blocks for myself. 😛

  • Jackkay

    I can’t wait for Christmas this year either! It’s going to be a fun one with my 3year old and 16 month old. 🙂

  • MommaFergie

    Hmmm… They are all pretty KEWL. My favs are the balance bike and the kitchen. Endless amount of outdoor fun, or inside imagination station 🙂

  • Barbarella

    That kitchen is fabulous!!!

  • MAGNETIC BLOCKS?! I MUST WIN. Ummm to donate I mean, not for me.

  • Kristen

    These are awesome! Love the YBIKE.

  • Melissa

    thanks for the chance to win!

  • Liz

    How cool! We got him the retro kitchen 🙂

  • Nancy

    The Tegu blocks would be a huge hit at our house! The Claw thing is awesome also!

  • Katie H

    I wanted to give up entering blog contests since I always KNOW I will win…then I never do. But, this is one I just can’t pass up! My spunky little girl would love a balance bike. 🙂

  • These all look amazing and make me wish I weren’t already done with the Christmas shopping!

  • B

    I love those blocks- but my daughter would love one of the bikes!!!

  • Amy B

    Yahoooooo! Retro kitchen please!!!

  • Andrea

    My husband and I were just debating about what to get our toddler. This column is just what we needed!

  • Kammi

    Making a list of future toy purchases for my still-in-utero child. Those blocks and that kitchen are definitely making my list.

  • Awesome selection, Amy! So many great ideas to file away for next year… (I’ve already gone WAY over-budget *this* year)

  • Robin

    Cool beans! These are great gifts that my little almost-walker will love in the not-so-distant future.

  • Cathie

    My one year old would love the magnetic blocks!

  • Heather R.

    Commenting! Those look like really great toys. My husband and I mountain bike, so our little girl (18 months) has a hot pink balance bike going under the tree this year.

  • sara m

    The Tegu blocks are amazing and the kitchen is super cool! Even though I have a daughter, I too am trying to avoid the pink kitchen.

  • Linden

    Great ideas!  My son would love the kitchen and the blocks too…

  • redwoodmama

    Blocks or bike? Blocks or bike? Oh I hope I get to choose!

  • Ann

    Love the Y-bike! Such a good idea to set kids up for success with the transition 🙂

  • Kelly

    So many good things to choose from!! I think I am in love with those blocks!

  • Amy

    What kid can resist one of these gifts? Thanks for the suggestions and all your advice throughout the year!

  • Camille

    It would be the bike or the kitchen for my 21 month old daughter….if I’m honest with myself, its me that really wants the kitchen!

  • This is awesome timing as I have been meaning/planning to ask you to do a gift guide for this year mostly for the toddler set (augh, we’ve hit the ‘Barbie’ year for my 4 yo but the balance bike looks so cool. And the blocks! OMG Noah loves loves loves blocks! and magnets! and thank you for some great ideas for my little man!

  • R.

    What a great list! Excellent ideas. I wish I’d had that tricycle back when I was little… But the TEGU blocks are by far the best! 

  • Ally

    I think my son would love every one of these gifts…great ideas!

  • Vicki

    These are really inspired toy choices. I love them all an will use for future reference (my Christmas lists have consisted mainly of Spy Gear and DISNEY PRECENSSSESSSSS OMG)

  • Jessica

    I want the kitchen… for my kid, of course… not for me. No… not at all!

  • Love this list. My girls are a bit older, but really getting into building things and then playing house with them , so those blocks and legos seem great.

  • Julie

    SO cool – I saw the Tegu blocks on here before, and added them to my list for stuff that is cool that I will need to buy/do/make for my kids. When I have them. 🙂

  • Sarah

    Thanks for the great ideas – I’ve had my eye on a red play kitchen for my little guy also. Love this one!!!

  • Nikki

    Great ideas! Love the bike, love the blocks.

  • KT

    Dude, I just want those blocks for MYSELF 🙂

  • Those Tegu blocks look awesome! That’s what I’d pick. Also, my kids totally use the crap out of the little kitchen that we got three years ago & I’ll bet your boys will, too.

  • Heidi T

    Awesome gifts!  My 5 year old is very into the building stuff!

  • I know multiple small children that would love the YBike!

  • Heidi

    Sign me up! Love the list. Can’t decide which I like more, the blocks or the kitchen.

  • Katie

    Oh, my kids would go wild for those Tegu blocks! If my husband and I hadn’t already reached the absolute “we’re done, no more, approaching spoiled” shopping point, I would so buy them!

  • That bike is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! Plus, I think my husband would have an inordinate amount of fun with those blocks 😉

  • Renee N

    Yay for free toys!

  • Ok Amy, you officially win at Christmas. My 10yo is getting, I kid you not, a new backpack, lunchbox, and shoes. He’d much prefer that lego set 😉

  • SarahB

    Oh, man, I want all those things, and I am only seven weeks pregnant with my first child.  Those are all awesome.

  • Lacey K

    I would love toys for my new baby. 🙂

  • Casie

    Those magnetic blocks are such a great idea! So is the YBike! My son would get such a kick out of them both!

  • Pamela

    I want that kitchen for myself…

  • I have zero kids but suddenly all my friends have babies and/or toddlers. And I have no idea what to give them EVER. So ideas like these are priceless. I am in love with the kitchen and the magnetic blocks.

  • Rachael

    Enter meeee please! 🙂

  • Lacey K

    Your kids are too cute!

  • Renee

    I want to be entered!

  • Casie Sottosanto

    My son would love those magnetic building blocks!!!

  • Allison

    Ohhhh they all look great!

  • Sara M

    The Tegu blocks look awesome and both my boys (3YO and 18MO) would love playing with them!

  • Nicole

    I would totally get the bike for my boy, or the kitchen, or the blocks. Everything on this list looks so good!

  • Luba

    The bike would be awesome for my 3 year old boy! He’s got some gross motor delays and it sounds like maybe this could be a bike that he could actually ride!!

  • Really wishing you’d included the Lego Death Star, as that’s the Lego my son always stares at in the catalog and sighs over. At least we managed to convince him a while ago that Santa has a budget so we don’t have to deflect any “but I’ve been good and Santa is magic” complaints.

  • Those Tegu look really, really cool.

  • Sarah

    Great giveaway–I love the play kitchen! my kiddo’s not ready for anything like that, yet, but I can’t wait until he’s older!

  • Melissa

    Oh, I want the claw!!! I hadn’t seen that before.

  • Sharon

    I’ve never even seen a bike like that one – thats a great idea!

    And that kitchen – wow. That couldn’t go in my kitchen because it is MUCH nicer looking than my fridge 🙂

  • Mariah

    Your recommendations from last year for toddler toys made my now-2-year-old a very happy child. So thanks for posting more great ideas!

  • Fabs

    The lego set looks pretty darn cool! My kids both have razors but I believe at least one of them is pretty thrashed, so it might be nice to get a replacement. Decisions, decisions….

  • Kate

    What great ideas!  I love the kitchen and the bike!

  • Colleen

    That bike is awesome! My nephews have similar bikes from the Czech Republic and my boys have been obsessed with them!

  • Tina

    Oh my goodness! That retro kitchen is so cute, I feel like getting one and teaching my kids to like it, even though they’re 9 and 11, and use the actual stove/oven themselves by now 🙂

    And the balance bike is super. I just took the pedals off a little bike and sent them on their way!

  • Caitlin

    I’ve been looking for some recommendations to finish my little guy’s list…these are perfect! (especially the Tegu blocks. he’s obsessed with blocks. and magnets. so magnetic blocks just might blow his mind)

  • Jen.

    Oh… I like the Tegu blocks… *drool*

  • Liz

    The Ybike looks neat. My daughter LOVES her play kitchen. We use it all the time.

  • My daughter just turned two in November and we got her that kitchen for her birthday (in white, not red though). It’s a great kitchen, but it is shorter than I thought it would be. Everyone that comes to our house is forced to go to our daughter’s kitchen and pretend to eat a wooden can of soup.

  • LIbbi

    retro kitchen so adorable! and yes, your little ‘ra is a budding chef 🙂  i love building the hope chest for  my future baby (still waiting on that pregnancy to happen)

  • Katy

    Those Tegu blocks look like so much fun!

  • Jenn

    OMG – I am in love with the kitchen! and the bike! and the blocks!

    My son (almost 2) would adore that red kitchen…..

  • Christy

    Wow! Great Toys! Love the balance bike.

  • Elizabeth

    My three girls would LOVE for Santa to leave them one of these toys!

  • Amy

    Love the bike and the blocks!

  • Danielle

    Some friends of ours have the Kid Craft kitchen and apparently it took them six hours to put it together. But it is seriously cool!

  • Shelly T.

    The Retrocraft Kitchen! Oh how my little girl would love that kitchen! (And I’m pretty sure I’d have a ball playing with it, too!)

  • These ideas are really cool! I have two boys the same ages as Noah and Ezra so am totally into these ideas…love the blocks! And the Legos! and am drooling over the kitchen (KidKraft is such a great company – we have their train table and it rocks)! AND! My parents are planning to get my oldest a scooter – I’m sending them this link right now!

    Thanks for doing this!

  • Amelia

    I love the idea of the YBike, but I’m afraid my 2-year-old will take off down the street faster than my pregnant butt can waddle after him!

  • jan

    Wow, that kitchen is awesome!

  • karen

    i love those blocks!! . actually, my hubby would love those blocks

  • Karen

    Oh my word, I would have a hard time choosing between the kid-friendly bike and the blocks. The BLOCKS! We have three boys and no wooden blocks. We did once have a set of colored blocks, but the paint got gnawed off (boo on you, Melissa and Doug) so we got rid of them. The magnetic blocks are genius.

  • Melissa

    I don’ t even know where I would begin. I llove the YBike and the kitchen. We’re short on space too, but my girls would LOVE that kitchen. To pieces. And my almost-two-year-old would die over that big kid bike. Please pick me! Please. 🙂

  • Kim

    Those Tegu blocks look awesome. We’re getting our son a balance bike, too. Super-stoked about it!

  • Crystal Sheward

    I know my son would totally get into that toy kitchen! We don’t have a lot of room in our kitchen either but I will totally make it work. It’ll save me from continually telling him to get off the stool and move away from the stove because you will absolutely BURN THE FINGERPRINTS OFF YOUR FINGERS!!!!!

    My fingers are crossed that I get picked! 🙂

  • Deb

    Nice pics! Can’t wait to see pictures of the boys opening up their gifts (and would love a similar picture of my two-year old)!!!

  • LOVE these ideas! Practically drooling over the Tegu blocks and the kitchen! And, yes, my son would love THE CLAW, too! Going to look up Tegu blocks now!

  • K

    I’ve wanted to get my son the Tegu blocks since they were first posted on Alphamom! I even would watch the live feed during my lunch at work.

  • Elise

    I think the Tegu blocks look amazing! We’re hoping to start having kids soon and this would be a great toy for all ages.

  • Shea

    Love the balance bike! So sorry I have already finished shopping- but it will make a great birthday gift in March:)

  • kiki

    That kitchen is awesome (and so not pink!)

  • Kathleen Hoppes

    These suggestions are awesome! Sometimes I wish I was a kid again. Maybe Santa will give ME a scooter!

  • Nikki Pacheco Theard

    My inner child tells me that all these toys are awesome, and some lucky children will be thrilled to try their hands at cooking with the Retro toy kitchen set, or get building with the lovely magnetic wooden blocks. Feeling thankful for your gracious giveaway opportunity.

  • Jessica Sides

    oh my gosh I am so torn between the kitchen and the bike..*sighs*

  • Jill

    Awesome I definitely know some kiddos that would love this stuff!

  • Heather

    Those gifts look really great! I would have a hard time picking between them, but I hope I get the option 🙂

  • a

    Oooh… the kid’s just started pretend-playing, and I’ve been trying to decide whether it’s worth stuffing a toy kitchen into our very small apartment. There’s already a balance bike coming from Nana, even though we’re terrified at the prospect of putting our little daredevil on wheels.

  • Maggie

    Great ideas! I already purchased the Red KidKraft kitchen for my son for Christmas this year from Amazon. But when I purchased it it cost $110. Grrr! I love the bike!

  • Donna

    I can use any of these for my four grandchildren – the girls would love the red kitchen.

  • I’ve been debating the play kitchen thing as well. That one is absolutely adorable!
    I did see a few “do it yourself” ideas on how to make a play kitchen, would be way easier to win one 🙂

  • Suzy Q

    Hootie-hoo! What to choose? Very nice giveaway, sponsors and Amy.

  • Stephanie

    Love those magnetic blocks!

  • I have two sons and I want that red play kitchen for them SO SO bad. I’ve already put play food under the tree for the toddler and a play kitchen would be the BEST.

  • Helloheather

    What great options! Crossing my fingers!

  • Isabelle

    The Tegu blocks look amazing!  It’s so nice (and rare) to find a non-plastic toy option and to know that not only was it not built in a giant factory far away (likely by underpaid staff) but that you’re encouraging such a worthy cause!  Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Amy

    Those magnetic blocks look awesome! I think I’d enjoy those even more than my daughter.

  • Julie

    You can’t go wrong with a toy kitchen! My 21 month old son loves his. He routinely steals the real dishes out of the dishwasher to use in his toy kitchen, and was over the moon when Daddy gave him the emty cous-cous box to play with last week. He spent the next 15 minutes “pouring” from the box into his little pan, putting it on the stove, moving it into the oven, back to the stove, etc.

    Many of the rest of the toys are probably geared a bit too far above my kids’ age level, but he’d certainly love the tengu blocks, and those are a great toy that would grow with him! I may have to consider adding those to my shopping list…

  • Heather Ben

    We too are getting a kitchen this year. I went with a wooden one, it was more expensive but hopefully will last a while and looked much better than the plastic ones. Would love the bike!

  • Serenity

    That kitchen is amazing! We also have a space issue, and didn’t think we could ever make one work!

  • Kate

    I was just listening to a report on NPR about how you shouldn’t buy fancy gadgets for kids because they decrease imagination, and how simpler is better. But magnetic blocks? Fancy and creative! We might need to buy two sets…

  • Yeah I want to win the kitchen!!

  • CP Cherng

    Love your gift idea list – so creative, cool and FUN! We would love any of your ideas if possible! Thank you for the daily entertainment and inspiraiton! Happy Holidays!

  • Amber

    I love everything on this list! And more importantly, my three children (ages 6, 4, and 2 1/2) would love these things too! Thanks for sharing!

  • tadpoledrain

    Ooh, cool stuff!

  • Karen

    The balance bike and the blocks look especially awesome! Very cool gift guide, and I know my 21-month old (but is pretty sure he’s at least 4 like his awesome cousin) would really love them!

  • Emily

    My kids are the same ages and would love this stuff!

  • I didn’t really do any research on balance bikes before my daughter got a tricycle. If I could go back in time, I would have gotten her one of those instead.

  • Catherine

    The Tegu blocks look so cool, and who wouldn’t want to play in that toy kitchen? Too cute, love that it’s red!

  • Monica

    Love that red kitchen!

  • Brittany

    GAAAAAAH, I luuuurve me some magnetic blocks!!

    I would fight my kindergartener for them.  Seriously.

  • jill

    the kitchen is awesome, but my boy would *love* the bike.  I’m holding off buying him one until his next birthday, but seriously he would lose his mind.  Good gift list.

  • Ariel Mcgee

    Pick me, pick me!!!! I got my son a kitchen for christmas but this one is way cooler!

  • Lindsey

    Those magnetic blocks are insane. I want them! However, the YBike is pretty awesome as well.

  • Those magnetic blocks as so cool…no magnets to get loose and the are just perfect for creative playing…..

  • Julie

    that kitchen is so cute

  • Jen

    These are great.  Especially the Tegu blocks.  Love!

  • I actually looked into getting that same kitchen, but my husband had a fit that I wanted to get a kitchen for our son. I guess only girls are allowed to have play kitchens and dolls, while boys can only have toy trucks and guns. *sigh*

    What better way to convince him that a kitchen for a boy is not weird than to say, “but hunny it’s FREE”!

  • Melanie

    Our twins are too little for these yet (except the cool kitchen — they love their much-less-cool kitchen set, except for the disappointment that the faucet doesn’t actually produce water), but I bet their cousin would love that bike! Thanks for the great ideas!

  • Brian

    This is a great list! Well done!

  • Paige

    Great list! My daughter’s a bit young for most of it at 14 months. I was glad you put in a link to last year’s list, too.

  • Michelle

    Those blocks are so cool! The balance bike is too for that matter.

    I love your gift lists as I have 2 boys and get some great ideas from you.

  • Diana

    I can’t help it, the magnetic blocks speak to me….. I want them. For myself. And then eventually, after trying them out, for my goddaughter. She would love them!

  • amber

    What a hard choice! I think my son and my husband would build some pretty amazing things with those blocks!

  • I love that kitchen!

  • Karen G

    We totally just bought that kitchen for our daughter for all the same reasons that Amy mentions!  The blocks and balance bike little pretty darn cool too.  🙂

  • Jennifer

    Great stuff. I would be torn between the bike and the blocks. Hmmm.

  • Mara

    My son would definitely have to fight me for those Tegu blocks. Very cool.

  • Amanthus

    I’ve got my eye on that retro kitchen. If only my baby boy was older. Is five months to little? Haha! Nice list of toys. 

  • Amanda

    Why have I never even heard of a balance bike??? And here I was getting ready to buy a tricycle this week!

  • These are all great! I LOVE the little red kitchen, and the Toy Story Lego set!

  • I hate that thing where they tell Santa what they want. I just paid $20 for a MAGIC GRAVITY BALL that reviewers ASSURE me will be useless for my four-year-old. Useless!

  • Cin_D

    My 22 month old and 4 1/2 yr old would love all of these!

  • Andrea

    The bike or the kitchen sound AWESOME!

  • Tif

    So here I was, wondering again if Amy would do that nifty Gift Guide for boys – (I really need new ideas – as much as my 4 y/o loves Lightning McQueen, Christmas this year will NOT be sponsored by Disney) – and voila! Here it is – yay! Now, what to do about birthdays??

  • Abi

    My husband and I don’t have any kids yet, mostly because we are not more idealistic than we are young and poor, but to satiate my baby-lust, he will occasionally let me buy cute toys, like ikea’s felt food sets, and squirrel them away for ‘visiting children’ (or to olay with when no one’s looking). In return I let him buy lego sets, and we are both happy. Those magnetic blocks look fascinating, and although I could claim that if I won them I would give them to my nephew for Christmas, the truth is we would probably keep them and play with them ourselves instead. Because who doesn’t have fun with magnets? and want to help children in the Honduras too?

  • Emily B

    Yes, please!  I already went for the Tegu blocks for our son–he loves to watch the Tegu “genius” build things live by request at the company website.  But I’m sure one of the other lovely options would be a great addition!  Especially since we have a January birthday to celebrate, too.

  • Beatriz

    I would be split between the blocks and the kitchen. The blocks look super cool, but then my daughter already has Legos, and wooden blocks, and in some ways it feels like more of the same. I’m sure she would love to “cook” with me, but would we have the space? Questions, questions…

  • KristaMB

    Haven’t seen Tegu before, but those look seriously cool! I’ve been struggling with my 6 year old daughter. She mostly loves all things outdoors but has all the bikes, scooters, skates, etc a girl could need. And she never plays with any of her girly toys. On her list is a pony, a kitten, her own bathroom, a pool, and other non-possibilities Sigh.

  • Ree

    Woot! Legos are a no go for us but the bike and the kitchen look awesome.

  • Emily B

    Those blocks are awesome…so is the kitchen!

  • DC3

    woohoo!  Whoever thought to put magnets inside of blocks is genius 🙂

  • My kiddos are the same age. I like your playing “restaurant” versus just playing kitchen idea. I think I could get my oldest to buy into that one! Good picks.

  • Good picks. I like the idea of playing “restaurant” rather than just kitchen. I think my oldest might run with that one. Can a parent ever get enough of blocks, really?! It’s hard to imagine my kids’ room without them!

  • EKD

    We’d love some tegu blocks or the Ybike! My boy is only 9 months but he can grow into it 🙂

  • Julia

    Those blocks look amazing! My little guy is only 6 weeks old, but I’m tempted to get them just so I can play with them! Lol

  • Devin

    What a great list of outstanding toys… thanks!

  • Gayle

    Would love love love a Kidcraft kitchen, it is on next years christmas list already but would be awesome if I didn’t have to actually buy it. The tegu blocks are really cool, I didn’t even know they exsisted but I can see me buying them in the future.

  • Kate

    Great list! We gave in and got a monstrous plastic toy kitchen for our 19 month old son on Freecycle. I honestly don’t know where we’ll put it but it was free and it will hopefully allow us to be in the real kitchen for more than 5 minutes without a face melting tantrum because the boy really wants to cook!

  • Lady

    This would be sooo very awesome for my nephews bc I am very stumped as to what to buy them. A Kinect video game goes over the individual budget I had for each kid….sad….so I’d appreciate any help I could get in this dept!

  • Hannah

    My daughter is 2.5 and I would have a hard time deciding between the blocks, which she would LOVE right now, or the Razor scooter to put away for the future.

  • Sarah

    I love the Tegu blocks!! And that kitchen is so cute! I also loath the pink kitchens, do they think only girls want to play restaurant? Grrr..

    Thanks Amy for the great giveaway!

  • Shannon

    Wow, what a great giveaway! I agree that those tegu blocks look really cool!

  • Elizabeth_K

    Great list of toys, and I want the blocks!! (or my son does, you know)

  • Ali

    That kitchen is amazing!! I am making one out of cardboard after being sorely disappointed by the low quality high price of most kitchens available. But that one looks great!

  • We don’t have any of those things under the tree! In fact, I feel like a crappy Santa because, although we spent about $150, it looks like 3 little boxes. There are tag reader books and leapster games and a few Star Wars items. I would love to add a balance bike, maganetic blocks (great ot!) or legos! No matter who wins, thanks to these companies for spreading Christmas cheer!

  • Lucia

    OMG the kitchen is so cute, I’d be tempted to keep it. The nieces will just have to come over to play with it.

  • Love, love, love this list- thank you! I’ve been struggling what to get my 2 year old and this is sparked my imagination.

  • OMG!  My 19 month old would go nuts over those tegu blocks…  wow.

  • Amanda

    My daughter’s birthday is Dec 31, so we have to double our shopping around Christmas time to cover both big days. That being said, I love that little red kitchen and think she really needs it! And at only $99 it’s a steal.

  • LoriSB

    Those look like great toys!

  • Sharon

    Those Tegu blocks look awesome – my daughter would love them. Added bonus: husband will be entertained, too!

  • Megan

    Those Tegu blocks are super cool!! I think that’s one toy I’d end up playing with more than my son… 🙂 I think he’d love the kitchen, too – lately he’s been “manufacturing” all sorts of things in my tupperware, which he then feeds to his stuffed animals.

  • Hannah

    Until I saw that there was a contest, I was getting ready to boot up Amazon to just order everything. I mean, okay, my child is only 9 months old, but she might like the kitchen! And the balance bike! To put in her mouth!

    But now I will wait, patiently, to see if I win. If not, I’m totally buying everything anyway. It can live in the basement until she’s old enough. BECAUSE IT MIGHT BE DISCONTINUED AND WE CAN’T HAVE THAT, OH NO.

    I also second (and third and fourth) the thanks to all of the companies that have sponsored this giveaway. Thank you for making this a wonderful holiday season.

    Isabel: Thanks, but no companies are sponsoring this giveaway. This is purely being paid for by Alphamom.

  • We received a play kitchen last year for the kids for Christmas, and they play with it all time. It is plastic, though, and I originally wanted something a little higher quality, but who can afford a Melissa and Doug kitchen set? This one looks like a nice compromise! And I could totally use another one. 🙂

  • Karen

    Love the kitchen! We are trying to make space as well so this one might be a good option. Hopefully my daughter will climb this instead of the real stove (dangerous!)

  • Karlei

    It’s been a blast to pick out presents for our almost 2 year old this year now that he has actual interests and things he likes. These all look so fun!

  • shelly

    Um those magnetic blocks look amazing and so does the Kitchen!

  • I got my toddler the kitchen as well! I’m super excited about it! I’d love to get her the balance bike in hopes it’d help compensate for my half of her genetic make up and she might be able to ride an actual bike someday.

  • Alli

    Those blocks look awesome – I want some!

  • Ann

    I know my super active 2 year old would love the bike, that’s for sure. These toys are great gift ideas!

  • Colleen

    Everything is so cool, but I love the bike best!

  • Maya

    My little guy would love that bike since he wants to do everything his big sister does. I want the blocks. Happy Holidays all!

  • Kel P.

    I have a 5 yr and a 2 yr old (who thinks he’s 5). The 5 yr old wants everything she sees, so she’s easy to shop for. The 2 yr old is more complicated because does he really need MORE dinosaurs and trains? Yes, he evidently does.
    That kitchen is so cute.
    We got a blue one from Target a few years back and it was well worth the 100+ dollars we spent on it. It’s held up remarkably well and I’m slowly trying to convince my daughter to move it to her brother’s room because her room is just crammed full of stuff. She is not the slightest bit open to this idea.

  • Sarah

    I’m so glad to hear you’re considering a kitchen for your boys!  I have an almost 3 year old, plus a baby girl on the way, so it’s something I’ve been considering…but like you…did NOT want a pink one.  🙂  I’ll definitely look into this one.

    Also, that Lego set and the blocks?  So cool.

  • Amy K

    Oh wow, my toddler would absolutely love any of these toys!

  • Cathleen

    My son really wants the Trash Compactor Escape. That part of the movie traumatized me. Kids loved it, I was crying. I guess I have to get over it!

  • Joy

    I want that kitchen for myself!

  • I’d go for the bike for my almost two year old. He has been so hard to shop for this year.

  • Jacqueline

    I love all of those gifts! Those blocks look like fun!

  • Karol

    What a great list! And I love the Tegu Blocks idea. That would be perfect for my 3 year old! Can wait to buy!

  • angela kennedy

    Oh my gosh, LOVE that kitchen!

  • Maureen

    My son has a balance bike at his preschool and would LOVE one at home. Thanks for the contest!

  • Tara

    Love the kitchen find! We’re not quite there yet – our little guy is only 10 months – but I’ve always hated the ugly plastic ones. Nice to know there’s a good looking, affordable alternative!

  • Kristi Herting

    That is just the coolest kitchen ever! And the blocks – wow! I really love toys – and I’m the mom!

  • Those tegu blocks are awesome. I am not sure who they would go to, my 2.5 year old, or my husband.

  • Liz

    Great list of toys!  Thanks for all the great info, as usual, Amy! Hardly anything better than Christmas morning with little ones. Can’t wait!!  Brings back so many memories of the magic and excitement of my own childhood.  

  • Jen

    Cooll stuff!

  • Amber H.

    I love those blocks! But my 2 year old would be in heaven with the toy kitchen. Great giveaway! Thanks!

  • ooooh pick me pick me!!!!

  • S

    We recently got the red kitchen for our toddler, and it’s a HUGE hit! Thanks for the other ideas.

  • I’ve never seen those blocks with magnets before but holy cats that looks fun to play with.

  • W

    Dude I want those blocks for myself!

  • Emily B

    Those blocks are awesome! My kids would love the kitchen too!

  • Mona

    I LOVE the balance bike and the retro kitchen. All are great ideas though!

  • Julianne

    I love all of these toys! Especially the blocks. I try to get my little boy as many open ended type toys as I can partially to promote creativity and also because they tend to grow with kids better than a lot of the branded stuff does.

  • Special K

    How would you ever pick? Magnet blocks! Kitchen! Roasted Mr. Hamm!!!!

  • coleen

    is it wrong that i have a 16 month old and have never heard of a “balance bike”? crap!
    although, as cool as that thing is, truth be told i may need to go and get those blocks… (and, stop it- we love reading your posts, you don’t need to give us stuff!)

  • Tasterspoon

    Oh ho ho! Our daughter will barely be two months old, but I can see these going over big with her cousins!

  • Heather

    Those Ybikes look so cool! WANT (even though my son is only 13 months). He’ll grow into it 😉

  • Mary M

    We were going to get our daughter a tricycle for Easter, but the balance bike is intriguing. As is the kitchen. Too many choices!

  • Alicia CP

    Boy toys! 

  • Poppstarr

    Whoo hoo! Merry Christmas! Those magnetic blocks are awesome!

  • Rachel D

    Those magnetic blocks look like so much fun! Love the cute kitchen too.

  • Beth

    We got our son a play kitchen for his second birthday this year- also a KidKraft, but not the one you highlighted (it WAS kind of hard to find a reasonably priced kitchen that wasn’t pink or plastic!). I really didn’t want to add a big, hard-to-move toy like that to our small house, but I love to cook and he loves to help me and it was just THE perfect gift for him. “MY KEETCHIN!” he squealed gleefully after he saw it, over and over again.

  • Heather

    The Tegu toys look pretty cool. I’m sure I’d take good care of them until my 6-week-old is big enough to play with them!

  • Deidre

    The bike is super cool, I was looking at the strider one for my nephew, but I might switch over.  I was wondering why this post has over 400 comments, giveaways, does it every time.  Thanks for the great ideas, I’m an aunt, not a mom so it’s always hard to find age appropriate toys.  

  • Robin

    Tegu blocks! These are such a cool creation, why had this not been thought of before??

  • Rachel

    That retro kitchen is my favorite! Thanks for the great suggestions.

  • E’s Mommy

    Such a fun contest! I’m sure my boys would love one of these toys.

  • Kari Weber

    I LOVE the bike! My 20 month old loves his brothers Big Wheel but is alas… too short for the pedals.  This seems like a great compromise! And super cute!

  • gsy


  • Sally

    My little guy really needs a kitchen set, mommy’s kitchen is a little too big 😉

  • Wow, lots of comments! I like all of the presents, although I gotta say the picture of the 1st one looks like something out of a bad ’80s movie…

  • Myssie

    Those blocks do look super cool!

  • Kate

    Those are some awesome gift ideas. I wish I’d seen these before I finished my shopping!

  • JCF

    Cool! We have two sets of the Tegu blocks (as gifts from a super-generous friend), and we LOVE them. I love the balance bike too!