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Notes from Nugget Island

Holiday Gifts in Review
Posted 1/9/2013 9:07:00 AM

Chrismukkah is over at our mixed-marriage residence. Please ignore those lingering decorations. It's time to call out just a few of the Santa (and Hanukkah) successes of the 2012 Holiday season.

Disney Apples to Apples

Disney Apples To Apples – Surely, you have played the adult-targeted version of this game at a party or two – possibly under the influence of an adult beverage. “Disney Apples To Apples” down-ages this word association game so the whole family can participate and integrates pictures from almost every Disney property – including Parks, Pixar, Princesses and tween TV. We have been playing this non-stop since Hanukkah and it has become an instant favorite for our 6-year-old.

Star Wars Princess Leia Fashion Set

Star Wars Princess Leia Fashion Set – Most parents of Disney Princess-loving girls have spent much time helping dress the rubber-dressed, Polly Pocket-esque Disney Princess mini-figures. This Disney Parks “exclusive item,” also available on Amazon, gives Princess Leia the Disney “fashion set” treatment with a slew of clothing and hairstyles from different ‘Star Wars’ films. No matter how hard those rubber clothes are to put on, I will gladly support my 6-year-old’s interest in this property.

Lite Brite LED Flatscreen

Lite Brite LED Flatscreen – Lite Brite lives on! A staple toy of my '80s childhood, this toy has been downsized to an era-appropriate “LED Flatscreen.” It still comes with the same multicolored pegs we know and love (yet hate to step on) as well as the black slip-in sheets to create designs.

Lego Duplo Creative Cakes

LEGO® DUPLO® Creative Cakes – My two year old loves two things: Getting her hands in my older daughter’s LEGO Friends and celebrating birthdays – fake or not. This DUPLO kit keeps her away from her big sister’s creations while letting her have some birthday make-pretend play at the same time.

Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set

Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set – This playset lets kids “bake,” “decorate,” and “serve” cookies. My children have had their eyes on this toy since seeing it at a friend's house, and I was happy to add a solid wooden toy set to the mix.

MindWare Pattern Play

MindWare Pattern Play – Nothing beats some offline, old-fashioned block play. The Pattern Play set comes with 40 rainbow-colored blocks to assemble. Just choose a pattern card design to replicate and fit it into the wooden tray. While I am sure there is an “app for that,” it is nice to see my daughter disconnecting from the screen for a while.

Cinderella Toddler Doll

Cinderella Toddler Doll – My two-year-old daughter can often be seen swaying through the house warbling her rendition of Cinderella’s “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” in her sister’s flashing “glass” slippers. So, yeah, she loves her Cinderelly. Instead of a Barbie-style doll, Santa brought her a larger-sized Cinderella Toddler Doll. While it may not exactly align with the story – Cinderella wasn’t exactly wearing her crown and blue dress as a toddler – I don’t think that is going to stop her from carrying it with her everywhere she goes.

LEGO Friends Adventure Camper

LEGO Friends Adventure Camper – The LEGO Friends argument is played out at this point, but my stance is “if it gets my girls into the LEGO brand, I am down.” This was one of the most enjoyably intricate sets we have built, and temporarily left last year’s camper gift from Santa (Barbie Sisters Family Camper) in the dust.

Journey Girls Wheelchair and Crutch Set

Journey Girls Wheelchair and Crutch Set – The rite-of-passage known as American Girl Dolls has fully infiltrated our house. It’s great to have brands like Journey Girls that offer less expensive 18” doll accessories. This wheelchair and crutch set has been a hit on the block and a central part of our daughter’s American Girl playtime since Medical Orderly Kriss Kringle delivered it on December 25th.

Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Songs Palace

Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Songs Palace – Fisher-Price’s classic Little People brand meets the ubiquitous Disney Princess brand in this musical dollhouse-style toy. My two-year old has already spent hours with this toy, warming up for her eventual full-fledged Disney Princess obsession.

Posted By: Matt Siden  

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Welcome to Our Newest Blogger

Nugget Island

The Daily Parent is thrilled to welcome blogger Matt Siden of Nugget Island. Matt blogs about all things kid culture, from books and movies to apps and live shows. He's a dad and husband who loves experiencing new things with his own “little nuggets.” For 15 years, he's been writing and researching children’s products and entertainment. As a self-professed pop culture junkie, Matt is already (inadvertently) molding his daughters into ones as well, but under the strict guidelines that any media and products they consume must have quality and authenticity. Whether sharing his thoughts on media and toys or trying to spot a new trend, Matt hopes to make this blog a useful resource for caregivers who want to give their kids the best media available today.