Holiday toys that inspire imagination and creativity and won’t end up in a dark closet! December 05 2014, 0 Comments


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As a gift giver to 5 nieces, 3 nephews, and my own spirited 2 boys – filtering through the amount of catalogs and gift guides to find that perfect & memorable toy to give during the holiday season is no easy feat.  I, like most moms, prefer to give toys that have lasting play value  vs. noisy toys that do all the heavy lifting of entertaining.  

If you are looking for brands that really do a nice job of crafting toys that nurture kids’ imaginations and creativity  - Hape, Janod and Manhattan Toy are some of my top picks!

But where to start and how do you know that you’re not missing out on the hottest toy of the season? 

Below are a few holiday toy recommendations (some classics and newbies) that you’ll want to check-out for little ones - all available at Pacifier stores in Minneapolis and on-line. 


  • Indestructibles ($4.95)– this isn’t new for 2014, but one of my favorite newborn gifting pieces, as it’s water-proof and tear resistant and has bright colors & pictures – babies can eat these (literally)!  It’s a great stocking stuffer.
  • TEGU magnetic wooden blocks ($110) these are simply magical – a great update to classic blocks that offers hours of innovative play.  My son has had a set for 2-3 years and we never tire of them.  It is pricey but worth the investment as these will never simply just sit in the closet.  They also offer great travel options that are less expensive (a plane ride staple)!
  • Music box record player ($44) retro toys are making a comeback in 2014 in a big way and The Music Box Record Player is one of them (definitely one of my childhood favorites)!  Great alternative to ipads, iphones and being plugged-in.
  • Haba Puppet theater ($50 - on sale at Pacifier)– this is so darling and well-made and fits into any door-frame. It allows your child to create endless stories and of course, put on a show!
  • Janod Stacking turtles ($26)– this colorful stacking toy is excellent for developing motor skills – kids can mix and match colors and stacks for endless combinations – a great puzzle AND stacking combo toy for little ones.
  • Oh Dier Proportional Counting Blocks ($30) - I just discovered these at Pacifier and fell in love. Made by a local Minnesota company, they are excellent for learning how to count. The 10 block is the same size as stacking the 8+2 blocks or 9+1 blocks together – genius!
  • Uncle Goose Elemental blocks ($34) - many styles of blocks are on this list simply because they can grow with you child (and you can never have too many sets).  Infants love the color stimulation and of course banging them together, while older kids can start to build more complex structures like forts and castles – you name it!  Uncle Goose makes some fabulous block sets – this one is the periodic table – they also make blocks in a variety of languages from Italian to Spanish to Chinese. 

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!