Call me curmudgeonly, but I’m not exactly fond of the idea of Vivi handling my tablet unattended. Sure! She loves the thing, there’s no denying that. She even asked Santa for one of her very own and Santa wrote back with “Try again kid.” There’s no arguing that kids and technology are kind of a must these days, but technology is still really expensive and breakable while wooden blocks and balls are super affordable and rarely ever break.
When Addie was just shy of her third birthday, I snuck a Leapster into my shopping cart while it was on sale. Oh! Remember the days when you could shop for Christmas gifts right in front of your kids? I knew she was still a bit young, but we had a big trip planned and I figured it would be a good distraction on the plane. By that point she had outgrown the long term appeal of toy cell phones but wasn’t quite ready to have an iPod or touch screen cell phone of her very own. That Leapster (and later the LeapFrog TAG pen) were easily one of the best long term toy purchases I have ever made. She still plays with them to this day and she’s almost 8. They have survived freezing nights and scorching summer days in the car, numerous drops, bumps and tumbles and they still work just as well as they did nearly five years ago.
Obviously technology moved past just phones and handheld games straight into tablets, and if you’ve ever seen a young child use a tablet, you know why they’re pretty great for kids.
We’ve had a LeapPad for about two years. Addie’s favorite thing to do with it is take pictures and make collages and stories about each of us. Now that Vivi is rounding the corner into the “I want to do, have, and touch everything my sister has” phase, we’re finding it a bit tricky to find toys that they can both play with and both stay entertained with, especially in the back of the car. When we added the LeapPad 2 into the mix, the old LeapPad went across the backseat to Vivi who loves to draw with the stylus and poke at the little animals on the screen. Addie is happy on her side of the car because she can play math and racing games. While they’re a bigger expense than most toys, I learned from our Leapster that they are built to last through what little kids can dish out. Also, knowing that Addie has as much fun with it as she does at 8? Only means Vivi has at least 6 more years minimum of growing with, and into, the LeapPad 2.
Long term toy investments? Two thumbs up.
Do you know a deserving family, school, or charity this holiday season? We’re giving away one grand set of 20 toys from Target, including those mentioned in this post! To nominate, simply comment and tell us why you’ve selected them!