The whole family is getting a little board game crazy and Catan: Junior has been a great entry point. We all can play, no reading is necessary, and like so many of these euro board games it requires planning ahead and stragety, not so much luck. They play fast, which is great for keeping it fresh. They are so well made and have very pleasing pieces to hold.
I am a huge fan of all of the Usborne books. I went to architecture school and have a lot of those old books still on my shelves, but I wish I had See Inside Famous Buildings back then. The flaps make it fun for the younger girls, but the text is full of really interesting info—great for older kids. There are a few of these books in the flap series and we love them all.
The Fujifilm INSTAX MINI
is soooooo good. It teaches the kids to use film wisely and the look on their face when the photo just pops out is priceless. I need my own for sure.
Tear Up This Book! has been a huge hit. We had to buy 3 copies. It's by the crazy talented Keri Smith (of Wreck this Journal and How to be an Explorer of the World fame) and is FULL of stuff to do. It's creative, wonderful, and clever.
I already wrote about this game, Timeline, but here it is again. I just love it so much. It's addictive and now that we have had it for about 6 months, I can see just how much history they have learned from it. A whole lot, I tell you. "The invention of weapons is always earlier than you think." There is a new version I just got and one on the way.
What is it about these Skip Hop Zoo Lunchies Insulated Lunch Bags? I mean, I do love them, but my girls and all their friends adore them. They also make matching backpacks and roller luggage. They are so cute, well made, and I probably would have bought one when I was in college for myself. There are a lot of animals to choose from (which means Sadie collects them) I'm not saying how many we have in this house.
I hope this list helps. I know it's nice for me to look back and see what toys/books/stuff seemed really worth our money and I love hearing from friends about what their family has really enjoyed and loved over the years. I've linked all these to amazon, but I think most of these things you can buy in your local toy/book/game shop (except maybe the camera?) Portland is full of amazing indie shops—I am so lucky to have them here.