This week's Works for Me Wednesday is a themed edition: Toys That Are Actually Worth Buying (presumably for Christmas).
Big shocker here, but I won't be offering any Barbies or My Little Ponies. The only thing I know about girls' toys is the whole Bratz sensation...and the only thing I can say is that if I had a girl, I wouldn't buy them.
When Mini me was three, my uncle gave him a very small figure "8" wooden train set for Christmas. He played with that thing like you wouldn't believe -- it fed his little boy-brain that wanted to build and tear down constantly. So the next year, we invested a little more and got him a full set. We didn't see any need to spend the extra just to get a name brand (like Thomas), so we just got him one from Target that I think cost about $40.
That set, and later others, successfully developed in this child a love for trains and "designing the coolest track ever!" They still play with this set (Mini me is now almost 11 years old!) and we have since supplied them with other pieces of buildings, a train station with lights and sounds, etc. to add to it.
Sidenote: although the tables are kinda cool, we refrained from buying one. I'm really glad that we did refrain; most of Mini me's tracks have been some convoluted shape that would never have worked within the confines of a table!
At least for my boys, this has proven to be the most beneficial buy in many, many Christmases:
So make some tracks over to Shannon's Rocks In My Dryer for more worthwhile suggestions!