4 Toys Amazon Missed

by Kelsey Norwood

in Reviews

Have you seen Amazon’s Holiday Toy Guide for this year? It’s pretty bad. I had to look for several minutes before I found something I would even consider buying for my kids. Most of it is noisy, plastic, electronic, or just plain junk.

I’m not sure who is buying all that garbage when there are gobs of great toys out there that kids actually love. If you need some ideas, I’ve got 4.




If you’re looking for something more interesting than regular brick shaped building block pieces, Zoobs are it. Zoob sets have 5 different piece styles that snap together in 20 different ways to rotate, extend, spin and more. The pieces move after they’re connected so a child’s creation can really be played with and enjoyed.


These are the shapes and colors included in the 250 piece Zoob set. Each is slightly different and putting them together is a easy for big and little hands.

The set comes with an instruction booklet for beginners or children who like to have a picture to follow. My boys always like to start out building with instructions but they always end up creating their own imaginative designs.


Crowns all around!

plastic building toy

Zoobs are extremely wearable.

snap building toy

The pieces are colorful, durable, and simple to use. And my personal favorite feature: large enough to NOT be a choking hazard for my baby! They’re perfectly safe to have strewn about the floor! Good thing, cause they almost always are…

I’ve found these pieces everywhere imaginable in my house. My boys have been building swords and other weapons and playing with them all over creation.


A set of 250 is $32 on Amazon – and SHOULD be on the Holiday Toy List!



I was honestly not sure about these since they’re just rectangular wooden blocks – about 4 1/2″ x 1/4″ x 1″ in size. So simple, so basic, I wondered if they would be all that interesting to my boys.

I guess I forgot that simple and basic are the elements of the perfect toy.

classic block toy

From the moment these came cascading out of the box, they were a gigantic hit. It was almost laughable how thrilled my boys were to play with 200 plain pieces of wood.
wooden blocks

The set comes with a booklet of awesome ideas that really got my boys thinking and ready to build. The book is full of amazing structures that are so easy to build with these perfectly shaped and balanced pieces.

building blocks toy

We started with two simple designs that these two had a blast building and rebuilding all on their own.


A snake! I honestly didn’t think such a large and complicated design would be possible to build with only these simple wooden blocks, but Elliot did it! So amazing!

Citiblocs don’t use glue, snaps, connectors, or magnets, nothing but gravity, balance, and imagination. The specific size and weight is perfectly designed for building structures that look so complex but are actually quite simple and easy to build.

And fortunately for us, CitiBlocs are certified safe and non-toxic. Whew! Because as hard as I try, my 8 month old is constantly getting into them. Must be their refreshing foresty smell.

CitiBlocs are one of my favorite things – there are bunches of different sets but all are consistently high quality, simple, pieces of beautiful wood that kids never tire of.

The set of 200 is $30 on Amazon.

Kinder Blocks


This is a must have for all kids – a basic set of classic, chunky, solid wood blocks, perfect for small hands to stack, chuck, build, and improve those motor skills.

There are only 37 Kinder Blocks in this set, but I promise, it’s all you need in a basic set for toddlers.


These blocks are perfectly chunky, smooth, and beautiful. They make lovely music when pounded together or crashed in a heap, and the shapes are perfect for building all kinds of interesting creations…like this mouse!

Linus pulled out the 1 page instruction sheet included with the set and got right to work building this cute little mouse. He knocked it down, built it again, knocked it down…over and over. His favorite pieces are the cylinders. They bang together so nicely!


Next he wanted to build the fish – so clever! He removed and replaced the spines on that fish a dozen times.


This isn’t just a great set for toddlers, it’s so much fun for my older boys too. Endless fun and creativity is what you get with a basic chunky block set like this one. And again (I’m starting to notice a theme…) these are perfectly safe for a crawling baby. He loves these fiber filled blocks just as much as anyone!  (He’s not pictured because…he tends to cause problems, if you know what I mean…)

Kinderblocks are only $16 on Amazon.

40 Trick Magic Show Kit

OC340_40 trick kit_REV_FILM

I’m deviating from my building toy theme, but there are a few other toys I like. I do want them to continue being creative even when they’re not building soooo….MAGIC!

A quality Magic Show Kit is another childhood staple. Every kid should learn and perform at least a few magic tricks! This is a kit full of tricks, 40 in the instruction booklet and an unlimited number of others in their imaginations.

This fun set comes with 4 fuzzy balls, 3 cups, 1 magic mystery deck of cards, 1 thumb tip, 1 levitation tool, and the instruction booklet.


The tricks are easy to learn and so much fun for kids to perform. We have a little magician in the making…he’s watching and learning.

Starred Photos25

There are plenty of  tricks to choose from in this set, but we have two favorites – #1: disappearing balls. In this trick, my little magician puts a green ball on the top of a cup, stacks all the cups together, and the ball miraculously drops through the cup and onto the table! Then two balls pass through the cup, then all three. Amazing!

Starred Photos26Our other favorite trick is the disappearing tissue (or fabric scrap). You see the fabric in his hand, he stuffs it into his fist and…ALAKAZAM! POOF! It’s gone. With a few magic words and some fancy hand waving, the fabric scrap reappears out of thin air.

This has been so fun for my boys to practice their tricks until they’re good enough to trick people. It has taken them quite a bit of practice that they were excited to do. I love watching them work at improving their magic skills.

This set is 15 on Amazon.


These are toys kids will absolutely love for Christmas this year – they’re some of our favorites and we know you’ll love them too!

{ 1 comment }

1 Amy October 30, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I was pretty surprised at how bad that list was myself. Lots of junk that would be played with for all of five minutes. Thanks for the zoobs recommendation. I think my little guy will love those!

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