Everyone has heard stories of the child more delighted playing with the box the gift was packaged in than with the gift itself. Keeping some simple tips in mind can help the well-intended gift giver to avoid this cardboard box phenomenon. First, the gift has to actually be more appealing than the box.

Toys that win out over the box are ones that will give the child obvious reasons to play with them as soon as they are opened. Avoid toys and games that require too much explanation or setup time before being ready for play. Children love the boxes because they are free to use their imagination when playing with them. Be sure that toys and games allow plenty of room for creativity and self-expression.

Finally, the toy has to outlast the box. Choose toys that are durable, check for warranties, and check to see if they have already been replaced with a newer, better version.  Read more about choosing toys for you children.

Check out the list below for toys that will be sure to win out over the box:


Ohio Art Company Big and Big – large playmat features bright colors, and bumper pillows. Bonus: pillows detach for variety of uses.

Nuerosmith Touch ‘n Sing Blocks Farm Animals – colors, textures, music, and animals no baby could resist

Sassy Infant Gift Set – sense stimulation 4 piece set includes trumpet, phone, rattle, and suction toy

Age: 0-2

Tek Nek Rockin Rider Legacy Grow With Me Plush Animated Pony – pony talks, sings, and neighs; starts with safety seat as a rocker and grows to a bouncer for the more experienced rider

VTech Alphabet Train – 12 learning activities in a train set that moves and “talks” teaching letters, numbers, phonics, and more

Fisher Price Laugh N Learn Dance N Play Puppy – adorable dog sports brightly colored overalls and laughs along with your child while teaching letters and numbers

Age: 2-4

B. Parum Pum Pum Drum – shakers, maracas, tambourine, bells, and drumsticks all store inside the drum with carrying strap

Maxim 100-pc. Color and Natural Building Blocks – in varying shapes and sizes, children can create their own unique castle, city, and everything else they can imagine

VTech Ride and Learn Giraffe – for the toddler always on the go, encourage learning while burning energy, the faster the child pedals, the more they learn

Age: 4-6

VTech Inno Tab – VTech’s addition to the tablet craze, durable design, pink or blue option, additional downloadable apps, plays video and mp3

Leap Frog Tag Learn and Love to Read Set – for the early reader, all they need to get started, including the Tag reader, 13 Tag books and a carrying case that holds it all

Learning Resources Pretend and Play School Set – this set folds into itself and includes all that is needed to set up school anywhere, comes with everything needed to captivate pupils in a play classroom

Age: 6-8

Illustory Make Your Own Story – every child has their own story, see it in print; use the kit to build a story, send it to be published, story will be returned to author as a hardbound book

UNO Roboto – classic card game with an electronic twist

Melissa and Doug Deluxe Magic Set – put on a show with ten tricks for beginners

One of the most important things to remember about choosing a top toy is your child. One kid may love to play video games while the other loves to read books. It is important to help your child explore toys beyond their comfort level.

Take time to find toys that cross technologies. Allow the book reader to choose a toy that is a tech based reading book, such as a Kindle eBook reader. For the video game child, find their favorite video game in tabletop game form.

One of the best is Angry Birds. You can play this game online and now on the kitchen table. Have fun with these top toys, there is nothing better than the family sitting down and having pizza and game night.


Happy Playing!!