Holiday Gift Guide 2011: An Early Visit from Santa

Friday, December 16, 2011 Posted by Dina N

Last week, we went to a party where Santa showed up for a visit. My kids were delighted to meet him and share what they wished for this year. They posed for pictures and of course got an early gift from Santa.

The first toy that came out of Santa's bag was a toy ice cream maker. This toy makes delicious real ice cream and sorbet. It's very easy to use - just put in the ingredients, press a button and wait for four hours while the treats cool off in the freezer. Kids can even make two different flavors at once. The ice cream maker comes with a set of four very cute bowls, matching spoons and an ice cream scoop. Plus, there is a recipe booklet with ten yummy recipes, complete with decorating ideas.

The ice cream maker needs 4 AA batteries that are not included, so make sure Santa remembers those. I recommend using rechargeable ones since they last just three ice cream making cycles.

The second toy that Santa brought us was a set of three baskets with play food. There's a basket with breakfast food, another with lunch food, and a third with dinner items. My kids love pretend play and these toys are perfect. Each item is realistic looking and well made, practically guaranteeing hours of fun. We already have an adorable cookware set from Green Toys and their toy tea set. An elf told me that our local Costco has the play food set for around $20 - score! Or, you can buy them on Amazon with one or two day shipping to arrive in time for Christmas.

Of course, we have a few more items on our wish list this year. Since we are on the subject of pretend cooking, check out the adorable play kitchenette from Mega Bloks. It's cute, fun, and won't break Santa's bank. It does not take much space, either - unlike bigger models. And, all parts fit inside for easy storage.

Got little boys who'd rather play with tools? Mega Bloks has a Build'n Play Workbench - the guy's equivalent of the kitchenette. Happy play!

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