Weeks before Chandler's birthday I made it known to my family that he (and by he I mean I) didn't want ANY action figures or toys that were going to be forgotten within days. Instead "he" wanted educational toys. Even though he explicitly asked me for anything Spiderman or Batman under the sun, I knew that this isn't what he really wanted. My mom went to the Education Emporium (the teacher store by my house) and got him some really cool stuff.
(Awesome smile, Chan)
Seriously, these things keep the boys occupied way longer than any other toys they have. And not only that, but when they are done playing, they feel like they have achieved something. They are proud of themselves. Kind of makes me sad for all the money and time we have wasted on lesser toys. Not that the trains and cars and dinosaurs aren't being put to good use - they are - but when we move next month we are going to be donating a good chunk of what is in the playroom. Plus, I enjoy participating in this kind of play WAY more than I enjoy participating in action figure play.
There are a few more fun things I will post about later, with a tutorial on making an organizer. :)