Awhile ago I found a list of toys that encourage creativity in kids. I think it was before last Christmas when I was trying to wade through the ocean of options we have for toys in America. Though I am unable to find the simple list I found last year, I do remember some of the things listed.
Blocks- LEGOs or just wood blocks
Dress up clothes- especially bags and hats
Basically, the list had toys that encouraged the child to “do-it-yourself” by not feeding the child certain ideas of how to play with it. I’m pretty sure none of the toys had batteries. With this said, I am still planning on getting Ruth a Leapfrog fridge phonics set for her birthday because it’s an educational toy. And I think we’re keeping the spiderman cellphone for Byron simply because… he likes it!
I also found this article for grandparents. It is just as appropriate for moms and dads.