So here are some more finds, since I'm looking anyway - I thought I'd share as I go along... I'm looking for things that will engage the brain, body or just plain too super cool fun...
Cranium Super Fort age 4 and up ($39.99 or more) This looks very cool, I wonder how easy this will be for a 5/6 year old to put together and if we really have enough space for something like this - but if you have the room and have busy kids who dig building stuff - or are tired of your tables, chairs and couch cushions being used for building forts - this might be good for you
Melissa and Doug Band in a Box ages 3+ ($19.99) We bought this for the girls after they adored their cousins. I can usually tune these things out, but they still go out of sight until I decide it's time to play with them. This will go along with the recorder, keyboard, slide whistles and other loud things.
I bought Julia the Christmas Craft kit by Alex Toys. I figure it will give her something to do over the 5 day Thanksgiving break. I have been really impressed with the innards... it includes everything you need for all the crafts. Including glue, paint, markers, crayons... she'll be making different crafts to give as gifts for her teachers, grandparents... I can't find a link for this to share it - but if you see it while you are out, I recommend it.
Anna is a big fan of trains - so we were thinking of getting her this Melissa and Doug stacking Train ages 2+ (14.99), I love wooden toys
This might seem a bit out there -but we're thinking about getting an animal from Heifer International in the kids names. I think Julia is old enough to understand the concept and I love Heifer.
I'll share more as they come along...