Show me a kid who doesn't like LEGOs, and I'll get down on the floor and play with them because this is an illness that needs to be fixed.
One of the few toys that survived both my childhood and my brother's to be passed on to my daughter (after a generous bleach bath by my mom), it's the one toy I've watched slowly grow limbs and branch out.
LEGO is taking over the world.
And I'm OK with that. Here are five favorites (plus one):
1. LEGO Harry Potter. The hot video game ($45.99) for kids this summer, my husband bought it "for our daughter." He'd completed 80 percent of the game himself by the time the dog destroyed the Xbox disc, but she'd held the controller at least a few times (or so he says). It gets high marks from serious gamers, but it's also the rare game that appeals to the multi-generations. Kind of like the books upon which it was based.
2. LEGO Boombox. It looks like a brick on steroids, but this boombox from DigiBlue ($45.99) plays their favorite CDs (plus the radio) and is a perfect complement to the toy-room decor.
3. LEGO Books. Give your little architect the building blocks of learning with books that feature his favorite tools on the page. Made by Scholastic, the series is very simple and made for early readers with a hook to keep them engaged.
4. LEGO Crazy Action Contraptions. Forget the box with one project, this book of quirky creations ($14.95) lets them create a toy they'll play with for weeks ... then come back to create another.
5. Hit the Movies. With lines from Toy Story 3 and Star Wars, kids can re-create their favorite scenes from their favorite films -- getting more out of their screen time. Lotso's Dump Truck ($19.99) can be driven around town packed with all their playroom baddies for an afternoon of daycare drama while the brand-new Hoth Wampa Cave ($44.99) lets them relive the classic Empire Strikes Back.
6. LEGO Backpack and Lunch Bag. Set them off for school in style with a minifigure to give him moral support ($36).
Images via oskay/Flickr; Amazon; Wal-Mart
Disclosure: I received a LEGO set to help facilitate this review. My opinions about the products are my own.