Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 4
I'd wanted to donate to Toys for Tots this year, and the first thing to do was to locate a drop-off box. I checked the internet site for Boston, and the link didn't work. I asked people who passed through South Station (where I'd seen drop-off boxes in other years) No, none there.

Well, there's still time. So this afternoon I was heading down the stairs at work, and passed the engineering firm on the second floor. Then I backed up and looked through the glass pane on the door. Big, gift-wrapped box, sign that says 'Toys for Tots.'

"Hi, I work upstairs. May I bring things for the drop-off box?"


Tomorrow I'm heading for the mall to get some presents. I came home and checked the Boston Globe on-line, as I do everyday, and found this link:

Toys that guide learning. Toys to help foster the imagination, and get children ready for learning. And since the Globe links disappear within a day, (although this one might stay around a while, given where I found it) I'll post the article.


Guide targets quality of play

By Globe Staff, 12/5/2002

This is the eighth year the Globe is publishing the TRUCE Toy Guide. TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment) is a national group of early childhood educators based in Cambridge. While there are many holiday toy guides that are based on safety and popularity, TRUCE is the only list that focuses on the quality of play that a toy promotes.

A toy that makes the TRUCE "good" list, or "Toys of Value," means the group thinks the toy is likely to engage a child's imagination and enhance development. A toy that makes the "bad" list is thought to discourage imagination and undermine meaningful play. The age and price recommendations are from the manufacturer.

Toys of value

Tote Along Garden(manufactured by International Playthings, $15), 12 accessories, 6 pockets for sand and dirt play, recommended for ages 3 and up.

Junior Chef (Schylling, $25), 8-piece enamel cookware set, 3 and up.

Cutting Food Box(Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Toys, $20), 33 wooden pieces, 3 and up.

Pattern Blocks and Boards($15), ages 3 and up; Wooden 3-D Dominoes ($10), ages 3 and up; Wooden Magnetic Farm($8), ages 2 and up (all by Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Toys), a variety of manipulatives

Curiosity Kits (manufactured by Curiosity Kits Inc), especially Super Dooper Build

'em Up Sticks ($14), wooden sticks, dowels and beads; 4 and up.

Atollo construction kits (Atollo, $3-$26), sets of 24, 120, or 240; 5 and up.

Craft materials(by Creativity for Kids, $1.50-$2), individual packages of colored sticks, pom-poms, feathers; 3 and up.

Wikki Stix(by Omnicor, $6.25), flexible waxed yarn sticks, 3 and up.

Magnetic Wall(by Smethporth Speciality Co., $20), folding wallboard for use with magnets or dry erase markers; 2 and up.

Peg Loom(Harrisville Designs, $20), weaving for beginners; 5 and up.

Egg `N' Spoon Race(International Playthings, $20), balancing game; 3 and up.

Ring Toss(Schylling, $8) family game; 3 and up.

O Ball(Rhino Toys, $8), ball game; all ages.

Amazing Animal Trivia(International Playthings, $20), question and answer game; 6 and up.

Charades for Kids(Pressman, $14), an acting-out game, no reading required; 4 and up.

TRUCE also reminds parents to remember classic toys such as Lincoln Logs or Legos; blocks of all kinds; tool sets; puzzles; vehicles; people and animal props; dress-up clothes and housewares; balls; jump ropes; and books.

Toys to avoid

Star Wars Trivia Game (Hasbro, $30), hand-held electronic encyclopedia of Star Wars trivia; 6 and up.

First Impressions Loveable Lily(Leap Frog, $20), push various body parts and the frog recites numbers, colors, etc.; 1 and up.

Elmo's World Cell Phone(Fisher-Price, $10), press buttons to hear numbers and sounds; 18 months and up.

Amazing Christie Nails(Mattel, $10), 20 different nail fashions; no age recommendation.

Barbie "Make Me Pretty Talking Styling Head"(Mattel, $30), life-size Barbie head for styling hair that talks as you style her hair and do her make-up; 3 and up.

Barbie McDonald Playset(Mattel, $10), Barbie Pizza Hut Playset(Arco, $10), miniature equipment for Barbie to prepare fast food; 3 and up.

Kellogg's FROOT LOOPS Counting Fun Book(Harper Collins, $6), count out sugar-coated Froot Loops cereal pieces and place them in slots in the book; no age given.

Forward Command Post(Ever Sparkle Industrial, $40), 75-piece set of toy soldiers and weapons to create "fully outfitted battle zone;" 5 and up.

GI Joe Motorized Humvee with Rapid Fire Cannon(FunRise, $40), Army attack vehicle; 3 and up.

Lego Galido Toy Line(Lego, $15), 4 and up; Lego Alpha Team Toy Line(Lego, $9 and up), 6 and up. Two toy lines of interchangeable action figures and props designed for fighting.

Power Rangers Wild Force Action Set(Manley Toy Quest, $12), vest, mask, belt, sword for dressing up like a Power Ranger; 5 and up.

Barbie Pop Sensation(Mattel, $25), headset to wear while singing with Barbie; 3 and up.

Play-Doh Jurassic Park III Playset(Playskool, $10), clay and props; 3 and up.

Spiderman and Friends Action Heroes, including Crime Fighter and Police Officer (Playwell, $8), community helper action figures with faces and features of Spiderman; 3 and up.

WWE & WCW Professional Wrestling Figures($6), wrestling action figures who spout hostile comments when you push buttons; 4 and up.

Baby Shakespeare Find and Rhyme(Playskool/Hasbro, $35), from the Baby Einstein Toy Line, claims to teach object names and human expressions; 18 months and up.
Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.