The Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood, an organization that I adore, crowns a "Toady" every year. The prize is for the Worst Toy of the Year.
This year's winner, with 43% of the vote, is a tablet computer for infants. For the bargain price of $479, your baby can be the first kid on the block to learn to tune out his parents in favor of a baby version of Angry Birds. (Okay, not really Angry Birds. Instead it plays Itsy Bitsy Spider.)
The runners up were spectacular in their own special ways. There was the Coca-Cola version of Monopoly, helping to spread the love for corn syrup with each roll of the dice. And a toy microphone which teaches your child the lyrics to sexy rap tunes.
In contrast, an post by GeekDad at Wired this week picks the 5 best toys of all times: 1. A Stick 2. A box 3. String 4. Cardboard Tube and 5. Dirt. I love his disclaimer for #1: I have received several samples of Sticks from one manufacturer for review.
I. Love. It. But that still leaves the question of what my children ought to find under the tree this year. What are your favorite crunchy mom suggestions? Because dirt is tricky to wrap.