GeoTrax by Fisher-Price
This by far is one of my favorite Christmas gifts. I say 'my', but it was actually a gift for my 2 year old son. I had been drooling over the GeoTrax as soon as I saw the commercial of family tranquility where the father plays with his son as the mother looks on from her spotless kitchen after a healthful dinner. Fortunately grandma and auntie blessed us with two sets and a few accessories. I was actually pretty concerned that my two year old would have difficulty with the remote control, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Then as we got two trains going on the track I was worried about crashing and the kids being able to set the trains on the track correctly. This began to seem like a toy I would be endlessly fixing or refereeing. This could be further from the truth, provided that each child has their own train.
The children quickly figured out how to stop and wait so the trains don't crash. And if they did crash, as Papa showed them, they were able to put the trains back on correctly and even realize if the trains weren't on exactly right.
They will play with this train for a long period of time, quietly. Its absolutely amazing for two children who seem to compete over everything. After a week of this toy they became bored with it. We picked it up and put it away. Just a few hours later they were asking for it to be set up again. It seems that this toy isn't able to escape 'toddler boredom' (defined as: if I can see it I don't want it), but a few hours out of sight and they were clamoring for it again.