If you have a child who wants to fix or build things, the Baufix Super Barrel ($59.95) is a great deal and would make an excellent Christmas gift. This large bucket is filled with 113 different screws, nuts, wheels and wooden pieces galore. They can be combined in endless ways that are as unique and interesting as your child's imagination. Or, there is a picture book of instructions for a variety of vehicles.
For ages 3-6 although I think older children would still enjoy the set. I know that big brothers do. Here's my 23 year old step-son Frank building a fire engine.
Baufix are made in Germany. Most of the pieces are made of hardwoods and painted with non-toxic paints, but a few pieces are safe plastic. Here's Arielle's creation, she followed the instructions with her big brother's help .
But, she usually builds bird houses (of course!).
Linnea likes to take things apart. The little purple washers also make nice princess rings.
The set is of very nice quality and is one of the nicer building sets that I've seen. Our only problem was that in the winter, the girls like to play near the heating vents. I had to put in metal screens to catch the small pieces. Check out Carl & Me; they have a nice selection of Baufix building sets in various sizes suitable for all ages, and other building sets. Everything is made in the USA or Europe. Shipping is only $5.95 and there is free shipping on purchases over $100.