The paternal Santa line insisted on K'nex. I was unconvinced. Foolish me. The kids LOVE them. Santa brought the kind with a motor, so Dean built one windmill with the motor, and then built another windmill, put them together, and let the motorized windmill spin its brother. I was frankly impressed. I would never have thought of that!
Also mom, you were so right about doll house stuff - they prefer not to be limited to an edifice. As I write this, the girls are deep in play with it. I am so glad Laurel is still 10. Don't grow up too fast!