Holiday Gift Guide Special — Gifts for the Kids!
If you're like me, you've procrastinated about buying your kids' Christmas gifts and are now in full-fledged panic mode. Maybe your kids are old enough to write letters to Santa, asking for specific toys, electronics, and garments, or maybe they're making the whole ordeal a complete guessing game (as mine has so graciously done! lol). And, if you're buying something for your nieces and nephews, baby siblings, godchildren, or your friends' children, then you could probably use a bit of guidance on what to buy. Not to worry — here's a run-down of some fantastic options for both boys and girls, from the newborn to the pre-teen stages of life.
Monnalisa Girls Black Puffer Coat, $208. Visit PeachAndPlum.com
Do I really need to wax poetic about the wonder of this coat? Just look at it — if they had it in adult sizes, I'd be scheming on how to buy it for myself!
Carol's Daughter A Magical Beauty Gift Set, $24.50. Visit CarolsDaughter.com
Finally, the line adored by so many women of color (myself included) has launched a collection aimed at our little ones. The Magical Beauty collection features products like bubble bath, shampoo and conditioner — all bearing images of Tiana, the heroine in Disney's The Princess and the Frog.
Any new mommy will appreciate the whimsical packaging of this gift, how the red-and-white striped onesie is rolled in such a way as to resemble an enormous lollipop pattern, then covered with a clear plastic, and tied with a curled ribbon.
Yellow Label Kids Handknitted Cupcakes, $32. Visit Amazon.com
As your baby develops, he/she will become increasingly fascinated by colors, textures and shapes. These handknitted cupcakes are easy for babies to clutch in their little hands and will provide hours of amusement and awe — they'll be almost as enraptured with these as you are by the frosting-covered originals.
Tretorn Polar Bear Boots, $45. Available at the Tretorn Shop in NYC and on Tretorn.com
Ever noticed how, as we watch the weather reports and dread the possibility of wintry blizzards, our little ones rejoice whenever they hear about the possibility of snow? For them, snow-covered yards, parks, fields (and sidewalks) are the ultimate playgrounds. So keep your little baby's toes toasty in Tretorn's Polar Bear boots and go build a snowman or two.
The Children's Place Pig Plushie Toy, $5.50, and Pink Wiggly Pig Board Book, $7.50. Visit ChildrensPlace.com
Imagine having a stuffed animal with which to reenact every scene in the book you read your baby at bedtime? Is there a neater way to peak their interest? For more gift options from The Children's Place (and fun news, promos, and giveaways, visit their official Facebook page.
This is the type of toy you'll secretly want to play with while your kid is taking a nap. The Chuck My Talking Truck toy is as sturdy as any Tonka truck, but it's a way better conversationalist, sharing such sentiments as, "Let's get to work!" and "Time to find some dirt." Plus, it comes with a story book for an educational twist.
This long-sleeved, striped dress, which bears a depiction of a woman's face adorned with silver sequins, will make your little bon-bon look like she's ready to sashay down the runway during Paris Fashion Week.
J. Crew Girls' Twinkle Ballet Flats, $128. Visit JCrew.com
These ballet flats are imbued with almost as much magic as Dorothy's ruby red slippers. They're the perfect footwear choice for the golden child in your life.
Ikea Soft Toys, $3.99 to $9.99. Visit Ikea.com
If there's one thing Ikea carries that requires absolutely no assembly it's soft plush toys. From oversize green crocodiles to yellow lions, red hippos, blue giraffes, and miniature red mouses, Ikea offers a veritable zoo of snuggly stuffed animals.
GloPad GloDoodle, $15. Visit Amazon.com
This is no ordinary drawing pad — when you touch the screen or the styles attached to the GloDoodle, a light comes on and the entire screen looks see-through, allowing you to place it atop any picture, photo, or drawing and trace that image. Plus, the light comes in three colors (red, yellow, and green), and the drawings glow in the dark. Pure awesomeness.
Restoration Hardware Cuddle Plush Bowling Set, $44. Visit RHBabyAndChild.com
A bowling alley without the sticky shoes, the deafening noise of collapsing pins, and the cheesy '80s tunes? Score!
Ever read a book or watched a movie and felt like looking up one of the names or events mentioned on Wikipedia, so that you could get a better understanding of what was discussed therein? The WikiReader is a pocket-sized gadget that brings Wikipedia to your fingertips, so that you can look up any name, place, event, or term whenever you see fit. Now, your kid can whip out the WikiReader whenever curiosity strikes and search the 3 million topics pre-loaded in the gadget.
Ariat Kids' Quickdraw Boots in Brown/Giraffe Print, $79.95. Visit Ariat.com or call 1.800.899.8141
Give your child the boot — no, I don't mean evict her, silly! What I mean is this is your chance to give her THE boot: Ariat's Quickdraw boot in this funky brown/giraffe print with a pink lining and pink piping along the side of the boot shaft.
Old Navy Boys' Plaid Printed/Graphic Pajama Set, $16.50. Visit OldNavy.com
If your tot keeps coming up with excuses to delay his bedtime, you can drive the point home with this pajama set, which features a pair of red, white and blue plaid pants and a shirt with the word "Awake" inside a red circle with a red, diagonal line running across it. It's like a "no parking" sign for bedtime violators.
Play-Doh Star Wars Playset, $14.99. Visit ToysRUs.com
Play-Doh has been a kid-approved toy for many years, but now it's out-of-this-world fun thanks to this R2-D2 Playset. The storage caddy includes a removable head, a rolling cutter, 3 half molds, a plastic knife, scissors, an Anakin book mold, a Lightsaber presser and three 2 oz. Play-Doh cans. You can load some Play-Doh into the top, attach R2-D2's head and press down to see the Play-Doh squeezed out of the various rectangular perforations, press R2-D2's feet down on some Play-Doh to create stamps of C-3PO, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and much more.
Bakugan 7 in 1 Maxus Dragonoid, $34. Visit Amazon.com
The ultimate mega monster, the Bakugan 7 in 1 Maxus Dragonoid consists of 7 Bakugans (Grakas Hound, Dark Hound, Grafias, Brachium, Spitarm, SpyderFencer and Neo Dragonoid) brought together to form one mammoth creature.
Cole Haan Avery Baby Bootie, $39.95. Visit ColeHaan.com
Take a cue from Mrs. Claus and slip your baby's feet into these red suede booties, which feature a cozy faux fur lining and cuff detailing.
This utensil set makes me want to sing The Jackson Five's "ABC" song at the top of my lungs. And who knows? Maybe with this adorable utensil set, you'll find a way to incorporate the classic anthem into feeding time.
Want to teach your little one that money doesn't grow on trees? Then foster his money management skills with this cash register, which includes a handy calculator that will sharpen his math aptitude.
LIV Fashion Dolls, $15. Visit ToysRUs.com
Barbie may be an icon, but her fashion sense hasn't exactly adapted to the times. Wearing cool sneakers, knee-high boots, skinny jeans, mini skirts paired with leggings, graphic tees ,looped scarves, and hobo bags, LIV dolls present a much more youthful and hip alternative for your precocious pre-teen — and, you can buy them cute outfits to constantly update their looks.
Obermeyer Short Circuit Jackets in Bumblebee and Roboprint, $109.95 each. Visit Obermeyer.com
Obermeyer's Short Circuit Jacket is a MacGyver-esque option, equipped with a bevvy of handy features. The jacket features: a fleece chin protector and fleece-lined cuffs; an adjustable hem drawcord; a working compass; an interior pocket and several exterior cargo pockets; reflective piping; an integrated hood; and Obermeyer's I-Grow system, a patented system that allows parents to snip colored threads along the cuffs of their kids' jackets and hence lengthen the cuffs by 1 1/2 inches.
I remember taking my toddler son to the American Museum of Natural History in New York and watching his little face as he marveled at the sight of those enormous dinosaur skeletons. Now, imagine a game where your boy could dig up dinosaur fossils, build skeletons for Velociraptor, Triceratops, and T-Rexes (among other dinosaur types), and play games that expand his knowledge about how and where these dinosaurs lived, what they consumed, how they moved, and much more.
Marvel Mini I/R Controlled Cars (Wolverine and Hulk Styles Pictured Above), $16.99 each. Visit ToysRUs.com
Remote control cars are a barrel of fun, but they also tend to be hassle to figure out, with a zillion control buttons and settings. These Mini I/R Controlled cars are perfect for younger kids, who just want to see their beloved cars zooming past. And the fact that they're available in styles designed after their favorite Marvel characters only sweetens the deal.
Madame Alexander Yuletide Shopper, $84.95, and Holiday Parade Ballerina, $74.95. Available at Amazon.com, FAO.com and other specialty shops.
These artful, luxury are the epitome of holiday cheerfulness. The Yuletide Shopper is my absolute favorite, with her jaunty red beret, emerald green coat, tartan print full skirt, white tights, and red Mary-Jane shoes. The Holiday Parade Ballerina, meanwhile, is kicking up her legs like she's mid-step, performing her carefully orchestrated routine as she walks along the parade route.
Disney Mickey's Magical Christmas DVD, $15.99. Visit Amazon.com
This holiday movie is practically an ode to the Disney empire. The movie kicks off when a snowstorm extends the visits of all the guests at Mickey's House of Mouse (a group that includes Snow White, Belle, Ariel, Goofy, Chip and Dale, Cinderella, Simba, Pinocchio, the 101 Dalmatians, and more), and they try to find ways to keep themselves entertained (and to cure Donald Duck from his "Bah, humbug!" mood). Throughout their stay, they reminisce about all the good times they've had — and they'll be something in those memories that involves your kids' favorite Disney character. It's like a retrospective and a Christmas film in one.
Is your baby going through the I-want-a-puppy phase? Well, this adorable, plush pull-along bag will win you a few months of dog-free conversation.
Bath time will seem like a blast with these animal hooded towels from Restoration Hardware, available in a pink, mint green, or blue color, and in bear or dog styles. For an extra treat, buy some matching slippers so your tot won't get chilly when he/she steps out of the tub.
J.Crew Girls' Long-Sleeve Ballet Slipper Tee, $28. Visit JCrew.com
The ballet slipper graphic on this cozy long-sleeve tee will have your little girl strutting like a primadonna (and her friends hoping she makes a fashion encore).