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Kidding Around — Holiday Gifts For Little Girls, Tweens, and Teens

You’ve got your mom, sister, cousin, co-worker, and best friend covered, but you’re still scrambling to find a gift for your pre-teen niece or adolescent goddaughter? Well, fear not! Below, you’ll find some handy gift options for girls ranging from age 8 to 18 that you can still pick up at a local store or, in some cases, order online with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Day.  Check out these kid-friendly goodies!

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Sphero 2.0, $99.99. Available at Store.GoSphero.com

Nowadays, by the time they start elementary school, most kids are fully versed on the art of operating a smartphone and tablet, bewildering their parents with the dexterity they exhibit swiping away on their touch screens and following along to rather intricate interactive games. The Sphero 2.0, then, represents the next generation of toys as it can be controlled using a smartphone or tablet rather than a traditional remote control. The orb-shaped robot is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices, and it connects to them via Bluetooth. After an easy-to-follow installation process, kids can begin to control the glowing Sphero 2.0, changing the color of its built-in LED light,  deciding the direction and speed at which it rolls (it can go as fast as 4.5 mph),  propping it on one of the two ramps included in the box in order to perform gnarly skater-like tricks, and downloading cool games and apps available on the App Store, Google Play store, and Windows store. The more they play, the more points they’ll amass, which will in turn allow them to unlock new capabilities and tricks. They can make the Sphero 2.0 sneeze, gobble like a turkey, and more. iPhone users can download such cool (and free) apps as the Sphero Pinwheel, which basically turns the orb into a Simon Says-like device, with different sections flashing a particular color and users being asked to recreate the pattern by tapping the very same colors in the order in which they appeared on their iPhone screens.

 

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The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion, $24.95. Available at Amazon.com

Style savvy tweens and teens will cherish this updated edition of the Teen Vogue Handbook, which features 90% new content, including a strong focus on digital trailblazers like: YouTube beauty guru Michelle Phan, fashion blogger Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller, Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, and creator of NastyGal.com and best-selling author Sophia Amoruso. The book takes fashion lovers through a journey of the industry, starting with profiles of both iconic and on-the-verge designers ranging from Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang to Jenna Lyons and Pamela Love; then foraying into the behind-the-scene world of fashion magazine careers, profiling Teen Vogue editors, accessories directors, fashion closet assistants, beauty assistants, online fashion and beauty editors, and social media manager. Next, the book forays into the online realm with profiles and advice from the aforementioned digital trendsetters (and more!), before moving on to covering professional stylists, then peeking into the modeling realm, skipping over to the makeup artist world, then flipping the lens on the fashion photographers who create the imagery we see on glossies and online publications, before finishing with a Careers section filled with helpful tips on social networking, dressing to impress, and following professional leads. Each chapter of the book is fun and dynamic, with multiple entry points for readers that make the text accessible. Interviews and profiles are accompanied by editorial and candid photos, condensed run-downs of the daily schedules of these movers-and-shakers, photos of their work desks with quotes about the function of each item therein, snapshots of inspiration boards assembled for photo shoots, snappy checklists, inspirational quotes, behind-the-scenes anecdotes of the action at various photo shoots, and so forth. It’s a fun, pithy, and exciting look at the many creative people within the fashion industry and the bountiful opportunities to carve a career therein.

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e.l.f. Essential 12-Piece Lip Palette, $10. Available at e.l.f. stores, Target stores, and EyesLipsFace.com

Teen girls who are just beginning to wear makeup will swoon over the 11 lip gloss shades in this portable kit, which even includes a handy lip brush. The glosses within the kit primarily explore the spectrum of pink shades — from fuchsia to honeysuckle pink, mauve rose, soft tulip pink, and coral pink — making this an all the more desirable gift for middle-school and high-school girls.

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Peeps Marshmallow Snowmen, $1.69 for 9-count package. Available at drugstores and mass market retailers.

This holiday season, Peeps is introducing a series of marshmallow treats in festive shapes like snowmen (as shown here), reindeers, and gingerbread men. Adding to the excitement of these holiday exclusives, each package of treats features an illustration of one of the main Despicable Me minions: Dave, Stuart, and Kevin. The Peeps Marshmallow Snowmen taste like the traditional chick-shaped sweets, but are designed to resemble tiny snowmen replete with top hats and featuring red candy cane decorations on their bottom halves. At under $2, a nine-piece package is the perfect stocking stuffer for girls of any age!

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Charlie Girl: Her Very Happy Life in the Town She Calls Home, New York City!, $24.95, and Charlie Girl: A Story of Love and Instinct, $24.95. Both available at Amazon.com

Recommended for third graders, this illustrated book series, penned by Elizabeth Frogel, centers on the adventures of an ultra posh poodle named Charlie who lives in a luxurious apartment building overlooking New York City’s Central Park. In fact, the narrative is told through the eyes of Charlie, and she marvels at every aspect of her enviable life: from the Halloween costumes she dons for her building’s annual parade (one year she was a bride, the other Elvis) to the friendship she has built with a pretty Collie named Skye, the boat rides she takes in Central Park with her “Mom and Dad,” her collection of accessories (from leashes and collars to feather boas and pearl necklaces), her visits to the Bergdorf Goodman makeup counter with her Mom, and so forth. The second book, meanwhile, adds a bit of a narrative tension as Charlie experiences feeling of jealousy when her Mom becomes pregnant and, later, gives birth to a gorgeous baby girl. Charlie’s confusion during the transitional period after her “sister’s” birth is quite insightful given that, as many mothers know, pets can, in fact, feel neglected when a baby first arrives. But it’s particularly sweet to see how Charlie begins to understand and accept her sister Ava, eventually developing a close bond with her.

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