A doll might sound like a boring gift, but a
— whose body has a clear pocket that holds a photo — is sure to please any little girl with a nurturing nature and maybe her brother, too, if the doll is dressed like Superman (Broder Concepts, $25).
Children who like to build, stack or connect blocks or Legos will want you to stuff their stockings with a set of
reusable decals (BrickStix, $6) so they can label some of those blocks and Legos.
Almost every young child likes a tricycle. The convertible, multifunctional
(Smart-Trike, $99), though pricey, is worth it because he can use it for several years, preferably while wearing a funny felt
that someone has Velcroed across the top of his bike helmet (Fohawx!, $20). To his delight, it comes in five styles — even dreads.
Puzzles and games
Children who love puzzles — physical or mental — will be fascinated by
(Winning Moves, $16), a Rubik’s Cube cousin that has a hole in the center.
is an amusing dice game for the 8-to-adult crowd (Blue Orange, $22).
(RetroPlay, $24) encourages children (and adults) to act silly and be glad that they did, while
(Family Games, $35) tests the memories of its players. Two teams of teens try to catch spies when they play
, a social deduction game (Indie Board and Cards, $20).
Art and music
For your young artist who’s 10 or older? Give him
(Blue Orange, $20), a game that involves guessing and sketching at the same time, or
“The Game of Sculpture”
by Herve Tullet (Phaidon, $13), an interactive book that he can turn into a piece of art.
Young music lovers will be delighted by the songs and stories on Bill Harley’s CD,
“High Dive and Other Things That Could Have Happened”
(Round River Music, $14).
For young readers
Some children are so besotted by words that they keep journals and read under the covers with a flashlight, so give them a grand game called
(Goliath, $25) and as many books, new or used, that you can afford.
(Scholastic Storybook Treasures, $25) is a set of three DVDs that features 20 award-winning stories. It will not only entertain a 2-year-old but also give his big sister a chance to read these stories at the same time that the narrator reads them.
“Miss Mousie’s Blind Date”
by Tim Beiser (Tundra, $18) will charm a preschooler, and
“No Kiss for Mother,”
a classic written and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer (Phaidon, $17), will resonate with any child whose mother smothers him with kisses.
The fantasy-loving 10-year-old simply wants more fantasy, so give her a copy of
“A Hero for WondLa”
by Tony DiTerlizzi (Simon & Schuster, $18). Give a history buff a copy of
by Kristina Romero (Kids Book Market, $13), which is all about the 1899 newsboy strike in New York.
The teenage math whiz deserves
which is an exquisite history of math edited by Tom Jackson (Shelter Harbor Press, $25).
Every book opens a child’s eyes a little wider than they were the day before.
If you’re feeling flush — and your child can contribute — let him give his teacher a copy of
by John Yow (Skyhorse, $25), because children should be givers as well as getters. Also, the teacher will like the book much more than a mug. Or give the teacher
“Rescuing the Children”
by Deborah Hodge (Tundra, $18), which tells how 10,000 children were saved from the Nazis just before World War II.
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past Family Almanac columns.
Find more gift ideas, including KidsPost-tested toys, at our 2012 Holiday Guide.