Shiny Brite Picks Great Gifts for Kids

I’m starting to sweat the shopping season a bit (how am I going to shop local if I’m never home?) as we get closer to Christmas. At this time of year, my head is spinning thinking of all the possible gifts for the kids out there. I’m always looking for ideas. Here are some of my favorite finds for this year.

The Learning Calendar from Fat Brain Toys is a great gift for a wide range of ages, and it’s gender neutral.

The Learning Calendar from, $14.99

What I like about it: This year, the subject is our planet. There’s a fact-a-day, trivia and monthly craft experiments, not to mention the plain happiness of a six-year-old being able to tell me the day of the week.

Next up, a gift that will put the kids in the mind of traveling (thanks, Cool Mom Picks for bringing this to our attention!).

Little Passports lets your kid “get to know” other countries by following the adventures of two children as they travel the world. Your child will get mail (oh, yeah) from his new friends describing their adventures, plus souvenirs from the places they have been. And there’s a world map included as well.

What I like about it: It’s a fun way for kids to learn about other countries, geography, history and culture. You choose your subscription base (3 months, 6 months, 12 months) and pay as you go or pay up front.

And while the kids have their traveling shoes on, how about sleeping bags under the tree? Our kids are at the age where they are begging for sleep-overs, either with each other, or with friends.

Sleeping bags from Garnet Hill, $68 each

We’ve put this selection into the care of our trusted GFT (Grandma from Texas), but this pair from Garnet Hill would make a snuggly gift.

What I like about sleeping bags: Seems time to give up the “I’m scared” make-shift pallet on the floor. And I figure sleep-over season is coming soon!

One of my favorite finds is Rainbow in my Room. I think either of my kids would love this (or Solar System in my Room), both from Fat Brain Toys.

$25.95 from Fat Brain Toys

What I like about it: Well, rainbows are nice, right? And this one can double as a nightlight (and maybe keep kids from getting out of bed?).

Now, for books, a crowd-pleaser would be this full-color box set of The Little House series.

Little House boxed set, $26.31 on Amazon

What I like about it: Something for everyone in here! Pa is shooting bears and smoking meat. Laura and Mary are playing with their dolls and helping Ma around the farm. And of course, it gives kids a glimpse of our country at a young age, and shows them that things weren’t always as easy as they are now.

Finally, don’t all kids love to borrow your phone and camera whenever they can? How about saving those expensive gadgets and getting them one of their own. This Kidizoom Plus camera from Vtech allows budding photographers to freeze frame the world.

Vtech Kidizoom Plus, $54 on Amazon

What I like about it: The big handles on this camera say it’s small-hand friendly. Kids can personalize photos by adding items like frames and hats. Apparently, there is some way to hook the camera to the TV to showcase your young ‘uns work. Games included (could this be something for long car rides?) as well.

Full disclosure, I’m buying one and hoping to use it to cut down on the “what’s next to unwrap?” moments at Christmas. Take a picture, it lasts longer.

Fingers crossed.



3 Responses to “Shiny Brite Picks Great Gifts for Kids”

  1. 1 kimk December 10, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Just a little advice on the camera (Clara got one – in pink of course- like 2 years ago so maybe they have been upgraded but…)It is worth it to buy a memory card for it and set it so that they photos are automatically stored on the card because if not, if the batteries die (and oh we have changed them many a time) you lose your photos if they are not on the memory card. This isa great gift the kids will love it!!

  2. 2 Melisa December 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    ah, good to know Kim — thanks!

  1. 1 December 18 – 19: Weekend Links for Brooklyn Mamas « Shiny Brite Trackback on December 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm

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