If you are looking for a convenient place to get ideas for gifts this holiday season, then gift guides are your answer. Many bloggers create these lists by taking polls on social media, getting lists from popular retailers (like Amazon), working with brands or just list out what they personally love as an easy solution to your shopping.
Below is a list of new toys or books I have received samples from companies that I want to tell you about!
If any of you have these products – I would love some feedback on if you love or hate or recommend yourself as a great gift for those little ones this year!
The Christmas Star From Afar: is a fun and unique game that teaches children about the true meaning of Christmas. Each day during the week before Christmas kids search for the Star for a fun hide-and-seek game (like Elf on the Shelf) and once it’s been located they move the Three Wise Men to its location for that day, until they reach their final destination at the stable with newborn baby Jesus. The Christmas Star From Afar includes a book, wooden Star, a full wooden nativity scene that matches the artwork of the book, and optional scripture to use throughout the month.
I’m wrapping this up and letting my kids open it this year on Dec. 1st. Can’t wait to start this new annual tradition! So much better than the creepy Elf on the Shelf (in my opinion of course!) 😉
PLAYMOBIL’s Cruise Ship play set!: The Cruise Ship brings all aspects of summer fun into one colorful, unique play set. Kids will love using their imagination and creativity to bring these figures to life. Simply pull out the lower deck, lounge in the spacious guest room, sunbathe on the top deck, have a bite to eat at the restaurant, or slide down into the refillable pool!
This is Paymobile’s newest “larger” sets – my daughter about flipped a lid when she saw how many parts and pieces there were to it. This is great for any Playmobile fan – either boy or girl!
Playmobile NHL Locker Room Play Box: You will find all of the hockey equipment you need to prepare your players and goalies! When the game is over, fold up all your accessories back into the Play Box and you are ready for on the go play!
NHL Shootout Carry Case: Score the game winning goal with the NHL Shootout Carry Case. This take-along case which is completed with two players, one goalie, net, and puck, allows you to choose your favorite NHL teams to face-off.The combo of both of these hockey sets is just perfect for any youth hockey player and/or Playmobile fan!
Edushape Feeling Friend: The Edushape Feelings Friend, appropriate for ages three and up, introduces facial vocabulary to encourage children to easily express their feelings. It also helps others to understand how they feel moment to moment, day to day. Feelings Friend includes illustrated cards so children can grasp the concept quickly and easily. The toy also helps to develop socialization, fine motor skills, logic and reasoning and tactile and sensory development.
My 4 year old isn’t the best at using words to describe her emotions, especially negative ones. I’m hoping we can use this so she can express better what is going on when she’s frustrated. Either that, or she’sll just make silly faces with it and giggle! 😉
Educational Insights The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game: Your forest friends are hungry and they need your help! Spin the spinner, squeeze the matching colored acorn with your Squirrel Squeezer, and place it into your log. Be the first to fill your log with delicious acorns and you win! You could also spin “pick an acorn,” “steal an acorn,” or “lose an acorn,” so be strategic, little squirrel! (for ages 3-5)
I’ll be playing this with my 4 & 8 year old, even though it says its for ages 3-5. This will be good for the kids to learn to be “good losers” when “lose an acorn” is spun.
Creation Crate: Creation Crate a subscription box service aimed at ages 12 and up, that helps kids learn to build real-world electronics.
The Creation Crate curriculum focuses on introducing new concepts every month that build on the concepts learned from the months before. The projects are designed to increase in difficulty each month in order to be fluent in the language of technology by the end of the 24 month curriculum. Projects range from building a mood lamp, to a memory game focused on programming, to learning how to input a distance reading from an ultrasonic sensor.
Unlike other technology subscription boxes, Creation Crate uses raw electronic components, offering real-world skills. These boxes are also truly beginner friendly with no previous experience needed. While other boxes teach using intimidating technical lingo, Creation Crate doesn’t. Creation Crate subscriptions start at $30 a month, with available 3, 6 or 12 month packages to choose from.
We have the mood lamp and since my husband is an engineer, and my 8 year old loves all things purple, this gift is the perfect set-up for a daddy daughter bonding time while they work on this project together.
Gear Club Unlimited for Nintendo Switch: If there is one car racing video game that you might enjoy playing this holiday season with your children as a parent, look no further, Gear Club Unlimited for Nintendo Switch has what it takes to give the entire family a fun casual arcade racing experience.
Far from the complex hour long in-depth racing simulation games, Gear Club Unlimited is plug and play with simple controls and provides the thrills and excitement of motorsports action from the comfort of your coach with no learning curve.
Using the switch dual screens, parents can pick up a quick game in multiplayer mode decide to organize a family championship or take a break and let their children sharpen their skills while progressing on their own through the career mode.
Gear Club Unlimited is rated E for everyone and will be available for the Nintendo Switch on December 1st, 2017 for $49.99.
Game Night In A Can: Game Night In A Can is a family-friendly party game. When you randomly pull seven Game Night In A Can (GNIAC) game cards each night, you’re in for over 3 MILLION POSSIBLE VARIATIONS of game play. The fun is always changing! The game is made of 30 customized challenges: Games of Skill, Creative Contests, & Team Challenges. All under a spinner lid. All you need is paper, pens, and a handful of friends. Create new animals, design paper airplanes, choreograph a new dance move…use your imagination and skills for fame and glory. It’s the perfect gift for holidays, birthdays, happy days and more. Great for friends, loved ones, co-workers, and humans of all ages who love to LAUGH. $24.99 www.gamenightinacan.com
I love it that there is so much variety on this – and it’s small and doesn’t take up much space compared to other board games.
Educational Insights Playfoam Classic 4-Pack: the birthday boy or girl is free to express their creativity with no mess to clean up afterward! Just squish up the Playfoam, shape it however you like, then squash it back down and start all over again! No-stick Playfoam is perfect for sculpting squishy, squashy creations anywhere and anytime! And Playfoam never dries out, so the creativity never ends! Encourages creativity and self-expression, provides tactile and sensory stimulation, and develops fine motor skills too! The Playfoam Classic 4-Pack includes 3-ounce pods in blue, green, purple, and orange.
The words “never dries out” is key for my 4 year old who loves all things play dough. But the play dough covers in inevitably don’t get put back on correctly, and we end up throwing it in the trash next time she plays because its dried out. Plus the texture of this stuff is just fun!
Soapsox: SoapSox ® has built-in finger pockets that allow for secure scrubbing, along with a uniquely designed entry point for liquid or bar soap. This patented soap pocket transforms lovable SoapSox® into a sudsy wash cloth – just add soap, water, and scrub! SoapSox ® is made using a soft terry cloth exterior and an anti-microbial treated sponge interior. Who knew getting clean could be so fun for kids and parents! Machine washable.
We have the alligator, and will soon be adding the unicorn to our soap sox family! Fun bath time toys that you can actually wash (and not watch just grow mold and mildew) is awesome!
With Magic Sketch your kids can create all kinds of amazing art and, unlike most tablets, the Magic Sketch is super kid proof! They can drop it, toss it, even step on it — it won’t break! It’s completely water resistant, so if they have a spill, just wipe it off and keep going! With the advanced internal electronics, you can clear the screen with just the push of a button!
Each Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and includes:
- Magic Sketch
- Protector Guard
- 1 Roller
- 3 Stamps
- 20 Learning Stencils
- 20 Games Stencils
- 20 Art Stencils
Both of my girls ages 4 & 8 will enjoy this one. My 4 year old can practice her letters, and my 8 year old will be drawing her horses. I love the colors on this and that it can be re-used over and over again. Maybe this will help with the “scrap paper” clutter that’s all over my house from my kids drawings.
GIANTmicrobes Aedes Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) Plush Toy: GIANTmicrobes, a collection of humorous and educational toy viruses, diseases, human body cells, and other tiny, yet adorable organisms. These GIANTmicrobes make the perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer for family, friends and co-workers this season. And what better time to introduce the effects of stress with your children then with Nerve Cell, Stomach Acid, Ulcer, and Pimple – and how to avoid them with those in-laws this season. These critters are inspired by the invisible microscopic world and come with fun educational facts, so children and parents can explore and learn about some of the invisible life going on in our world today.
I have numerous GIANTMICROBES since I am a former high school biology teacher! One of them is the giant tick – which we play a family game with and hide in random places around the house. (Which was just an inside joke after dealing with numerous ticks that we had to pull off of our cat one season.) Whoever finds the tick, gets to hide it again. I’ve hidden it in some great places that have totally scared and freaked my husband out! Can’t wait to add this mosquito to our weird family game!
Mackenzie Goes Adventuring: J.L. Baumann’s new book, Mackenzie Goes Adventuring, takes place in the happy town of Snookton, full of Snookies, snooking all around. The main character, Mackenzie, decides to take a different path home after school one day. After convincing another friend to adventure with her through the enchanted woods, they soon find out why their teacher told them to “stay on the right path.” From the dangers of the Snarfling Snarfle to the delights of the Snookberry jelly roll at the Snookie Exchange, they encounter a whole new world. But after having met a whole new set of friends and learning the value of paying attention, they still have to find their way home.
Oogie the Bear’s Rainy Day Adventure: Enter Oogie the Bear, the star of the #1 Amazon Bestseller in the children’s book category, Oogie the Bear’s Rainy Day Adventure. Written by award-winning author Michael Weinberger, and featuring colorful artwork by commercial illustrator and fine artist Steve Bonham, this unique story teaches children and their adult reading companions the value and rewards of perseverance. It tells the story of Oogie, a little bear who, despite all the obstacles set in front of him, doesn’t give up on achieving his goals.
Proggy Menagerie: 20 Soft and Snuggly Rag-Rug Animals to Hook and Sew: Learn the basics of the Proggy technique with step-by-step photo guides, then set your creativity free with the easy-to-follow patterns. In Proggy Menagerie, designer and author Hayley Smith provides a collection of adorable three-dimensional rag-rug projects that can be adapted for use as children’s toys, pet toys, or home accessories. The technique is easy to master—simply cut your fabric into strips and push it through the holes in some Hessian backing—and has been a traditional way of creating mats for centuries. This technique, known as “progging” in northeast England, is familiar the world over. Proggy Menagerie puts a refreshing modern twist on the technique, moving it beyond the usual two-dimensional rug format, with instructions for making twenty fun and funky three-dimensional stuffed animals. With a few adaptations to the backing, filling, and eye materials, the projects can be safely used as soft toys for children, chew toys for pets, or be used as doorstops and draft blockers around your home.
If you are looking for a homemade toy idea for this coming Christmas, try making one of these for your kids on Christmas morning! I plan on picking one out each and making them for my daughters.
Healthy Stocking Stuffer Idea:
Slammers Snacks: are tasty, superfood snacks designed to fuel kids with organic fruits and vegetables. Not only are they a healthy alternative to sugar-laden candies and other franken-foods that pop up around this time of year, but they fun, crumb-free snacks that introduce kids to fruits such as mangoes, acai, yumberries, pomegranate, and chia seeds.
Sneakz Organic Milkshakes are protein-packed shakes that contain a half serving of veggies in each pouch! Designed for kids, Sneakz takes vegetables from “yuck” to “yum” with its proprietary blend of five organic, nutrient-rich veggies that get kids eating better and enjoying their vegetables. Sneakz is completely natural, organic and vegan, as well as gluten and GMO free, so parents can feel comfortable giving their children a refreshing Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry shake that is deliciously infused with healthy and nutritious ingredients.
Add a few of these to the stocking this year instead of more candy that they probably still have leftover Halloween candy!
Here are a few top toys listed on Amazon this year as well:
- This coding set for kids turns coding into a hands-on analog activity for tactile and visual learners
- As kids learn to program they build key skills that include critical thinking, problem solving, sequencing, and programming fundamentals
- Colby lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding cards for easy programming and sequencing
- This coding set includes 16 maze grids, 22 maze walls, 3 tunnels, 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and activity guide to provide a hands-on introduction to coding concepts
- Sold exclusively by Amazon.com. Collect all of Harper’s best friends, additional fashion outfits and accessories in the Amazing Girl collection!
- She has sweet blue eyes that open and close and long, ready-to-style blonde hair.
- Amazing Girl Harper stands 18” tall and is the perfect size for playing dress up with and styling.
- Harper’s changeable, trendy outfit includes a pretty pink tutu dress, a gray ruffle sleeve jacket, and shiny stylish black boots.
- The Harper play doll is a girly girl with a twist! She’s a natural leader, loves horses, and has an eye for fashion.
- OVER 430 PARTS AND PIECES – The K’NEX Web Weaver Roller Coaster Building Set contains over 430 brightly colored parts and pieces. The rods and connectors can be easily joined up for a coaster that stands 2.5 feet high.
- GLOW-IN-THE-DARK TRACK – Unleash your children’s creativity with the K’NEX Web Weaver Coaster Set. It features glow-in-the-dark pieces, allowing builders to play at night and experience a different kind of fun.
- AIR-POWERED MOTORIZED COASTER CAR – The K’NEX Web Weaver Building includes an air-powered car that requires batteries. The battery-powered motor of the coaster lets it travel at record speeds for horizontal and vertical thrills.
- Everything you need to take care of your little friend, and a handy crate so your puppy can be by your side wherever you go!
- The pet carrier doubles as a storage container to keep toys together when not in use.
- Great for hours of imaginative play, alone or with friends.
- After playtime collect all the pieces and store them in the handy box!
- This set includes a Dalmatian puppy, pretend veterinarian tools and much more! 15 pieces in total!
- Recommended for ages 2 +