Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Holiday GIFT GUIDES - KIDS GIFTS & TOYS (Preschool-Elementary School)


Discovery Kids Biometric Safe $24.99
Voice-recognition technology protects kids' allowance and valuables in the Discovery Kids Biometric Safe. It works by detecting the sound waves of the owner's voice and features a handy shelf and drawer. Keeps special stuff safe and organized...and secret. Leave a comment and one lucky APISS reader will receive their own!

Lincoln Logs Commemorative Edition from Back to Basics Toys $33.99 The same Lincoln Logs you’ll recall from your youth ~ just like the first set designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son! The 115-piece Commemorative Edition in a tin canister features all wood pieces stained in the classic original colors. Kids can build their own creations or follow one of the included designs. A classic since 1916, its proof that simple pleasures last. Leave a comment and one lucky APISS reader will receive their own set, courtesy Back to Basics Toys!

Discovery Kids Paper Recycling Studio $20.99
It's an art project AND a lesson in recycling when kids reuse old everyday paper to create works of art. A great way to make holiday cards or pass an afternoon indoors. Kids grind paper to pulp, then form sheets of different sizes and shapes, adding organic material for special flair. For ages 8 and up. One lucky commenter will win their own set!

Stacking Tree by Plan Toys at The Pajama Squid $20
This stacking set's design is based on the concept of nature. Each wooden piece can be stacked to form different kinds of trees. Children can learn the color variation and size. For age 2 years and up. Plan Toy’s vision is to create toys that inspire imagination, as well as promote children’s physical and intellectual development. Plan Toy's products are made from recycled rubberwood that is non-chemically treated, and are just simplistically beautiful toys!

MobileHome Cardboard Dollhouse by Kidsonroof at The Pajama Squid $34.95
Tiffany at The Pajama Squid says of this dollhouse, "I wanted a doll house that appealed to both girls and boys, was imaginative and there was no pressure involved...no pressure for the parent, so when the kids turn the box over they don’t see all the things he or she must have to make it their own."

This house is white on the outside and red on the inside, made out of exceptionally stable 100% recycled cardboard that is biodegradable with 8 rooms, stair opening, spy holes, and an attic for storage. Easy to install and easy to carry. Designing it is completely up to the individual.

Spark Smart Globe Jr. by Discovery Store $49.95
This interactive 3D full color spinning globe lets kids 3 and up explore the world with the touch of a finger. Kids will learn the continents, fun facts about animals and cultures, peoples and customs, food and language and more! The LCD screen visually illustrates learning about each geographic area and topic.

Discovery Kids FRS Walkie Talkie Watches $29.95
With 22 channels and a super high frequency, kids can play spy and communicate up to 1.5 miles away from each other! It has a voice activated mode that transmits when you start talking. There are ear buds for covert communications and the set is expandable - you can add more sets for a larger network. Forget the kids, this is so Mission Impossible, I want these!

Green Toys Enviro-Friendly Tea Set at The Pajama Squid $25
This tea set is made from advanced environmentally friendly materials and shows that green can equal cute too! For age 3 years and up.
Includes 17 Pieces including tea pot with lid, sugar bowl with lid and creamer.

Nintendo DS Smart Boy's and Smart Girl's Magical Book Club and Smart Girl's Party Game Games for preschoolers age 3-6 $24-30
The Smart Kids Series of videogames are the only developmentally appropriate games for preschoolers (age 3-6) on Nintendo DS. This is a great gift for parents looking for a positive point of entry for their youngest children into the video gaming market but seeking to avoid inappropriate and violent content. Nintendo DS offers "first-time games for first-time gamers." The games each feature 18 skill-based mini-games that help develop the memory, enhance hand-eye coordination, teach basic skills and encourage creativity. Recipient of the 2008 National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. Leave a comment to receive one of these three Nintendo DS Games: Nintendo DS Smart Boy's Toys Club, Smart Girl's Magical Book Club or Smart Girl's Party Game Games for preschoolers.

Ultimate I SPY for Wii $39.99 or I SPY Fun House for CD-Rom $19.99 Play I SPY like never before! Navigate 3-D riddle screens, play paddleball or complete puzzles to solve I SPY riddles, all based on the beloved eye puzzle books for kids. The games combine the seek-and-find gameplay of I SPY with active play on the Wii or computer learning skills via CD-Rom. Special surprises abound!

Care Bears Flurries of Fun 3 DVD Collection $23.99
This set of sweet, family-friendly animated movies includes the bear-y fun favorite adventures“Care Bears Oopsy Does It,” “Care Bears Grizzle-ly Adventures” and “Care Bears Ups and Downs.” All stories teach good morals and behavior and include the ever-popular Care-Bear-Stare. Tummy tattoos of hearts and rainbows totally optional. Leave a comment and this 3 DVD gift pack could be yours!

GIVEAWAY Strawberry Shortcake Holiday Dreams 3 DVD Collection $23.99
Your berry-sweet daughter (or son, there's a boy character in it named Huckleberry Pie) can own three charming Strawberry Shortcake adventures in one specially designed gift pack. The popular titles, “Berry Merry Christmas,” “Big Country Fun” and “Let’s Dance” make up the brand new Strawberry Shortcake Holiday Dreams Collection. All three stories share the typical fun and adventure, songs and over-use of the word "berry" as a noun, verb and adjective that we all know and love. Comment below and one lucky family will win!

Pandamania Game from the Smithsonian Institution $14.98
DC area families LOVE the pandas at the National Zoo, as do children all over the world. Now this exciting new game from the Smithsonian Institution has players racing around the board to gather the food their panda needs. Educational and entertaining animal trivia and zoology fun. For 2 to 4 players, ages 5 and up.

Car Carrier Semi With Cars by East Laurel Woodcrafts at The Pajama Squid $28
This cool car carrier semi with cars is by Kentucky crafters East Laurel Woodcrafts. The wooden toys are finished with a non-toxic toy and wood oil to preserve the natural wood feel. Each piece is uniquely its own and absolutely beautiful.

K’NEX® Road Rigs Dump Truck & Tow Truck $19.99 Each
Little Builders age 5 and up will love the constructing the vehicles in the Road Rigs series. After assembling the trucks with bricks, rods, connectors and wheels, the kids' creations motorize and pound the pavement. My son loves lifting the hood to check out the internal chrome engine and operating the working tow in the back. Each set includes a little K'NEXman action figure to sit in the driver's seat! An even bigger motorized truck can be built by combining the two sets - so cool! After years of traditional blocks, these new sets really sparked the imagination and creativity in my little builder.

'NEX Sesame Street Building Sets $10.99 Each
Now the younger sibling can build with K'NEX too! These brand new Sesame Street themed building sets are created especially for preschoolers and allow tots to create custom versions of their favorite sesame characters. Choose between Super Grover, Abby Cadabby, Elmo, Ernie, Cookie Monster and my daughter's favorite, Oscar. Perfect to stimulate and delight the building urge in little ones and pacakged in the cutest plastic carrying case, this will be my go-to 3rd birthday party present for 2009 - just stick a bow on the top and go!

Disney's The Hidden World of Fairies Hardcover Interactive Book $14.99
Do you have a little one that is super excited about the new Tinker Bell movie? Then this book is the perfect gift! This illustrated book allows kids to enter the fairy world with fairy facts and includes lots of interactive elements, like secret notes, miniature books and a removable fairy talent medallion. Disney Fairies: The Hidden World of Fairies offers fairy fans an intimate glimpse into this magical world.

Disney/Pixar World of Cars: Meet the Cars Book $12.99
The world of Cars just got even bigger. The colorful Disney/Pixar The World of Cars: Meet the Cars book introduces 200 minor characters and ''extras'' featured in the Cars movie. From RVs and security SUVs to racecars and helicopters, kids will love meeting all of the new vehicles and reading the humorous descriptions about them. Plus, the jacket is printed on the reverse so it can be used as a poster!

The Hannah Montana Glitter Studio $14.99
This set featuring everyone's favorite singing, twang-talking teen is jam-packed with art supplies. Includes Shimmer & Shine Art Glazes, Paper Stencils, Stickers, Markers, Jewels, Message Cards, Art Pad, Glitter Pens and Watercolor Tray with Brush. With over 100 pieces, young fans can spend hours creating their very own Hannah-themed stationery. By Elmer's Glue art products for kids. One lucky kid will receive their own set under the tree if you comment below!

BOCA BETH Spanish Learning Beginner Set $31.99
My 2 and 4 year olds are jabbering en EspaƱol thanks to the Boca Beth early language learning program. This set comes with the DVD "Mi Casa/My House," the music CD "First Songs in Spanish,"
their very own puppet of the Boca character and a bilingual coloring/activity book with more than 40 pages of Spanish & English fun. Parents will appreciate the How To Guide for second language instruction, since my own Spanish classes were eons ago.
The Boca set is truly a valuable educational gift that feels like a toy to the kids.

Story Time Felt "Paper" Dolls with pre-cut clothes $26.99
These sweet dolls have all of the fun and cuteness of old fashioned paper dolls, but none of the frustrating punching out, tabs or ripping. The ethnically diverse dolls - choose one of five options or design your own - are made from thick, sturdy, high quality felt with oodles of outfits made from a thinner gauge of felt. The doll clothes are soft, pliable, and stick to the felt doll perfectly. And Story Felt has many more great felt imaginative play products in stock. One lucky APISS reader will receive a $25 gift certificate to use at Story Time Felt to choose the product of your choice!

Cloud B's new Twilight Sea Turtle™ $33.98
One part nightlight, one part plush friend and one part educational toy, this sleepy sea turtle offers children of all ages a soothing companion that makes bedtime fun. This toy has been helping my son sleep independently and without the endless array of stories and drinks of water. He loves how the turtle's glow illuminates the room in soothing hues of blue and green and casts his very own star show on the ceiling. Winner of the Creative Child Top Choice of the Year Award, a portion of the toy's proceeds supports sea turtle conservation efforts.

First Name Puzzle at One Step Ahead $29.95
For a young preschooler just learning to spell her name, what could be more special than a puzzle that is all about her? This wooden puzzle can be personalized with up 11 letters in a first name. Must be ordered by 12/5 for guaranteed Christmas and Hanukkah delivery.

Play-Doh Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe $14.99
Remember the Play-Doh Mop Top Hair Shop? For our children's generation, Play Doh has introduced the brand new for 2008 Play-Doh Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe. My kids have spent several quiet, busy afternoons making brightly colored sundaes and cones and having a fabulous time! The kit is large enough for both children to happily play together. This is a great holiday present to give to sibling sets of nieces and nephews this Christmas, as our retail budget may not allow for individual gifts. The big box came with about 50 Play-Doh accessories, even contraptions that made sprinkles and cherries like a real ice cream parlor. It also comes with 4 of the big cans of Play-Doh.

Tonka Bounce Back Racer $29.99
I have an almost 5 year old son who loves, adores, covets anything remote-controlled. But a lot of the R/C items out there are too delicate and expensive for a rough and tumble preschooler. And often the gear shifts are too confusing for a little kid who still looks down to make the "L" to find his left hand. Thank goodness that Tonka gets preschoolers and made the new Bounce Back Racer with young kids in mind. My son passionately loves this colorful, crash-proof car. It feels soft to the touch, and soft against the furniture legs it continuously bumps without leaving a scratch. It says on the box it was developed for indoor play. The coolest part of the Bounce Back Racer is that it is two sided - if it hits a wall or obstacle it flips over and keeps on going. The kids love this part. The cat? Not so much.

JumpStart® 3D Virtual World My First Adventure PC CD-Rom Software $7.99, full set of all 4 3D preschool adventures $19.99
Knowledge Adventure’s award-winning learning software is the first of its kind for pre-schoolers. The JumpStart games every year win dozens of parenting and toy awards. The latest game, 3D Virtual World My First Advenure, is tons of fun and is helping my own preschoolers to learn pre-reading, early math, social studies, art, music, computer skills and critical thinking skills through endless adventures.

When he's ready we'll move up to JumpStart 3D Virtual World's The Legend of Grizzly McGuffin for ages 4-6, Trouble in Town for ages 5-7 and The Quest for the Color Meister for ages 6-8. All this for less than twenty bucks for the entire set, it's a great holiday gift.

Leave a comment below and FOUR lucky readers will receive their own copies of the first CD-Rom in the Jumpstart 3D Virtual World series, My First Adventure for ages 3-5.

Game_ladybug The LadyBug Game $11.95 at Zobmondo!!
I don't know about you, but if I visit Candyland one more time or slide down any more chutes or ladders, I think I'm going to hurl. I love the family bonding and unplugged fun that ensues with children's board games, but the old classics do get overplayed. That's why I am so digging The Ladybug Game. It's totally new, completely cool and it was actually developed by a first grader in a classroom project.

My kids and I have blast telling each other to "Bug Off!," counting aphids and practicing our strategic thinking. I actually ASK to play this with my kids. For ages 3 and up.

Charbridge Whimsical Hats, size newborn-adult, $15
The winner can choose the size and hat of his/her choice
Who wouldn't want an adorable, originally designed and hand-knit hat for their little girl or guy? Choose from hats posing as monsters, spiders, animals and fruits and you'll never get your kid to take it off. A great price for a completely hand crafted hat made of worsted weight acrylic yarn. Leave a comment below for a chance to win the hat of your child's holiday dreams!

Zutano Kids Boutique Various Prices $12-60
The brightest colors, the most whimsical prints, Zutano Kids Clothing in sizes 12m-4T show a love of kids' individuality. I love that so many of the colors and patterns work great for boys or girls, and that kids and parents are encouraged to mix patterns and stripes, dots and prints. The Zutano clothes I have bought my children never ever fade and get cozier with every wash.
Leave a comment to receive a unisex Zutano Baby Basics outfit! The outfit is a long sleeved baby tee in the acorn mouse pattern, a fleece cozie in pool and a cotton cap in brown - all size 6-12 months.

GIVEAWAY Swell Foop Sea Turtle Kids Tee $22
This fantastic shirt features a green sea turtle above the phrase "live gently." It is made of five-ounce, preshrunk 100% organic ring-spun cotton, and is pre-washed for superior softness. Color: Slate Grey. Made in the USA. THREE lucky commenters will win a tee for their kid in the available size of their choice.

Sammy, Allergen-Free Sensitive Baby $10.99
This 11 Inch doll is soft and cuddly, specially designed for asthma and allergy sensitive babies. Manufactured with materials that do not contain chemicals or allergens. Finally, a cuddly friend for even the most sensitive child.

Lavender Dreams Slumbersong Baby $7.98
This sweet baby is scented with soothing lavender, a natural scent known to calm and relax fussy children. Pull baby's musical nightcap and hear a soft lullaby. For ages 0+. Leave a comment for a chance to welcome this baby into your home!

Playskool Dressy Daisy Doll $14.99 and outfits $7.99 each
Playing dress-up is a cinch with this fashionably fun, soft huggable doll. The easy-on fashions are a snap to put on, leaving more time for imaginative, mix-and-match play. Choose an African-American, Latina or blonde Daisy for your little girl.

BabyLegs Baby/Child Leg (or Arm) Warmers $12-28 a pair
BabyLegs help kids stay warm and make a funky fashion statement at once! They're great for preschool fashion statements and running around in the house, keeping the feet free for gripping. They make diaper changes and pottytraining a breeze. And they're just so darn cute. Leave a comment below and maybe you'll win one of the 3 BabyLegs for giveaway - all are in adorable holiday patterns!

Billy Brown Audio Adventures for Kids on CD at Giddio $10.99
We love these award-winning stories on long car rides to visit family. The Billy Brown audio adventures are professionally produced with full cast voice acting, music, and sound effects that hearken back to the days of radio dramas and really enthrall our kids' imaginations. Targeted for kids age 3-7, but all ages will enjoy these CDs. A FREE download of Giddio's award-winning audio adventure “Billy Brown And The Mystery Package” is available at www.Giddio.com!

Nerf Rocket Pass Peyton Manning Football with Lights! $15.99
The football game can continue, even on dark fall evenings! This light-up NERF football has two exciting modes, one keeps the ball lit up to never lose sight of the ball, the other mode lights up when kids throw a perfect spiral pass. An easy-access button helps easily switch and it comes with passing tips from Peyton Manning, Includes 2 AAA batteries.

The Masala Bhangra Workout For Kids $19.95
Get couch potato kids on their feet with this cool Indian dance workout video. This easy but fun helps kids and families stay in shape while dancing around Indian style and more importantly - together! Sarina Jain, the "Jane Fonda of India" leads the workout and it's lots of fun. I like to pretend I'm in a big Bollywood dance number in my family room. One lucky reader will win his/her own copy - so comment below!

Shains Ware Bracelets with 60 pieces of flair $12
Shain's is a fun, cool eco-friendlyway for your teen or tween to express themselves. Elements include the alphabet and cute icons.
You can also buy Shains at the Crab Soup Cook-Off in Annapolis at the Naval Academy Stadium on Saturday, Nov 22, Be Beep in Severna Park and at Tree Tops Kids in McLean and Potomac. FIVE lucky commenters will win one - leave your comment and it could be you!

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