VQ Picks: Gifts for Kids

toycollageOur contributors are looking out for you this season, and they have provided their recommendations for kid gifts. I think it wise to consider these suggestions from our experienced crew, but if you’ve got a book, toy or product that beats the pants off any of ours, do share.

After all, it takes a village – to make a shopping list.

If you plan to shop on Amazon, do select our affiliate link which will take you right to the site.

I bring you our top 10 picks for kids:

1. Is a child ever too old for a stuffed animal? You may grumble at the mountain of pillow pets and plush toys taking over your child’s bed, but they love each and every one of those cuddly friends like a mama guppy loves all her 50 guppy babies. Get your kids yet another stuffed toy, but this time take it up a notch with a cuddly toy that is unique and socially aware like this Pride Sock Monkey. Note, the company says that monkeys are shipped in 1-2 weeks. Something about catching them in the Pride Wild and performing the monkey taxidermy in the most humane way. No, that’s not true. But each monkey is made to order, so don’t leave your order until the last minute or your kids will tell YOU to get stuffed!

Sock Monkey

2. In my day, before we paid for water, there was the labyrinth toy.  We’d move a marble sized ball through various levels using knobs to tilt the game board up and down and side to side. The Y2K version of labyrinth is the Perplexus Maze Game, a twisting, turning every-which-way maze inside of a clear soccer ball sized globe.  No batteries required for this game of coordination and physics. Just remember that this game does look and feel like a ball. Even though Carol Brady always said, “Don’t play ball in the house,” you’re good as long as you don’t send it flying into a lamp.


3. Enhance your child’s love of fantasy and magic with Spellbound e-zine. Creatures come to life in words and illustration in this quarterly magazine that comes right to your computer, Nook, Kindle, iPad and other e-readers. You don’t even have to wrap it. Now, Čadca that’s magic!


 4. Tinker Toys are new and improved. Now some of the rods bend! How great is that? It’s a whole new world with endless possibilities. I wonder if Lincoln Logs will come with aluminum siding.

Tinker Toys

5. Sprouts Storage Boxes: Seven colorful creatures on 13″ square bins will help children sort and store all the new toys they receive for the holidays. As a preschool teacher, I can tell you that kids love to sort things into boxes. Taking my preschool teacher hat off, I can tell you that I love nothing better than sordid boxes.


6. Sesame Street 40 Years of Sunny Days: Not only will your children love these classic episodes of Sesame Street, but it is your duty as a parent to pass quality children’s programming on to them. Why would you deprive them of the genius of Jim Henson? Days sponsored by a number and a letter? Celebrities of our past singing with puppets? How to memorize lists like a loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter?!? Take them to a place with sunny days sweeping the clouds away, why doncha?


7. Kids with mobile phones – it’s a fact of life. You may hold out but, eventually, you may cave because you want to know where your kids are at all times and because you’ll probably have more meaningful conversations with them via text than you ever will at the dinner table. But just because you give your kid a phone, that doesn’t mean that you are surrendering all parental control. Zact helps you monitor and limit access from your own phone. I say, neato!


8. My kids love to play with toys in the bathtub. I can’t see that changing for a good long time. My kids also want a pet, and I do not. I can’t see that changing for a good long time. Hexbug Aquabot Robotic Fish – everybody’s happy for a good long time.


9. Bubber. It’s like Play-do but it never dries out. Never dries out. ‘Nuf said.


10. I’ve spent most of my adult life removing my Eastern European moustache, but kids don’t have the same aversion to facial hair. As a matter of fact, they love going under cover with a good mustache.  So stuff their stockings with some Pret-a-porter mustaches (or mustache as the French say). You’ll be thrilled to know that they are sealed for extra freshness. Nothing more disappointing than a stale stache.


This is not a sponsored post and we did not receive payment or financial support to mention any of these products. These are simply things we like.

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