It’s hard to imagine the holidays without the excitement of children, especially when they’re about to open a special present chosen just for them. Here are a few of our favourite things for kids:
For the little ones in your life or for moms-to-be, marQ, the gender-neutral children’s clothing line, is the perfect gift. Each piece is designed to suit active kids – boys or girls – without boxing them into limited gender aesthetics. The best part is the pieces grow with the child (for example: waistbands that fold up or down to adjust the length) so they get much more wear out of these well-made, good-looking designs. Featured: Sovereign Pullover $42. Prices range from $17 – $55, available online at MarQDesigns.com
When I took my kids to the Nintendo holiday preview, I could not tear them away from the Mario Party Star Rush. Could. Not. Move. Them. It’s a board game with the added chaos of breaking free of turn order and choosing your own path to victory. If you have some little gamers on your gift list, this one is kid-approved! Nintendo Mario Party Star Rush for Nintendo 3DS, $49.99, available wherever Nintendo products are sold.
Yvolution’s Neon Street Rollers clip onto shoes, instantly transforming them into wheeling wonders! Featuring innovative LED technology, the wheels light-up as they turn giving off a neon glow as you glide along. Easy to put on and remove, these are a great for an active kid on the go. $49.99, available at Toys R US.
The gift of an experience can be a lasting and memorable gift. Why not spend an afternoon with your favourite little elf and Make-Your-Own Reindeer, available at Build-A-Bear Workshop locations across Canada or online. The Merry Mission collection stars Glisten, Twinkle and Tinsel each with their unique superpower! Prices range $27-$30 (outfits and accessories sold separately).
After Labor Day meteorologists started with the ominous warnings to Canadians about deep freeze that is expected to settle in this winter. Kombi’s new Nomad collection will help to combat those frigid temperatures with down accessories that compress into their own carrying case for easy storage and transport. Prices range, available exclusively online and in stores at La Maison Simons.
With what is bound to be Disney’s next biggest hit Moana due to hit the silver screen any day now, predictors are hedging that this doll will be tops on the list of many this holiday season. Moana is a born navigator who sets sail in search of a fabled island. Navigate through your own ocean adventure with this poseable Classic Moana Doll and her oar. $24.95, available at The Disney Store.
When slap bracelets meet watches, Watchitude is born. Designed for kids 4-12, these watches are “slap on”, so there are no buckles and are fully adjustable for small wrists. $21.99, available online and at several retailers in a array of designs there is guarantee something to catch the eye even the most discerning of gift recipients.
Beautiful room decor like this sustainable, stylish and modern mobile is not just for the nursery. Miloshka laser-cuts, silk-screens, and assembles unique children’s toys and accessories. Perhaps one of their most unique items to gift is their personalized constellation night light ($55) but their custom mobiles ensure your child has all their favourites in their menagerie. Available online.
For the kiddo about to say goodbye to the snow and hello to the sun, the beloved, made in Canada Tilley brand has just launched a new children’s hat. With characteristic quality and durability, it’s wide brim and adjustable pinch cord is perfect for protecting little faces from the rays. $55, available in 6 different colours from Tilley.com.
It’s a big ticket gift but it’s one that will be with them for life. Really. The Stokke Tripp Trapp chair can be used from infancy (with an insert) to adulthood. This is the one piece of baby gear that will go with her from first solids to first dorm room. It is that durable, that functional, and that worth every penny. Trust us. Tried, tested and true. $329, available in a variety of colours and new this year is the option for personalized etching. To find a retailer near you, visit Stokke’s website.
In this house of boys, there is talk of two things: nerf guns and drones. Drones are by far the most discussed – they are simply fascinated by them. Who can blame them? Parrot has a line of mini-drones that hover around the $100 – $150 mark (see what I did there?) The Parrot Mambo is the ultimate playful drone. Indoor or outdoor, it is the adventurous companion for beginner or expert pilots thanks to its connected accessories to play alone or with friends. Collect all three drones! The Cannon – identify the target, aim at a moving object and fire! The Grabber – transport a message . . .like clean up your room! Illuminator – for nocturnal missions! $159, available at Parrot.com, BestBuy.ca and Amazon.ca.
Created by a mother and entrepreneur, the Maplelea dolls are meant to be both an inspiration to, and a reflection of, Canadian girls from coast to coast to coast. The dolls eschew body image, glamour, and dating, and are designed to be positive, age-appropriate role models for girls aged 6-12. The dolls and accessories promote creative play and healthy, active lifestyles, while fostering a love and interest in Canadian culture, heritage and geography. $99 per doll, accessories extra. Available online and at their seasonal store in Yorkdale.
Did you know that Staples has toys? LittleBits Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, 2nd Edition – Turn kids’ screen-time addiction into a passion for hands-on inventing, problem-solving and creativity. With Bluetooth wireless technology, this innovative product allows kids to build inventions and control them with a smart device. $249.95, available in-stores and online.
IMGadgets Magic Cloud Levitating Magnetic Bluetooth Speaker – This particular speaker captivates audiences not only because it levitates, but for its incredible sound. Its five watt speaker provides enhanced and high-quality sound. It has a built-in mic for hands-free call-answering when paired with a smart device, and it is the first speaker to provide wireless charging. $179.00, available online only.
It’s hard to imagine the girl or woman with long hair who could resist the Hair Slinky by La Vita Glam. It’s a no slip hair tie that also leaves no dents and no tangles, which means no tears for kids and their parents. Perfect on their own or as a stocking stuffer. Available in lots of colours in many salons in Toronto and online.
The soothing sounds of Jennifer Paskow’s Make a Circle are a perfect counterpart to the frenzy of the holidays. This first album for children and families is a collection of sweet and joyful folk-pop songs that celebrate love, life and connection. When the energy level in the car is reaching its limits, I put on this album and the car becomes thoughtful and quiet. No wonder Make A Circle, just won a prestigious Parents’ Choice Silver Award – there’s a depth in this music, and it’s lovely.