Holiday shopping is kind of like washing down a handful of Pop
Rocks with a pop. By the end of it, someone's head is going to
explode, and it's probably mine.
But, since we all have kids that have done their best to get on
Santa's "good kid" list, Cosmotot rounded up the coolest
click-and-pick presents to put under the tree with prices that will
keep you in one, non-stressed piece.
Called the Kindle for kids, VTech's V.Reader pairs
touch-screen function with classic academic skills, creating the
ultimate in kids "edutainment." Mimicking touch-activated
capabilities moms and dads enjoy, V.Reader gives little ones their
own age-appropriate, touch-powered controls, interactive animation,
and a wide range e-books featuring famliar characters including
Dora the Explorer, Shrek 3, Toy Story 3, Ben 10, Disney Pixar Cars
and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to name a few.
Award-winning Hearts for Hearts Girls from
Playmates teach children that they can make a
difference. The newly launched collection of six dolls represents
an international community - Mexico, Belarus, India, Ethiopia, Laos
and the U.S. - where everyone belongs and each girl is working to
change her community in unique ways to her home country. A portion
of sales from each doll sold goes directly to help children from
that doll's country, and each girl includes a friendship bracelet
and story booklet explaining how the girls live and contribute to
their families, communities, countries and the world.
Disney's Tangled takes kids 6-11 on a
hair-raising adventure designed for the Wii gaming system. In this
story-based journey inspired by the movie, kids will venture into a
kingdom filled with colorful 3D environments, creative play, fun
quests and competitive challenges. By mastering unique abilities,
players can swing into action as Rapunzel using her golden tresses,
pull objects and climb, grow flowers in "charm mode" and collect a
variety of colors to draw and paint the Tower wall or collect sun
drops to earn points. As Flynn, players can climb walls, clear
obstacles, engage in sword play, and discover hidden treasures
using his "Flynntuition". And, for those who like a little waddle
in their Wii, Club Penguin Game Day lets little gamers create
their own penguin avatar, then compete in a series of team-based
competitions, including "Sumo Smash," "Java Sack," and "Fast
Let little ones discover their wild side with the 3-in-1 Learning
Zebra Scooter from VTech Toys. It converts
easily from a push walker to a ride-on scooter, allowing babies and
toddlers to explore new territory with a walkie-talkie, compass and
flashlight. The zebra's mane features five light-up buttons that
teach colors, animals and destinations, and its fun horn button
keeps parents in mind with a handy volume control switch.
A passion for Thomas & Friends starts young in
pint-sizers, and Learning Curve makes it easy for
toddlers to get on the right track. Their Early Engineers line is as captivating as its
classic, big kid counterparts, and each wooden set offers little
hands chunky vehicles, sturdy tracktiles and simple destinations.
And, since Early Engineers is compatible with any Thomas Wooden
Railway set, the journey continues as your toddler grows.
Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar is
charming little literati all over again with its new
Zoobie form. The three-in-one plush friend, cozy
pillow and blanket combination turns the caterpillar, along with
other faves like Paddington, Olivia, Peter Rabbit, Spot and Little
Miss Sunshine, into playroom staples since they not only give kids
someone cute to cuddle, but also a soft place to cozy up and take a
For little ones with a lovey fetish, Kaloo has
an easy-to-grasp, ultrasoft Plume Rabbit Doudou. The handy cotton blankie
with attached microfiber bunny provides soft comfort while at home
or on the go, while the ears and paws give little gums something to
Have plans to pack up the kids and travel to far-flung places
(or the grandparents' house one town over) for the holidays? Bring
along the creative comforts of home with
TravelKiddy. Their travel activity
kits, refill packs and add-on options not only cram creative,
brain-building fun (think Melissa & Doug art pads, coloring
books, stacking toys, craft pieces, puzzles, baby board books,
stickers and more) into an age-appropriate pack (versions for
toddlers, big kids, twees and adults are available), but also
include basics like travel tissues and band-aids to cover little
mishaps while going nomad.
Help toddlers tackle their "I do it" ideal with soft seating
from Pottery Barn Kids. Lightweight and cozy,
their bestselling kid-sized Anywhere Chairs are more eco-friendly than
ever, with recyclable foam inserts that contain up to 30% soy-based
materials. Each chair features a handle that makes it easy to tote
from room to room, and classic slipcover colors mean kids can
choose a chair that's unmistakably theirs.
Join in a timeless Christmas tradition with Elf
Magic elves that visit kiddos during the holiday
season and report back to Santa with a naughty/nice verdict. While
their primary mission is to spread love, joy and kindness, the
elves are also known for helpful and sometimes silly "elfcapades"
during the night. Each Elf Magic elf, whether pocket-sized or
giant, comes in a velvety Elf-Size Santa Sack along with a name
tag, magical North Pole snowflakes, an elf poem and
Maria Pilar Clark is a mom times two and Windy City-based writer.
See more of Pilar's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.