We know how it goes: the holiday season has arrived, so you're
in a race against time to find some gifts that a) your kids will
actually like; b) fit your budget; and c) can be bought, wrapped
and handed over to the munchkins sometime near the appropriate
So this year, we did the work for you. We visited 10 toy stores
in and around Chicago to find this holiday season's hottest items.
Best of all, every gift is less than $50, so you won't break the
bank in order to see that awed expression on your child's face.
Here are the results for Infants (0-12
- Elizabeth Diffin
Every fashionable nursery needs some adorable bookends to
provide a little literary style. These whimsical wooden sets come
with fairies, dogs and even a sun and moon.
You already know Sophie the Giraffe, now meet her friends, Chan,
Pie and Gnon. These odd-but-cute teething toys are made with
phthalate-free natural rubber, so you know your baby is gnawing
Go from zero to 60 with these cute cars that are soft,
chewable-and machine-washable. The car, school bus, police car and
firetruck are sure to appeal to your little transportation nut,
especially once they see how fast the cars race on the
Babies will want to play with this wooden toy for hours. The
brightly colored pegs catch the eye, while the unique, squishy
shape is perfect for curious hands.
Little ones can stroll the town in style thanks to these fun
sunglasses for the under 3 set. The aviator-style shades come in
nine colors and are guaranteed not to break for at least a year. So
apparently they're miracle workers, too.
This brightly colored toy is fun whether you're stacking it up
or watching it fall. The weighted pieces balance on each other to
make a perfectly wobbly tower. Or (we're guessing) they're pretty
fun to chew or roll.
Book lover parents will adore these ingenious board books that
use classic literature to teach concepts like opposites, numbers
and colors. Our favorite? A take on Pride & Prejudice that
If you need a way to keep your baby content in the highchair
while the rest of the family eats, this is for you. The steering
wheel attaches to their tray with a suction cup and includes
sideview mirror, flashing lights and buttons to press.