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 Preschoolers (3-5
- Elizabeth Diffin
Go up, up and away with the help of some fun reversible
superhero capes. They come with a mask, belt and wrist guards for a
total head-to-toe look. Or make up your own creative, wacky
superhero with a unique craft kit. Just add one super-kid!
3+, $35 and 4+, $39.99
This holiday season, it's all about the Squigz. Kids can build
odd-looking structures with the suction construction set, then make
a satisfying "pop" when they pull the pieces apart. Squigz stick to
all kinds of surfaces, so don't be surprised to find them in every
room of your house.
Combining construction trucks and dinosaurs into one brilliant
product-why didn't we think of that? A Brachiosaurus Backhoe and
Triceratops Bulldozer are just two of the ingenious hybrids that
make for hours of sandbox fun.
Storytime just got a lot cuddlier with these adorable stuffed
animals that have a blanket inside. Read along to favorites like
Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Llama Llama Red
Pajama with their main characters right by your side.
Bring some hometown to your train table with these CTA trains
and bus. They include the Blue, Red, Brown, Green and Pink lines,
so no matter where you live, you'll find one to call your own.
This sand isn't quite what you'll find at North Avenue Beach! It
looks like your average seashore sand, but moves and molds like
something completely different. Plus, it's great for kids with
gluten allergies or sensory needs.
If your little one tries on five crazy outfits a day, this is
the game for them. Help the raccoons get dressed for a costume
party, while rolling dice and matching cards. But be prepared for
lots of giggles if they roll the underpants! This darling game was
invented by a Chicago resident.
Kids won't even mind that they're working on their letters when
they're using this fun magnetic product. Helpful arrows direct
their movements, and a magnetic stylus pulls the metal beads up to
Kids love to have places to hide their treasures, which is what
makes these stuffed animals so popular. The seven secret pockets
are perfect for stowing tiny toys, and they're super-soft and
snuggly, too. And each character comes with its own storybook.
Art can be messy, so why not combine your kids' painting with
their time in the tub? The five different colors wipe right off
with the fish-shaped sponge, so they can create masterpiece after
masterpiece without ever investing in a frame.