Best toys for kids this holiday season

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 holiday. 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.

Eight must-have gifts for infants

The newborn to 1 age bracket is filled with colorful toys that are not only fun, they help kids learn and grow.


Ten great gifts for toddlers

From earth-friendly instruments to glowing turtles to smartphones kids can sink their teeth into, we have 10 ideas for those on your shopping list between 1 and 3 years old.


Ten hot gifts for preschoolers

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. We also have plenty of other options, from superhero capes to dinosaur construction toys.


Ten awesome gifts for early elementary grades

Kids in the 5-7 year old bracket can be hard to buy for -- too old for baby toys but not quite ready for all those 8 and up games. That's why we've selected things like miniature hockey figures to re-create a Blackhawks game and science dog and kitty college kits.


Nine gifts kids in late elementary will love

This group of toys, perfect for kids 8 to 10 years old, features everything from build-your-own headphones to a light-up air power soccer disk. You might want to take that one outdoors!


Four must-have gifts for Chicago tweens

Your big kids might think they're too old for toys this year, but that's because they haven't seen these cool gifts. From puzzles and games to unconventional crafts - and a portable ping-pong table! - here are some they'll be begging to try.

Kids Eat Chicago

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