Christmas is coming, and reports are that the elves at the North Pole are working overtime in their efforts to pack Santa’s sleigh with the latest and greatest gifts for under the tree. Santa got a look at the calendar and the elves are frantic. This year’s late Thanksgiving means that there’s not a lot of time between putting away the leftover turkey and decorating the Christmas tree, so we’re giving you a little assistance as you make out your Christmas lists.
Here’s our Top Ten List of Christmas Gifts so that, even if you aren’t out the door and in front of the store in time for Black Friday bargains, you can still get a head start on your holiday shopping. With so little time before Christmas, Santa needs all the help he can get this year!
Christmas Gift Idea #1: Micro Mini Kick Scooter
The Micro Mini Kick Scooter is designed for children ages 2-5 (or children up to 44 pounds) and is safety certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It’s billed as being virtually indestructible, which is good to know if you have kids who tend to be a little rough on their vehicles. It’s a great kid-to-kid hand-me-down, so when one child outgrows it, it still has a shelf life in the family. It comes in a variety of colors, so one is sure to be your child’s favorite; it has a stable three-wheel design and a lean-to-steer mechanism; polyurethane wheels and a flexible fiberglass reinforced deck help to cushion sidewalk bumps along the way. Steering by leaning left or right with their own body weight helps kids develop balance and coordination.
Christmas Gift Idea #2: DraWaoy RC Robot Dog
The perfect pet for kids—it sings, dances, walks, but doesn’t chew your slippers or have accidents on the carpet. Wait a minute—what did it just say? This robot dog shares some traits with real-life pets and performs certain bodily functions. Unlike real-life pets, though, the robot dog announces the act beforehand. Some parents have objected to Robot Dog’s language; let’s just say that Robot Rover might expand your child’s vocabulary in a way that Grandma might not find appropriate. In Amazon reviews, one parent took out the batteries; another said it engaged her child for two hours, time that might otherwise have been spent with electronics. Push the button and decide for yourself.
The robots are here, so if you want your child to adapt to the new world order of AI, Cozmo is the guide of choice. He’s been tested for durability and security, and requires a compatible iOS or Android device and the Cozmo app, which is free. He presents an interface that’s perfect for beginners and he’s marketed as the ideal educational robot to teach kids and adults as well to code. It’s worth noting that although Anki has ceased manufacturing and product development, the company will provide long term support to maintain operation and functionality in existing products and apps. Anki has stated that it will monitor Cloud operations for Anki accounts and Vector, and provides a self-serve Help Center.
Christmas Gift Idea #4: Barbie Dreamhouse
Barbie is living the dream—house that is, and this Barbie real estate is recommended for children ages three and up; some of the smaller parts may not be suitable for children under three. It’s three feet tall, four feet wide, has three levels, a pool, an elevator, eight rooms (including bedroom, kitchen, home office) and indoor and outdoor settings, five pieces of furniture, sounds, lights, 60 accessories, and a puppy! All this, and no property taxes!
Christmas Gift Idea #5: Gotham City Jail
Gotham City’s criminal class is second to none and now Fisher Price has created the Gotham City Jail, where Batman’s enemies learn that crime doesn’t pay. The toy includes Batman and Bane figures, and a movable Bat-Signal, as well as three button-cell batteries. One disk sets Bane glowing as he powers up; another disk opens the doors of the jail cell.
The three-inch high figures are easy for toddler hands to grip, but even five- and seven-year olds enjoy helping Batman teach the bad guys a lesson.
Christmas Gift Idea #6: KidKraft Vintage Kitchen
Recommended for children ages 3 and older, this kitchen is made out of wood, so that it’s sturdy enough for the most zealous young chef. The kitchen is equipped with a microwave, a fridge, a sink, an oven and shelving. The doors open and close; the oven knobs click and turn; there’s extra space for storage above and underneath the sink; and the sink can be removed for easy cleaning. There’s even a cordless phone for playtime conversations while cooking.
Parents found assembly to be challenging, and the directions weren’t as clear as they could have been, but once the parts were all put together, the final result met the expectations of both grown-ups and kids.
Christmas Gift Idea #7: Dyson Ball Vacuum
If they’re going to learn to play-cook, they might as well learn to play-clean, and the Dyson Ball Vacuum. Oh, wait, this model has working suction that can really pick up, and it has a removable debris drawer, just like a real Dyson; in fact, it’s designed to look like the original. It has a simulated cyclone action with colored balls and sounds like-the-real-thing noises. While they’re busy picking crumbs from the floor, they’re also practicing motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Interesting side note: one parent noted that this toy helped her autistic child get over fear of the real vacuum cleaner.
One-year olds can manage it, and five-year olds love it. Even though it does pick up some dust from the floor, grown-ups will still have to take care of the heavy-duty sweeping. But start them out young, and who knows what household chores they might transition to in time!
Christmas Gift Idea #8: Mini RC Helicopter
Made of metal, this mini remote control helicopter is well made, durable enough to withstand a few inevitable crash landings, and lightweight. The instruction manual is easy to understand and the controls are almost self explanatory. Long battery life provides the helicopter with more flying time.
Although recommended for ages 14 and older, younger kids can learn to fly it with a little more tutoring. Extra blades are included. It charges with a USB and uses batteries for the remote control.
Christmas Gift Idea #9: EasyScore Basketball Set
Future NBA stars can get their start with this can’t-miss basketball set-up which includes a hoop and a junior-sized soft ball. The height can be adjusted to reach from 2 to 4 feet. It’s great for kids from 18 months to 5 years, and the oversize rim and automatic ball return keep kids scoring without getting discouraged. Easy to assemble and well made, the base should be filled with 40 pounds of sand to maintain stability.
Christmas Gift Idea #10: Trampoline
It doesn’t matter where Barbie is setting up housekeeping, or what Batman foe is behind bars. Nothing beats the attraction of a trampoline for family fun. A trampoline is a gift that serves multiple purposes: it’s fantastic exercise, even for adults who don’t like exercising; it’s fun that can be shared; it doesn’t need batteries; it’s available in a wide range of sizes and prices; and it’s not a video game!
Imagine—active children doing more than moving their thumbs! Kids will enjoy seeing their parents do more than checking their Facebook pages and parents will appreciate this easy way for a family to share lighthearted amusement together. No one will believe you when you tell them that the entire family was able to ignore their cell phones while they were on the trampoline, but it’s true. Trampolines are timeless and the memories will last forever.