Monday, November 15, 2010

Gifts to Go

With the holidays just around the corner, you’ve probably started making your shopping lists.

Today Amy Bevins, Assistant Editor and Toy Expert for FAMILY Magazine, shared a few tips about “Gifts to Go,” on the WUSAS Moms Like Me segment.

According to Amy, whether you are mailing a package across the country or delivering it down the street, you want to find something sure to please. But what is the perfect gift to send to the cousins in Oregon, give as a holiday hostess gift, wrap for a secret Santa swap or even have for that long car ride back from grandma’s house?

Here are Amy’s criteria for choosing Gifts to Go as well as some great choices for this holiday season.

If you are mailing a package, be sure it is:

If you are getting a toy or game for travel think about:
Limited number of pieces
Quiet sounds
Multiple uses
Consider the number of users - Is it individual or shared?
Independent of interactive?

Here is a listing of great “Gifts to Go” – fun-filled presents that are perfect for holiday giving, last minute surprises or to take with you on your holiday adventures.

Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Imaginets
Imaginets are the perfect travel toy – colorful, engaging, creative and quiet. The wooden carry case has two white board surfaces and contains 42 vibrantly colored magnetic, geometric shapes and a deck of simple to complex design pattern design cards. Or kids can make their own freeform creations. Bring along a dry erase marker to add to the possibilities – making play options endless.

Approximate Price - $24.95
Awards – Major Fun Award, NAGC Parenting for High Potential Award, Creative Child Toy of the Year

Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Finn and Maeve Paper Dolls
These charming paper dolls, Finn and Maeve and their fanciful companions, a witch, a fox and a cat, take your child on an enchanted imagination adventure complete with castle ramparts and a fire breathing dragon. Beautifully illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell and packing easily into a carry case, the dolls, outfits and double-sided play stand will delight your child for hours of creative play.

Approximate Price - $15
Awards – Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+) Dig It
Doggone fun on the go with Dig It. Nestled inside the perfectly planned travel case are the pieces to the puzzle of where the dog buried his bone. Use keen wit and clever strategy as you work through the increasingly complex puzzle challenges to uncover the golden bones. Tail wagging fun for kids and adults alike.

Approximate Price - $19.99
Awards – Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence

Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) green start™ little polar bear storybook and plush box set
Eco-friendly and the perfect pocket pal, this soft, loveable little polar bear comes with a story about the life of an arctic polar bear cub. A great learn and play toy that promotes environmental awareness in a cuddly friend. Other earth friendly sets include a panda bear, an elephant and a gorilla plush each with a book.

Approximate Price - $10 www.
Awards – Dr. Toy 2010 Best Green Product Award

Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+) Spot it Pocket
Who can be the first to Spot It? In these four fast-paced games of I Spy, players race to find matching symbols. Packed in a pocket-sized on-the-go case, Spot It is perfect for cars, planes, restaurants, rainy days and grandma’s house. Easy to learn and quick to play, Spot It makes anytime game time.

Approximate Price - $11.99
Awards – NAPPA Gold Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, Major Fun Award, Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products, The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval, ASTRA’s Best Toy For Kids, TDmonthly Top Seller Award

Infant (0-2 years) Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Zoobies Storytime Collection
Just right to snuggle, cuddle and love. A Zoobie is a plush pal, a comfy pillow and a cozy blanket all tucked in one loveable package. Choose your child’s favorite story time friend – Olivia, Spot, Paddington, Mr. Happy, the Very Hungry Caterpillar and more. Some even come with gift books included. So curl up with your little one and her new friend and bring a story to life one page and hug at a time.
Approximate Price - $35-40
Awards – Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Product

Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)
Eeboo Metallic Colored Pencils
For preschoolers to teens, add some bling to artwork creations with Eeboo’s metallic pencils. Drawings glitter and sparkle with six different colors – gold, sliver, turquoise, aqua, purple and copper. The pencil’s unique chunky triangular shape makes gripping easy for even the youngest artists.

Approximate Price - $7

Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+) Perplexus
Intriguing, engaging, addicting, amazing. Perplexus captures attention with twists and turns. The goal is to roll a small silver marble through the maze-filled transparent ball. But how do you reach the end? It’s perplexing, absorbing, enticing . . . and so much fun.

Approximate Price - $19.99
Awards – National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, Premio Brasil de Excelencia em Brinquedo

Infant (0-2 years) Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Spot Hand Puppet
Soft, snuggly and oh so cute. Everyone loves Spot. Bring a childhood favorite to life with this adorable Spot Hand Puppet. From his cuddly paws to the brown spots on his back and tail, this puppet is perfect for hours of imaginative play and language enrichment.

Approximate Price - $16

Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+) Ratuki
Furiously fast! Outrageously fun! Race to place your numbered cards on “shared ascending/descending stacks.” Up and down, back and forth. Watch out for the wild card, it changes everything. No reading makes this fun for the whole family (and Shhh! It even sneaks in a little learning too). Are you a quick draw in the numbers game? Then Ratuki is for you.

Approximate Price - $9.95
Awards – Major Fun, Chicago Tribune’s 10 Cool Games

Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Zingo to Go
Shake, rattle and roll on down the road. Zingo! to Go is like Bingo on wheels. Packed in a travel bag is everything you need for a travel game for the younger set – traffic light themed game boards and a Zingo shaker. With lots of different ways to play, Zingo will keep this kids busy as you drive off into the sunset.

Approximate Price - $14.99
Awards – Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Product

Infant (0-2 years) HABA Wooden Rattles
Flowers, trains, lions and more. These charming child-friendly wooden rattles are a delight to babies and parents. Their soft bells and clacks, moving parts and bright colors engage babies’ senses. The beech wood construction, quietly pleasing noises and child-safe water-based stains make them a parent pleaser too.

Approximate Price - $8-14
Awards – Creative Child Seal of Excellence

Infant (0-2 years) Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Educational Balls
Make learning go round. These colorful soft, squishy balls are made of eco-friendly natural rubber and have raised shapes, numbers or letters making them tactilely interesting, fun to play with and a learning opportunity all in one spherical toy. So whether you roll them back and forth, play catch or give them a kick, kids can learn and play simultaneously.

Approximate Price - $5.95
Awards – Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, Dr Toy Best Vacation Products, Parents' Choice Award, Tillywig Toy Awards, Brain Child Award

Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+) Word Shout
Shake, rattle, roll and shout. Smaller than a cell phone, Word Shout is a go-anywhere game of quick thinking and verbal speed. Roll the 10 letter dice, be the first to spot a word and shout it out. So pack it in you pocket and get ready to word hunt.

Approximate Price - $6.99

Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) FuzzOodles
Oodles of fun with twisty, bendy, goofy, play-it-again FuzzOodles. With colorful, hugely furry, oversized pipe cleaner noodles and FuzzOodle parts (think silly eyes, monster toes, grinning lips, beaks, hats and more), kids can make a myriad of creations, take them apart and make something else imaginative, wearable, decorative or just downright hilarious.

Approximate Price - $7.99-24.99
Awards – Dr. Toy's Best Children's Products and Best Creative Products Awards

Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+) Princess Reading Diary
Just right for thoughts and dreams, with a lock and key to keep it private. The Princess Reading Diary (and other fanciful locked diaries by eeBoo that feature fairies, fawns, castles, mermaids and butterflies) have over 200 inviting pastel pages to fill with secrets and stories, adventures and hopes, the day-to-day and the special moments.

Approximate Price - $11

Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+) Graffiti Sky Ball
What can leap a tall building with a single bound? It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s Sky Ball. With cool graffiti patterns in bright colors, this “hypercharged” ball’s ability to bounce will amaze you. So get ready to run off some of that winter energy as you bounce and toss Sky Ball. Also available in solid colors and jumbo sized.

Approximate Price - $9.99

Infant (0-2 years) Preschool (3-4 years) Elementary (5-9 years) Aniwheelies
A complete zoo on wheels. No, it’s not your minivan stuffed with kids. It’s Aniwheelies. These soft flocked, natural rubber animals roll around on wheels by kid-propulsion. From giraffes and hippos to lions and ducks, the colorful assortment of animal choices offers a barnyard of fun.

Approximate Price - $4.95

Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+) Solitaire Chess
Use chess moves to stretch your synapses. Solitaire Chess is a mental strategy game that uses the components of chess to solve logic puzzles of increasing difficulty. All components from playing pieces to instructions pack in a compact travel/storage case, making it a great on-the-go option for those who like a brain workout.

Approximate Price - $19.99