For the preschoolers in your home, check out these top gift ideas to make the holidays a success!
Zylie the Bear Adventure Kit
Nurture a love of world travel and creative thinking in your child with Zylie the Bear. A furry 18-inch doll, Zylie comes ready for adventure complete with her own passport. Youngsters can enjoy dressing her up and traveling the world with their new friend, even if only in their imaginations. Zylie is plush and posable and comes dressed in denim skinny jeans, a pretty flounced top and white coat. (She fits in most standard-size doll clothes.) And when it’s time to go, your child can help Zylie pack up her diary, map and passport in her orange satchel. Zylie’s Adventure Kit also includes Adventures in the Big Apple, one book in the series of adventure titles available from Zylie & Friends. Additional outfits are available and sold separately.
For the pint-sized artist in your family, the Little Tikes “I’m an Artist” station is the way to her heart! The three-in-one art table has everything a budding artist needs and a neat-freak parent wants, namely storage, storage and more storage. A press of the button sets the table in motion for perfect spin painting every time. And when finished, hang the masterpieces from the drying post, which has room for three works of art to dry at a time. Turn on the underneath light for perfect tracing, remove the table surface completely and take it with you for portable portraits!
For the kid who loves digging in dirt and things that go, the CAT Bulldozer by Kid Trax is a fabulous solution to satiate both desires! Easy to assemble, the dozer requires minimal assembly skills and can be ready for action in less than 20 minutes. While holding down the pedal, small-but-strong hands can move forward or backward with a push or pull of the handles, which also control the steering. Two buttons—one for honking, the other for back-up beeping—make the experience as realistic as if the job site was in your own back yard. Pull up on the two bucket bars to lift the load, and give a gentle push to lower it. The bulldozer comes with two large, plastic boulders and a hard hat, which as every dozer operator knows, is required at any active job site!
Crayola DigiTools Paint Pack
Coloring takes a 21st Century spin with the Crayola DigiTools Paint Pack. Compatible with both Android and iPad and iPad Mini, the creative kit includes a free app download, four digital tools and a case for proper tool storage. Tools include a stamper, paint roller, airbrush and a paintbrush, which creates virtual watercolors and acrylics on the tablet. The app includes plenty of line art pages, stamps and digital effects to keep your creative kid busy for hours!
For preschoolers who love to play Mommy or Daddy to their dolls, the Bitty Baby and matching Deluxe Layette Set from American Girl can feed that nurturing need. Bitty Baby comes with a special star for making lasting wishes and a book, “Bitty Baby and Me,” for quiet reading times together. The layette suitcase, which features a pink gingham cloth lining and pocket for extra storage, includes a baby bottle, rattle, two padded hangers and a change of clothes, complete with sweater and shoes. Baby fashion at its finest!
Construction Plate & Utensils
Plate: $14.95; Utensils: $17.95
This plate becomes an active construction site when meals are served. Bulldozer, forklift and front-loader utensils put the muscle into moving the food toward its final destination: your child’s mouth. Durable and lightweight, these pieces—sold separately—are the perfect solution for reluctant or picky eaters!
Playskool Show Cam
With all the parents snapping pics on their cameras and smartphones, it’s no wonder young ones want in on the digital image action too. Enter the Playskool Show Cam, which not only takes pics but projects them too! Ideal for ages 3-7, the camera stores up to 1,000 photos. Use the “Silly Button” to add fun stamps to the pics or create simple animations. If you want to share your young photographer’s work with the world, plug the Show Cam into your computer via USB and off-load the images to share as you see fit. The sturdy plastic camera has stocky grips, perfect for young hands that are still developing in the fine motor skills department.
Play-Doh is a timeless classic and one that provides hours of hands-on, non-electronic fun for all ages. That’s why the Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe is the perfect present for any age, any gender. The set comes with five bright colors, and the soft serve machine creates cones that look so real they might get eaten! (Ever met a kid who hasn’t eaten Play-Doh?) Top the ice cream with sprinkles, and you have a recipe for fun!
Skunk Bingo by Gamewright
Little ones will enjoy the sweet smell of victory when they’re the first to fill up their bingo boards. This simple game offers opportunities for learning and fun through anticipation, matching and more. Spin the arrow, select the number of tiles to slide through the plastic log, and wait to see what animals emerge on the other side. If you get a friendly bunny, turtle, bird or hedgehog, add the tiles to the corresponding spaces on your board. But when you get the skunk, hold your nose … your turn is over.
Endless stories are waiting to be told with three popular Dr. Seuss characters from Christmas classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The Grinch, his dog Max, and little Cindy Lou Who are brought to life the moment they’re slid on small fingers. Whether re-creating Dr. Seuss’s holiday standard or establishing compelling plots of their own, children will find these finger puppets from Whoville to be a fantastically fun gift all year long.
Children come pre-wired to enjoy forts and hideaways. Give them what they want with the Teepee to Call Your Own from Land of Nod. For little ones not ready to be completely on their own, the opening features tie-back flaps to make it easy to keep an eye on Mom and Dad. Solid wood poles ensure a sturdy set-up, while the durable cotton canvas provides excellent protection from sibling invasions! Available in three color combo options.
Melissa & Doug Castle Blocks
Holidays take on a medieval twist with this 28-piece wooden block castle set from Melissa & Doug. The sturdy blocks can be used to create countless castle configurations. And once complete, bring on the knights (three are included). Included in the packaging are additional activities for adults and children to enjoy together, such as sorting, story creation and more. A wonderful selection to expand creative minds.
Faber-Castell Travel Easel
“Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?” are yesterday’s whine with this well-stocked, extremely sturdy travel easel from Faber-Castell. The 37-piece set includes a sketchpad, chalk, eraser, crayons, colored pencils, sharpener, markers, and more, all of which stow neatly away in two drawers. And pulling double duty is the carrying case, which morphs into an easel, white board, chalk board and lap desk. Multi-tasking toys that go the distance? Yes please!
Hedstrom Plush Horse Hopper
For young ropers and riders with boundless energy, this plush bouncer is the only way to go. A fun pony plush adorns a classic Hedstrom bouncer making getting around by horseback a ball. (Literally!) The pony is attached with Velcro, which makes washing it a snap. And with a 44-inch circumference, even the smallest cowboys and cowgirls can get in on the action.