November is here. Thanksgiving is around the corner and that means Christmas will be here before you know it!! As we know, Christmas comes with lots of shopping. When you have to buy for kids it’s hard. There are just so many choices out there. Below is a list of some great ideas I compiled to get you started. Happy shopping!!
Lionel Polar Express G-Gauge Set
There’s nothing like a great train set riding around under the Christmas tree. Iconic model train company Lionel, which is celebrating its 115th anniversary this year, offers a wide range of G-Gauge ready-to-run train sets for children and families this holiday season. Lionel’s larger-scaled G-Gauge trains are beautifully detailed, battery operated and run with a simple remote control that allows the trains to go forward and backward, as well as enable authentic whistle and bell sounds. This is our first train set and it’s the perfect first step for families who love trains. We have The Polar Express™ G-Gauge Set and it’s very easy to set up. It includes everything families need to get started, including a steam locomotive with working headlight and authentic train sounds (train whistle and bell), coal tender, passenger coach with two opening doors, observation car with “disappearing hobo” feature and opening door; as well as three Polar Express figures (conductor, boy and hobo). The set runs by either traditional C batteries or rechargeable battery and has an easy-to-use RC remote controller. Other styles from the G-Gauge collection include the Pennsylvania Flyer G-Gauge Set and fans of The Peanuts will love the Snoopy Railways G-Gauge Set. The Polar Express™ G-Gauge Set retails for $149.95 and is available at Toy R Us.
Girl Scouts® Cookie Oven
Created by Wicked Cool Toys, the Girl Scouts® Cookie Oven is a real working oven, complete with tools and mixes that allow kids (and even adults) to have fun and learn how to make some of America’s favorite and famous cookies. Girl Scout Cookie Oven is one of fastest and most authentic toy ovens ever made; two PTC, ceramic, tiled heating elements will evenly bake the cookies while a viewing window lets young bakers safely watch the entire process of heating and melting delicious cookie coatings and frostings. Wicked Cool Toys has cut the traditional pre-heating time by 75% (to 5 minutes), which allows for an “out of box” baking experience in 15-20 total minutes cooking time! The oven comes with mix packets to create Thin Mints®-inspired cookies, a spatula, a baking pan and “The Perfect Cookie” mL measuring tool. The retail price for the oven is $59.99. Basic Refill packs are available for purchase at $6.99 each and Deluxe Refill Packs are available for $14.99 each. All are available at Toys R Us.
The LeapPad Platinum is LeapFrog’s most advanced tablet to date. It provides access to a kid-perfect web experience and a library of 1,000+ age-appropriate, LeapFrog educator-approved games, apps, eBooks, videos and more with all the kid safe, kid tough and kid smart features you expect from a LeapPad. LeapPad Platinum features a seven-inch high-resolution, multi-touch capacitive screen and fast high-performance processor, which offers the biggest learning experiences. In addition, LeapPad Platinum features LeapSearch™, the proprietary kid-safe web browser that lets kids explore content they love. LeapSearch allows kids to browse age-appropriate content, handpicked by LeapFrog’s team of learning experts, and now features expanded parental settings for easy fine-tuning. With a shatter-safe screen and a wrap-around bumper, LeapPad Platinum is LeapFrog’s most durable tablet to date. It has been thoroughly drop-tested, impact-tested and compression-tested in LeapFrog’s Quality Lab for durability and child safety. LeapPad Platinum includes 8GB memory to hold up to 40,000 photos or 100+ game apps (varies depending on use), two cameras and video recorders and 10 apps (Music Player Plus 10 Songs, Pet Pad Party, Pet Chat, Photo Fun Ultra, five Utility Apps and a choice of one app download). App download requires wireless internet connection and parent account. The Leap Pad Platinum is also the best way for kids to experience the new LeapFrog Imagicard. With LeapFrog Imagicard games, children are presented with new ways to solve problems with 30+ interactive collectible cards that come to life on their LeapFrog tablet. Children use the camera to simply “capture” the card on the screen, bringing one of their favorite characters magically into the game and unlocking more ways to play. LeapPad Platinum retails for $129.99 amd LeapFrog Imagicard is $24.99 per game. Both items can be purchased at www.toysrus.com.
FurReal Friends Starlily, My Magical Unicorn Pet
Starlily My Magical Unicorn pet is the first interactive toy unicorn in the FurReal Friends line. Starlily is awesome and any girl who loves unicorns will fall in love with Starlily. She features 100-plus sound and motion combinations; the more your child plays with her, the more she can respond. She even moves her head, opens and closes her eyes and moves her front hoof. The sensors around her face and on her horn allow Starlily to respond to your child’s loving touch. Girls can even style her long silky hair with a braid or combed in many ways for fun-filled grooming play. When your child feeds Starlily her special sugarberry treat, this adorable pet opens and closes her mouth and makes happy eating sounds. Starlily even has fluttering wings and a horn that lights up with multiple colors to communicate how she’s feeling. Playing with the Starlily, My Magical Unicorn Pet app (download required) allows girls to become closer friends with Starlily and visit her enchanted forest home; the more girls play with the app, the more they can “grow” their pet’s power and win collectibles, making her forest world even more magical! This toy requires 4“C” batteries (not included). Starlily is available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com for $119.99.
Barbie® Pop-Up Camper
Hit the road in style with the new Barbie® camper and watch this RV transform into a three-story playset. Girls will love recreating scenes from Barbie™ & Her Sisters in the Great Puppy Adventure movie. The Barbie® Pop-Up Camper comes with accessories such as a fire pit, roasting sticks with marshmallows, cookware, food and place settings, which add to the camping storytelling fun. The Barbie® Pop-Up Camper retails for $89.99 and is available at www.shop.mattel.com.
Cozy Comforts Kitchen
Over the summer I put a table from American Plastic Toys together for the kids and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. That’s because they eliminated all screws and replaced them with snaps and press fits for easy assembly, which is exactly how the Cozy Comforts Kitchen is engineered. On Christmas Eve this will be a snap (no pun intended) to put together!! This ultra-modern kitchen features the latest in realistic kitchen design including: single-cup coffee machine, raised “gas” burner that makes a boiling water sound when pots and pans are placed on it, microwave, refrigerator, oven, toaster, recycling and play bins. The kitchen features multiple working doors, which gives it a realistic feel. In addition, all of the accessories – two sets of plates, cups, forks, knives and spoons, two pieces of toast, muffin tin, pan with lid, touch screen phone, spatula, large spoon, strainer spoon, and strainer – are bagged and ready for play; no clipping or trimming required. The Cozy Comforts Kitchen retails for $35 and is available at www.walmart.com.
Disney Palace Pets Bright Eyes™ Dreamy
With her enchanted light up eyes, the Disney Palace Pets Bright Eyes™ Dreamy can interact with just the gentle touch of a hand. Pat her head to wake her up, tickle her chin to hear her speak over 19 phrases, or pet her soft back to help her fall asleep. Girls will love getting Bright Eyes™ Dreamy ready for bed with her glamorous sleepwear, including a luxurious robe, sleep mask, fuzzy kitty slippers and golden comb for pampering and grooming. Whether it’s time to wake up and play, or relax and catch up on her beauty sleep, Bright Eyes™ Dreamy is sure to light up any room with joy. The Disney Palace Pets Bright Eyes™ retails for $39.99 and is available at www.toysrus.com.
Thomas & Friends™ Turbo Flip Thomas
Thomas & Friends has been entertaining children for 70 years (2015 marked the 70th anniversary!!). Every year there’s always a great new Thomas & Friends toy such as this new Turbo Flip Thomas. Playtime is even more entertaining with Thomas’ new sleek, high-velocity design, fun sounds and cheeky phrases as well as plenty of jaw-dropping tricks. Use the included remote to make Thomas spin in reverse, pop a wheelie, or do his biggest trick ever, a back-flip! Turbo Flip Thomas is also equipped with a unique light-up track projector feature that makes him look like he is really racing, taking train play to groundbreaking new levels! The Thomas & Friends™ Turbo Flip Thomas retails for $49.99 and is available at www.toysrus.com.
Little Live Pets Clever Keet
The Little Live Pets family of electronic pets gets even bigger this year with the addition of Clever Keet, the smartest bird you will ever meet. Clever Keet will interact with kids and create his own funny phrases based on what they teach him. When on his perch, the “tweet tweet” indicates that Keet is in recording mode. Clever Keet is also very athletic. He will swing himself on his swing in the cage, dance when he’s in front of his mirror and even propel himself forward on his cart. He can also tell kids when he’s hungry and will remember the name given to him. Clever Keet retails for $59.99 and is available at www.toysrus.com.
Little girls (including my own) seem to really love blankets and mermaids (hello Little Mermaid…one of Disney’s best movies) and with the Mermaid Blanket by Blankie tails they get both of these features all in one! Blankie Tails is made from premium-grade, double-sided minky fabric with embellishments that will make any cutie feel like a goddess of the sea. The blanket has a gorgeously sewn tail and pink & periwinkle coloring. It’s great for staying cozy at night, sleepovers, car trips and more. It’s the perfect gift. There’s also a shark version available. Blankie Tails retails for $34.95 and is available at www.blankietails.com.
Scooby Doo was always a beloved character of mine growing up. I still love Scooby Doo to this day and now both my kids even love Scooby Doo and the gang. The new LEGO sets featuring Scooby Doo should definitely be on the gift list for any Scooby fan. There are five different sets including Mummy Museum Mystery, Mystery Plane Adventures, The Mystery Machine, Haunted Lighthouse and Mystery Mansion. My personal favorite is The Mystery Machine. Can’t get anymore iconic than this one as it includes Fred, Shaggy, Scooby, the Mystery Machine and of course a scary zombie and spooky tree chasing them. This set retails for $32.99 and is available at www.lego.com.
Thames & Kosmos Perfume Science kit
Looking for a STEM gift? Thames & Kosmos has a large selection of awesome science kits that are fun, engaging and educational such as this Perfume Science Kit. With this kit kids can experiment with countless fragrance combinations and be on their way to becoming a master perfumer. Start by learning about how your nose and brain work together to perceive smells. Next, play some games with scents to train your nose. This kit is a complete perfumer’s laboratory including eight perfume oils, finishing solution, decorative flacons and important tools of the trade. The perfume oils are the same as those used in high-quality designer perfumes. The kit comes with a 32-page, full-color book full of information about the biology of smell, the chemistry of scents, the fine fragrance industry, and the history of perfumes. The Perfume Science kit retails for $59.99 at www.toysrus.com.
Play All Day Elmo
Last year it was Big Hugs Elmo, which my son loved and this year Playskool introduced the most exciting and playful Elmo to date, the Play All Day Elmo toy! Play All Day Elmo features 150+ responses and eight games and activities that will keep little ones laughing. From “Pat-a-cake” and “Freeze Dance,” to “Red Light, Green Light” and more, every move kids make is a new chance for fun. Little ones can also tickle Elmo’s belly, hold his hand, give him a kiss, or clap his hands to play games together and hear more fun responses! Play All Day Elmo retails for $59.99 and is available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on www.HasbroToyShop.com.
HarperCollins has a great selection of holiday books this season including Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt! written by Garth Stein and illustrated by R. W. Alley; Pinkalicious and the Snow Globe written and illustrated by Victoria Kann; and Splat the Cat: Christmas Countdown written and illustrated by Rob Scotton. In Pinkalicious and the Snow Globe ($4.99), Pinkalicious can’t wait for it to snow. With the help of a new friend and a very special snow globe, Pinkalicious sees Pinksville transformed into a winter wonderland. Kids will love that it comes with holiday themed stickers. In Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt! ($17.99), Enzo, Denny, and Zoe are on the hunt to find the perfect Christmas tree, while learning what the holiday is all about—family! In Splat the Cat: Christmas Countdown ($6.99), Splat stars in his first touch and feel board book for the Christmas countdown. With different textures on every spread, kids will love helping Splat get ready for the holiday season. All three books are available for purchase at www.harpercollins.com.
The Micro Mini Kickboard is the highest rated scooter for children ages 3-5. Kids will love surfing the sidewalk on their Micro Mini, and parents love the years of fun and exercise it provides. The Mini is unique due to its lean-to-steer design. Children steer by using their body weight to lean right and left, naturally learning to lean into a turn while developing balance and coordination used in many spots. The Micro Mini offers a smooth, quiet ride thanks to its high quality, non-marking polyurethane wheels, so it can be used indoors as well as outside. Parents will appreciate the rear step-on break and lightweight, portable, compact design. Easy to store, the T-bar is simple to detach so it can be stored flat when not in use. The Micro Mini is available in the following colors: Aqua, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red, Purple, and Yellow. The Micro Mini retails for $79.99 and is available at www.microkickboard.com.
Star Wars Playskool Heroes Millennium Falcon Set
Star Wars is back with a new film (opening December) and a ton of new toys including this Star Wars Millennium Falcon playset. Little ones can have their own exciting adventure with the Han Solo, R2-D2 and Chewbacca figures as they save the galaxy aboard one of the most iconic vehicles in the Star Wars universe. The Millennium Falcon playset opens to reveal what young Jedi need to defend the galaxy, including a removable cannon and radar. Train as a Jedi with the Jedi training droid or pretend to hide from the Imperial troopers in the secret compartment. The playset includes Millennium Falcon vehicle, cannon, radar and Han Solo, R2-D2 and Chewbacca two-inch figures. The set is available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com for $39.99.
Fisher-Price® Little People® Big Animal Zoo
The zoo and its animals come to life at the new Little People® Big Animal Zoo – perfect for toddlers! Little kids can move the BIG elephant’s legs, ears and head. By pressing down on the mouse (he makes his home on the elephant’s back), tipping the elephant’s head or pulling his tail will all activate music or silly sounds. If the Zookeeper is too slow bringing the food, the sneaky elephant can tip the platform and his food will roll right into his feeding bin. At the top in the tree there’s a teeter-totter for the monkey to rock back and forth and a real working swing. Batteries are required for this toy. The Fisher-Price® Little People® Big Animal Zoo is available at Walmart for $29.99.
Peanuts Happy Dance Snoopy
I grew up watching The Peanuts and I’m so happy to see it back so my kids can enjoy it as well The new movie came out in November and to celebrate, Just Play introduced an exciting new line of plush, figures, playsets and role-play toys! One item sure to happy-dance his way into everyone’s hearts is Happy Dance Snoopy. Squeeze his paw and the adorable Happy Dance Snoopy plush boogies to the irresistible tune of “Linus and Lucy,” recognized everywhere as the Peanuts theme song. Give Snoopy a kiss and enjoy his surprising and hilarious response: a return kiss, a laugh, a howl — or even a belch sound! Happy Dance Snoopy retails for $29.99 and is available at www.target.com.
Fisher-Price Classics: Cash Register
It’s back-to-basics with the Fisher-Price Classics Cash Register. This toy is inspired by the 1975 Fisher-Price Cash Register that was an instant hit. Kids will love to explore real cash register play. The Cash Register comes with several different kinds of brightly colored coins to teach children about counting and color recognition. Match the coins to their correct color-coordinated slot, press the levers and watch the change come down the ramp. Press “sale” button for the coins to go into the drawer. Turn the crank to hear the bell ring and watch the drawer open! The Fisher-Price Cash Register retails for $34.99 and is available at www.toysrus.com.
Barbie™ in Rock ‘N Royals: Courtney® doll
Girls can relive the music and fun of the Barbie™ in Rock N’ Royals movie with the Princess Courtney™ doll. Princess Courtney™ transforms from her royal gown and into a rockin’ outfit after she discovers her voice at popstar camp. Princess Courtney™ plays two unique songs from the movie. The Rock ‘N Royals: Courtney® doll retails for $24.99 and is available for purchase at www.amazon.com.
Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck
Shopkins is a collectible line of super cute characters inspired by items found in the grocery store and malls, and the line even offers adorable shopping bags and baskets. It’s insanely popular among young girls and most likely on millions of lists to Santa. Girls will love to see the Scoops Ice-Cream Truck under the Christmas tree. This treat truck is icy, creamy and totally dreamy. Chill out under the cool umbrella with some sweet friends! Comes with a very cool ice-cream truck, umbrella stand, 2 exclusive Shopkins and 2 exclusive shopping bags. The Scoops Ice Cream Truck retails for $19.99 and is available for purchase at www.toysrus.com.