2017 Kids Holiday Gift Guide Part I

Our annual Holiday Gift Guide contains boys, girls, and unisex items new and familiar. Hopefully, something for everyone on your list. (If not, please ask us)

Games clockwise

My First Chess Set – Designed with jungle animals by Ingela P. Arrhenius for the Museum of Modern Art gift shop. A King and Queen of beasts fight it out in civilized fashion. Brightly colored graphic design. Kid sized. Teach them now. Hones concentration, patience and mathematical skills. Wood. Comes with storage bag. 3.5h x 11.8w x 11.8″d $32.00 (Less with membership)

4-In-1 Game Rug – Printed across this extra large rug are Tic-Tac-Toe, Checkers, Nine Men’s Morris (don’t ask me) and Solitaire. Designed with skid-proof backing (safe for all floor surfaces), reinforced borders to prevent fraying. Durable, stain-resistant, machine washable material. Includes mesh bag for storing the 36 wooden double-sided game tokens. Just roll it up when they’re finished! $27.95

Ultimate 255-Piece Domino Race Set – I’ve run this before, but it’s been such a success in the home that reviewed it, I decided new readers should be aware. You know the drill, arrange dominoes in a pattern, then tip the first domino (or run the included wooden ball down the ramp) to start a chain reaction! Add-on set includes a pyramid step set and stairs/bridge set- both apparently employed last year without parental directions. Creative Child Award Winner $67.98 with 24 piece add on, $49.98 without

NOD (As in Land of Nod) Bingo designed by Michelle Romo – This is the most colorful and graphically appealing bingo set we found. 4 ½ and 5 year-old Fred and Annie learned quickly. It helped to have mom around the first time. Attention wavers. Annie was more captivated by visuals, Fred by competition. Contains 6 boards, 37 cards and 6 sets of wooden chips (16 in each set) Includes instructions to play standard bingo, blackout bingo, crossbars bingo, U’s, squares and X Marks the Spot bingo. Playing board is uncoated chipboard w/matte lacquer finish. $28.90                                


You might be raising a burgeoning Donna Karan or Oscar de la Renta. clockwise

Design Diva Real Sewing Machine & Project Kit – Does he/she follow fashion magazines, coordinate school clothes, read labels? Small hands are not ready for a full sized machine. Includes everything needed to complete 6 denim fashion accessories: a real working sewing machine with foot pedal, denim fabric, ribbons, gemstones, templates, threads, accessories and full-color, step-by-step instruction booklet. Requires 4 AA batteries (not included) Recommended age 8plus. $59.95

Klutz Look Book by Karen Phillips – (Good for kids who can draw) This fashionista sketchbook features 75 pages of art starters–lightly-printed outlines of faces, figures, and fashionable extras onto which your pint-sized designer can draw his/her creations as well as makeup, hairstyles, and accessories. . Comes with: 114 page book, 72 art-starter pages, 5 double-tipped pencils in 10 colors, sparkly stickers, 16 pages of die-cut frames for runway-worthy styles. $19.99

Fashion Design Mega Set – Several things make this set more viable than others. First, the 11” x 17” light board with built-in tracing filter which can be used for other projects. Second, a more comprehensive approach to the art of fashion design offering (in simple terms) body proportions, complimentary colors, the development of mood boards; stickers of shoes, bags, jewelry, accessories…There’s a small booklet featuring a question/answer interview with a professional designer, a list of hands-on skills AND a web site to continue the discussion: inspiring girls creativity. Note: There are only three colored pencils hidden in a panel to the left of the light board. Buy another set. I’d also suggest Xeroxing the fashion figure without clothes so this may continue after pages enclosed are used up. Karen dove into this, actually taking time to read the color guides and interview (as surprise to me). She dispensed with the accessory stickers creating her own add-ons and her own print patterns. $29.98

Planes clockwise

Giant Wright Flyer – Build a replica of Orville & Wilber Wright’s twin propeller plane- not just for decoration, but to fly! The 1903 flight went about 120 feet- this promises to do the same if conditions are right. An original wingspan of 40 feet, 4 inches has scaled down to 19 inches. The length of 21 feet, 1 inch has become 20 inches. And the height of 9 feet is down to 6 inches. Attach the rubber bands to the crank handle, then wind it up to 200 times. Face into the wind. Call for a countdown. Take flight! Assembly takes about 40 minutes- no tools or glue required. $36.95

World Record Paper Airplane Book by Jeff Lammers and Ken Blackburn –  images 2 & 3. 250 pages of tear-out-and-fold images create 112 airplanes. Includes flight log, pull-out runway. Build the Spitfire, Galactica, Sting Ray, Valkyrie, Hammerhead… even the same design that won Ken Blackburn the World Record for paper airplane time aloft (27.60 seconds). A first step to discovering how aerodynamics work, and even how to design high-performance models. Michael, Alvin and Matthew had a super time making these, standing on the couch to fly them. There are plenty for friends and brothers.$15.95

My Little Airplane Builder by Battat – This plane is made to put together, fly (by hand) and take apart (when it has engine trouble) with a child-sized screwdriver. Aids motor skills; fuels an interest in mechanics. Flip a switch to change the tool’s direction and easily screw/ unscrew piece after piece. Includes 21 airplane parts, 1 battery operated power tool, 3 bits. Requires 2 AA batteries not included . $27.98


Left Three- Beautiful, 6.5″ x 5.75″ 200 page, lined Diaries with lock and key to keep away curious siblings. (The robot version is called a “journal’ lest boys feel diary is too girly. Well bound with foil decoration. Putting down daily thoughts is a great way to help clarify feelings, to save memories, to note ideas; to say what he/she never would aloud. Encourages descriptive skills and imagination.

Klutz Best Year Ever! It’s a customizable calendar & gratitude journal; a memory book and/or an organizer. Blank month pages let one get started any date. Bookmark and sticky notes keep track of important events. Includes 62-page book, 270 stickers, 132 sticky notes, pen, 16 paper bookmark designs, ribbon bookmark . $8.91