For the Grandkids: Holiday Gift Guide
Looking for inspired gifts? These items are fun, functional and educational. So, get shopping. The holidays are almost here!
Wash and play
From playtime to bath time, the next generation of washcloths for kids is here – fun little characters known as SoapSox. SoapSox are adorable plush friends that kids can play with during the day and then take into the bath at night! Just add soap, and your child’s SoapSox will become a washcloth that can wash away all the dirt and grime and leave no tears behind. SoapSox are machine washable and can be used with liquid or bar soap. $14.95; soapsoxkids.com.
The beautiful new Pima collection for baby, by Feltman Brothers, is the perfect blend of traditional, heirloom-quality styles and the world’s softest cotton. Durable Pima cotton, grown in Peru, where this collection is made, is the inspiration for the classic layette. From smocked rompers and gowns to bibs, blankets and hats, the Pima collection is the perfect choice for comfort, style and everyday wear. Parents will also love how it lasts for multiple wearings and washings, thus leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Prices vary; feltmanbrothers.com.
Be part of the story
Physical and virtual worlds combine with the launch of Storied Myth, which combines a reading app for 6- to 10-year-olds with physical mailings subscribers receive in the mail. Storied Myth allows children to become a part of the story as they solve the puzzles and bring additional elements of the story to life by revealing clues in the ongoing adventure story, set in the fantasy world of Pangea. The characters come from diverse backgrounds, and they make mistakes and learn lessons. Once the reader registers online, he or she will get the first piece of the adventure kit in the mail to help solve the first puzzle. As a paid subscriber, readers will receive a new part of the adventure kit each month. App is free, ongoing plan is $9.99 per month; storiedmyth.com.
Zingity is a new free app that supports what schools and parents are already doing to encourage children to engage in fun or creative activities that help develop more than 45 positive character traits. Using Zingity, parents can select a character trait they want to improve or build in their children. Character traits range from love, accountability, calmness, ambition, bravery, creativity, good sportsmanship, generosity and kindness to loyalty, maturity, patience, respect and more. Once a trait is selected, Zingity recommends activities that will support that character trait. Each activity pack features a description of which character trait will be built and a preview of the ideas, Zingers (activities), rewards and badges associated with it. Free app, activity pack prices vary; leapspring.com.
FabTablets are more than just your average tablet covers. They are covered in bright, colorful, plush patterns and designs and are perfect for anyone looking to add a little fun to the daily routine. Designed to fit most iPads and tablets with 7- to 10-inch screens, FabTablets have adjustable positioning settings, so the screens can be easily viewed from various angles. The outer case is covered in the plush fabric designs reminiscent of Pillow Pets, and the inner case is lined with a smooth, plush fabric to reduce the risk of scratches and nicks to the screen. $29.99; mypillowpets.com.
Talk to the doll
World of Magic Toys has combined traditional pretend play with technology to create the new Ask Amy doll. Encouraging emotional and language development, Ask Amy responds to 12 verbal prompts to answer questions, provide words of inspiration and motivate children to sing along or recite a variety of poems. She also varies her responses and songs, so every play experience is unique. Each 22-inch Ask Amy doll comes with a storybook and interactive phrase list that prompts Ask Amy to respond with positive messages aimed at promoting self-esteem and empathy in children. $120; askamydoll.com.
Take a load off
Bixbee designer backpacks are specifically designed for kids’ unique measurements. These bright and tough-built backpacks are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Tailor-designed in three sizes, Bixbee backpacks feature a patented horizontal design to carry weight above waist level. The unique shape provides easy access to books and supplies, with laptop/tablet protection in the medium and large sizes. $31.99; bixbee.com.
Raise a triop
Jurassic World is considered the biggest film of 2015. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could raise descendants of Triops that were once studied on the space station? Believe it or not, it can be done, thanks to ToyOps. The company has created a line of products that will engage your grandchild and allow him or her to marvel in the wonders of the world. ToyOps offers an award-winning line of education science kits that feature tadpole shrimp or triops that date back to the Triassic period. Not only do the triop kits make great pets, but they teach your grandchild how to be responsible. All of the triops are raised in labs in the United States. Prices vary; triops.com.
Try a veggie
A 2013 Stanford study concluded that children who read stories about food better understand what types of foods are healthy and voluntarily eat more vegetables than children who were exposed to conventional teaching. Enter the first book in the new Smartee Plate series by registered dietitian nutritionist, Jennifer Glockner. An interactive ebook for iPad and Kindle and geared toward children 4-8 years old, Teddy Tries a Veggie follows Theodora (Teddy) Rose, an “almost-six-years-old” girl who loves to garden but hates eating the vegetables she grows. But when she stumbles upon a band of fruits and veggies rocking out in her garden, she’s in for a delicious adventure. Teddy Tries a Veggie engages children with unique interactive elements, such as touch-and-learn icons, pop-up fun facts, silly sound effects, a drawing tool, engaging questions and a yummy recipe. $8.99; available on iTunes and Amazon.
Everyone loves to be warm and comfortable when it’s time for bed. But what about the little ones who are too young to be tucked in? That’s where Baby deedee comes in. Baby deedee is a mom-designed, high-quality, practical sleepwear collection. The Sleep Nest is Baby deedee’s sleeping bag for babies and toddlers. It is cozy like a quilt, as well as soft and breathable. Its shoulder snaps and center zipper are simple to use and perfect to place a sleeping baby from parents’ arms into the crib. Prices vary; babydeedee.com.