Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, the end-of-year festivities are right around the corner. If you choose to purchase gifts online, you need to order then in advance to allow for shipping time, backorders, and comparison shopping. We at GeekMom are here to help you with ideas for anyone on your gift list, from babies to grownups. We’ll be running a series of half a dozen or so posts, sorted by category or age group, with suggested gifts this holiday season. Many of our writers have contributed to our series of gift guides, so the ideas run the gamut from popular bestsellers to more obscure, interesting gifts with which you may not be familiar. Chances are there will be something that appeals to you. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments below.
This week’s guide will appeal to those with very small ones at home, infants and preschoolers. Some of the products may appeal to older kids, too, but next week’s guide is more aimed at them. Also check out the gift guides that have already run, Week #1: Books and Week #2: Games.
Want to teach your baby or preschooler Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, or one of several other languages? The Little Pim language videos are fun, and they teach basic language vocabulary. The speaking on the videos are only in the chosen language, so your children are immersed in the sounds of that language for the entire video. Put out by Julia Pimsleur Levine, daughter of Dr. Paul Pimsleur, these videos will engage your children and teach them language basics.
Kidz Gear Headphones For Kids
This product is for any parent who lets their kids use the computer to browse kid-friendly websites. Most of the time, those websites make music, show videos, or have sound effects. This can get old after a while, or distracting if you’re trying to have a conversation in the same room. Regular, adult-sized headphones don’t ever stay on the kids’ heads. Enter Kidz Gear Headphones For Kids. They are kid-sized, and have a volume control where the maximum sound level is lower than normal. These headphones also come in a wireless model.
Scholastic Storybook Treasures
My kids grew up on Weston Woods’ animated versions of classic picture books. (In fact, these word-for-word adaptations have been around so long I remember watching them as “film strips” in kindergarten.) As a child, Weston Woods introduced me to great stories like “Make Way for Ducklings” long before I was able to read. As a parent I loved being able to share my old favorites with my kids, and discovering new ones too. Today Weston Woods films are available as Scholastic Storybook Treasures, and they’re better than ever. Their DVD sets give you the option of Read-Along captioning, and many include behind-the-scenes interviews with favorite authors. I’m looking forward to checking out “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs…And More Animal Adventures!” featuring Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s wild take on the traditional tale. And collections like “The Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics” contain enough stories to keep your family occupied for a year. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy sitting down and watching them along with your kids!
The Bilibo: Funny Name, Awesome Invention
The Bilibo came up as a suggestion for my baby registry in 2009. After watching the video, I can understand why it has won so many awards. This is an awesome imagination toy. The Bilibo can be sat on, sat in, pulled, pushed, spun, loaded with treasures, worn as a turtle shell, and so much more. This cool toy will be one of the things Santa puts under the tree this year.
Natural Maple Bell Rattle
This heirloom-quality toy is made of sustainably harvested American maple and designed to last. It’s treated with a safe, plant-based finish because the makers know babies put everything in their mouths. A metal bell floats in the center of this classic toy. Recommended for ages newborn to 2 years. $9.95
Wonderfully Mismatched Socks
Give up on the silly idea that socks come in pairs. These rambunctiously colorful and cozy socks are perfect for the whole family. They’re made of 80% recycled cotton and come in a full range of sizes. A group of five coordinating socks for babies are called Socktinis $18.95. For older kids they come in sets of three–two to wear and one spare $18.95. And they’re available for adults too $17.95.
E-Racer by Hape Toys
This is one of those Made in China toys you won’t have to worry about. E-racers are eco-friendly toys constructed of bamboo shoots. You can actually see where it used to be bamboo, a touch of eco-friendly paints was added and POOF! You have a really nifty car that didn’t hurt the environment to produce. Also available are the E-Plane and the E-Offroader; they are ultra-chic and kids actually like them.
Deglingos Baby Blankie
These adorable animals are great for babies, starting from when they’re first able to grab. They’re super soft, and each one is loaded with different textures and bits to grab on to. What’s even better is that it’s not the usual nursery animal line-up. Deglingos include Molos the Lobster, Pikos the Hedgehog, Ratos the Rat, and BigBos the Wolf.
Food Face plate
Yes! Play with your food on this hilarious Food Face ceramic plate. How about pasta hair and some tomato lips? Or a syrup beard with mini-waffle curls? Asparagus mustache? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and the food on your plate.
Stay tuned next week for our fourth gift guide!