1. For the siblings who want to play a game together but can’t sit still (or there’s a toddler in the mix): Chameleon Crunch Game
The object: to throw bugs into the chameleon’s mouth, which opens and closes at random. For added action, the chameleon moves around a bit (and says a couple of phrases). Both my kids (ages 5 and 22 months) love playing this. They had fun playing this with their 3-year-old cousin, too.
2. For the on-trend kid: Furby
It’s ba-ack! And it’s one of the hot toys of the season, no less.
3. For the anal-retentive Legoist: Lego Sort & Store
Shake, shake, shake, and your Legos get sorted by size into different trays. Now if you could just hack a Roomba to pick them up off the floor first….
4. For the DIY diva: Fancy Nancy Sticky Mosaics Fancy Tiaras
The tiaras turn out pretty snazzy! Warning: You and other family members will be expected to wear the creations.
5. For the kid who just can’t wait to take driver’s ed: Drive Time Street Signs
6. For the budding magician: My First Magic Set (with DVD Instructions)
We got this for Nica’s birthday, along with a hat and cape. She now performs full magic shows in front of audiences (she’s very picky about which audiences, though—she got it like that). The included DVD doesn’t quite jibe with the items in the set, but Archie and Nica figured it out. Archie is her “lovely assistant” during her performances.
7. For the kid who has everything except maybe a street named after him: Personalized sign à la Sesame Street
Adorable! Great for a luxe birthday party or for room décor.
8. For the Barbie lover who’s interested in her culture and maybe other people’s too: Dolls of the World (pictured, Princess of South Africa Barbie)
We got Nica the Princess of the Korean Court Barbie, because she’s getting more curious about her ethnicity and feeling some Korean pride these days.
9. For the kid who likes to touch gross stuff in the name of science: Scientific Explorer’s Sci-fi Slime Science Kit
This is so in Ham’s future.
10. For the baby with jokester parents: Buff Baby: Dumbbell Rattle
I totally would’ve gotten this for Ham when he was an infant. Because he was enormous, and it would’ve been hilarious. Damn!
11. For the music lover who loves to build stuff, too: Quercetti Saxoflute
This is a cool toy the kids’ aunt and uncle got for them. Both Ham and Nica enjoyed making different wind instruments. I did not enjoy washing out the saliva afterward. But, you know, that’s just me.
12. For the kid who can’t decide which (s)he loves more, Angry Birds or Star Wars: Angry Birds Star Wars Fighter Pods AT AT Attack
This is on the list because, come on! This is bizarre! Yet strangely cute.