08 Nov, 2010
Fishbowl gift guide! Keeping kids playing with toys
I’m looking ahead to Christmas. This is rare for me, but 8-12 can be a tough age to buy for and I want to file away some gift ideas for reference. So why not do it here!
It’s easy to succumb to electronic gadgetry (remember this post?) but as much as I love gadgets of all kinds I don’t think my kids are old enough. Besides, they’re still happy with traditional toys, so why rush it?
I like traditional and retro toys. It’s funny how they’re making a big comeback. For example, Monchichi. Do you remember (here’s a YouTube video in case you’ve blocked them from your memory). I used to COVET Monchichi. Never got one though. Boo.
Before I launch into the list I want to mention that although shopping for toys and games online makes Christmas shopping very easy I do encourage you to support your local neighborhood toy stores. There are a LOT of them in Ottawa, right across the city. And they need our support! For example:
- Tag Along Toys (a blog patron) is one-stop toy shopping in Kanata. They carry many incredibly thoughtful and lovely toys for boys and girls of all ages. Note! The folks at Tag Along are hosting a private shopping evening on Tuesday November 16 between 6-8 p.m. … and you will receive 20% off your purchases! Woot! Clear your calendars because you will want to be there! Please tell them I sent you, ok? :)
Other local toys stores in Ottawa include:
- Mrs. Tiggywinkle’s, with locations in Westboro, Rideau Centre, and Bayshore S.C.
- PlayValue is on Carling near Kirkwood and has a great assortment of puzzles and Playmobil. And a giant trampoline in the back. You may never leave.
- 3 Little Monkeys on Bank St. (Remember them?)
- Any others?
Without further ado… here are a few of my personal faves from around the interwebs that I’ve scoped out for Christmas 2010. I’m going to keep adding to this list. It’s just a starting point, so let me know what you’d add.
- Ogo Super Sports Disk pack
- Metal bike bell
- Wrist shooters
- Zipfy mini luge
- A skipper – just like mum had!
- This might be the year we pick up snowshoes. Here are a few from MEC. But I wonder if it’d be easier to rent from Trailhead? Or maybe cross-country skiis? Am undecided.
- Pocket-sized 20 Questions. We have an older version of this 20 questions game. It’s great. We all play!
- Knot-a-Quilt: We have this, I totally recommend it.
- Also, from the same company, Make a Ruffle Rug
- Michael’s has a sale on knitting supplies right now. They have lovely needles just for kids and lots of chunky yarns.
- Paints, watercolour pencils, journals, sketch pads (we love EcoJot!) are all great gifts for this age too.
- Tag Along carries a series of Djeco art sets. Finished projects are stunning, and framable! Emma is really interested in fashion design – and Djeco carries a few kits that lean in that direction.
I asked the question about gift ideas for kids age 8-12 on Twitter the other day and got some great suggestions. Here are a few:
“Drawing has been huge for my kids in those ages so lots of sketch pads, pencils, pastels, etc. Also Magnetx or Lego sets. Favorite books for mine are Gordon Korman books, Dear Canada Books,and Geronimo Stilton” – Luvschweetheart
“board games like stratego” – Lavender_Salts
“my 12 loves to read. I will send u some book titles.” – AnnBac9
“movie passes, wimpy kid book (new one is out!), museum passes, lego/construction pieces, sports equipment” – bitofmomsense
“UNO cards! Cranium for kids (Cadoo?). A cribbage board (for the upper age). Cool fact books.” – GaryChampagne
“my 8 & 11 y.o.s like LEGO (of course) and those big art kits from Michaels and sketch books” – hotelqueen
“I’m pretty sure I was about that age when I got my first “real” set of paints. also, we love experiential gifts” – hellokaitlin
“just found out about the Klutz books – what a neat idea!” – withthesuper8
“… I cannot say enough good things about Lego all around. Sadly, MegaBlocks not as good.” – fritzmel
“My 8yo loves Little Pets, fairy books by Daisy Meadows, craft supplies, and board games” – theblogmother
Lots of great ideas there eh? I suspect that a lot of these toys and will be making appearances on many lists across Canada this year.
What kind of toys are you considering? And where do you go to buy them? Help a fellow parent and let us know.
Coming up in this series of gift planning posts: (1) books and (2) Etsy and handmade holidays. Stay tuned!