Christmas Ideas?

I got a couple of review items in the mail from Team Mom recently that I wanted to mention in case you are looking for something fun for a child for Christmas. (And who of us isn’t at this time of year?)

The first item is the Mythbusters Weird World of Water.  This science kit is one of three– the others are called  Power of Air Pressure and Forces of Flight.   The Weird World of Water contains several different experiments related to water, including a water tornado and a rocket that you can launch.   Good fun.

The second item is The Magnificent Manicure Kit.  This one puts a decidedly ‘girly’ spin on science, containing supplies to make a  mud bath, bath salts, and lotion. The kit explains the science behind these products as well.

These kits are for kids ages 8 and up, retail for around $20 each, and might be just the ticket for the science-minded kid who likes his — or her — learning to be hands-on.


What interesting toys have you seen lately?  I am very much in need of ideas!


  1. A scientific approach to a manicure, what a cute idea!

  2. The “Invasion of the Bristlebots” by Klutz ($20) that Family Fun magazine featured looks fun – thinking my middle guy would enjoy it (and its SMALL which is nice) Both my kids want nice wooden art boxes (with supplies inside) so I need to look for something reasonably priced. We are going small for xmas gifts this year – hoping that will go over somewhat ok.

  3. My favorite gift to give is the card game Fluxx. They make multiple versions including a family version, eco version, zombie version, etc. What is great about the game is the rules are simple: Draw one, play one and the different versions can be combined to create a larger deck that more people can play. It’s my all time favorite game and fun for the whole family. You can get it from I have both the basic version as well as the zombie version.

  4. Lori Palmer says:

    We are getting one of our sons the amphibious remote-controlled tank this year from the Vision Forum catalog. This looks so cool and rugged and better then the reg remote controled cars. It goes through sand, grasss, even water! Honestly I think my husband wants one too! 🙂 We also are getting some of the kiddos the new Jonathan Park adventure cd’s. They are always a favorite. Very exciting and keeps my kids on the edge of thier seats!

  5. Try the Diva Gift Guide for some great ideas of kids of all ages. Plus ideas for the adults in your life!

  6. Bananagram. Everyone in my family likes it–even my 20 yr old son.

  7. I’ll definitely check out the science kits. My boys would LOVE them! Thanks!

  8. This year I am steering away from toys and giving my kids tickets to one on one time with me. I’m taking my oldest daughter to a play at the Childrens Theatre, my son to a sporting event and I’m still thinking of something to do with the 4 yr old. I”m getting tired of all the toys that are never played with or left all over the house. I’m thinking “green” less stuff, more time.

  9. Tickets for extra wrestling time with Daddy are probably my two sons idea of heaven on earth. Or a make your own fort kit, if such a thing exists–or could be made. Our oldest (4 1/2) is no longer impressed with a simple blanket-over-tables -and-couches version.

  10. Thanks for the manicure set idea. My dd (12) would love it. I know my mom is buying her a basic sewing machine, but I don’t know what to get her. I’m planning to sew up some pj’s and skirts, but that’s all I’ve planned so far. For my ds (15), I’m buying the new WOW 2010 CD and a video game. My mom is buying him a popcorn popper, since we don’t have a microwave and I have to make it from scratch. Teenagers are hard to buy for, unless you are rich! I’m crocheting afgans for my mom and sisters and I put together some candle and body stuff for my friends. I’ve been collecting great Walgreen bargains for a few months to fill up their baskets.

  11. Another idea. My kids absolutely loved getting magazine subscriptions last year. They are a gift that keeps on giving all year long. I got my dd Young Rider and my ds the Sonic comic. I received several myself in the last two years. I got Back Home, Hobby Farm and Cooks Country. It’s always nice to get something besides bills in the mail!

  12. Christine D. says:

    Who needs toys when Grandma gives everybody a Barnes and Noble gift card?! The afternoon we spend just perusing is anticipated greatly. . .almost as much as Christmas itself. Then the cozy time upon arrival home when everyone is devouring their newest find is priceless. Thanks Mom.

  13. Had to add a comment based on Christine D’s – I asked my family to give my kids small gift cards which they tucked in with other small gifts, so xmas week after the toy slump, we hit B&N to use one card each which was a nice pick me up, and the others I stashed – during Feb vacation, I gave each of the kids 2 more gift cards and spent half a day with them going to Barnes and Noble and Walgreens so they could pick out their items. Walgreens was a very surprising hit especially for my daughter. It was a great post xmas pick me up and they certainly didn’t need to spend all their cards right during xmas week. Highly suggest this for the over 7 crowd. Coupled with coupons and sales, a $10 card goes a LONG way with kids!

  14. Sue from Buffalo says:

    These are great ideas. I noticed that you can get some of it cheaper on Amazon. Save approx $5. Don’t forget that if your order (for Amazon products) is over $25 then your shipping is free.

    I’m looking for ideas for 14 year old boys. Anybody? : )

  15. Amber Howard-MCGinnis says:

    AUTOMOBLOX wooden car toys

    Large and mini sizes

    Mini size comes in a 3-pack

    Cheapest mini 3-pack: Amazon $23.16 (free shipping orders over $25)

    **If you have Swagbucks, it makes this even cheaper.

    ** I bought a total of 7 of the mini 3-packs for my daughters and nephews (ages 3yr-5yr)

  16. Amber Howard-MCGinnis says:

    Ps. You can also check out the co. and more info @

  17. In their stockings our kids receive coupons for fun stuff that they consider treats but don’t cost us a thing: an extra 30 min. of tv (so just once during the year, they can say “Please! One more show!” and I’ll say, “Sure!”), a piece of candy at any time (even before dinner, but not after you’ve brushed your teeth for bed), 5 minutes of back scratching or rubbing, etc.

    While we still do get the kids a few little things for their stockings, the coupons have eliminated the need for a billion useless pieces of junk or a bunch of candy to fill the stocking.

    As for the bigger gifts: how ’bout a subscription to an age-appropriate magazine (we’ll be getting Clubhouse for one of ours), a set of kid binoculars (there’s a set at that I have my eyes on), or crayon rocks for the younger set. We also have a kiddo who asked for money for riding lessons; it’s not a thing that will just be useless around the house, and she is learning something too!

  18. A friend just recommended one of your books to me and I knew you’d have a blog 🙂 This is going to be fun!

    My boys LOVE legos and I found a fun gift for them that will last all year long. On the lego club website you can join the lego brickmaster program.

    Each member gets a full color lego magazine and a new lego set in the mail every two months for a year. I think it’s $39.99/year which is a pretty good deal because the small lego sets run around $11/set. (I just ordered and will get the first magazine and lego set in the next few weeks so I’ll have something for them to unwrap on Christmas)

    I think it will be fun for my boys to get something in the mail that’s just for them 🙂