Newton Holiday Gift Guide 2011, Part One: Kids

Part one of four of our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide to buying presents in Newton.

Not sure what to offer your offspring for Hanukkah? Nervous about getting your nephew a Christmas gift? Here are some suggestions to get you started.


L’il Bear Stacking Rings (from Taggie’s): Remember the old, colorful stacking rings toy? It gets an update with this adorable, snuggly model made just for infants. The head is a rattle and the rings are covered with soft fabric and crinkle and crunch. Each has tags that can be pulled (or chewed) on safely, and the centerpiece bear makes a great huggable friend.

Available at for $19.99

Pat the Bunny Gift Pack (from Kids’ Preferred): The children’s classic tactile board book now has accessories! Give your favorite baby a soft blankie and stuffed bunny to keep long after s/he has outgrown the book. All are child-safe for kids under age 1 (and delightfully nostalgic even for older kids).

Available at . Book- $9.99; Blanket - $14.99; Bunny- $17.99


Toddlers/Little Kids:

Pull & Play Animal Train (from Lakeshore): The age-old pull toy is reinvented with this versatile variation. Each of the four animal figures is 6” tall, and the train has wooden wheels that can be removed so that the toy can go in the washing machine.

Available at for $29.95

Wooden Lacing Beads (from Melissa & Doug): The makers of the best wooden toys available do it again. This colorful creation, which helps kids develop their small-motor skills while having fun, is truly multi-purpose and enjoyable for all learning levels. Blocks can be laced on colorful cord, stacked or just thrown around. Some of the blocks have numbers or dice dots on them; others follow color patterns that can be used for matching games.

Available at for $18.99

School-aged Kids:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret/Hugo the movie: Take your child to see the Martin Scorsese film “Hugo” (it is doing very well at the box office, so it should still be playing for a few weeks). Then get him/her the amazingly illustrated Brian Selznick book on which the film is based. Even if your child’s reading level or comprehension isn’t quite up to the book’s nuances and vocabulary, you can treasure together the exciting and heartwarming story with a read-aloud. The pictures alone tell an incredible tale!

Hugo is playing at the ; The Invention of Hugo Cabret is available at for $24.99 (and Brian Selznick has a new book, Wonderstruck, that uses the same brilliantly original words-and-pictures storytelling)

Brush, Smart and Duck Robots (from Toysmith 4M): What could be cooler than building your own robot? Building THREE of your own robots! These simple yet impressive models can be put together with relative ease and, unlike many other models, won’t just sit around and gather dust. After the robots are constructed they can still be played with (or even engage in battles, though we at Patch do not endorse robot violence of any kind).

Available at for $16.00 and $16.50


Cooking classes (from Create a Cook): Want your teen to get ready for life after s/he moves out of the house? Or just want a little more help while s/he is still living with you? Gift your teen with cooking classes at Create-a-Cook! Classes include Teen Cooks: Julia Child; Fresh Pasta; Ace of Cakes (using fondant icing, just like on the popular Food Network TV show); and Gluten-free Baking.

Available at for $80/class (check website for schedule and to reserve a spot)

Adorable animal/character hats (from KnitWits hats): According to the clerk, they can’t keep these fully in stock because they are so popular with teens. And why shouldn’t they be: they’re fleece-lined, well-made and completely cute. Options include a fish, a giraffe, various Sesame Street characters, several sock monkeys, a bear, a buffalo (complete with knit horns), a bunny, and an owl. They even have a “grown up kid” version of the baby cupcake hat!

Available at for $25 - $30


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