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Gift guide: For kids, from baby to teen

  • Orange County Register
  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at 10:27 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at 10:54 p.m.


Splurge: VINCI Tab

What: Created by a mom and designed exclusively for toddlers and preschoolers, VINCI Early Learning Systems use the most advanced technology — capacitive touch screen, Cortex A8 processor and Android, to engage toddlers and preschoolers. The VINCI Tab tablet is specifically designed for children with a step-by-step learning structure, various development features, and three levels: “The Curious” (18 to 30 months), “The Confident” (2.5 to 3.5 years) and “The Capable (3.5 to 5 years). The tab switches to parent mode so it can also be used for Web browsing, e-mail and more.

Cost: $169.99-$199.99

Where: Walmart, Toys R Us, Sears

Web: store.vincigenius.com or amazon.com

Medium price: Mickey Mouse Musical Bench

What: Mini music fans will love this bench, which features three instruments — a bell, xylophone and drum. The bench also comes with three storage bins for toys.

Cost: $63.99

Where: Toys R Us

Web: toysrus.com

Stocking stuffer: Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case

What: There are lots of kid-friendly apps available, but not every parent wants to risk their child dropping or dirtying their device. This case not only protects it, but is easier for kids to hold.

Cost: $13.99 for iPhone or iPod touch; $25.95 for iPad

Where: Target, Walmart

Web: amazon.com

AGES 4 TO 12

Splurge: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle set

What: The Secret Sewer Lair playset stands 42 inches tall and has 20 different features, including telescoping periscope, rope swing and lines that can connect to other objects in your child’s room. Complete the set with action figures from the popular TV show/movie, and the Shellraiser car.

Cost: $129.99 (playset), $27.99 (car), $7.99-$8.99 each (action figures)

Where: Toys R Us

Web: toysrus.com or amazon.com

Medium price: Morphology Junior

What: Creative kids who enjoy building — from blocks to Legos to beads — will get a kick out of this game, which gives you a word that you then build out of a combination of simple materials.

Cost: $29.99

Where: Barnes & Noble

Web: morphologygames.com

Stocking stuffer: FUN: moldable soap

What: Bath time can be a little boring, so introduce this great new product that is a lot like Play-Doh, except you can get it wet. You can mold and create with it until it ultimately disappears into suds, leaving the kids fresh and clean. Available in yellow, green, blue, red and pink.

Cost: $6.95

Where: LUSH Cosmetics

Web: lushusa.com


Splurge: PlayStation Vita

What: The latest handheld device features touch screen and rear touch options, a camera, GPS, Wi-Fi and more. It also features cross play, so players can start a game on a PS3 console, save it, and continue it on the PS Vita — so your teens no longer have to hole themselves up in their room to get their game time in.

Cost: $249

Where: Best Buy, Walmart

Web: amazon.com

Medium price: Artiste Caboodle

What: What teenage girl doesn’t need a big, sleek Caboodle to carry all of those great eye shadows, nail polish and more? This version features three auto-open trays, a removable base divider, and moveable picture frame mirror inside.

Cost: $79.99

Where: Ulta, (other styles also available at Target and Walmart)

Stocking stuffer: Magazine subscription

What: Whatever their interests, there’s probably a magazine all about it. Some magazines have kid or teen versions, and many subscriptions give you the option of viewing the magazine on an iPad or mobile device.

Cost: $10 for 20 issues of Teen Vogue; $14.95 for 12 issues of Guitar World

Web: amazon.com

Whether you’ve got a newborn or a teen, there are plenty of toys and gadgets to choose from. Here are a few selections, sorted by age. Each age group features a splurge item, a medium-priced item and a stocking stuffer.

Happy shopping!

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