Christmas is proving once again to be another busy time of the year, and heading out at this point in time to buy a gift is certainly nothing short of last minute. With pre-orders and reservations already clearing out the shelves of major toy items, it is going to take some clever gift buying to figure out which toys will make kids (and parents) happy -and we are here to help. Here is a quick list of some truly unique toy ideas for the kids that you may have missed out on.
Teddy Bears: Because Toddlers Love the Old School
They may be a part of the new generation, but kids who are far too young to form their own preferences are happiest with the simplest things. You may have scoffed at the idea of buying teddy bears, but they are actually one of the best things to buy for very young kids. Russ has a great line of bears that sell anywhere from 6 to 30 Quid. It may seem a little cheap and impersonal. But a well chosen bear could pretty much end up as the most timeless and nostalgic piece in the toy chest. The plus part is that teddy bears are more often than not, good for both genders (just try to avoid giving the pink bears to the boys).
If you are dealing with a toddler with a few health problems, there's a slightly more expensive, yet clever form of this toy: the Guardian Teddy. The product itself is not gonna hit the shelves anytime soon, but it still worth a look-see as this simple looking toy plays host to a wide array of medical equipment that will monitor the user's vitals -sending much needed information to a mobile phone or tablet.
Not Ready for a Pet? Go Robotic
Not quite ready for the idea of giving in to the kids and buying a pet? Wary of cleaning up the litter, worrying about proper feeding times, and of course, getting the proper vaccinations? -then perhaps you should consider getting a substitute. The Teksta Robotic Puppy comes in blue and pink and will serve as a great alternate for the real thing. This robo-puppy features hundreds of pre-set actions and features that will give the kids thousands of hours of interaction.
This gift if great for kids who are grown up enough to want a new playmate but are far too young to handle the actual responsibilities of actually raising a real live pet (if they're too young to walk it on their own, they are too young for a dog). The toy itself is pretty strong and will survive a degree of manhandling that would otherwise hurt (or at least emotionally traumatize) an actual pup. The only catch here is that parents will want to keep a stock of good rechargeable AA batteries on hand -and yes, there is no stopping the fact that when they grow older, the kids will still want a real dog.
Singalongz: Santa Won't Approve, But You Might
Right off the bat, we'll tell all of you that acquiring these from the official site will net you no results as they are all sold out. Now, if you have particularly noise-prone kids, you will want to thank us for not directly indicating which toy retailers may have the Singalongz in stock.
What's the fuss? Singalongz is a series of various stuffed toys that come with a voice synthesizer and a microphone. Kids can sing along to a few tunes or speak to the mic, have their voice recorded, then have the audio played back to them using the voice of the stuffed toy. It is mentally engaging and often serves as a good way to tone and polish a child's language skills. For parents, it promises a couple of hours of wonder and amazement, then a few weeks worth of agony when the child and the toy keeps making noise all over the house.
So yes, you have to choose carefully as to who you will want to give this gift to. There are a few kids who would truly be able to play with this without any issues, while the rest are bound to annoy their parents for a good long while. Which one you chose is entirely up to you.
Going Techie: Inspiring the Inner Geek
Let's face it, the new generation celebrates the nerd culture (as opposed to ostracizing it). What better way to get children all the more curious about the world about them than having a bunch of semi-robotic toys to show them how the world works? Hex Bug's toy offerings range from the simple to the overly complicated, but they all fit one basic concept: these toys mimic nature in such uncanny ways.
Featuring mechanical and electronic parts that copy the behavior and movement of bugs, fish, snakes, and other creatures, Hex Bug's offerings are a great way for kids to have a grasp of the things around them.
Mostly, the designs of Hex Bugs seem to be targeted at boys (particularly with the Warriors series -and the competitively inclined arena-themed toys), but for the most part, they will fit any gender. Also, if you are hesitant about letting a child run his own ant farm or termite colony, the Nano Habitat Set will prove to be a pretty good substitute -and takes out the possibility of having some creepy crawlies accidentally running loose in the house.
Handheld Consoles: They're Better Than You Think
The Nintendo 3DS and the Sony Playstation Vita are both handheld systems with pretty strong hardware capabilities and plenty of great games. As one would expect, Nintendo's 3DS ranks a little low on the hardware specs, but has a significantly larger library of games that are more “kid” friendly. In the meanwhile, Sony's PS Vita has very high hardware specs, and a more limited number of games offered (and they are marketed more towards early teens and young adults). Do note that the Vita does have access to the PSN -which gives it a larger digital library than the 3DS (the Nintendo eShop has poor offerings compared to the PS Network). Also, the fact that the Vita will also support streaming of PS4 games will make it a worthy device for the older market.
Christmas games are plentiful in nature, especially online ones such as at sites like www.mistletoes-r-us.co.uk and www.merry-christmas.com/games. If you looking for more charming festive games of a higher caliber then we recommend you dig around some of the biggest downloadable game portals like www.bigfishgames.com who can offer you plenty of xmas themed games for less than $3 each.