If you've ever watched a child open the same toy twice during a holiday party because everyone got the same list it can be disappointing for both the gift giver and receiver. To avoid repeat gifts and to find alternatives to the video game systems for $300 plus check out these suggestions:
If she likes Littlest Pet Shop Interactive Pets try Barbie Sleepover Party Pups ($24.99, available at major toy retailers)
These plush toys are musical and have different play patterns depending on whether they are sleeping or awake. There are three dogs to choose from and each comes with a collar, charm and sleeping bag.
If she likes American Girl dolls try Our Generation Deluxe Doll with Storybook ($32.99, available at Target)
This doll won't break the bank and offers lots of fun accessories perfect for girls. Just in time for the holidays six new dolls are being released featuring many favorite themes including a ballerina, figure skater and detective. These dolls come with two outfits, many accessories and a storybook.
If she likes My Secret Journal try My Secret Circle ($19.99, available at Justice)If the girl on your list is a social butterfly this will be sure to please. This little device can fit in a pocket, but offers girls a secure networking world. Only friends can connect by being provided with a private code allowing them to chat, blog, journal and share online without the concern for strangers.
If he likes riding a bike and is ready for a new challenge try E-Z Rider Scooter ($49.99, available at major toy retailers)
From the makers of the well-known Radio Flyer wagon, this scooter is specially designed for children ages 3-8. Wider wheels help establish balance without slowing down that active boy and adjustable handle bars allow the toy to grow with the child. A plus for parents - it comes already assembled.
If he likes Transformers and other action figures try GI Joe Call to Action Mission Headset ($39.99, available at major toy retailers)
For the boy on the move and on a mission this is a great toy with lots of features. The interactive headset can take pictures and video that can be downloaded onto a computer with a CD-ROM and USB port included in the set. The headset also operates as a walkie-talkie so they can talk to friends as well.
If he likes the movie "Cars" try Lego Racers series
Boys of all ages enjoy classic Legos as well as the elaborate building sets available. The Racers series includes the Desert Challenge ($14.99, available at major toy retailers). The set includes a portable storage case that folds out into a desert racetrack and includes two cars. It can be combined with other sets such as the Ice Rally and Thunder Racer to make a larger track.
If they like Chutes and Ladders try Candy Land: Sweet Celebration Game ($19.99, available at major toy retailers)
For this classic game's 60th anniversary they've created a new twist. Children become the game designers and can make the game as fast or slow as they like based on how they link the path pieces. The game features new destinations such as Chunky Chocolate Mountain and Captain Kidd Cone's Ship.
If they like Elefun - The Butterfly Catchin' Game try Giraffalaff Limbo ($29.99, available at major toy retailers)
This toy offers lots of giggles while keeping kids active. Game players can't help but get silly while crouching, scooting, ducking or crawling under the giraffe as it plays music for all to enjoy. If you don't succeed the giraffe falls to the floor laughing.
If they like the book series "Twilight" or "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" movietry Twilight the Board Game ($14.99, available at major toy retailers)
Based on the wildly popular movie and book series teams reenact the hunt for Bella. One team portrays Bella and Edward and the other hunting nomads James and Victoria. The teams test their Twilight knowledge to see who will survive.
If they like Dragonball or other anime shows try Bakugan Battle Brawlers video game ($49.99, available at major toy retailers)
Based on the popular Japanese anime TV series these action warriors are tucked into spheres and pop open for battle. Players can create their own character. This game is available for most video game systems such as Nintendo and Xbox and portrays a classic good vs. evilCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun