Shopping for children can be fun and overwhelming. (How many new “it” toys can there be?) Here are our suggestions for cool gifts your little ones will love.
1. Gravity Maze™: The goal is to get a marble from one end of the board to another, but you’ll have to build a maze using colorful, translucent towers to do so. With 60 challenges ranging from beginner to expert, your child will get hours of fun out of this gift. $30, Marbles The Brain Store, Water Tower Place, Chicago; Westfield Old Orchard Mall, Skokie and Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg
2. Little Girl Charm Necklaces: These necklaces don’t just sparkle; they also make sure your daughter has an inspirational message with her all day long. You can even create your own custom necklace with a favorite phrase and charm. $25-30
3. Nene Imagination™ Puzzles Without Borders: This puzzle’s unique shapes fit together in a variety of ways, so your child can decide what pattern to make as he or she creates new designs. The pieces are magnetic, so you can show off their creativity on the fridge, a white board or other magnetic surface. $20, Maya Payapya & Tony Macarony, 1901 Central St., Evanston, 847-866-6292
4. GoldieBlox and The Builder’s Survival Kit: Only 14 percent of engineers worldwide are women, but GoldieBlox hopes to change that. This kit gets girls ages 7-12 building, and comes with Goldie’s Diary of Inventions and prompts that allow your future engineer to choose their own difficulty level. $60, The Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Road, Northfield, 847-441-5970
5. Lost My Name Books: This personalized book follows a little boy or girl who wakes up to discover that they’ve lost their name. As they search for it, he or she meets fun creatures that provide letters. Spoiler alert: Those letters will spell out your own child’s name. $31
6. ‘Lil Snowflake Door: “Frozen” meets “Elf on a Shelf” with this door that lets winter fairies into your home. These fairies only come out at night and leave your children notes and other surprises. The door also comes with a small bottle of Fairy Dust. $38-47
7. Joules Blast Off Tee: This super-soft tee with a jetpack appliqué is perfect for your adventurous boy. Don’t worry—it’s machine washable. $30, Maya Papaya & Tony Macarony, 1901 Central St., Evanston, 847-866-6292