Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide - Part 2: Older Kids - Kindergarten and Up

This is the first ANNUAL Holiday Gift guide for The Grandma Chronicles. It is so big that I am going to present it in a separate post for each section.

The Grandma Chronicles Holiday Gift Guide will have a separate blog post for each of sections:
  •  Little Ones – Baby, Toddler, Pre-School
  • Older Kids – Kindergarten and Up
  • Games
  • Brings Back Memories – Toys, Some Updated Your Kids Played W
  • Christmas Themes
  • Over the Top - Only a Grandparent Would Consider 

 It is a little different than many of the other holiday guides. Here’s how: 

All the gifts are ones that a grandparent will be interested in.  Some grandparents are on a tight budget and some are able to afford the gift with “extra splash that isn’t in the parents’ budget.”  Grandparents tend to be interested in value, something their grandchildren will appreciate when the Christmas wrappings are cleared and doesn’t depend too much on batteries and apps.  You’ll find those things on this list.

This is the only Holiday List of toys I know of with a “Brings Back Memories” section.  When I visit various Toy Shows I am always drawn to toys that my kids played with that are coming back and have new life for this generation.  You’ll see those in a separate section in this guide.  I promise you they will bring a smile to your face and memories of your kids as children.

It is homey and down to earth with my informal and informative commentary. 

 There are some big name company items on this list and there are also brands you may not have heard of, but I am familiar with them and recommend them.  They offer quality and value and the toys are the sort of things that become favorites.  I have personally seen all of the toys on this list - many out of the box.

Almost all of the pictures shown are taken by me.  They are shown just like I saw them on display at various media events during the year. They may not be perfect but I prefer them to the stock photos.

If you are like me you don’t really relish a trip to ToysRUs or the toy department of WalMart.  I do visit ToysRUs, but I must admit that I don’t care for the layout these days and I am happy to shop online so everything on this guide is available at Amazon.com.  I suggest you check out other online options for price comparisons but don’t forget to evaluate shipping costs in your price comparisons.  You can also do a price comparison at the Time to Play website for some items.

See Part 1 - Little Ones - Baby, Toddler and Pre-School here.

Older Kids – Kindergarten and Up

31 inch Spiderman Action Figure and More by Hasbro
Spider-Man 31 inch Action Figure by Hasbro – This action Figure is over 2 ½ feet tall and it will equally appeal to a 2 year old, 20 year old and 42 year old Spiderman fan.  It makes a great room decoration for a young Spiderman fan and a conversation piece for an older one. Could become a classic collector's item - grown men seem to love it too. Big Bang Theory anyone?

Super Hero Mashers from Hasbro

Super Hero Mashers from Hasbro You need more than one of these to enjoy the concept. All the parts are removable so you can swap parts from other Super Hero Mashers figures and change out weapons that each super hero has.  Kids love these as they design their own Super Hero.  If your grandchild already has some of these, chances are there are some additional ones on his holiday list. My grandson's list includes Hulk, Iron Man and Thor to add to his collection.  I can't wait to see which super heroes he creates on his own.

Go! Go! Swimmer Girl Suzi's Story Sports Doll and Book Set
Go! Go! Sports Dolls and Book Set – These dolls are designed to encourage healthy lifestyles and realistic body shapes for girls. As of this writing Amazon has Soccer Cassie, Swimmer Suzi, Tennis Gracie, Dancer M.C., Runner Ella and Softball Sam.  Perfect for athletic graddaughters. New this year they come with a book.

 LEGO Juniors TMNT Lair
LEGO There are so many Lego sets that it is hard to suggest just a few.  Here a few of my favorites:
Lego Juniors Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lair  - Lego Juniors are a new product designed for that in between age when kids are outgrowing DUPLO and regular LEGOs may be a bit too difficult for them.  Designed for ages 4 – 7.
LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue Base
LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue -  The fairly new LEGO Friends line has themes and colors designed to appeal to girls.  It is receiving rave reviews from girls, parents and grandparents.  This set is new this year and 5 star ratings all the way at Amazon and ToysRUs.

LEGO Chima Flying Phoenix Fire Temple Building Toy
LEGO Chima Flying Phoenix Fire Temple Building Toy - This super big complex LEGO set is for older kids with serious interest in LEGOs.  It has 1301 pieces. I saw it put together at Toy Fair NY in February and it is gorgeous.  When completed, it will be a proud accomplishment. 

It can be like the crown jewel of LEGOs for an older child but if you give it to a young child you will have an unhappy parent and a frustrated child.

Doh Vinci Style & Store Vanity Design Kit
Doh Vinci Style & Store Vanity Design Kit - I have small play doh containers for young children on Halloween but older girls love play doh too and want them rather than candy.  This is for girls 8 and up.  Younger kids will have some trouble managing it.  You use the air-dry design compound and styler tool to create designs with 3D lines. Let the compound harden overnight for a beautiful, keepable, giftable creation. Great gift for kids who love crafts and art projects.  The styler could also make for excellent party crafts for small groups.  

I have absolutely NO artistic skill - as shown in this picture - but I enjoyed the project and it made me remember craft projects I put together for sleepover parties for my daughter.

I "designed" this frame with the Deluxe Styler

Virtual Design Pro Fashion Collection by Crayola
Virtual Design Sets from Crayola – There are two sets – Pro Car Collection and the Pro Fashion Collection.  These are a lot more than colored pencil sets.  Each includes a design book and an app that can be used on a smartphone or tablet with special software that brings the designs to life on a virtual stunt course or fashion runway.  A true 21st century twist on a tried and true item that older kids enjoy.  You will send a message to your grandkids with this gift that you are a 21st century grandparent.

Virtual Design Pro Car Collection

Check back soon - Next category up - Games.

What do you recommend as gifts for this age group?  Let us know in the comments.


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