2012 Holiday Gift Guide for Babies to Age 5: Top Toys, Games, Gear


Published:

Making a holiday list and checking it twice? We're here to help with some great gift ideas for everyone who's nice. This month, we bring you the first installment of our Holiday Gift Guide with some of the top toys, games, gear and more. Look below for our picks of gifts for babies through age 5. If you're looking to gift older kids, see our top gift ideas for ages 6-10 and ages 11 and up.

Carolina Parent editors carefully reviewed products during the last several weeks in collaboration with our sister publications, Piedmont Parent and Charlotte Parent, choosing our picks from top product lists, recommendations and product samples.

As you browse the list, keep in mind that most items are included in the youngest appropriate age group, but several of the products will bring a happy smile to older kids, too.

AGES 0 - 5

TOYS

Magic Moves Electronic Wand – Ninety fun commands and twinkling light shows with 26 musical styles get little ones up and keep them moving. $19.99; educationalinsights.com; Magic-Moves-Wand.jpgages 3 and up.

Puppets on a Stick – Three oversized puppets on sticks inspire dramatic play with silly faces and movable mouths. $23.99; educationalinsights.com; Ages 4 and up.

GAMES

leappad2.jpgLeapPad Explorer 2 – The award-winning LeapPad 2 inspires creativity and exploration with front and back cameras and video recorders, 4GB of memory and a library of hundreds of educational games, apps, eBooks, videos, music and more. $99.99; leapfrog.com; ages 3-9.

Explorer Game Cartridge: Letter Factory – Join Leap, Lily and Tad on an ABC adventure. On a trip to the Letter Factory the frogs meet Burfder, who dreams of becoming a letter. Help him achieve his alphabet ambition while learning letter names, sounds and more. $24.99; leapfrog.com; ages 3-5.

BOOKS & MORE

Olivia Dances for Joy by Nancy Shaw – Olivia is excited to enter the annual Maywood Dance Contest with her dance team, but the rest of her team isn't as thrilled. They're not sure it'solivia.jpg worth trying to win because The Prancer Dancers usually snag the top prize. It's up to Olivia to convince her team that dancing perfectly alike is perfectly OK, but dancing for joy is something really special. Simon & Schuster, $13.59; ages 3-6.

Christmas Parade by Sandra Boynton – As the dynamic parade of 46 spiffy and intent animal musicians marches by, young readers will see animals and their instruments in turn: chickens with bassoons, ducks with trombones, mice with piccolos, cow saxophonists, a tiny bird with a large tuba, a glockenspiel pig, even a trumpet-playing Santa rhino. Simon & Schuster, $11.99; ages 3-6.

Team Umizoomi: Umigames DVD -– Join Milli, Geo and Bot on four sports-themed math adventures. Preschoolers will learn many math skills, including counting, patterns and measurement. Nickelodeon, $14.99; ages 4 and up.

bubbles.jpgBubble Guppies DVD – Discover the vibrant 3D underwater world of a group of diverse preschoolers with colorful fish tails. Set to a soundtrack of catchy pop songs, Bubble Guppies infuses the core elements of kindergarten readiness, including math, literacy, the arts, science and socio-emotional development. Nickelodeon, $16.99; ages 2-6.

Thomas & Friends: Blue Mountain Mystery — The Movie DVD – When trouble strikes at the Blue Mountain Quarry, Thomas is sent to help his Narrow Gauge engine friends. He catches a glimpse of a small engine trying to hide, yet no one will provide any clues to the engine's identity. Discovering the truth is harder than he imagined! Thomas and Friends, $19.99; ages 2-5.

MORE OF OUR PICKS!

Lamaze Turtle Tunes – Musical notes play as baby touches the vibrant spots on the Turtle Tunes shell. Lamaze Turtle Tunes features three musical modes and a Lamaze-Turtle-Tunes.jpgsong book. $29.99; tomy.com; ages birth and up.

Sit to Stand Music Skool – Features 50+ musical activities. In learning mode, the table can help teach little ones simple concepts, including classic shapes, colors, numbers, letters and opposites in either English or Spanish. Table legs detach for seated play. $44.99; hasbro.com; ages 6-36 months.

Flying Super Grover 2.0 – This motion-activated Super Grover 2.0 character comes to life when kids pick him up and "fly" him around the room. Complete with soaring sounds and silly phrases, little ones are sure to fall in love with this furry superhero. $29.99; hasbrotoyshop.com; ages 2-5.

Farmers Market Color Sorting Set – Little gardeners can sort and sell bushels of farm-fresh produce. Great for color recognition and imaginative play. Includes activity guide, 25 foods and stickers for labeling five baskets. $39.99; learningresources.com; ages 3 and up.

Watch our website and social media for a chance to win some of these — and other — gifts for the holidays.

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Cost: $70/month

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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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More information

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Cost: Free

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More information

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More information

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Holly Springs, NC
1001 Silverstone Way
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Save A Life Now Training Center LLC
Telephone: 919-215-6942
Contact Name: Valentina Cordoba
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Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
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Calling all Black tech leaders and visionaries! Are you looking to spur future collaborations, discover new business and career opportunities, and invest in this community? Join us for T.H.E. State...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Durham Convention Center
301 W Morgan St
Durham, NC  27701
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Contact Name: Tarryn Henry
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Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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The 16th Annual (Virtual) Beaver Queen Pageant, Beavers in the Stream! The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-423-1502
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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