2012 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids Ages 6-10: Top Toys, Games, Gear

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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 kids ages 6-10. Also see our gift guide for babies through age 5 and our picks for top gift ideas for 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 6-10

TOYS

CrayolaDigitalLightDesignerLifestyle3.jpgRazor Flash Rider 360 – Spin in circles with dual-inclined caster wheels, then pull the spark bar to make sparks fly on this three-wheeler. Holds up to 160 pounds. $129.99; razor.com; ages 6 and up.

Crayola Digital Light Designer – Create drawings on the round 3-D surface and watch the art light up. Animate creations and save them to display later. For additional fun, try the game or activity mode. There's no mess. Crayola, $49.99; crayola.com; ages 6 and up.

HEXBUG Warriors Battle Stadium – The ultimate battleground for Hexbug Warriors comes with two battling robots, weapons and armor, and eight expandable battle stadium pieces. Play in training mode or match mode for competition. Stadium pieces are compatible with the Battle Arena pieces. Innovation First Labs, $29.99; hexbug.com; ages 6 and up.

Artterro Eco Art Kits -– Eco-friendly, open-ended art kits provide everything kids need to create beautiful projects. The basic Creative Kit includes materials for seven projects. Themed kits Arterra Art Dollinclude Art Dolls, Bubble Wands, Garden Art and Collage Jewelry. $19.95-$26.95; artterro.com; ages 7 and up.

Diva Dolls -– The Diva dolls represent grace, intelligence and the beauty of diversity, with hair that's curly or straight and skin from buttercream to chocolate-colored. Diva Diana loves to write, Abrielle is a dancer, and Zair  is an artist. World of EPI, $19-$21; positivelyperfectdolls.com; ages 6 and up.

GAMES

Nintendo Wii U – Nintendo's new gaming console incorporates a game controller with a 6.2-inch, LCD touch screen as well as traditional button controls and two analog sticks. The controller provides a second window for game play and includes motion control, a camera, microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar and stylus. Available in stores Nov. 18. $299.99 basic set; $349.99 deluxe set with the Nintendo Land video game, extra storage space and accessories; nintendo.com.

Skylanders-Giants_Cynder.jpgSkylanders Giants – The sequel to Skylanders Spyro's Adventure video game continues the mythology of the Skylands with new, super-sized giants with super-sized powers. The Starter Pack comes with the game software, three figures, a "portal of power" that puts the toy figures into the game, codes to unlock characters to play online, and collectible trading cards and stickers. There's also a Portal Owner's Pack if you already own a portal. For PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS. Activision, $59.99 or $74.99; skylanders.com; rated E for ages 10 and up.

Twister Dance – Follow the lights and dance on iconic Twister spots to learn moves that go with five popular dance tunes. Or dance to your own favorite music using an MP3 player. $34.99; hasbro.com; ages 8 and up.

Mine Shift – Rotate a game tile to move the mine walls and advance your gemstone — or block an opponent — as you navigate your jewels through the maze in this Mine_Shift_box.jpggame of shifting strategy. Simple rules get you playing quickly. $19.95; mindware.com; ages 8 and up.

BOOKS & MORE

Julie Andrews' Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year -– Andrews has selected poems that capture every season and holiday. Add Marjorie Priceman's fantastic art, and this is a collection for all to enjoy. Hatchette, $19.99. All ages.

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin – Fantasy takes a Chinese turn in this tale of a missing moon that only one boy notices. Lin's earlier books, including Newbery Honor-winner Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, are beloved. Little Brown, $17.99. Ages 9 and up.

Series Books – Consider giving the first few books in an unread series or the latest of a favorite series. A Season of Gifts is the third in a series by Newbery Award-winner Richard Peck (Puffin, $6.99), ages 10 and up. Other series to consider: Judy Moody and Stink by Megan McDonald, ages 6 and up (Candlewick, $4.99-$5.99); The Emerald Atlas (Random House, $7.99) and the newly released The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens, ages 9 and up (Random House, $17.99); or Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, ages 10 and up (Harper Collins, $7.99).

Brave – Disney/Pixar's 2012 fairy tale with headstrong archer Princess Merida is being released as a five-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition combo pack for Blu-ray and a three-disc Collector's Edition combo pack for Blu-ray/DVD. The three-disc set includes theatrical shorts, behind-the-scenes peeks and bloopers, and the movie itself. The five-disc set also includes a 3-D disc and a digital copy. A one-disc DVD movie-only option also will be available. Release date: Nov. 13. Rated PG, $35.99-$49.99.

Another Great Gift: LEGO Sets: Favorites for Decades

The 80-year-old company continues to introduce new themes and sets guaranteed to appeal this holiday season. From LEGO Duplo, basic bricks and base plates to complex sets of thousands of pieces, there's something for everyone ages 2 to teen.

This year's introduction of LEGO Friends targets girls, with popular sets such as Adventure Camper ($29.99, ages 6-12) and Olivia's Tree House (at right, $19.99, ages 6-12). Other hot choices are Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle ($199.99, ages 8-14), Ninjago Jay's Storm Fighter ($24.99, ages 7-14), Monster Fighters sets, the new Lord of the Rings theme, and new Star Wars and Harry Potter sets. The LEGO Group, lego.com.

Watch our website and social media for a chance to win some of these — and other — gifts for the holidays. Special thanks to Quail Ridge Books & Music for the ages 6-10 book recommendations.

Categories: At Home, Home, School Kids, Seasonal, Seasonal Fun, SK Activities, Sk Education, Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays

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