Gifts for Kids

If you don’t have any children of your own, holiday shopping for kids can be a little daunting. What will they like? What do they need?

To make your holiday shopping easier, I spent some time over at Ala Moana, scouting out kids’ gifts for you. So whether your list includes nieces, nephews, friends’ children, etc., you’ll be sure to earn the title of Best Auntie Ever.

First, a few overall tips when thinking about gift-giving for children:

1) Avoid small pieces, as they are choking hazards (at least until a kid is age three, if not older). No parent wants to have to be watching like a hawk, ready to do the Heimlich, every time Junior plays with his new magnet set.

2) When buying art supplies, opt for the washable versions. Manufacturers make washable crayons, markers, watercolor sets, ink blotters—you’ll be amazed. Parents would much rather wipe stuff off a wall than have to repaint. Or move.

3) Is the gift really loud and annoying? If you don’t like the parents of your recipient, by all means, buy the drum set with the extra big cymbals. Otherwise, consider a quieter game or toy.

Okay, ready to put on your elf hat? Here are five ideas, based on the child’s age and gender:

An Infant

They don’t have any teeth, but they sure can roar. Let babies flaunt a little attitude with a hipster onesie, like one that proudly declares “I Don’t Floss.” It’s $21.99 at Pitter Patter. Pitter Patter, 955-9500.



Small girl

The Melissa & Doug “Fold and Go” wooden dollhouse ($55.95) is both sturdy and charming—it’s great for kids as young as age three. The pink house has dormer windows, a shingled roof and a chimney, and comes with 11 pieces of wooden furniture, as well as two flexible-bodied play people. Handles on top make it extra portable—to grandmother’s house we go. Thinker Tots, 946-6813.



Small boy

I noticed a lot of “Buzz Lightyears” at Halloween, so Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3 obviously has made a splash. Tune in to the trend with a set of Buzz Lightyear Wrist Walkie Talkies. They strap on like gauntlets, and have LED lights to simulate a laser. The speaker microphones really work, so families may find these come in as a useful tool, too. “Come in, Buzz, I’m in aisle four. Do we need to buy Cheerios?” A set of two is $34.50 at the Disney Store, 957-0050.


Bigger boy

The Lego Airport should keep kids ages six and up busy for hours, with 703 Lego blocks. It includes everything from a jet plane, control tower and baggage cart, to the “people,” such as crew, pilots and passengers, and the airport itself, which even has a moveable staircase. There is an X-ray machine for the luggage, but, sorry, this set does not come with a full-body scanner. Kids will have to violate their civil rights on their own! Lego, 942-5346.


Bigger girl

A jaunty kilt is classic, or, paired with a tiny rocker tee, can go a little more edgy. A plaid skort ($16.49) from Gymboree is a kid-friendly alternative to wool; it’s made from machine-wash cotton, and has an adjustable waist. Available in girls sizes 3 to 12. Gymboree, 955-2110.


Courtesy of Ala Moana Center, enter to win the Best Auntie Ever Giveaway. The winner will receive $50 gift cards from each of the stores mentioned in this column, plus a relaxing, kid-free afternoon: mani-pedis for you and a friend, and a gift certificate for the Pineapple Room by Alan Wong. The total prize package is $400! See the contest entry information, here.