Local stores are filled with holiday treasures right now. It’s hard to believe, but there is only one weekend until Christmas. Here’s a sampling of gift ideas for kids of all ages we found in shops across greater Phoenix.
A. Stuffed Cactus Doll ($22). This huggable cactus is handmade locally using recycled sweater material. Frances Boutique in Phoenix.
B. Build-A-Bear Disney’s Frozen 2 furry friends collection ($29 and up). The sequel is here, and now you can make your own Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven at Build-A-Bear Workshop and add clothing, sounds, scents and accessories. Build-A-Bear at Scottsdale Fashion Square, Arrowhead Towne Center, Chandler Fashion Center and San Tan Village.
C. Bright Lights BBop Balls ($79.99). If you’ve ever joked about wrapping your kids in bubble wrap and sending them out in the world, here’s your chance! These slip-on inflatables light up with activity. Kids love the action and adults love how tired kids get playing in them. KidStop Specialty Toys and Books in Scottsdale.
D. Art Studio Magnetic Dress Up Doll & Play Set ($15). This portable magnetic play set offers two scenes and more than 25 pieces in a reusable tin. Phoenix Art Museum gift shop.
E. CLAY-DECO DIY 3D Wooden Puzzle and Clay Molding Kit ($15.95). These modeling kits combine puzzle-building with colorful clay molding. Build the skeleton with laser-cut wooden puzzle pieces. Then use the clay packs to fill out shapes, add color or experiment to create a completely original beast. Container Store in Glendale, Phoenix and Scottsdale or magnote.com
F. Circuit Blox ($12.99-$29.99). These colorful building blocks have electronic components in them that, when assembled properly, make circuits that light different LEDs and a fiber optic tree and spin a motor and fan. There are four different projects to build. Arizona Science Center in Phoenix.
G. Charm-It ($6.99 and up). For your tween, find all their favorite things in charm size with bracelets and necklaces for mixing and matching how they’re worn. Children’s Museum and Luci’s at the Orchard in Phoenix and at KidStop in Scottsdale.
H. NightBall Volleyball ($19.99) or Basketball ($24.99). Sports equipment is always a hit, and here’s a new twist: light-up LED balls keep the game going past dusk. KidStop in Scottsdale.
I. Mission Commander ‘’Lunar Dig’’ Doll ($24.99). This doll comes complete with a space travel outfit, silver zippered pack and a tool to dig for “moonstones.” shop.amnh.org
J. Dwarsligger books ($12). No, “dwarsliggers” isn’t Dutch for Santa’s elves, but it is something little and clever and almost as good if you have teen or tween readers in the house. Dwarsliggers are smaller-than-phone-size flip books no thicker than your thumb. The idea sounds crazy until you actually see them. They are really quite wonderful – compact, light, easy-to-read. You read side-to-side and flip the pages up. Penguin Random House has reissued a dozen recent YA bestsellers and tween classics including books by John Green and Marie Lu, as well as “Anne of Green Gables,” “Heidi” and “A Little Princess.” Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe.
K. Smencils ($6.99 for five). These scented pencils are made from recycled newspapers and packaged in a recyclable plastic tube with a collectible character top cap. Scents are guaranteed to last for 2 years. Container Store in Glendale, Phoenix and Scottsdale.
M. World’s Smallest Lite Brite ($9.95). Create tiny pictures with this classic light box and 200 colorful pegs. Pieces are small, so this is recommended for ages 5 and up. Paper Source in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Astronaut Ice Cream Sandwich ($4.99-$5.99). Astronaut Ice Cream was invented for NASA’s Mercury Missions. This freeze-dried vanilla ice cream sandwich is real ice cream, frozen in time, not temperature. Children’s Museum of Phoenix or Arizona Science Center.
Experiences ($10 and up). Experiences are priceless and will be remembered longer than a trendy toy or trinket. Consider giving gift cards for KTR (Kids that Rip), Legoland Discovery Center, OdySea Aquarium, Crayola Experience, CREATE at the Arizona Science Center and other local kids venues.