Hudson Valley Parent

HVP December 2015

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Page 12 of 47 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 13 B etween the endless school concerts and bake sale parties, there's just no time to get gift shopping done. Since, we want to help, we've called a few local Valley toy stores to get recommendations for the kids on your list. Want more ideas? Make time to visit the stores listed. FOR KIDS UNDER 5 Hape Beauty Belongings Playset ($25) This beauty case has got ev- erything a little girl would need for going out, with one important qualifi er: "None of it works!" says Rebecca Rothstein from Little Pickles in Red Hook. "It's all pretend, so they can get all dressed up without the mess. And at this age, using your imagination to create your own world is a very important skill to develop." Magna-Tiles ($120) These magnetic building tiles have built up quite a legion of fans, including Elena Rose from Land of Oz in Rhinebeck. "Magna-Tiles are the BEST," she exclaims. "My girls are 4 and 7 and our whole family loves playing with them. We play with Magna-Tiles in my home every single day, and that's not an exaggeration." Rose notes that the 100 piece clear colors set is a peren- nial best seller at her store. FOR KIDS 6 - 11 Plan Toys Creative Dolhouses ($140 - $210) If the plastic doll house you played with as a kid didn't quite make it to hand-me-down status, invest in one that will. That's why Dave Tate of Enchanted Toys in New Paltz recommends the ones made by the Thai com- pany, Plan Toys. "They're expensive, Tate admits, "but of all the wooden dollhouses out there, these are the highest quality ones." They're also made out of sustainably-grown rubberwood, water-based inks, and formalde- hyde-free glue, which makes it one of the eco-friendliest dollhouses around. Comic Book Kit by Kid Made Modern ($15) After our story last month on graphic novels, you might have a few new comic book fans around your household. Get them start- ed with making their own. This kit comes with 2 blank comic books and enough stencils, templates, and stamps to keep your budding Jack Kirbys busy for hours. "It gives you everything you need to make your own comic book," says Linda Cox from Wood- stock's Tinker Toys. It encourages you to be artistic." FOR KIDS 12+ DrawLamp by Doiy ($42) What kids wants a lamp as a gift? Well, if it's a DrawLamp, prob- ably more of them than you think. "It's not just a lamp," says Tinker Toy's Cox. "You can draw anything you want on the shade, so it makes the lamp look like anything you want it to." And what teenager doesn't like to have that kind of power? Awesome Animation by Kiwi Crate ($33) In the early days of movie mak- ing, animators used a device called a zoetrope to turn drawings into movie pictures. Now, with Awesome Animation, your kids can create their own animated cartoons using the same techniques. "You get to be creative and artistic, but it also teaches you about science," says Little Pickles' Rothstein. 6 Can't Miss Toys Four local toy experts share their best toy stories! Plan a trip to a toy store Land of Oz 41 E. Market St., Rhinebeck. (845) 876-1918 Tinker Toys 5 Mill Hill Rd., Woodstock. (845) 679-8870 Enchanted Toys 15 N. Front St., New Paltz. (845) 255-1429 Little Pickles 7505 N. Broadway, Red Hook. (845) 835-8086

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