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10 BEST CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR KIDS IN 2012

RANDOMLY COMPILED

WIIU

This is the newest video game console available on the market, and an update to the original Wii. It features a gamepad controller with a touch screen that can be used to control the game, and can be used when the TV is turned off. The controller has an accelerometer and gyroscope so the console picks up the motions of the player. It also has a built-in camera and microphone, which helps the player interact with others online. This console allows five people to play at once for a real party experience.

IPOD

Whether it’s the shuffle, nano, touch or classic, the iPod is still at the top of every kid’s list. The nano and the touch are the most popular because they have the nicest design, the most intuitive touch screens and long playback times, and the fifth-generation touch also has a 5MP camera and wifi. If you want your kid to have all the luxuries of an iPhone without actual calling capabilities, go with the touch. But if you’re happy with an MP3 player that can also play movies and videos, go for the nano and save yourself a little money.

REMOTE CONTROL HELICOPTERS

These things are really cool. They’re small and lightweight and your kids can fly them around your living room up and down, forward and backward, learning how to control them so they don’t crash nose-first into the fireplace. And the better your daughter gets with the remote control, the sneakier she can be with the helicopter. She can even try to land it next to her mom while she’s reading a book and taking a sip of her morning coffee, or try to land it on her brother’s shoulder while he’s intensely playing video games. This is definitely a fun one to pick up as a stocking stuffer this year.

E-READER

If your kid is asking for the entire Warriors series or wants to read every Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, you might as well get her a Kindle or a Nook so she can read anytime, anywhere, without having to carry tons of bulky books around with her. Both the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight and the Kindle Paperwhite are comparable in price and have the option for a backlit screen, but still prevent glare when reading in sunlight.

HAMSTER

Hamsters are popular because they’re entertaining to watch as they nibble on their sunflower seeds and stuff them in their cheeks for later. Watching them run on the wheel never gets old. You can also get a big hamster ball for them so they can roll around the house for hours terrorizing the cat. Plus, hamsters teach kids responsibility: How to care for an animal, clean its cage and keep it fed and watered. Plus, they’re only like $20.

IPAD

This is one of the most expensive “toys” your child will ask for this year. The iPad and the iPad mini are high-tech learning tablets with thousands of downloadable applications, internet access, built-in camera and wifi or 3G capabilities. The iPad is comparable to an iPhone and a laptop, and it can entertain your kid for hours. I guess the main question is: How much is that worth to you?

SCOOTER

In a world of video games and iPads and e-readers and computers, why not give your daughter the gift of physical activity this season? Scooters are fun, cool and social, while at the same time active and outdoorsy. There’s nothing better than seeing your child out and about every once in a while.

LEGOS

These little blocks have been popular for years, and they’re still going strong. Kids love sets like the Legos Star Wars or Lego Friends. Legos help improve handeye coordination and dexterity while also enhancing imagination and creativity. Get a set for your son this Christmas and enjoy some bonding time while you help him put his architectural skills to good use.

CAMERA

Kids like taking pictures. They feel a sense of maturity and accomplishment when they snap shots that are memorable and print-worthy. Why not pick up a 5MP camera for your daughter this year? The photos come out clear and the cameras are reasonably priced for a girl who might drop it down the stairs a few times while trying to take a picture of the lizard crawling down the hall. And they’re small enough to take anywhere for all those picture-worthy moments.

PUPPY

This is probably the best thing you can get your kid for Christmas. Nothing is better than opening a moving, whimpering box, to find a tiny puppy with a big red bow inside, first thing Christmas morning. Go online and do some research as to what breed will fit best with your lifestyle and your personality. Then, bite the bullet and get a pup from a reputable breeder or adopt from your local animal shelter. It’s the gift that will keep on giving for the next 12-18 years. Disclaimer: Make sure both parents agree to this, as not everyone wants a puppy. Best wishes.

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