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Parent to Parent: Gift ideas for kids that go beyond the digital
Parent to Parent

Parent to Parent: Gift ideas for kids that go beyond the digital

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Q • Everyone that I've talked to in my family as well as my friends are getting their older children and especially their teenagers video games. My husband and I would like to be the oddballs and not succumb to this insanity. They're already on their digital devices way too much! Can you recommend some holiday gifts for this group? We also have younger kids.

From a reader • These are for your younger kids. Goliath Games came out with some great games. Here are a few: Rattlesnake Jake, Johnny the Skull Pirate and many more! See for additional great games. Ask Einstein Electronic Flash Card Game is really fun and educational. All cards are animal or dinosaur themed and come with a little Einstein mouse to check your answer with his special brain scanning helmet. If he lights up green you're good to go, red, better luck next time. Pea Pod Babies is another surprise toy. The babies are adorable! Pop the pea pods to see each baby. Little clothes and accessories are included and all clothing can be swapped between babies. Each baby can drink and spit water. Both Ask Einstein and Pea Pod Babies are by Thin Air Brands. Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle includes a seven inch doll and motorcycle with a ramp, by California Creations. It's a super fun retro toy with lots of stunts without batteries and no app needed. No Frogs in School by A. LaFaye is too cute for words. The book can be included in a monthly subscription through JAMBO, which strives to teach diversity to kids. See for all the details for amazing books. — M.D. in New Kensington, Pennsylvania

From Jodie Lynn • Here are some cool gift ideas that are not digital:

Llamas Unleashed is a game all about strategy and provides hysterical laughter over brilliant puns.

Runes & Regulations is packed with spells and mythical creatures to immerse players into a world of suburban sorcery.

Unstable Unicorns is a strategic game that destroys your friendships (but in a good way). These are all card games from Teeturtle for ages 14 and up.

Rubik's Race Board Game is a really fun twist on the Rubik's Cube. It's a fast-paced and very competitive game.

Underwood Cellars Murder Mystery Case Files is perfect if you love crime shows or movies. Work through case files, clues and details to solve a murder. These two games are by University Games.

OJO Robot Workshop is a game inspired by NASA’s Curiosity Rover. Children complete missions with robot designs that are cool and fun to build with the included tiles. Very educational and makes one feel like a scientist building a robot for a real mission.

OJO Story Creations is a very creative board game that challenges your imagination by requiring each player to tell stories with random items on the cards within one minute.

Spontuneous — The Song Game brings families and friends together with an easy-to-play, fun board game that's perfect for anyone. No singing talent required. Whether you sing or shout a song, be quick! Plenty of laughter.


My sister is having a baby shower in March. I wanted to get a head start on finding a quality baby monitoring system. What have other parents found to be the best one and why?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email:, or go to, which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.

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