Board games are back big time, and one of the most popular of the newer ones—fun for kids of all ages—is Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder—a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn, $36.63 from amazon.com.
DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book features a cast of familiar characters, among them Superman, Wonderwoman and The Green Lantern. They spring to life in pop-ups by Matthew Reinhart, $29, available from the Metropolitan Museum of Art or one of its stores. Call 1-800-662-3397 for Customer Service.
You can’t find a more fun and eco-friendly way to keep time than the The Bedol Water Clock Squirt Alarm, $26, which comes in several colors. Designed to resemble a splash of water, it’s powered entirely by water. Just pop open the top and fill it with ordinary tap water, which doesn’t need to be replaced for six months. Great gift for kids or college students!
Little ones will have fun learning shapes, colors, numbers, and letters with these chunky, durable books in Museum Shapes, Colors, 123 and ABC Deluxe Book Set, $54.95, The books illustrate these concepts with images from the Met's collection of fine art, and are available from the Metropolitan Museum of Art or one of its stores. Call 1-800-662-3397 for Customer Service.
Wool felt farm animals, $23, European Market, provide a fun way to teach animal names, sounds and colors. Seven handmade animals can be corralled in a cotton bag when playtime is over.
Perfect for a nursery or child’s room, the creatures in this menagerie of matte white animals from DwellStudio have attitude. Made in ceramic, they are $23 to $48, from Zinc Door.
This Scooter Rocker, a reinterpretation of the good old rocking horse, remains stationary aside from a gentle rocking motion, but will please little ones with its mod look, $98, for ages 3 and up, from Chiasso.
Let budding aviators fly high with a book of Origami Airplanes, with designs that have special features (very wide, very narrow, strangely shaped, and more). Tips, tricks, patterns, and 60 sheets of origami paper, $16.99 from Gibbs Smith.
Sereno Rabbit Rabbit Bookends, $62, from a new L.A. shop, Wolfum, specializing in handmade, eco-conscious items, lend a jolt of color and fun anywhere, but especially in a children’s room.
Keep baby’s bath time safe and happy with an Organic Baby Bath Crate, $88, from Olive & Cocoa. Packaged with a ladybug bath mitt, the set comes in a wooden crate.
A fun project for youngsters is this 3D Eiffel Tower Building Set, $18.99, by Ravensburger and on Amazon.com’s list of the most popular holiday toys. Made of sturdy, interlocking pieces, it stands almost a foot and a half tall when put together.
Kids (and their parents, too) will be captivated by Moon In My Room by Uncle Milton, $18.49 from amazon.com. The model of the moon comes with a remote control, hangs on the wall and lights up to show the moon’s phases.
Personalized placemats from Paper Fancy, $16.99, make a fun present for kids and grandkids. Ahoy Matey and For the Birds are shown here.
The Latvian Wood Block Set, $30, is meant for kids, but parents enjoy building palaces, towers and castles with them, too. The 63 pieces are made of eco-friendly wood with natural paint.
The Intelliglobe makes world-turning high-tech with digital technology that enables trivia and multiple choice challenges, audio in four languages, ways to learn about landmarks around the world, and more, $139.95 from the Metropolitan Museum of Art or one of its stores. Call 1-800-662-3397 for Customer Service.
The memory game you may remember playing gets a colorful update from a Swiss toy maker in the form of the Swiss Wood Memory Game, which comes with 28 wooden cards with a nontoxic finish that feature images from nature, $37 from European Market.