Sunday, November 06, 2011

Maria's Space - 2011 Holiday Guide

Hello My Dear Friends,

I have started my list of favorite reviews and online finds that hopefully will make your holiday shopping easier and more manageable. This is only the beginning. More are being added this week and there will be a button on the sidebar for easy access to the list.

According to my family these are the TOP TOYS:

Monster High Dolls by Mattel - I  have to agree with them. There is not a girl I know between 6-12 who don't love these dolls They are frighteningly fun and adorable. There are so many ways to build on this as there are dolls, accessories, clothes, books, walkie-talkies, radios and more.

INKOOS - Inkoos are funky, quirky characters that are drawn to life with a little “Inkspiration”. By using the Inkoos’ amazing washable markers, creative kids can draw, design and decorate their Inkoos into anything they imagine…then give them a spin in the washing machine, and design them all over again! Available in a variety of colors and styles, each Inkoos includes 3 clip-on washable markers and the Inkspiration Wheel for tons of design ideas.
Read my review here.

Toy State's Dub Garage - Kids love realistic sounds in their toys which is why we personally love The DUB Garage toy line. DUB Garage is designed ages 6+. This tricked out car comes with lights, sound and music.   There are two buttons the top of the car that play realistic sounds and phrases when they pressed. On the back of the cars there are  DJ mixing decks that kids can "scratch" to hear DJ scratch sounds and hip hop music. Available at Toys R Us

Tangled (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)by Disney - Goddess believes this is still a huge favorite and tells me that every girl in her class and Daisy troop loves Tangled! This is also a great gift because there is so much Tangled stuff still on the market. The DVD and a doll is a wonderful gift for any little girl.

Hex Bugs - WE all agree that the Hex Bugs are amazing. We love the Hexbug Nano Glows in the Dark Habitat Set and the  My review is here.

We especially love the Innovation First Hexbug Hive Playset

Zhu Zhu Pets are still a big toy in my house after 2 years. We love how they have branched out to include the Cepia Zhu Zhu Puppies Dog Miss Priss - Shitzhu (White&Grey), Zhu Zhu Baby Tiddlypop White and the awesome connectible habitats

Backyard Safari is a company we truly support. They create kid products that foster learning, exploring and experiencing. These are the toys that get your kids outside and when you are living in a world full of computer games and video games, this is exactly what kids need. We especially like the Backyard Safari Outfitters Bird Watcher's Field Kit, Backyard Safari Outfitters Butterfly Habitat. As parents our favorite feature is that the items come with patches that can be ironed onto your cargo vest!

Squinkies - Wow are we Squinkie obsessed in this house. We have tons and love that Squinkies keep coming out with new ones. They are completely affordable and so far I have picked up a Squinkie bubble series for 4 boys and 5 girls. They are the perfect gift for my kids grab bags and I know that their classmates will love them. Here are my past Squinkie reviews: Squinkies Review and last years holiday gift guide, and they are perfect stocking stuffers.

We love these new Cars2 Bubble Packs

Book Lovers:

Gracie's Gift by Andrea Trosclair. Beautiful book for mother to daughter. My review here.

TIME For Kids That's Incredible!: The World's Most Unbelievable Facts and Records! - This book is a wonderful resource for kids who love reading about interesting things like animals, facts, records and so much more

Young Me, Now Me: Identical Photos, Different Decades - Adorable book of reenacted photos from your childhood. My only gripe is that it is only 70 pages....I wanted MORE.


The Original Christmas Classics on DVD & Blu-ray - 7 Holiday Classics Family Favorites - To Purchase - The Original Christmas Classics

The Santa Incident
After his sleigh is shot down while flying through restricted military airspace, an earthbound Santa is sought for questioning by a pair of overzealous Homeland Security agents. The fate of Christmas is now in the hands of the disbelieving by-the-book duo, unless their faith in Santa can be restored by two children and a trio of elves who have arrived from up North to help out a friend in need.

Christmas Lodge
When a historic preservationist comes in contact with an old Christmas Lodge, she gives all she can to restore the dilapidated lodge and her family, but also find the love of her life.

A Child's Garden of Poetry- Bringing some of the best loved poems to life in a why that is geared toward instilling the love of the written word into children. My review is here.

The Best of I Love Lucy (2 DVD Set)
Including 14 of the funniest and most recognizable episodes starring the comedy legend Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, I Love Lucy is the cornerstone of modern-day sitcoms and set the gold standard of family entertainment. Relive the most beloved episodes of the show including Lucy’s hilarious attempt to pass herself off as a prima ballerina, her laugh-out-loud audition for Vitameatavegimen, her side-splitting time grape-stomping at an Italian vineyard, her famed shenanigans in a chocolate factory, and much more. Co-starring Emmy® winner Vivian Vance and William Frawley, The Best Of I Love Lucy is a two-disc set of 14 magnificently restored episodes, a must-have for fans of all ages.

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas on DVD and Blu-ray -


Dry Case - Waterproof pocket for your cell phone, MP3 players, cameras etc.  My review here.

Soft Kitty Plush and T-Shirt - Big Bang Theory Merchandise - Order from stylinonline

Zillionz  - Create savers not spenders by starting your kids on a savings plan that is fun and educational. We love giving gifts that not only teach kids but are exciting for them to use. We have the Zillionz Deluxe ATM since the kids were three. Every kid who comes over loves and wants to play with it. We usually have to put it away because the kids use it as their bank. They insert their card just like Mom and Dad do. After they enter their pin, they can make a deposit, withdrawal or check their balance. This year we are getting them the Zillionz Talking Cash Register. It comes in blue and pink and we think they will love scanning the bar codes and counting money. What a great way to learn about change.

Family Gifts:

Nicktoons MLB- Whether for DS, Xbox, Wii, this is a great game for the whole family. Here is my review. Purchase at Amazon.

National Geographic


  1. My grandkids love the hex Bugs. they are so much fun to watch. Also love the talking cash register. That would be very educational for children. (Phyllis Dolen)

    Nannie reviews at gmail dot com

  2. Thanks for the lovely ideas. I love the cash register. All of them make me wish I was a little girl. Rita Spratlen

  3. You gave me some great ideas for presents. I really loved the Zillionz Cash Register. This would be a great gift for my grandchildren,.

  4. What great ideas. You have made my christmas shopping a little easier. Thanks!

  5. Great gift ideas--my daughter has discovered Squinkies here, too, and the little bubbles are being used as toys by my cats!
    I am going right now to check out the Zillions products because I think they are such a practical gift that can teach so much.

  6. Thanks for the Hex Bugs info - I didn't know what they were!

  7. The Santa Incidentlooks like a great holiday movie.

    Thank you

  8. Anonymous2:15 AM

    The zhu zhu pets are adorable!
    radeeolover at yahoo dot com

  9. Great ideas! My son wants the Hexbug thing and Santa is bringing my the Christmas Lodge DVD!

  10. Great Idea's for stocking stuffers.. I like all the DVD and book suggestions

  11. The cash register is a great gift for kids.
    I never heard of the movie "The Santa Incident" but it looks good. I'd like to see it.
    Thanks for the list of ideas!

  12. My daughter has the Monster High Dolls on her wish list this year. Thanks for the ideas!

  13. I have 3 grand sons and they are getting the Hex Bugs. Yea. I love the Lucy video - I think I'll get that for hubby - he and I remember those shows.

    clenna at aol dot com

  14. I have to get Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas on DVD to watch with my grandson.

    I would also like to get The Best Of I Love Lucy - fun memories.

  15. What alot of great gift ideas. I really like the Zillionz Cash Register.

  16. Anonymous11:50 AM

    My boys love squinkies!

    jennifer Marie

    lilnursejen at yahoo dot com

  17. Anonymous7:22 PM

    My boys love squinkies!

    jennifer marie

    lilnursejen at yahoo dot com

  18. Jen Barker10:55 AM

    I like that cash register. I am trying to teach my girls about spending, so that would be a great idea for Christmas


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