No one’s denying that unless you get your grom the ‘it’ item of Christmas whether it’s a Transformers action figure, Disney Princess Castle, iPod Touch or Justin Bieber door poster, you’re failing as a parent. But what about the other eight gifts under the tree? Offer up something more substantial this holiday with these faves for active parents and kids.
Chaco Loyalist Ecotreads
Start ’em early. You don’t have to wait for summertime and sandals to get your little explorers their own set of Chacos. The Loyalist for girls and the PedSheds for boys will take busy feet on first adventures. The suede leather shoes are built with the same arch support and long-lasting, non-marking sole that elevated the brand. $120. www.chacos.com
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Digital Camera
No need to worry when your little Ansel Adams reaches for the digital camera. Put an EasyShare Sport into his hands and turn him loose. For just a few dollars more than you’d pay for those cheap imitation/play cameras, you’ll actually get a worry-free camera that takes decent photos. It’s not ruggedized but it is sand, dirt and waterproof (up to 10 feet), and sized just right for tiny hands. The C123 shoots 12MP, takes AA batteries and uses SD memory cards. The controls are simple enough for a 5-year-old but bigger kids will dig the instant upload to their favorite photo-sharing websites. $55. http://store.kodak.com/store/ekconsus/en_US/pd/SPORT_Camera/productID.222433400
Exxel Outdoors Disney 5-piece kid’s camp set
A surefire way to entice kids to bag the game controller and explore their backyard is by slapping their favorite Disney and Marvel characters onto sleeping bags and tents. Sturdy fiberglass shock-corded tent poles prop up this water repellent tent while the mesh ceiling opens up the sky for stargazing. It’s meant for outdoors so don’t be shy. The sleeping bag is warm enough for summer nights and it comes with a backpack/stuffsack, flashlight and compass. $39, www.exxel.com.
Leki Drifter Vario S Ski Poles
They beg and beg and beg and it’s finally time for their first set of ski poles. Maximize your yield with the Drifter Vario S. Adjustable from 36 – 48 inches, you won’t have to buy them another pair until high school. No fumbling with straps when you use the Junior Racer S Gloves or Mitt. Now if they only came in pink…..Poles/gloves- $99/$59; http://www.thesportloft.com/
Motorola MJ270R Talkabout Radios
Whether they’re calling Star Command or Dad, your kids will freak having their very own walkie-talkies in their hands. Blip from up to 27 miles away and unlike cellphones, you won’t have to worry about dropping them in the snow, losing your signal or wearing down your battery. Speaking of which, rejuice the battery through a USB cable. No more bulky chargers to lug around. The radios come equipped with NOAA weather channels, a built-in flashlight and emergency alert siren. Plus you get two free, colored faceplates of your choosing. $47 per pair.