I didn’t think much about how much power toys came with until I started shopping for my nephew this holiday season. And I’m not talking about the 18 AAs you’ll have to buy to make the new gadgets go. As I perused catalogs and toy sites, I realized that the messages toys send to children are powerful. So here’s a list of some cool finds that will help you beget the best gift of all: kindness.
For the Outdoor Explorer: Instead of giving JCPenny’s Hunting Set, give Family Pastimes Walk in the Woods Cooperative Game from KidBean.com: Can a kid ever have too many friends? Friendly fauna abound in the Walk in the Woods Cooperative Game. Lions and tigers and bears—oh yes!
For the Aquatic Adventurer: Instead of giving Wonderworld’s Wooden Fishing Puzzle, give PETA’s Sammy the Sea Kitten plush: Pieces of cold, stiff wood that simulate the suffering of fish or the cuddly soft fins of PETA’s Sammy the Sea Kitten plush toy? Um, do we even need to ask?
For the Fledgling Foodie: Instead of giving McDonald’s Food Cart by Creative Designs, give Majesco’s Gardening Mama video game. What’s cuter than the one-and-only Gardening Mama herself? A kid with a green thumb. (And for the cost-conscious, play our super-new, super-free New Super Chick Sisters video game.)
For the Wildlife of the Party: Instead of giving Brookstone’s Frog-O-Sphere, give the LED Jellyfish Mood Lamp from ThinkGeek.com: a party on your kid’s desk—every day of the year? Just turn on the psychedelic-chic brilliance of an LED Jellyfish Mood Lamp.
For the Showbiz Superstar: Instead of giving Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for Nintendo Wii by 2K Play, give Cynthia King Dance’s vegan ballet slippers: Classy, elegant, and cruelty-free—they’re a budding ballerina’s dream come true!
Happy holiday shopping!
Written by Logan Scherer