Holidays in Marin

Marin on Ice

Our annual guide to Christmas and holiday events for families in Marin and the Bay Area

Sponsored by Marin on Ice.

Hottest Holiday Toys for Kids 2014: Ages 6 to 8

December 1, 2014

plushcraft hedgehogFor our Holiday guide to the hottest toys this season, the toy experts at Five Little Monkeys, a great local independent toy store with locations in Novato, Albany, Walnut Creek, and Burlingame, put together this list, based on what kids seem most excited about, what is showing up at birthday parties, what parents are asking for, and staff favorites!

We've also reviewed the top picks for babies and toddlers and kids ages 3 to 5.

Ages 6 to 8 Indoor Fun

Plushcraft Hedgehog
A plush, personal pillow? Perfect! Especially when kids can say, “I made it myself!” Here’s a sweet little fabric-by-number craft project with no sewing required. Over 320 brightly colored fabric pieces are ready to be punched into the pillow with an easy-to-master stylus wand. Kids can rest on their accomplishment! $17.99

Hottest Holiday Toys for Kids 2014: Ages 4 to 5

November 26, 2014

All-in-1 EaselFor our Holiday guide to the hottest toys this season, the toy experts at Five Little Monkeys, a great local independent toy store with locations in Novato, Albany, Walnut Creek, and Burlingame, put together this list, based on what kids seem most excited about, what is showing up at birthday parties, what parents are asking for, and staff favorites!

We've reviewed the top picks for babies and toddlers on Monday; today, we'll look at indoor fun and active play toys for ages 4 to 5.

Ages 4 to 5 Indoor Fun

All-in-1 Easel
Forget the floor, the kitchen table or–gasp!–the walls. Every little artist needs a proper wooden easel. Adjustable to grow with your pint-sized Picasso, this beauty is double-sided for communal creativity, combining a blackboard and magnetic whiteboard. The top dowel holds a roll of paper nearly 19' long, and three paint pots fit into the bottom shelf. What a work of art! $79.99

Lottie Snow Queen
Lottie is thrilled to receive a party invitation to the Lottieville Masked Ball. Inspired by one of her favorite stories, Lottie decides to dress as a Snow Queen. Wearing a silver, sparkly mask and a magnificent ice blue and frosty white gown studded with silver snowflakes will any of her friends recognize her? $19.99

Hottest Holiday Toys for Kids 2014: Babies & Toddlers

November 24, 2014

fold & go trampolineThanksgiving is nearly here and of course so are the Holidays! As many parents know, finding the perfect gifts for kids can be a challenge, especially when it comes to toys. The toy experts at Five Little Monkeys, a great local independent toy store with locations in Novato, Albany, Walnut Creek, and Burlingame, filled us in again this year to the hottest toys for this Holiday season. Five Little Monkeys' picks are based on what kids seem most excited about, what is showing up at birthday parties, what parents are asking for, and staff favorites!

We've broken down their recommendations into lists for various age groups. First, we'll look at the most popular toys this year for babies and toddlers. Tomorrow, we'll look at toys for ages 4 to 5.

Baby (0 to 1 year)

Bead Maze by Whoozit
Beads on the run! Wooden bead run activity toy features 3 colorful bead runs, rotating gears, mini wooden Whoozit that glides on track, fabric cords and a discovery mirror. Water-based non-toxic finish. $29.99

Preserve Memories in Clay with Ceramic Hand and Foot Prints for Babies and Kids in Marin

September 23, 2014

Piggy Print ceramic handprintOne of my most cherished keepsakes is a ceramic oval embossed with the hand prints of my kids. We did it a few years ago with Shawna O'Conner and her wonderful Your Piggy Prints. It's beautiful, and I'm really happy that we made it. After all, the kids will never be that little again! (We profiled Shawna in an article here.)

With the holidays coming up, and since your kids aren't getting any younger, why not create one yourselves? Needless to say these ceramic hand and foot print pieces make fantastic gifts for moms, dads, and grandparents, so go make one now and avoid the holiday rush.

Here's where you can make this unique and priceless clay hand or foot print craft in Marin and southern Sonoma counties.

Your Piggy Prints

San Rafael 94903
(415) 595-8446
www.yourpiggyprints.com

Run by Marin mom Shawna O'Connor, Your Piggy Prints creates beautiful ceramic keepsakes. Contact Shawna at (415) 595-8446 or shawna@yourpiggyprints.com to make an appointment in her home studio in San Rafael. She also appears at events throughout Marin. Prices range from $25 for an ornament or magnet to $90 for a quad print of any four prints in one piece.