From Kool & Child (Nanaimo)
Preschool: Classic Canadian Children’s CDs. Many BC parents grew up with Raffi and Charlotte Diamond, and their CDs make a great gift for the next generation. Also consider “modern” groups such as Bobs & Lolo and the Kerplunks. $12.99-$19.99.
Children: Aquarellum Watercolour Kits. For ages 5-adult, Aquarellum combines colouring with watercolour painting. From simple animal designs to complex Mandallas, all kits include canvasses and paints. SentoSphere: $14.99-$27.99.
Teen: Tsuro—The Game of the Path. Place a tile and slide your stone along the path created. Find your way wisely by staying on the board. For 2-8 players. $39.99.
Adult: Classic Wooden Games. Heirloom games never go out of style. Wood Expressions makes classic wooden games that are as much decoration as functional games. Choose from Chess, Checkers, Shut the Box, 3 or 4 Track Cribbage Boards, and Backgammon. $24.99-$115.99.
Baby: The Padraig Cottage Baby Slippers handmade in BC with pure wool. Dyed and crocheted by hand. Extra soft sheepskin lining and tough leather soles for long lasting comfort. The Baby Slipper has the elasticity to stay put without being overly constrictive on young growing feet. Newborn to toddler. $32.00+.
Baby: Skip Hop Explore & More 3-Stage Activity Centre. Easy to assemble, with toys that can be positioned anywhere for baby, it features a 360-degree rotating seat that turns & stretches for bouncing. Discovery Window lets baby see their feet while they play. As baby grows, activity centre converts for easy cruising—ultimately becoming a clean, sturdy table for colouring, playing and more. $169.99.
Toddler: Farm Hoppers Bouncy Toy. Will keep your little one amused for hours—and wear them out for bedtime! These inflatable bouncy animals are whimsically fun, & brightly coloured with soft, easy-to-grip ears or horns for children to hold while they bounce around. Made from a high quality, BPA-free plastic, and can help with core muscle development as well as coordination skills while having fun. Pump included! $35.99.
Child: The Hape Toys Gourmet Kitchen. An all-in-one wooden kitchen that inspires mini chefs to cook everywhere and everything. Encouraging collaborative & creative play, the Gourmet Kitchen can be combined with the Hape Gourmet Fridge, food & other cooking accessories for the complete ‘mini chef’ experience! $159.99.
From The Mothering Touch Centre
Baby: More Blueberries! by Susan Musgrave, illustrated by Esperança Melo. Orca Books. With playful rhyming text and beautiful illustrations, this exuberant board book will delight little ones and have everyone happily shouting “more blueberries!” $9.95.
Baby: Baby Paper. Small enough for tiny hands to grasp, oh-so-soft fabric Baby Paper makes a deliciously crinkly sound for your baby. It sounds like paper with a satisfying crinkle. $6.99.
Baby/Preschool: Avanchy Bamboo Stay Put Dishes. Beautiful bamboo dishes made for new eaters. The colourful silicone base does not move once suctioned to a table or high chair. $29.99 including spoon.
Preschool: Rubina The Baby Wearing Doll. Little doll lovers will love this adorable “babywearing” doll. This unique set includes a 12” soft doll as well as a 5” baby and baby carrier. $59.99.
From National Geographic Store—IMAX Theatre
Baby/Preschool: Matryoshka Nesting Dolls. Classic Russian nesting dolls updated with fun themes like puppies, pirates & dinos. Rated ‘very suitable’ for special needs children by ‘Able Play’. $12.99.
Children: Trans Truck Transforming Construction Vehicles. Half awesome action figure. Models include bulldozer, cement mixer, excavator, crane and dump truck. Set combines to make one huge figure! $22.99.
Juvenile/Teen: Soapstone Carving Kits. Designed and made by local carvers, studio stone kits will inspire creativity in up & coming artists. Kits contain everything you need to make your own soapstone carving. $32.99.
Adult: IMAX BluRays and DVDs. Over 25 titles on for 50% off! Coral Reef Adventure, Dolphins, Hurricane on the Bayou, and Dinosaurs. Something for everyone. BluRays regularly $29.99; DVDs regularly $24.99.
From Rocky Mountain Books
Baby/Preschool: Discovering Animals: English * French * Cree by Neepin Auger. The third book in this colourful and unique series introduces preschool and kindergarten classrooms interested in learning English, French or Cree as a second language to everyday words using original and vibrant illustrations. Suitable for ages 0-4. 30 pages. Board book $12.
Children: Nuptse and Lhotse Go to the West Coast by Jocey Asnong. Surf’s up and it’s time for another Nuptse and Lhotse adventure! A colourful, imaginative story for adventurers of all ages that dream of falling asleep on a beach made of stars at the edge of the world. Suitable for ages 6-9. 32 pages. HC: $18 or PB: $12.
Baby/Preschool: Gro-clock. Give the gift of a good night’s sleep to the parent on your list. The Gro-clock uses fun images of the stars and sun to communicate when to go back to sleep and when it’s time to get up. Parents set the clock to display a cheerful smiley sun at progressively later times of morning, training the child to get up only once they “see the sun”. SRP: $59.95.
Baby/Preschool: Gro Friends Breathable Toys. A perfect cuddly companion for baby with soft, velour graspable hands and made of a breathable, hypoallergenic fabric to make snuggle time even more snuggly. SRP: $24.95.
Baby/Preschool: Bumbo Playtop Safari. Convert any smooth surface to a safari play time with the playtop Safari Suction Tray. The Tray easily suctions to the Bumbo trays, highchair trays and tabletops for endless entertainment. With its included bead maze, mirrored book, elephant toy and spinning ball, it’s a good thing there’s a snack and cup holder to keep refreshments close at hand. SRP: $34.95.
Baby/Preschool: Ollie the Owl. Ollie is a unique and adorable sleep aid with built in CrySensor technology, helping baby (and Mum and Dad!) to get quality Zzz’s every night. The latest must have baby sleep essential, Ollie will grow up with little ones and become their trusty sleeping companion, whether on the move, at home or staying with their grandparents. SRP: $59.95.
From Pumpkin Pie Kids
Baby/Preschool: Great Pretenders Fire Breathing Dragon. Fire breathing dragon costume featuring quilted dragon wings, textured velour scale-like material and dragon hood. Ages 3-5 years. $44.99.
Baby/Preschool: Djeco Glitter Box Glitter Dress. Glitter board art kit with four dream dresses that you can decorate with sequins. $23.99.
Children: Family Pastimes Co-Operative Games: Ogres & Elves. Play together to get the ogres and elves to share their treasures. Requires tricky teamwork with each game increasing in difficulty. For ages 7-adult. $14.99.
From the Royal BC Museum Shop
Children: Aliens Among Us: Invasive Animals and Plants in British Columbia by Alex Van Tol, Illustrated by Mike Deas. Would you know Dalmatian Toadflax if you saw it? This informative book arms young people with the tools to stop invasive species in British Columbia. $19.95. PB. 128 pgs.
Adults: The Sustainability Dilemma: Essays on British Columbia Forest and Environmental History by Robert Griffin and Richard A. Rajala. Delve into two of the more controversial issues British Columbians have faced over the past 60 years—the management of our forest industry and its impact on our freshwater ecosystems.
From Victoria Bug Zoo
Baby/Preschool: Finger and hand puppets. From one-finger ladybug puppets to whole-hand hermit crabs, our arthropod puppets will make you wish you had more fingers. $4-35.
Children: Bug Collecting Kits. Inspire a future field biologist. Various collection kits include nets and other collecting devices, binoculars, magnifying glasses and viewing containers. $5-10.
Juvenile/Teen: Starter microscope sets. For the budding young scientist, a first glimpse through a microscope can reveal a world of wonder. $15.99.
Adult: Attracting Beneficial Bugs to your Garden by Jessica Walliser. This refreshing book delves into the fascinating relationships between insects and plants and will help you make your own insect-friendly garden. $31.95. 240pgs.•
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