my favorite things {twenty-twelve}... for kids

When it comes to buying gifts for my kids, I tend to go slightly away from mainstream toys. I think of things that they will really like which means it isn't always found in the ToysRUs flier. Gifts for them don't necessarily have to come in the form of toys either. Things for their room, practical things and books are great choices as well. Seek out their interests and things that excite them and go from there.

Here are some great 2012 gifts I adore for kids...

1. Hot Hugs Hottie stuffed animals {I love love this little lamb!}. A minute in the microwave, and the removable tummy of natural grain will give lasting warmth and release the subtle fragrance of pure lavender essential oil. With a new friend so hot and huggable, your little one will never want to put it down. Price $25.

2. Kindle Fire with Fisher Price Kid-Tough Apptivity Case. Unlimited access to books, games, apps and movies. Vibrant color on the 7" LCD screen and built-in WiFi. The case will protect the tablet and extend it's life when in younger hands. Price around $140. (Right now on Amazon, the Kindle Fire is $25 off and the case was free too when you put 'FIREMOMS' in the promo code).

3. Discoveroo Bright Fruit Music Instrument. The easy, fun-looking shapes and textures of this adorable music kit is a big hit with the little ones. Apple xylophone, lemon maraca, lime and melon castanets and pear guiro come packaged in a handy wooden crate for easy storage. Made of plantation tea wood and ply. Price $40.

4. Lego Friends City Park Cafe. Build a hip hangout for the LEGO® Friends with a side of fresh-baked fun! The City Park CafĂ© is the coolest place to hang out in Heartlake City, where the Friends meet for sweet treats and cold shakes in the sun! Price $30.

5. The North Face boys Vestamatic Triclimate Jacket. Keep boys warm while they build blue ribbon kickers in this hyper-versatile, four-in-one snowsports jacket. With four ways to sports this ski/snowboard dynamo, this jacket/vest combo creates a super versatile barrier for winter. Price $185. (fyi...We saw this coat at a North Face outlet for a fraction of this price).

6. The Classic Green Bean Bag. What kid should be without a comfy bean bag in their room? The Classic Bean Bag has been everyone's favorite chair for over 40 years! Updated with bright solids and fashion forward prints. Trendy and comfortable seating that's great for all ages. Price $30.

7. National Geographic magazine for kids. Give a child a new way to explore the world. Two different magazines specifically for ages 3-6 and 6-14. Price $15.

8. Homemade Playdough. Not every gift you get a kid has to be bought. Why not make something they will enjoy for a long time and at a very low cost? This is an easy, step-by-step way to make your own playdough with easy ways to store and package it. Price... super cheap!

9. CAKE Stitches little girl's half apron. This is my dear friends' Etsy store full of her cute sewing creations for kids (boys too!). I am loving the little girl's strawberry half apron. The ruffle and waistband are in a coordinating red and white polka dot. The apron attaches with velcro at the right side of the waistline, camouflaged by a layered matching flower. Check out all the pics and imagine your little one in it! Truly encourages independence and role play. Price $18.

10. Melissa and Doug shopping cart. To market, to market...Take your shopping list and your teddy bear and get ready to shop! Our durable metal shopping cart looks just like those in real stores! Sturdy metal construction includes pivoting front wheels and a folding seat so your child and their favorite companion can navigate the aisles in style! Price $37.

11. Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids. If you have the adult version, you know this is going to be incredible for kids. Devotions written as if Jesus is speaking directly to a child's heart. Based on her original Jesus Calling, this version has been adapted in a language and fashion that kids and tweens can relate to their everyday lives. Price $11.

What are some of your all-time favorite kids' gifts?

For my favorite {for him} gifts go here.

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