Kids’ interests, wants and needs change so much as they grow — creating an extra challenge for friends and family looking for an age-appropriate holiday gift.
Luckily, the Gorge has plenty of options, so you don’t have to look hard to find something the young person in your life will enjoy.
Gifts for babies (0-1)
Sshlumpies, a soft combination of stuffed toy and baby blanket, are a comforting gift that’s safe for newborns and young infants. G. Willikers in downtown Hood River sells them for $22, alongside a variety of other gifts designed for babies — including 2-packs of fun-shaped SugarBooger silicone teethers for $15.
Give the gift of cleanliness with an Earth Mama Organics Kit, $24.99 from Lucky Littles Boutique, containing natural face balm, baby wash, baby lotion, baby oil and diaper balm; and help make bath time more fun with a bottle of Thinkbaby bubble bath, $7.99 at Lucky Littles.
Gifts for toddlers (2-4)
EzPz silicone mats create a safe, easy-to-clean space for toddlers to eat and do activities — and they even suction to the table, so there’s little chance that they’ll go toppling to the floor.
Available from $17.49-$24.99 at Lucky Littles Boutique.
Timber Tots toys are safe for kids over the age of 2 and designed for kids up to 6-years-old. G. Willikers carries kits such as the Tree House ($50), Mushroom Surprise ($35) and Enchanted Park ($35), as well as a variety of add-ons.
Prefer puppets to standard toys? Waucoma Bookstore has animal figure puppets for $6 each, and an epic dinosaur puppet for $10.
New clothes aren’t the most exciting gift for a kid to receive during the holiday season — and giving them probably won’t help your reputation as the cool relative — but the parents at least will be appreciative, especially if it feels like their kid has a new growth spurt nearly every other week. Lucky Littles Boutique offers a variety of stylish and comfortable clothing options for youngsters, and Cutie Pie Kiddos, a boutique and consignment shop on the Heights, has a wide selection of affordable clothes and shoes for babies, toddlers and young kids.
Gifts for young kids (5-9)
Unicorn Poop (slime putty), $6.50 from Waucoma Bookstore, is sure to keep your kid entertained for a long while. Pair with the picture book, “Kevin the Unicorn: It’s Not All Rainbows,” $17.99 at Waucoma, for a thoroughly magical experience.
Help them learn independent self-grooming habits with this Boon Spiff Self Grooming kit, $19.99 at Lucky Littles Boutique, which includes a hairbrush, comb and mirror in a fun stand.
Young athletes and aspiring ninjas can zip around their own backyards with items from Slackers Ninja collection, such as a Ninja Line ($100), Ninja Net ($65), Ninja Climbing Kit ($110), Ninja Zipline Kit ($175). Get one to play on, or mix-andmatch for a complete backyard obstacle course. Available at G. Willikers.
If they’re interested in role-playing and make-believe, have them try “No Thank You, Evil,” a tabletop role-playing game designed to be easy enough for kids 5 and up, but nuanced and flexible enough for older kids and grown-ups to enjoy just as much. Available at Hood River Hobbies for $29.99.
Gifts for older kids/ tweens (10-14)
Nurture an interest in computer science and technology with this Creative Coder Kit from Tech Will Save Us, available for $60 at G. Willikers. Designed for kids ages 8 and up, this kit includes a visual coding software and equipment to help new coders create their own games and projects.
Penguin Mini Books, $12 each at Waucoma Bookstore, have a revolutionary landscape design and utilize ultra-thin paper to make it easy to hold in one hand and take on the go without sacrificing readability.
The popularity of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” has sparked more interest in the already immensely popular role-playing game “Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).” Hood River Hobbies sells starter and essentials kits for $19.95 and $24.95, respectively, and even a special “Stranger Things” version of the game for $29.99.
Mini kits double as a fun activity and a cool decoration.
Check out the Bob Ross Bobblehead kit or the Screaming Goat kit with a pocket guide, $12.95 and $9.95 respectively at Waucoma Bookstore.
Gifts for teens (15-18)
Help new drivers personalize their cars with Natural Life accessories, such as artistic air fresheners or “car coasters” designed to fit in car cup holders and absorb spills, $9.99 and $17 respectively at Hood River Stationers.
Socks are infinitely more fun when they’ve got snarky comments and cool designs on them. Waucoma Bookstore has some fun options, such as Dinosaur Party Animal or Curled Up with a Good Book socks for $13 each, and Hood River Stationers has a whole wall of creative and comfy options for $10 per pair.
Surprise your book-lover with some literary gifts from Waucoma Bookstore, such as enamel pins of their favorite book cover ($12 each); or a new book you think they would enjoy.
Just because they don’t get crayons and kids menus at restaurants anymore doesn’t mean they have to stop coloring: Grown-up coloring books, $9.95-$14.95 at Hood River Stationers, offer a more sophisticated approach to the standard coloring book. Pair one with a set of colored pencils, $16.99 for a set of 30 at Hood River Stationers, and they’ll be set to start coloring away.