Family life on LA's Westside


10 Kids Gifts to Make this the Best Christmas Ever

Every year parents make the mad rush to the mall or spend hours surfing online to find the latest toys for holiday gifts.  Here are some of the best parent-tested toys that are sure to make this holiday season full of fun.

Never-ending Fun

It’s inevitable that parents give into their kids playing video games at some point, but parents need not fear, as there are actually great, ingenious games that fuel imagination, like Disney’s Infinity.  It has many of the basic elements of popular video games, like earning “currency” and leveling up, but holds endless possibilities for building and creating unique worlds.  Choose from several starter sets with different characters, such as the new Disney Infinity: Toy Box Starter Pack (2.0 Edition), ($59.99) with Merida from “Brave” and Stitch from “Lilo and Stitch.” The beauty of Infinity is that it can keep growing and changing with new Toy Box Game Discs and characters, like the latest Disney Originals figures, including Donald Duck, Tinker Bell, Maleficent and Aladdin, as well as Hiro and Baymax from “Big Hero 6.” Rated E-10+. Available at retailers nationwide.

Disney Infinity Toy Box Starter Pack - Agnostic-L

Goggle It

Kids can go into stealth mode with the Covert Ops Vibrasonic Binoculars ($49.99).  .  Featuring a head-mounted video camera so they can see over walls and around corners while remaining hidden,  kids can wear these hi-tech military style goggles to go on missions using five vision modes, including night vision and simulated thermal vision as well as video recording and photographing capabilities. Ages 8 and up. Available at Toy R Us and toy retailers nationwide.


Extreme Fun

Dare devils can live out their extreme fantasies with the MXS Ultimate Stunt Ramp ($29.99). The adjustable ramp can be used with all 1:16 scale MSX bike and riders using the included stunt clip for all kinds of freestyle motocross stunts just like the pros. Ages 5-7 Available Walmart and other major toy retailers.


Got Night Game

Just because the lights go out, the basketball fun does not have to end.  Pro Mini Hoop Midnight ($34.99).  has the look and functionality of a pro-grade basket with the added fun of a glow-in-the-dark hoop and ball, so kids can keep the game going in the dark. The shatterproof polycarbonate durable over-the-door hoop can hang in the home, office or dorm and features a foam-padded protective backing for quieter play.

bball net

Three’s a Charm

An outfit is not complete until it is accessorized, and Charmazing Color Me Up! kits ($14.99) are designed for those fashionistas who love to add color and charm to their style. Each come with a colorful rainbow of options from three inspiring themed collections: Seaside, Seasons and Heart. Each features six charms, energy cards and beads to make three different bracelets designed for that individualistic flair.  Ages 8 and up.


Tag You’re It!


You never know who might be a secret double agent!  In the fast-paced board game Spy Tag ($16.99), kids take off on an exhilarating race to spot and tag the spies before time is up. Players draw spy cards and match them with their teammates agent cards. It’s a race against the clock, and anyone caught with a match when the timer goes off, draws from the secret pile to find out who is safe. Ages 5 and up.


Going Round in Circles

Creating colorful patterns is easy with the Spiral Designer ($13.50)This classic art-making kit enables artists to create endless combinations of different patterns by simply selecting a disc, inserting a sheet of paper between the drawing frame and templates and rotating the discs to form patterns that create spectacular art. Ages 6 and up. Available at toy retailers nationwide.


Puzzle Me 3D


Puzzle builders can construct a model of a New York’s most famous landmark with Ravensburger’s Empire State Building Night Edition ($36.99).  The 216 precision-cut curved and hinged numbered puzzle pieces join together to create a dazzling 3D building complete with a light and an LED rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green and purple colors.  Ages 12 and up. Available at toy retailers nationwide.


Rev Up

Kids’ minds will race as they build their own electric Mercedes-Benz and “steer” their way through nine science-based activities with Science X Fueling Future Cars ($44.99).  This new high-revving automotive engineering kit comes with all the tools young scientists need to learn about fuel cells and other alternative energy sources for powering vehicles as well as automotive engineering. Ages 8 and up.  Available at toy retailers nationwide.


Dew You Scooter

The green graphics of Mountain Dew have been seen at many athletic events and competitions where Mountain Dew has been a sponsor, and their logo and colors will adorn sporting goods, like the Mountain Dew Blazer Scooter ($38) featuring an aluminum deck; soft, non-slip grips; easy-roll wheels so riders can do flips, jumps and spins while blazing their own scooter trails. Available now in select Walmart stores.