Binx/SaratogaMama Holiday Gift Guide: Kids, Teens & In-Betweens


Shopping for kids, teens and in-betweens can be challenging.  Their wants and needs change on an hourly basis and their desire to “keep up with the Jones’s” can be impossible to fulfill  Lucky for us there are some great places in this area to shop for your kids and teens.  We explored several local options in the Gift Guide for Babies & Toddlers, and this guide includes some of those spots as well as more.

PaperDolls of Saratoga has a nice selection of nifty gifts for kids big and small.  The Blue Airmail Paper pad was a fun little paper pad that when each sheet is folded it can be mailed, sans envelope ($8). Great to send snail mail to out of state friends and relatives.  Another great gift idea at PaperDolls were Morse Code necklaces ($36). A unique gift for a teen to give a friend, or to receive one!  Check them out in their new location at 438 Broadway, Saratoga.

G Willikers Collage

Item #1, Paper Dolls of Saratoga – What kid wouldn’t love the uniqueness of a Rock Paper Notebook ($12)? It’s a notepad made entirely out of crushed rocks.  Pair that with some cool pens or markers from PaperDolls and you have a perfect gift.

Item #2, G. Willikers – G. Willikers never ceases to amaze me with their wonderful options for kids big and small. I was in love with the art sets from France ($10.95-$32.95) and the Clementine Art art supplies that are all natural (each piece is $5.95) (glue, crayon rocks, crayons, and markers available).

Item #3, G. Willikers – An educational toy that won’t bore the kids are Magnetabs. They come in uppercase ABC’s, lowercase, and numbers ($19.95-$25.95).  A perfect quiet toy for car trips.

Item #4, G. Willikers –Tons of play food lined the shelves, even including oddities like play pita & salad kits ($15.95-$29.95).

At NY Toy & Hobby in Clifton Park there are tons of options for kids of all ages!

NY Toy & Hobby

Item#1, NY Toy & Hobby – I really liked this Super Marble Run game ($29.99). Create a variety of marble runs with the colorful slot-together plastic pieces. Perfect for your aspiring builder!  Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Item #2, NY Toy & Hobby – Holiday Hop is steal at $14.99! As you speed around the game, players learn all about events in history such as Paul Revere’s ride, Man’s First walk on the Moon, or even what donuts were used for in the early 1900’s.  Educational AND fun!

Item #3, NY Toy & Hobby – Have you seen the Calico Corners collection? Young fans can transport this beautifully illustrated case filled with adorable little animal families and furniture (sold separately). Best part is that it all folds up into itself.  Houses start around $24.95 and families of 4 are around $22. These are available at both NY Toy & Hobby and at G. Willikers.

Item #4, NY Toy & Hobby – An absolute favorite of mine, even as an adult, are Plasma Cars ($67.65). I have spent a ton of time riding them (and if you have an unfinished basement or a garage, with concrete floors, kids can play with them inside all winter long), they are tons of fun and hold up to 150 lbs.

If you’re looking for some outside fun NY Toy & Hobby has a wide selection of sleds, and inflatable tubes. They also had a great toy called a snow baller, a definite steal at $5!  Here are some other options at NY Toy & Hobby:

NY Toy & Hobby

Item #1, NY Toy & Hobby – If you’re looking for some imaginative play, they sell cardboard trunks full of dress up clothes, in both girl and boy sets for ($61.99).

Item #2, NY Toy & Hobby – The jumbo brick blocks, mentioned in the Babies & Toddler Gift Guide, are also a huge hit with kids of all ages. 

Item #3, NY Toy & Hobby – I loved these magnetic “paper dolls” called Stable Pals. They include a girl piece with magnetized clothing and accessories and a horse, all made out of wood in a storage box ($29.99).

Item #4, NY Toy & Hobby – This little Doorbell House ($29.99) is by Melissa & Doug. It has locks and keys & comes with a little family that lives inside.

NY Toy & Hobby/TaDa!

Item #1, NY Toy & Hobby – For the teen expecting lots of cash and gifts cards for the holidays, Don’t Count On It ($14.99) is a puzzle box that you put cash, a check, gift card, etc inside.  In order to get them out, you’ll have to figure out the puzzle!

Item #2, TaDa! – A funny gift they had was the Miss & Mister Food Face plates ($14.50). They’re ceramic plates that have plain faces on them, you make the hair, lips, hats, other decorations with your food.

Item #3, TaDa! – TaDa had tons of cool science kits ranging from $11-$27.  The kits lined a full section of the store and would be perfect for your science-loving teen/tween.  Real bugs, set in resin, were in a case by the counter & at $8.50 an odd gift that would really make a little boys holiday!

Item #4, TaDa! – The Find-It games are a fun gift to give and receive ($20.50) and come in a few different themes.  The idea is to find all the hidden objects in the midst of thousands of colorful beads.  A good car/travel game… the little pieces stay IN the tube 😉

The following ideas are good for about ages ten and up.

TaDa CollageItem #1, TaDa! – How funny is this book? “Goodnight iPad”, a parody of “Goodnight Moon”, for $14.95.

Item #2, TaDa! – Star Wars cookbook ($16.95) With hilarious photos and safety tips for cooking on Earth as well as in most space stations, Wookiee Cookies even includes a sheet of shiny Star Wars stickers.

Item #3, TaDa! – For the older child that loves to tinker, Automoblox are assembly-yourself car kids.   Single cars are around $11 and full design sets for $30.

Item #4, TaDa! – Another fun teen find at Ta-Da include the USB man, lady and dog, reasonable at $10.99. This expands your USB computer ports into 4 extra ports instead of 1. A great stocking stuffer too!

Ending up back at G. Willikers, here are a two more options:

G. WillikersItem #1, G. Willikers – The possibilities are endless with a good block set. They have a great 60 piece wooden set in a storage box for $69.95.

Item #2, G. Willikers – A huge favorite of mine was the Box Set ($39.95). It comes in either car, airplane, or train, and it all folds up into the carrying case box.


The third installment of our holiday gift guide is Stocking Stuffers, followed by mama gifts and a few more surprises in the works.  Can’t wait to share them all!


NY Toy & Hobby, 22 Clifton Country Rd, Clifton Park, NY 518.371.8820

Ta-Da, 22 Clifton Country Rd., Clifton Park, NY 518.348.1881

G. Willikers, 461 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 518.587.2143

PaperDolls of Saratoga, 438 Broadway  Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-583-4084

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