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Cool Gifts for Kids

One-of-a-kind ideas from our 2012 gift guide that will delight the little ones on your list.

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    Ukulele Tunable, playable, pleasantly twangy-and priced just right for little kids too young to handle a grown-up instrument. To buy: $30, paper-source.com.
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    Tube Toy The tube packaging becomes the body of the vehicle. Inside are wheels, axles, and decals. To buy: $16, momastore.org.
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    VW Camper Play Tent A van-shaped tent: Can you dig it? Fits three kids, or one nostalgic baby boomer in the fetal position. To buy: $50, themonsterfactoryusa.com.
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    My Own Mailbox Preschoolers can learn all about the days when "letters" existed. How quaint. To buy: $20, melissaanddoug.com.
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    Layered Ruffle Tulle Skirt They're not just for dress-up or ballerinas anymore. This mesh tutu is fully lined and ready for school or holiday parties. To buy: $30, gap.com.
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    Mr. Potato Head Super Spud Toy Friends and 45 plug-ins stash inside 13-inch-tall papa. (Under the hat, he's a bin!) Ages two and up. To buy: $50, kohls.com.
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    Me in Mind Hero Beanie It's a bird! It's a plane! It's perfect for keeping your favorite superhero warm-and incognito. To buy: $18, psychobabyonline.com.
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    iWoody Pad and pencil? Think different. The modern child won't settle for anything less than genius. To buy: $16, pylones-usa.com.
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    Shadow Puppet Theater If Lemony Snicket came for a holiday visit, he would bring this. To buy: $40, store.imaginechildhood.com.
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    Croc Pile These snappy guys are fun to stack, safe to chomp (they're coated in natural tung oil), and sturdy enough to survive a toddler attack. To buy: $35, thefutureperfect.com.
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    Balloon Boat Blow, blow, blow your boat! An inflated balloon propels this colorful vessel through waves and white caps (aka a bubble bath). Available in eight colors. To buy: $14, pylones-usa.com.
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    Water Flutes A bath toy that makes noise? Music to your kids' ears. Fill each flute with a different amount of water to create varying tones when you blow them. To buy: $16, sfmoma.org.
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    Pink Elephant Jump Rope A classic toy with an unexpected twist-pink elephants for the handles to grip while she jumps. To buy: $27.50, kisanstore.com.
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    Toobalink Construction Set These genius joiners allow kids to connect empty toilet paper and paper towel tubes into fun (recyclable!) structures. To buy: $35, perpetualkid.com.
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    Just Say Sew Sewing Kit With pre-cut felt patterns, simple instructions, and colorful thread, this is the perfect starter kit for the mini do-it-yourselfer. To buy: $32, landofnod.com.
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    Snow Stompers Who says Bigfoot doesn't exist? Strap these stompers to your kid's feet and let them leave monster tracks in the back yard. To buy: $24, chasing-fireflies.com.
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    Jungle Bowling Set It's never too early to hit the bowling alley. These organic pins bring the most adorable players (lion, monkey, elephant) to your playroom lanes. To buy: $50, giggle.com.
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    Micro-Fone An updated version of tin cans and string, these pocket-sized "microphones" teach kids about the physics of sound. Then they can go back to texting. To buy: $16, restorationhardware.com.
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    Girls Glitter Purse Just enough room for her cell phone, this week's allowance, and the lipstick she stole from your bag. To buy: $39.50, jcrew.com.
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    Top Secret Spy Kit The truly skilled spy will know he's getting this even before it's unwrapped. (Includes spy glasses, a fingerprint kit, code cards, a flashlight, and a secret marker pen.)