Shop Holiday 2013: Gifts for kids, ages 5-10

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Lego Minecraft Micro World: The popular mining and building computer game Minecraft by developer Mojang has introduced thousands of children (and their parents) to Creepers, Endermen and, of course, Steve. It only makes sense to pair Minecraft with Legos, the original building blocks. Included in the set are enough Legos to build a Minecraft microworld, and two characters: Steve and a Creeper. $39.99, ToysRUs.com.

SnapCircuits Jr. SC-100: SCIENCE! But without the explosions and mess of the baking-soda volcano from science classes of old. Pieces snap together to let kids make electrical "experiments" like a dual-speed fan, a doorbell and flashing light display. There are various kits of different sizes and degrees of difficulty available, and most of the parts can be used with parts from other kits. Pictured is the SC-100. $34.95, S.W. Randall Toyes and Giftes, Downtown.

Zoomer the interactive dog: So if your kid is allergic to dogs but really wants one, this might be the way to go. Zoomer responds to voice commands in several languages, and the sensors on his body mimic dog motions, including tail wagging. He barks, sings and wanders away if he's not getting enough attention. And yes, he'll even raise his leg in the all-too-familiar stance in which dogs express disapproval (or mark their territory). $79.99, at Toys R Us.

PG graphic: More gifts for kids
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Tetris Link: Remember Tetris? The maddening computer game where you had to fit blocks together on a screen, back before computer graphics got really good? There's a 3-D version now, similar to Connect Four, where players drop different shaped blocks into a grid to try to create interlocking shapes. Spatial relationships, yo. $16.95, Amazon.com.

Y Fliker Carver Scooter: Thing I learned writing this article: The side-to-side turning motion that downhill skiiers and scooter riders make is called "carving." This scooter, then, is designed to have a better carving motion, so riders can have more control at faster speeds. The mom in me feels compelled to recommend wearing a helmet (sold separately). Scooter: $149.99, Toys R Us.

Minions: From the "Despicable Me" movies, the Minions are the beloved yellow followers of super "villain" Gru, and come in talking, laughing, singing, and quiet varieties (so mom and dad don't totally lose their minds). Pictured: Stuart the Laughing Minion. $34.97, Amazon.com.

Doc McStuffins Clinic Playhouse: That Doc McStuffins does it all, and has such demand for her medical services that she's opened her own clinic. Two-story clinic/playhouse comes with Doc, Hallie and Lambie figures, a clinic table, an up and down bed and other necessary doctor supplies. $47.98, Amazon.com

Flutterbye Fairy: Think remote control helicopter. Now paint the helicopter blades pink, and put a cute face on it, and watch as it hovers, or rather flutters, around the room. $27.99, Target East Liberty


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