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Holiday Guide

Gifts for your Bratty Nieces and Nephews

Photo: Ana Benaroya, License: N/A

Ana Benaroya


Adventure Time Slamacow Finn doll ($49.95) Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time walks that fine line between kid show and cultish adult sensation. This toy, though, which talks when you slam it around the room, is all kid fun. Atomic Books, 3620 Falls Road, (410) 662-4444,



Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Nirvana CD ($16.99) The primary goal of any parent who considers himself “cool” is to use the child as a cool accessory, clad in Chuck Taylors and a Banksy backpack. Getting the tyker to hum along to, say, “Territorial Pissings”—something with which they’ll already be familiar—will up the cool factor significantly. Urban Baby Runway, 3608 Falls Road, (410) 366-2270,



Matryoshka Madness Ninja nesting dolls ($13.99) When we were kids, Matryoshka dolls were endlessly fascincating—“OH MY GOD! THERE’S AN EVEN SMALLER BARREL IN THERE!”—but these fuckers are much more badass than anything we ever had. And they’re perfectly safe, since the ninjas have no hands with which to wield their weapons. Urban Baby Runway, 3608 Falls Road, (410) 366-2270,



Master Kitz Matisse painting kit ($32) If your nieces/nephews are like ours, they spent their first several years of art projects drawing what appeared to be a large pile of yarn. Expand their horizons with these kits, which provide the double benefit of exposing tots to great art and giving them the stencils and pastels to take a crack at it. BMA store, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, (443) 573-1700,



Tegu Magnetic Blocks ($110.00) In our day, blocks were heavy, sharp, and potentially dangerous. These eco-friendly, wooden ones have magnets inside to hold kids’ creations together—less character-building, more actual building. Soft and Cozy Baby, 915 W. 36th St., (410) 446-4525,



Ravens 101: My First Team-Board-Book ($11.95) Reading to kids at night is important, yes, but it’s also hella boring. For one thing, either the kid can’t read, so you have to do all the reading, or they’re learning how to read—but they suck at it—so you have to listen to them struggle over every short “o.” With this book, at least you’re also doing the important work of instilling Ravens pride. Soft and Cozy Baby, 915 W. 36th St., (410) 446-4525, 



Gary Marko personalized menorah ($54) Customize your Festival of Lights with the family name, favorite symbols, or—if you’re an especially hopeful Republican—“Ryan-Rubio ’16.” 2910 on the Square, 2910 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-8505,



Santa dreidel ($6) For the child of mixed-religion parents, a single toy that will probably offend and/or confuse all of the grandparents. 2910 on the Square, 2910 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-8505,



R2D2 backpack ($49) There comes a time in every boy’s life when he becomes aware of, and obsessed with, Star Wars. If you, aunt and uncle, buy him this backpack at that precise moment, you have officially won his love for a lifetime. Isn’t that worth $49? Gorilla King Comics, 1711 Aliceanna St., (410) 327-0181



4M Animation Praxinoscope ($14.99) Get your kid to move beyond just watching cartoons and let her explore how to make them. aMuse Toys, 1623 Thames St., (410) 342-5000 and 2576 Quarry Lake Drive, (410) 415-0000,



Thames and Kosmos Microcontroller ($149) Kids are already way, way smarter than olds like you and us. How smart? This is a toy that shows them how to build computers. Happy trails, Lite Brite. Shananigans, 5004 Lawndale Ave., (410) 532-8384,



Spooner Board Freestyle ($44.99) With all the time they spend building computers and texting nude pictures of classmates, teenagers today don’t have time today to master skateboarding—all those wheels! Spooner Board cuts out all the rolling and lets kids slide directly on any surface. Shananigans, 5004 Lawndale Ave., (410) 532-8384,

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