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FOR TWEENS by kelly konrad

Vera Bradley Bag and Wristlet If you’re trying to spot a tween girl in the jungle, just look for the Vera Bradley bag. The beauty of gifting Vera is that there is something for every price point, and I haven’t met the girl who doesn’t like it. Indigo Pop Tote, $49 (not pictured); Va Va Bloom wristlet, $34; Vera Bradley, 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, 847-673-2176,

Snap Circuits LIGHT A shout out to a local biz—Elenco, located in Wheeling—for this toy, geared toward the “I want to make that thing light up” kid. What we like? It connects to iPods and MP3 players and is also an Astra Best Toy winner. Ages 8 – 12. $80, Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-441-5970,

Sphero You gave your kids a smartphone, now it’s time to give them something to do with it besides text. Sphero is a little bit techy and a lot of fun. Use your phone or iPad to engage and play games with this nifty robotic ball. $130, Brookstone, 4999 Old Orchard Center Skokie, 847-3299771,

Speed Stack StackPacks Thought cupstacking was just for kids? This is the gift that’ll be the talk of the holiday gathering—aunts, uncles, and even Grandma will want to give it a try. Bonus? The timer keeps the last score, meaning your partner can’t shave seconds off his or her time. $35, Children’s Gift Shop, 310 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-4415970,

Loop De Loo Friendship bracelets never go out of style, and this kit makes some of the coolest I’ve seen in some time. Bright colors, fun patterns and perfect for your crafting kid. $35, Three Wishes Toys and More, 1515 Sheridan Rd., Wilmette, 847-251-8622,


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GeoMate Jr. Instead of just watching “The Amazing Race,” create your own adventure with this great gadget. Loaded up with more than 200,000 geocache locations across the country, this is the perfect present for the kid who would rather be outdoors. $40, REI, 888 Willow Rd., Northbrook, 847-480-1938,

da Vinci’s Catapult with Brain Drops If your enterprising inventor is set upon making a mess, at least give him something he (or she!) has to build first. Try this catapult set, a great combo with the very cool BrainDrops (not pictured). $25, Marbles: The Brain Store, 4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-673-9000,

11/5/12 1:57 PM

Make It Better December 2012: Better Gifts  

2012 Gift Guide, Brene Brown, Holiday Theatre & more!

Make It Better December 2012: Better Gifts  

2012 Gift Guide, Brene Brown, Holiday Theatre & more!