Homegrown Holiday Gifts
Pictured: Osmo Little Genius Kit (left) and Planet (right)
More Than a Screen
Expand your iPad into the 3-D, tactile world with Osmo from Palo Alto’s Tangible Play, Inc. New for the holiday season is the Osmo Little Genius Kit, named one of Amazon’s top toys for 2019. It features games for preschoolers from letter learning to creative play and includes silicone sticks and rings for forming letters, as well as cardboard figure and costume pieces for pretend play. $79. playosmo.com.
Make learning a language fun with the Reading Wand and bilingual board books from Bay Area-based Habbi Habbi. Just tap the wand anywhere on a page and words and images come to life with proper pronunciations and sound effects. Recommended for ages 3 and up, a variety of books is available in Chinese-English and Spanish-English, including first words, first phrases, emotions and careers. Wand: $49.99; books from $17.99. habbihabbi.com.
A World of Fun
Get ready for family game night with Planet, the bestselling strategy contest from Blue Orange Games in San Leandro. In this unique game, each player gets a three-dimensional, 12-sided game board, or “planet core,” and draws landscape tiles representing oceans, deserts and more. Players compete to create the best ecosystems for wildlife to flourish. For two to four players; recommended for ages 8 and up. $39.99. blueorangegames.com.
A Better Fort
Skip the couch cushions and blankets, and help your kids construct the coolest hideaway with the flip of a fan switch. California-based AirFort makes light and roomy forts that inflate in seconds with a standard box fan. A divider keeps kids away from the fan, and a window allows them to peer out. The durable, breathable polyester tent packs easily into a compact bag for storage and travel. $49.95. airfort.com.