Hanukkah gifts to kvell about -for kids

Build-a-Bear’s Hanukkah Bears

by Patricia Corrigan, Special to the Jewish light

Introducing latkes to the wee ones? Tie on these fancy latke bibs and fret no more about stains on clothing when the younger set digs in. The bibs, in a festive latke print, are available for boys or girls for $18 each from www.moderntribe.com.

For pre-schoolers, the “Shalom Sesame Street” series offers two new DVDs: “Welcome to Israel” and “Chanukah: The Missing Menorah.” Along with special guests, the Muppets explore Old Jerusalem and talk about the dreidel. Each DVD costs $14.95. Available from www.sisuent.com or www.amazon.com.

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

Four Sesame Street T-shirts that tie into the “Shalom Sesame Street” DVDs are available for $26 each from www.moderntribe.com. Choose from Cookie Monster (“Nosh”), Oscar The Grouch (“Oy Vey”), Elmo (“Mini Mensch”) or Zoe (“B is For Bubelah”), ranging in size from 6 months to Toddler 4.

Silly Cute Watches appeal to girls and boys ages 4 and up — and some adults, too. These nearly indestructible elastic watches sport big digital faces and come in 10 bright colors and several sizes. They cost $7.99 at Imagination Toys, 9737 Clayton Road in Ladue. (314-993-6288)

Pottery Barn Kids at the Chesterfield Mall (636-532-0777) carries a Hanukkah Countdown Calendar ($49.99) made out of felt with appliqués and decorative stitching. Each of nine flaps can hold a small gift or trinket; lift one flap each day to reveal another candle flame on the menorah. The calendar, replete with grommets for hanging, is perfect to mount on a wall.

Family-friendly games include Maccabees, a new board game for ages 8 and up where players spin a dreidel to acquire enough oil to light the menorah. The game sells for $29.95 at The Source Unlimited, 11044 Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur. (314-567-1925) allows players ages 12 and up to explore Jewish traditions, just $24.95 at www. Judaism.com. Creationary is a version of Pictionary for ages 7 and up, played with Legos, selling for $41.99 at Imagination Toys, 9737 Clayton Road in Ladue. (314-993-6288)

Puzzles are always a great gift for kids and adults alike, and there is no shortage of Hanukkah-themed puzzles this year. Select from Jewish holiday floor puzzles ($7.95) with giant pieces as well as wood and foam menorah puzzles ($9.95) for young children at www.traditionsjewishgifts.com to more complex ones, depicting the Western Wall ($11.95) and other Jewish historic landmarks at www.tjssc.com.

Last year, American Girl introduced Rebecca, the Jewish-American doll growing up in New York City in 1910. The company also offers a Hannukah Gift Set for Rebecca ($20), Rebecca’s Hanukkah Set ($22) and the book “Candlelight for Rebecca” ($6.95). Visit the new store in Kansas City, the original one in Chicago or see www.american.girl.com for these items plus a Hanukkah dress ($28) for the doll.

Build-A-Bear, the national purveyor of all-things bear with local stores at the St. Louis Galleria and West County Center, offers Hanukkah Bears ($18-$40) with all kinds of bear-tastic accoutrements, including a Star of David sweater ($8) and a blue scroll dress ($10).

HEXBUG, the makers of the Nano micro-robotic creatures, now offers a Nano Habitat Set that last month was named a “Toy of the Year” by Disney’s “Family Fun” magazine. The battery-powered, wiggling Nano costs $12 (for ages 5 and up) and a habitat starter set goes for $19 at Imagination Toys, 9737 Clayton Road in Ladue. (314-993-6288)

Tech-savvy high school and college students may appreciate a battery-operated menorah made with nine LED lights by designer Roni Kabessa from recycled motherboards. The menorah measures 5.75 inches high, 9.25 inches long and 4.25 inches wide. The Source Unlimited sells it for $30 at 11044 Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur. (314-567-1925)

Finally, what kid doesn’t like candy? At www.thepopcornfactory.com, a menorah-shaped candy box ($29.99) has eight treat-holding compartments-one for each night of Hanukkah. The surprises inside include Jelly Belly beans, chocolate gelt, chocolate medallions and foil-wrapped crispy rice chocolates. And it’s all kosher to boot.