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10 superfun gifts for kids (not a screen in sight)

From old-fashioned (a classic red trike) to new-school (an Angry Birds game), these ideas are sure to delight your little ones

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Whether you’re on Team Gonzo, Team Kermit or Team Animal, everybody wins with a three-piece set of plush Muppets. It’s a hit with nostalgic parents who grew up watching the movies, and fun for kids who are getting to know Jim Henson’s characters for the first time. $79.99, amazon.ca

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Perplexus is known for its maze balls: portable labyrinths with twists, turns, dead ends, staircases and a marble, all encased in a plastic sphere. This year, toy bloggers are raving about the 2011 Perplexus Epic, more challenging than the 'original' and 'rookie' models. $29.95, chapters.indigo.ca

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Restoration Hardware’s red trike is an exact replica of a 1936 Sky King tricycle, in steel and chrome with retro-styled fenders and a working headlight. The antique originals go for upward of $3,000, but this model is $159. Built for kids ages 3 to 5; also comes in pink. rhbabyandchild.com

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The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game is one board game the little kid on your list probably doesn’t have. The goal is to match and sort coloured acorns and place them into a log before the squirrels get them – but our favourite part is how adorable it is. $19.99 (U.S.), educationalinsights.com

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For mom and dad’s little helper (boys and girls alike), nothing’s cuter than a tot-sized tool belt. This wooden Plan Toys set is a step up from plastic versions, with a measuring tape, level, wrench, hammer and screwdriver in a canvas storage bag. Ages 3 and up. $29.95, ape2zebra.ca

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Bring a bit of summer to cooped-up kids with an indoor water play table. The iPlay Sights ’n Sounds Splash Table from International Playthings features palm trees, slides, a water wheel and lots of sound effects. The best part? Super easy cleanup. $69.98, Camelot Kids in Vancouver (1-800-746-2230)

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Parents, prepare to duck and take cover: This bestselling Angry Birds game – a version that gets the kids to look up from the iPad already – is flying off the shelves. The app comes to life with blocks, a slingshot launcher, green plastic pigs and raging red-faced birds. $29.95, chapters.indigo.ca.

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Sometimes, all a girl wants is a Barbie. Don’t worry; Mattel’s “Barbie I Can Be” series is designed to quell concerns. There’s a chef, computer engineer and – new this year – an architect. Sure, she’s still stick-thin, but she’s got a hard hat, blue prints … and a career. $13.99, mattel.com

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This wooden pull-toy by French Design is striking and bright, even if you don’t know a thing about the British children’s book and TV series it’s based on (Elmer the Patchwork Elephant). Bonus: This toy will look good in the nursery until baby’s ready to walk. $25, ellaandelliot.com

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The racetrack goes vertical with Hot Wheels Wall Tracks. Kids can construct wall-mounted loopty-loops, drawbridges and jumps. It’s a floor-space saver in a crowded playroom, and the adhesive strips won’t damage your paint job. Tiny flying racecars, on the other hand … $37.97 for starter set, mattel.com

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