Puppets, paper art, patterned cards: These gifts will put smiles on little faces and are easy on the wallet. If you can’t find in local stores, try online retailers like Amazon.com.
Folkmanis Little Puppets. Alligator, chipmunk and lion give little puppeteers (with practice) hours of play. (3+, $12.99, folkmanis.com)
‘The Gruffalo's Child.’ This animated British film is based on the children’s book. A monster ignores her father and sneaks out one night in search of the fabled Big Bad Mouse. (4+, $8.99)
Sesame Street: ‘Once Upon a Monster.’ The Xbox Kinect’s game story line follows Elmo and Cookie Monster as they read the book Once Upon a Monster. (4-8, $9.99)
‘Mo Willems’ Pigeon and Pals: Complete Cartoon Collection,’ Vols. 1&2. Three animated stories based on some of Willems’ popular children’s books including Knuffle Bunny Too. (4-9, $11.45)
Duarte PaperArt. A sheet of paper can be folded to form an elephant, rhinoceros or kangaroo. Each package contains a pre-cut shape with quick facts about the animal. (7+, from $4.95, duartepaperart.com)
Creatures: The Card Game. Players strategize to combine three cards to make the strongest creature by mixing and matching various illustrated cards. (8+ $11.99, Amazon.com)
Green is president of Parents' Choice Foundation, a non-profit guide to quality media and toys for children. Visit parents-choice.org.