In this Holiday Gift Guide, we're sharing 8 great gift ideas for both your kids and your fur-kids. We’ve gathered up a collection of great ideas for the younger drivers in your family--no matter their age, we've got something here to please all your car-loving kids! Or, if you’re at a loss for what to pick up for that pet lover in your life, or looking for something to make your own pets' holiday a little brighter, look no further than the Ask Patty Holiday Gift Guide for Kids and Pets.
Fireball Tim has built an extensive and unique career in the film industry having designed vehicles, weaponry, props, costumes and environments for hundreds of major features, TV and commercials. His creative designs and toys populate kids' rooms around the world. From Hot Rods to Custom Cars, Movie Cars to Muscle Cars, Fireball Tim has done them all with youthful enthusiasm and inspiration. Inspired by his intense love of cars, animals, and creativity, Fireball Tim's Big Book of Wacky Rides! ($16) is a mad-cap take on inanimate objects transformed into cool cars. Each illustration stands on its own as an amusing story, delighting children and parents around the world.
From the Olympic "Spoonster" to the "Snot Rocket", these wild and wacky rides take kids of all ages on a journey of the imagination and unique design exploration. Fireball Tim's credits include stints as a designer for Walt Disney Imagineering from 1991-93 and Universal Studios Theme Park to movies like "Priest," "Gone in 60 Seconds," "Batman," "Monster Garage," "Jurassic Park," "GI Joe," "Knight Rider" and "The Avengers." With all that under his belt, this book will be a hit for many silly car-loving kids.
It's never too early to teach them how to use a wrench! You can get your little ones into the garage and well on their way to helping with a tune-up early, thanks to the Car Lover's Engine Repair Set ($120) from Hammacher Schlemmer, a catalogue specializing in unusual and unique toys and gifts. Give your kids aged three and up their own spot in the garage to work while Daddy (or Mommy!) are working on the car, and they can safely (and cleanly) experience the ins and outs of car repair and maintenance.
Using specially designed plastic tools, the set teaches kids how to change spark plugs, test the brakes, change the air filter, and use the dipstick to check the (imaginary) oil levels. They can even check how the engine sounds. The car has a working horn and headlights, and the set comes with a screwdriver, wrench, and other tools sized to fit little grease-monkey hands. Requires eight AAA batteries.
Also available from Hammacher Shlemmer is this awesome Working Pedal Powered Forklift. This ride-on version of a Linde 394 forklift ($320) features a functional lift that raises and lowers at its driver's command. Made in Germany, its lifting fork is raised by turning a hand crank and held into place with a locking lever, tilting slightly backward to keep an included plastic 6 1/2 lb.-capacity pallet stable, just like a real forklift. Pedals power the forklift forward and backwards with a precisely engineered chain drive. The four plastic tires have rubber traction strips. Its squat, robust chassis is made from sturdy ABS plastic while its axles, steering rod, and pedals are made from durable steel. Its seat adjusts to a rider's height (maximum height of 55") and locks into place to keep children safe while riding; supports up to 110 lbs. Assembly required. Ages 3 and up.
Kids of any age love Lego's building block toys, and here's a couple awesome car-themed sets that will keep your Lego-loving little ones busy for hours. With more than a thousand pieces in each box, Lego says these sets are intended for ages 16 and up, but dedicated builders of younger ages can probably do it with parental assistance. Keep small parts away from babies!
Get started with the iconic MINI Cooper! This beautifully crafted LEGO® brick replica of the classic MINI Cooper Mk VII ($100) is full of authentic details, from the classic green and white color scheme with white wing mirrors and racing stripes, to the opening doors, hood and trunk, sporty fog lights, detailed engine and separate spare tire compartment. You can even remove the roof to access a tan colored interior with patterned seats, veneer-style dashboard, turning steering wheel, and moving gearshift and handbrake. And of course, no MINI Cooper would be complete without a picnic basket and blanket, the perfect accessories for a fun day in the countryside! MINI Cooper measures over 4” (11cm) high, 9” (25cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide.
This authentic camper van is a replica of the classic Volkswagen Camper Van from 1962 ($120). Every iconic feature is here! On the outside, the terrific detailing includes 'V' shape three-way color split at the front, rounded roof and window frames, opening 'splittie' safari windshield, opening doors, iconic pop-up roof with textile curtain surround, roof rack, rear side air intake vents and lots more! The detailing is equally impressive on the inside, from the authentic VW air-cooled flat four cylinder boxer engine, front cabin bench seat, gear stick, angled dashboard and iconic spherical speedometer, to custom LEGO® features like folding rear bench seat, folding dinette table, closet with mirror and even a painting!
Any pet owner out there knows how hard it can be to find well-designed pet décor that will fit in with the theme and style of your home. Instead of having to put up with dog beds full of cheesy dog bones and paw prints, you can now blend your pet’s belongings into the rest of your home with the innovative and designer options from KESS Inhouse! Featuring Dog Beds (from $94), Pet Bandanas (from $8.50), Ceramic Feeding Bowls ($28), and Pet Feeding Mats ($29), all your pet related décor problems are solved. Mix and match designs, or choose an array of products featuring the very same art that adorns your bedroom, living room and kitchen! Imagine your pooch lounging around the house on a dog bed featuring the gorgeous “Nordic Combination” design by artist Mareike Boehmer, or the unique styling of Christina Miller’s Scrabble tile inspired designs in “Be Happy” or “Rise and Shine” just to name a couple! Let’s face it; if you’re someone who has gone to the trouble of decorating your home with artful products, it would be a shame to not have that same designer flair in your pet’s products. No more hiding Fluffy’s feeding bowl when guests come over, instead proudly display all your pet’s products as part of your home’s unique style!
If your holiday adventures require any travel with your pets, be sure to stop by petravelcenter.com, an online community serving the pet travel industry and pet lovers everywhere who want the most reliable resources for traveling with pets in one comprehensive website. This awesome website has lots of information about pet travel products, pet-friendly hotels, and other pet resources. They can even help you find the best pet travel products in their online pet store to make getting around with pets "fun and easy." Their selection of products includes airline travel carriers, as well as pet harnesses for in the car, car booster seats for smaller pets, santa-themed pet clothes and hats, and much much more.
While you're visiting their site, you can also:
• Search for pet-friendly hotels, attractions, RV parks, dog parks, and campgrounds. Get low Internet rates by booking from PetTravelCenter.com's worldwide listings or by clicking on the pet-friendly ads on our website.
• Locate a veterinarian or pet hospital in the area where you plan to travel or where you live.
• Get tips for traveling with pets using various modes of transportation and sharing in recreational activities with pets.
The world is full of wondrous smells, and your pet craves the excitement of uncovering every novel scent out there. But, to reach these uncharted olfactory territories, you need to stock up on the right pet travel accessories to safely get your pet from home to your next adventure. Another website with lots of great car-themed pet gifts is AutoAnything. No matter what you're looking for, AutoAnything has everything for your dog, including beds, bowls & feeders, carriers, door shields & protectors, harnesses & seat belts, ramps & steps, seat covers, kennel jackets, and pet barriers. Whether you're roaming far and wide or just jetting around town, your dog can be a lot more comfortable and a lot safer with quality pet travel accessories from AutoAnything.
In addition to our picks here, our friends over at WhyThisRide.com have made their picks of the Best Car Related Holiday Gifts for Your Kids and Pets. Some readers might be sitting aghast after reading the headline to this article thinking it would be quite brazen to claim a person might afford their family pet’s car riding enjoyment on a par with that of your very own offspring. On the other hand, those of us who love our pets the way they do over at WhyThisRide know that for some of us, our pets are very much like our own children, and we want nothing more for them but their ultimate comfort while riding along with us.
Happy holidays! Be sure to check out the other holiday gift guides at AskPatty, with great ideas for car-loving ladies as well as gifts for your favorite car guy, and 10 Tools Every Home Mechanic Should Have