In most cases, Toys"R"Us has been traded in for Sports Authority and Dicks. Especially for the boys. Their favorite gift to give is a pair of these Nike elite socks with a gatorade bottle.
What boy doesn't love a bow and arrow set? This has been a go-to gift for a number of boys this year. They especially love the sound it makes when you fire it.
For less sporty gifts, we will go out of our way to hit The Age of Reason toy store in Westport. It is a wonderful "mom and pop" shop that makes every effort to stock quality gifts. Their selection is well edited, but truly has something for everyone. Puzzles, brain teasers, science kits (like none I have ever seen), board games, and tons of stuff for your naturalist or architect . I also love that they stock interesting books that marry back to the different toys in the shop. In the spring we bought one friend a bird feeder coupled with a field guide to birds in Connecticut.
We have a few friends that love the outdoors and have found lots of fun gifts for them at REI. The headlamp is one of our go-to gifts.
And the boys love this adventure pack
I love that my kids are starting to recognize that their friends have special interests. And I love that they are thoughtful enough to consider this when selecting gifts.