Words for Friends

Follow the latest adventures of Greg Heffley in Double Down, the newest installment in the 11-book Diary of a Wimpy Kid series ($13.95). Or, if your young reader is a fan of Captain Underpants, he may want to check out Dog Man ($9.99), a new offering from Dav Pilkey. No matter what yourkiddos' interests, books always make an impression.

Available at The Book Loft, 631 S. Third St. (German Village), Columbus 43206; 614-464-1774; bookloft.com.

Military Meals

The armed forces buff on your list might savor the chance to try out some grub courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense. These ready-to-eat meals ($10) are a fun way to give kids a taste of military life and would make a unique stocking stuffer.

Available at the gift shop at Motts Military Museum, 5075 S. Hamilton Road, Groveport 43125; 614-836-1500; mottsmilitarymuseum.org.

A Pair and a Spare

If the mantra, "Life's too short for matching socks," resonates personally, give the kiddo in your life a set of Solmate Socks ($21.50). The vibrant, mismatched socks come three to a set and are sure to be a hit with youngsters who have a laid-back sense of style.

Available at Helen Winnemore's, 150 E. Kossuth St. (German Village), Columbus 43206; 614-444-5850; helenwinnemores.com.

Hands-on Fun

Get in the crafting spirit with a DIY puppet ($25.95) from the Cate & Levi Collection. The kit comes with all the necessary items to make a wool puppet, but the creativity doesn't stop there. Once it's complete, kids can use their new pal to dream up fun skits and other performances.

Available at the Columbus Museum of Art gift shop, 480 E. Broad St., Columbus 43215; 614-221-6801; columbusmuseum.org.

Light the Way

The Little Sun solar lamp ($39.95) is practical and fun. The portable device, which lasts for up to 50 hours, originally was designed to provide light to people living without electricity in Ethiopia. It makes a great night light or flashlight for children and can jumpstart conversations about sustainable living.

Available at the Columbus Museum of Art gift shop, 480 E. Broad St., Columbus 43215; 614-221-6801; columbusmuseum.org.

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