1.Crayola Washable Markers and Mini-Packs (Ages 4+)
Every kid needs a steady supply of coloring materials. Crayola Washable Markers is a trusted brand that costs only RMB 39 for a box of eight and RMB 59 for a box of 12 at BabyGro. The store also carries Crayola Mini-Packs (RMB 49), which feature coloring pages and six markers in a range of Disney themes.
2.Polished Mama Non-Toxic Nail Polish (Ages 6+)
Perfect for little girls who like to play dress up, Polished Mama nail polish (RMB 78-88 per bottle) comes in a range of classic colors – without any harmful chemicals. That means no toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, ethyl acetate, acetone, or dibutyl phtalate. Mom can join in too! The polish is available at Counting Sheep and BabyGro.
3.Skoose Bows and Headbands (Ages 0+)
Not only are Skoose hair accessories pretty and functional, but safe as well. The company’s bows and headbands feature imported nickel- and lead-free clips that pass US safety standards. They’re suitable for all ages, including newborns (when paired with a headband). Bows range from RMB 20 to RMB 45 at BabyGro, while sequined headbands start from RMB 20.
4.Skip Hop Zoo Mitt and Hook (Ages 0+)
Make bath time fun with Skip Hop’s adorable animal-shaped wash mitts (RMB 99) for babies. The mitts are made of cotton terry, designed to fit an adult’s hand, and hang to dry on a sturdy suction hook. Choose from monkey, dog, penguin, and duck designs at Counting Sheep.
5. Lego Mini-Kits (Ages 5+)
Legos and other building toys are a great way to stimulate a child’s creativity. baby international carries a Lego police motorcycle set for RMB 59, but more mini-kits can be found at official Lego stores. See Directory on p83 for Lego store locations.
6. DVDs (All Ages)
Get a selection of movies for that hard-to-please teen or tween that includes both cherished favorites and modern hits. Stores like the one adjacent to Yashow Market or located on Sanlitun Bar Street sell single DVDs for RMB 10-15. Induce nostalgia with holiday hits like A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or The Nightmare Before Christmas.
7.Playing Cards and Other Games (Ages 4+)
A standard deck of 52 playing cards offer endless possibilities on a rainy afternoon. This inexpensive gift (no more than RMB 10 in most mom n’ pop shops) is suitable for the entire family. Wee ones can learn easy games like Go Fish, Crazy Eights, or Speed, while older kids and teens can strategize more with Gin Rummy, Hearts, or even Poker. Similarly, portable board games like Chinese chess, go, or standard chess make great gifts.
8. Jianzi (Ages 5+)
China’s answer to hacky sacks, jianzi are chicken feathers attached to weighted rubber or plastic discs. The goal of the game is to keep the shuttlecock from touching the ground using mainly feet and parts of the leg (though other body parts – except for the hands – are also allowed). Though some play it competitively, jianzi is mostly known as a folk sport in China. The shuttlecock can be picked up for less than RMB 10 at roadside stalls, small shops, and local markets.
8. Imported Treats (All Ages)
Who doesn’t miss homegrown treats like Air Heads (RMB 2.50 each), Haribo gummy candies (RMB 9.80-18.90), and Walkers shortbread biscuits (RMB 30.60)? Luckily, stores like Jenny Lou’s carry all these and more.
9.Flash Drives and Memory Cards (Ages 8+)
Older kids and teens are always in need of flash drives and USB sticks for school, while SD and memory cards are good for those who play portable video games or practice photography. Visit electronics markets like Bainaohui for the best deals and most reliable wares.
10. Books (All Ages)
This one’s a classic. Despite the existence of iPads, Kindles, and other tablets, curling up with a good book in a comfy chair is still one of life’s simplest pleasures. Check out The Bookworm, Page One, or the Foreign Languages Bookstore for the best selection, or find one of those mobile book stalls and bargain hard. Thinner books should cost no more than RMB 10, while thicker ones should range from RMB 15-20.
Special thanks to Johanna Selth of BabyGro, Nils van Doorn of baby international, and Eyee Hsu and Michelle Hemsin of Counting Sheep
BabyGro Beijing 慧宝
1) Wed-Sun 10am-5pm. Cathay View Garden Shopping Mall (next to Beijing Riviera), 2
Xiangjiang Beilu, Chaoyang District (8470 1690, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.babygro.com.cn 朝阳区香江北路甲2号观唐广场二期商铺; 2) Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Shop 105, Tower 9, Central Park, 6 Chaowai Lu, Chaoyang District (6597 0717, email@example.com) www.babygro.com.cn 朝阳区朝外街6号新城国际9号楼105
baby international 国际宝贝
Rm 2371, 3/F, North Tower, SOHO Shangdu, 8 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (5900 1476, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.baby-international.com 朝阳区东大桥路8号SOHO商都3层2371店铺
hui Computer Shopping Mall 百脑汇电脑商城
Daily 9am-8pm. 10 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6599 5912) 朝阳区朝阳门外大街10号
The Bookworm 书虫书吧
Daily 9am-2am. Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (6586 9507, email@example.com) www.chinabookworm.com 朝阳区工体北路4号院
Counting Sheep Children’s Boutique
Sun-Thu 10am-7pm, Fri-Sat 10am-8pm. 17 Gongti Beilu (across from North Gate of Worker’s Stadium), Chaoyang District (6417 7622, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.countingsheepboutique.com 朝阳区工体北路17号（工体北门对面）
Foreign Languages Bookstore 外语书店
Daily 9.30am-9.30pm. 235 Wangfujing Dajie, Dongcheng District (6512 6903, email@example.com) www.bpiec.com.cn 东城区王府井大街235号
Daily 10am-6pm. Shop LG50, Indigo, 18 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (8426 0408) 朝阳区酒仙桥路18号颐堤港地铁层50号 See Directory for more locations.
Pinnacle Plaza 荣祥广场
99 Yuxiang Lu, Tianzhu, Shunyi District (8046 2500) 顺义区天竺开发区裕翔路99号
The Place 世贸天阶
9 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District (6587 1188) 朝阳区光华路9号
This article is excerpted from beijingkids December 2012 issue. View it in PDF form here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where you can pick up your free copy.