i have two nephews, one niece, and one surprise on the way. ( i also have a couple of nephews in dog-form, but i`ll save them for their own special gift guide.) of my nephews, one loves puzzles and the other is a lego-genius, though i think the lego bucket might make any mom happy as well. my niece is a toddler so i think the miffy light might be a good fit. i know clothing for children is not something they care about so i usually avoid it as a gift, but i do give fun mittens and i think onsies and cute shirts are great gifts for moms of small children. i`ve been working with children since before i was old enough to work myself teaching music, art and english in canada and japan and i think i have a pretty good handle on what they generally like and don`t give a hoot about. i`m telling you number 8 looks innocuous enough, but at least in japan kids love a good kendama session. i had one when i was a kid and i also loved it. i think i liked the wood it was made out of most of all. i originally had a pokemon game on DS up here, lol. one DS is enough to keep 12 kids quiet and occupied for 1-2 hours, i see it in action all the time. books too, at all ages, kids love books. young children love picture books but get upset if there are strong morals or death. (at least in japan, this may be culture specific but i`ve faced veritable riots after reading `chicken little`, `the gingerbread man` and `the old lady who swallowed a fly` - "what a mean old chicken, it`s horrible she didn`t share with anybody?" *look of shock/scorn* and "what, she DIED ------!!!???what IS this! *look of disgust*" and worst of all, the moment where the gingerbread man is eaten alive; there were no words in response to that, just a row of wide eyes that will haunt me for the rest of my life. i couldn`t stop reading them as it was part of the curriculum, but i did see the same priceless reaction week after week. they did love the food aspects of both however, it`s just the plot twist ending.) the doraemon comic books in english OR japanese are also a nose pickingly good read if you are in primary or elementary school. the guitar or any instrument will depend on the child - they might be really addicted to playing it wildly for the first 24 hours, but after that you may never see them touch it again. depends on the child and their level of interest in music. personally, having an old pump organ to vent my frustrations on was a formative aspect of my primary school years. anyway, good luck and happy holiday gift hunting!