In our house we have some strategies for gift giving that work really well for us. The first is Santa-specific. When Santa visits us each year he leaves stockings for everyone (even the pets). He also leaves one gift for each child and one gift for them to share with each other. All other gifts are from family (and close family friends). For the kids and each other, Paul and I follow a simple philosophy of: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. This year I’ve had several friends asking me for my best kid gift ideas. So I’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorites! May I officially present to you – 10 Great Gift Ideas for kids!
10 Great Gift Ideas for Kids
1. Grandparent + Grandchild Pen Pal Kit from Mr. Boddington’s Studio // This kit is too cute and perfect for little lovers of snail mail. And grandparents who want more connection! It includes four back-and-forth correspondence flat cards, four unique letterhead sheets, and eight envelopes. There are even prompts to help get the conversation started! I love this company because they make such fun and uniquely creative designs – definitely a winner for a gift list!
2. Toniebox // We LOVE our Toniebox! The kids are obsessed with listening to all of their character audiobooks we’ve collected over time. This is one of the coolest items my kids own. This audio player has an easy to use design that even the youngest children can operate independently. I don’t worry about them “breaking it” because of the way it’s built! The creative tonies are awesome too bc you can record yourself reading books OR add music your child loves super easily! When we were traveling and the boys were having a hard time w us being gone, we recorded some messages for them from my app several states away that they were able to listen to almost immediately (and repeatedly!). If you’re looking for a gift that would be an investment, this is one I’d highly recommend.
3. SLAPZI card game // We love to play all kinds of games in our house but it’s challenging to find really fun ones that the kids can join in on that aren’t super boring for us (here’s looking at YOU Candyland!). Every year we try to buy one new game as a gift for us to play together. We are getting this one this year even though it’s aimed for kids 8+. We’re hoping we can make some modifications for our boys by reading the cards for them. This game is supposed to help kids develop important skills like working memory, abstract reasoning, and cognitive flexibility.
4. Stomp Rocket // Earlier this year our new neighbors had one of these out when we went for a backyard playdate. My kids FLIPPED over how cool it was! It kept them entertained for no less than 30 minutes. Even our neighbor’s 11 year old son was in on the fun!). I knew we HAD TO HAVE ONE. Before I had a chance to order it for Niko’s bday, our sweet neighbors bought him one as a bday gift! It is played with every single time we go outside. Luckily you can even buy replacement rockets for those ones that get stuck on the roof!
5. Jungle Jumparoo // This was a big ticket purchase for us earlier this year when we were finding it challenging to wear our kids out! As an ER family, we feel strongly against trampolines due to the number of injuries that occur on them from year to year. No judgement if you have one – it’s just our own family rule. I was researching alternative options and came across this recommendation from Busy Toddler which she highly recommends. After 6+ months of having ours set up on the front porch, I couldn’t agree more! Our kids (and many of the neighborhood kids) absolutely love it! I love it because they jump their energy out on that thing!!
6. Kids’ Headlamp // My boys both got headlamps in their stockings one year and they have been a huge hit! They are even better than a flashlight because they are handsfree! Great for flashlight tag, reading under the covers, neighborhood walks as a family after dark. Also for looking for things under the couch, camping, and for putting together s’mores around the fire pit! I think this could be a fun gift for kids of any age. And this particular brand linked is easy to use and the light even changes colors!
7. Kids’ Digital Camera // Last year Noah got really interested in taking photos. He was asking to use my phone all the time to take pictures of things. We decided he would enjoy a camera of his own. So I did some research online, ordered a couple of different ones to see what would serve us best, and this one I’ve linked was the winner! This was our main gift to Noah last year for Christmas and he uses it alllll the time. We ended up buying Niko one for his birthday because he also wanted in on the fun. This camera has a lot more functions than we actually use. Mainly the boys just take photos until the memory is full, ask us to delete it, and then start again with filling it up!
8. Picasso Tiles // If there is one “toy” in this house that gets played with more than any other and is the source of endless creativity for our kids, it’s these Picasso Tiles. Similar to MagnaTiles, we purchased them when Noah was pretty young because they were a little less expensive and had excellent reviews. These things are built durably, offer hours and hours of creative play (especially if you have little builders in your house like I do). These have been built into castles, parking garages, museums, farms, race tracks, multi-level housing complexes, fire stations, police stations, you name it and it’s doable! I think every kid should have a set of these to play with!
9. Kiwi Co. Subscription Box // Early into the pandemic I was running out of steam to create crafts and activities for my kids every day while they were home with me. I had heard people talk about Kiwi Co. but wasn’t really sure what it was. When I found out it was STEAM-themed activity boxes with everything you need included in the kit, I was curious! So I signed us up for one. It exceeded my expectations. They have a variety of themes for different ages. One thing I can say is that they are exceptionally designed to be age-appropriate! Both of my kids can do them fairly independently (once I help them with the general instructions). There are 2-3 projects in each kit and I highly recommend this if you’re interested in something like an “experience” gift!
10. Nugget Couch // If ever there were a children’s item that I assumed had to be over-rated, let it be known that I was pretty sure that had to be the nugget couch. For all the hype I had heard, I just couldn’t understand what was so special about it. Until the day (again, mid-2020 pandemic stir craziness) that I got a wild hair and ordered one. Okay, technically I discovered all the truth in the hype once it arrived but either way, it was TOTALLY worth it. My kids climb on it, make forts out of it, create all kinds of imaginative games out of ours. They dance on it like a stage and lie on it reading books like a couch. There are so many ways to arrange it and so many fun things to create with it!
Here are a few bonus gift ideas for kids that I love:
- This roll up kids’ keyboard (Niko is getting this for xmas this year!)
- Melissa & Doug Ice Cream set – one of the most played with toys around here!
- This Moon Lamp is the coolest – we got ours as a gift and love it
- Hazel Village Animals – our most special “guys” are from here!
- For the littles on your list – My Pal Scout
- A Toy Pocket Knife (our boys are obsessed with theirs!)
- Super cute Tea Set makes for so many fun tea parties
- Little Mice Characters from Maileg – perfect for imaginative play!
- Wooden Car Transporter – our boys clocked hours of fun playing with this
- Binoculars are such a cool gift for kids – our boys love theirs
- Melissa & Doug Cleaning Set (which we use daily at our house!)
- Pogo Jumper – so much fun and a great way to get energy out!
- Little Unicorn Big Kid Hooded Towels are our FAV
- These wooden cutting fruits and vegetables for imaginative play
- Micro Kickboard Scooter – my boys can’t get enough of these
I hope this helps you and Santa with some great gift ideas for kids this year! Happy Holidays!
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