12 Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids

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: you get 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 – 12 Great Gift Ideas for kids!

12 Great Gift Ideas for Kids

1. Foam Airplanes // Our boys received a pair of these foam planes as a gift last year and they have been one of the biggest hits of our household. They light up, have two flight modes (normal and trick), and fly incredibly well! This is a great present for kids of ALL ages! It’s the most commonly played with toy in our backyard and they are surprisingly durable despite being very lightweight. These also make an excellent gift to give other kids. They won’t break the bank and are fun for everyone!

2. Mini Yoto Player // I had been on the fence for a long time about the Yoto Player because we absolutely LOVE our Toniebox! But this past year with all the traveling we’ve done, it’s been challenging to cart our Toniebox + favorite characters around with us. So we decided this Christmas we will gift our boys the Mini Yoto. It’s smaller size and all-day battery make it perfect for road trips, flights and other lengthy outings.

This is ideal for anytime kids want to enjoy independent screen-free entertainment and especially great for when everyone needs a little “quiet” time. It operates as an audio player by reading “cards” (there are up to 1000+ titles available) with different stories, music, educational, and activity options available. Plus, it plays free family/kid friendly radio and has a daily kids podcast. Since it’s aimed at kids aged 0-12+, we knew it was a gift that could grow with our boys as they get older. Our collection can be curated to their individual interests, educational needs, and different ages.

3. 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!

4. TENZI dice game // We love to play all kinds of games in our house. But it can be 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 after hearing it was recommended as a game for ages 5+. To play TENZI you must roll your 10 dice as fast as you can. That makes the game instantly competitive and fun for the whole family. I’ve also heard this one can help younger kids improve their math & counting skills.

5. Olly Ball // What is it that makes throwing and kicking balls in the house seem SO MUCH FUN? Before we discovered the Olly Ball, I was the mom who was constantly reminding our kiddos to “take it outside” whenever they had a ball anywhere nearby. I’ve lot many a picture frame to wayward balls in the house. And then we got an Olly Ball – the ultimate indoor play ball for kids. This ball weighs less than an ounce, so kids can safely play ball in the house without the risk of breaking things (or each other!). It’s great fun to play with outside as well and it’s also waterproof so you can even take it to the pool!

6. Interactive Microscope // Niko got this awesome interactive microscope for Christmas last year from Sippi & Cinny and he LOVES it. Both boys play with it so often and even Paul and I have enjoyed this cool gift! It’s educational, great for little science lovers, and easy enough for littles to play with independently once they learn how to use the specimen slides (which are pre-loaded with all kinds of curiosities!). I’ve purchased this microscope for a few other kids in our family and it’s been a big hit all around with all of them.

7. 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 TWO of them. Okay, technically I discovered all the truth in the hype once they arrived but either way, it was TOTALLY worth it. My kids combine them, climb on them, make forts, and create all kinds of imaginative games out of ours. They dance on them like a stage and lie on them reading books like a couch. There are so many ways to arrange the Nugget and so many fun things to create with it!

8. Kids’ Digital Camera // A couple of years ago 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. 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 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!

9. Kids’ Cash Register // This cash register has been a toy the boys play with over and over again and never get tired of. They use it for creative play with all kinds of things. Selling ice cream, pretending they are bank robbers or pirates, and bargaining ridiculously high prices with us for their artwork! It comes with play money which has been really fun for the boys too. They’ve learned a lot about the value of different bills and coins. AND they’ve discovered how to use the calculator on the register. At one point I caught Noah storing his allowance money and rock collection in it as well! This gift is loads of fun and we highly recommend it.

10. Kids Tool Kit // Noah got a “official” tool kit for his birthday last winter. This is a gift that keeps on giving. The boys take all of the tools outside and stay busy working and building all kinds of things for endless periods of time. I’ve even used the small hammer on several occasions! There is something special about owning mini “grown up” versions of things like tools because they are actually functional and much more realistic than the plastic hammers of the “baby” kits. This is a kit I feel like boys and girls alike would enjoy! Throw in a few scraps of wood and and handful of nails and you’ve made some kid a very happy little creator.

11. Critter Cage // Our kids have clocked HOURS playing with this critter cage this past year. I honestly think this is the most underrated toy on the market because it has been such a source of entertainment for kids and adults alike in our household. Not only have our boys have caught an incredible array of bugs in theirs, they have also caught lizards, frogs, and about a kazillion crabs too! We are a catch and release family so we never keep our critters more than a couple of hours at most. This cage makes the release almost as much fun as catching them in the first place!

12. Remote Control Car // My mom bought these for the kids last year for Christmas and they were such a hit!! The controllers are simple enough that my 3 year old could operate it on his own successfully. And the tires make these cars capable of driving almost anywhere! Mostly we play with ours indoors, but they do great outside too. Use it in grass, on pavement, in the dirt, and thankfully they are pretty durable because ours even go down the stairs sometimes! The design is super cool! And the batteries are rechargeable which means while you DO have to remember to charge them, the kids get longer play out of them!

I hope this helps you and Santa with some great gift ideas for little kids this year! Remember, you can check out my gift guide from last Christmas if you need a few more ideas!

Happy Holidays friends!

This post contains some Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (think pennies!) at no extra cost to you.

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