There’s something about the holidays with kids that adds a little extra sparkle to the celebrations. Their joy and enthusiasm are just so fun, and seeing their excitement over a new toy is hard to beat. But straddling the line with toys that a kid will enjoy and a parent will appreciate is tough! That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the best gift ideas for kids. It may feel good to get everything on their wishlist, but I’ve found that gift-giving is just as special with a couple of thoughtfully chosen gifts.
My husband and I are still new to the kid game, but our intention is to focus on quality, thoughtfully made toys—the kind that encourages open-ended play. We are also choosy when it comes to plastic, loud, and flashy toys that will find their way to the bottom of the toy basket in just a month or two. A friend of mine has four kids, and every year before the holiday season they do a toy overhaul. They clear out and donate anything that is no longer being used to a local women’s shelter and hospitals. As an aspiring minimalist, I love that it not only makes room for the new goodies (and keeps your playroom from being overrun with stuff) but it also teaches your kids how to edit and pare down, and most importantly, valuable lessons on giving.
So, in that vein, we’ve broken down the best gift ideas for kids into age groups. Baby (up to two years old), little kid (three to five years old), and bigger kid (six to ten years old). But of course, feel free to mix and match according to your child’s interests! There’s a little something for everyone.
Scroll on for the best gift ideas for kids, it might just be the inspiration you were looking for!
BABY (0-2 years)
Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker
My little guy has this balance bike and loves it! It’s cute, comes in six colors, and is super affordable! Try this one if your little one is three to five years old.
Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker, $49.99
Love Every Play Kits
These play kits can almost single-handedly replace all other toys. They offer a monthly subscription with each box age and stage-matched towards a specific age, from 0-36 months. They’re simple, yet purposeful and perfectly engage your little one. You can rest assured knowing that each box is full of nontoxic, organic toys that foster your baby’s brain development and are fun!
Love Every Play Kits, $36
Legler Baby Walker
We love the versatility of this baby walker, doubling as a block trolley, filled with blocks of different shapes and sizes—guaranteed for hours of fun, building, and knocking them over! Plus, it’s the perfect walker to help your little one take their first steps.
Legler Baby Walker, $79.95
Raduga Grez Pastel Natural Stacking Tower
A new take on a classic toy, the Raduga Grez Earth Stacking Tower features eight circles in beautiful earth tones painted with non-toxic water-based paints. Great for developing hand-eye coordination, teaching kids color names, and introducing numeracy skills, it also looks stylish with any nursery room décor—another one of my little guy’s favorites.
Raduga Grez Pastel Natural Stacking Tower, $45
Nanchen Natur Star Baby and Musical Bed Set
This sweet star baby has a hand-painted face, a soft body stuffed with pure organic wool, and a darling star cap. The doll can be played with independently or nestled into its fleece star bed, which plays a soothing lullaby when the attached string is pulled.
Nanchen Natur Star Baby and Musical Bed Set
LITTLE KID (3-5 YRS)
Pottery with a Purpose Air Dry Clay Kit
This subscription plan features curated DIY air dry clay kits. You’ll start out with our original Beginner Pottery Kit to learn the basics and then receive the newest featured kit every three months. How sweet is that?
Pottery with a Purpose Air Dry Clay Kit, $118
Inspire your child’s musical creativity! A great introduction to stringed instruments, the Banjolele combines the foot-stomping fun of the banjo with the ease of the ukulele. Sustainably crafted from renewable rubberwood and organic pigments, the three strings make this instrument a bit less complex for young learners. Add these cute little hand drums for some family fun—plus, kids love to bang on things.
Plantoys Banjolele, $40
Magna-Tiles Magnetic Building Tiles 32 Piece
Okay, these are both plastic and not made up of a minimalist desert color palette, haha, but kids are obsessed with these magnetic tiles. They even magically seem to engage kids as young as one up to eight-year-olds. They’re colorful, easy to use and encourage kids to use their imagination.
Magna-Tiles Magnetic Building Tiles 32 Piece, $49.99
Norman & Jules All Of Us Crayons
With traditional crayon packs seriously lacking when it comes to skincare, Norman and Jules step in with this amazing set. Made of just beeswax, carnauba wax, and natural pigments these crayons are inclusive and safe in case they find their way into your little one’s mouth.
Norman & Jules All Of Us Crayons, $26
Olli Ella Dinkum Doll
These dolls are handmade, made from cotton, and completely posable. We love the sweet outfits and the variety of skin tones these sweet dolls come in. Add this cute little baby doll feeding set for the perfect gift.
Olli Ella Dinkum Doll, $80
Babai Geometric Fishing Set
This fishing game includes a variety of wooden, magnetized fish in the prettiest color palette that your child will “catch” with their fishing rod, teaching your little one about shapes and developing their concentration and fine motor skills.
Babai Geometric Fishing Set, $27
Lily & River Little Gymnast
This children’s low beam and wooden balance board are designed to encourage physical activity and develop balance control. They’ll provide a full-body exercise as your tot walks, rocks, climbs, stretches, dances, and tiptoes across and are fun for even older kids too.
Lily & River Little Gymnast, $129.95
BIGGER KID (6-10 YRS)
For the holidays you can gift single kits or a recurring subscription to Ripple Reads which includes: a picture book, sticker sheets, postcards, and a workbook with a family discussion guide and other activities to help you have meaningful conversations with elementary age kids about race, justice, and empathy in a way that is not only approachable and honest but also FUN!
Everything Ripple Reads produces is crafted in partnership with leading experts and university professors in the field of race, teaching, and curriculum.
ToyBox Starter Bundle
Perfect for the gadget-loving kid, this 3-D printer designed specifically for children works with the touch of a button—you simply pair it to an app, feed it “printer food” (made from all nontoxic materials), and choose your desired toy shape from the app’s library of about 500 of them. And once printed, you get to actually play with that dinosaur or race car or mini-planter you watched come into existence!
ToyBox Starter Bundle, $299
KidKraft Deluxe Wooden Easel
I love gifts that get kids creating and this easel boasts dry-erase and chalkboard surfaces, useful trays for storing chalk, crayon, markers, and other art supplies. Add these nontoxic paint pods and easel paper to round out your little one’s art studio.
KidKraft Deluxe Wooden Easel, $124.42
Tiny Planetarium: See the Stars!
Yes, it’s plastic, but it’s low profile and brings the wonder of the night sky to your kid’s bedroom. It includes a projector, a disk that includes 12 Hellenistic constellations, and an illustrated mini-book about the mythology and lore behind each constellation. Perfect for your budding stargazer.
Tiny Planetarium: See the Stars!, $12.95
This post was originally published on November 24, 2020, and has since been updated.
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