17 Gifts for Kids to Spark Creativity and Inspire Play

No screens in sight.

By Brandy Joy Smith
Family in front of the fire Christmas.

Whether we are ready or not, the holiday season is fast approaching. And while there’s sparkle and magic to be found at every turn—Christmas cookies, a tree to trim, and merriment to soak up—many of us also have a long list of to-do’s to check off before the end of December. If you’re anything like me, you want to find the perfect gifts for your kiddos that are not only fun but also meaningful. As parents, we understand the importance of choosing gifts that align with our values. That’s why, when Camille asked me to put together a gift guide for kids, I took the task to heart.

This gift guide includes hours of research and recommendations from some of the best gift givers I know. I’ve compiled a list of presents that tick all the right boxes: longevity, creativity, quality, and a dash of tech. Let’s dive into it and make this holiday season truly special for our families.

Featured image by Hannah Haston.

Mother and son reading - gift guide for kids.
Image by Teal Thomsen

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The Ultimate Gift Guide for Kids

This holiday season, let’s aim for gifts that create lasting memories and nurture our children’s growth. I hope this carefully curated gift guide for kids helps you find something perfect for your little ones. Remember, it’s not just about the gift itself but the joy, creativity, and connection it brings to your family. From classics with a modern twist to innovative tools that spark curiosity, there’s something here for every age and stage of childhood.

Happy gifting, and may your holidays be filled with laughter, love, and cherished moments with your kids.

Lovevery Block Set

I’ll admit I’m not a fan of gifts with a million pieces. However, every child needs a block set and this one has it all. It promotes STEM concepts, spatial awareness, motor skills, and more. Plus, it grows with your child’s development and comes with a beautiful box to store all the pieces in.

Micro Kickboard Mini Plus Kick Kids’ Scooter

Micro Kickboard scooters are a timeless hit with kids of all ages. They’re compact, come with LED light-up wheels, and have various accessories (even a luggage option). These are perfect for trips to the park or even the airport.

Little Chef Paris Modern Play Kitchen

Speaking of cooking in the kitchen, let me introduce you to a play kitchen that will never go out of style. It’s sleek, realistic, and sparks your child’s imagination with its detailed design. The refrigerator includes a freezer and a built-in icemaker, while the oven range features turning knobs, and the sink flaunts turning faucet handles and an underneath storage cupboard. I find that the more realistic a toy looks, the longer a kid will be interested in it. Plus, it’s currently on sale!

Yoto Children’s Auto Player

The Yoto player is a versatile gift that functions as an audio player, night light, sound machine, and alarm clock. It’s also a huge convenience for parents, so you know I had to include it on this gift guide for kids. Unlock hours of free audio with the app.

Paint Your Own Ceramic Kit

Let’s be honest—there aren’t a ton of things you can buy for five dollars anymore, let alone something I would recommend. These paint kits from Target are an absolute steal. They provide hours of creative fun, and you can add your own embellishments to jazz them up. Turn on some music, let the kids paint, and enjoy the peaceful vibes.

Loog Guitar

I’m a huge fan of Loog guitars. In fact, our family has both the electric and acoustic versions. These beautifully crafted guitars come with a learning app, flashcards, and video lessons. They’re a gift that keeps on giving as your kids grow. Plus, they make for adorable decor when hung on the bedroom wall.

Voice Recorder Sound Toy With Loop Switch

If your child loves electronics but you want them off screens, this voice recorder is fantastic. It encourages creativity and storytelling, all while looking like a charming wooden toy. Bonus: kids love hearing their voices played back.

Chance Mini Cloud Basketball Hoop Set

This hoop set adds a modern twist to a classic game. Hang it in your child’s room for some indoor fun. They offer a range of styles and colors that are simply adorable. And don’t forget the mini basketballs! They also carry full-size basketballs in sophisticated colorways. Perfect for the basketball lover in your life at any age.

Stamps may not sound exciting, but these Stampies are something else. They’re space-saving and versatile and have 15 interchangeable food-grade silicone animal stamps. Great for artistic expression and creativity.

Galaxy Flex-Track 220pc Glow Track with Electric LED Light Car

These LED-illuminated racetracks are a guaranteed hit. They promote learning and creativity while providing hours of entertainment. I’ve given a version of these at least five times.


It’s like playing tennis without the need for a court. Lately, I’ve been yearning for more time at home. On the other hand, my kids require constant entertainment. I’m enthusiastic about any equipment that can bring the fun right to our doorstep rather than having to drive somewhere to play. Although my kids may be a bit young for this one, I adore the concept of honing our tennis skills in the comfort of our backyard. It’s excellent for improving hand-eye coordination.

DIY Bath Bomb Maker Master

If you’re ready to embrace a little messiness in the name of science while keeping your kids occupied, this might be the perfect gift for you. It’s a great way to spark your children’s love for science and then have them enjoy a bath with these vegan, non-toxic ingredients.

Sweet Shop Giftbox

Another twist on a classic! I appreciate that it includes its own cookie cutters, so I don’t have to use mine for the sake of play-dough. The best part is that they are non-toxic and have the aroma of your favorite childhood treats.

The Happy Me Journal

My kids received this journal as birthday gifts, and it’s become one of my absolute favorites. It’s creating valuable moments for us to connect with our kids, helping them express their feelings and address any of their concerns. While older kids might use it as a tool for self-reflection, there’s nothing quite like assisting your children in cultivating a journaling practice.

The Happy Me Journal is built upon scientifically proven methods designed to promote happiness, instill healthy habits for life, and nurture curious minds. With its beautiful illustrations and user-friendly format, just a few minutes of focus daily can make a big difference. Children are encouraged to express gratitude, reflect on their emotions, and think about their actions, all while having fun and fostering self-awareness.

No-Comply Script Complete 7.62 Beginner Skateboard Set

During the pandemic, we saw a surge of families embracing outdoor activities, and one that truly stands out is skateboarding. I mean, who can resist the allure of a fantastic outdoor adventure? While I wouldn’t consider myself a pro skateboarder, I’m lucky to know one. So, I reached out to none other than Austin’s very own Elias Bingham of No Comply for his expert recommendation on the best skateboard for a beginner. This is his pick.

Little Sous Individual Experience

Little Sous makes learning to cook a fun family affair. Each themed box includes cooking lessons, recipes, science, and art projects, among other things. Get your kids involved in the kitchen and teach them valuable life skills. Fingers crossed, they become little chefs and you don’t have to make dinner anymore. Cheers to wishful thinking.

Literati Gift Box

Literati’s gift box offers a delightful sampling of books for your child. If they love it, you can join their personalized book subscription club. It’s a gift that encourages a love for reading and allows you to discover new stories together.