If you’re in the process of making a list and checking it twice but are stumped on a few gift ideas—we’ve assembled a list of suggestions for kids of every age, from the practical to the super-fun. We’ve even put together a resource for stocking stuffer inspiration! If you’ve finished shopping for your children already, you might want to share these ideas with grandparents or other family members who need a little elfin wisdom to find fun presents the kids will love.
Back to Basics Toys:
Tired of technology? We can suffer from digital overload at times, and so can our kids. This Christmas, try going old-school for at least some of their gifts and let them discover how fun simple toys can be!
1. Wooden Toys. Lincoln Logs, basic wooden blocks, wooden cars, trucks and trains. Durable and great for imaginative play. Check out this cool Personalized Stacking Toy, Organic Wooden Toys for Kids, and Melissa & Doug for ideas.
2. Art Supplies. For preschoolers, it might be modeling clay and finger paints—for older kids, let them explore a new medium like watercolors or pastels. Look at your local craft store or online here.
3. Board Games. Always a great idea for family night. Check out Good Housekeeping magazine’s 12 Great Games for 2012.
4. Puzzles. From the big chunky styles perfect for preschoolers to the 1,000+ piece versions for ages 9-99…puzzles rock! Especially these handcrafted wooden puzzles.
5. Outdoor Play Basics. Hula hoops, jump ropes, kick balls, etc. Hours of fun and relatively inexpensive. And if your kids have never tried to Chinese jump rope, it’s old school fun they’ll love.
6. Craft and Model Kits. It’s fun to make stuff! Lots of great options at online specialty retailer Fat Brain Toys.
7. Magic Tricks. For just a few dollars and a little practice, your budding illusionist can become The Amazing (insert name here). Peruse Magic Geek for options.
8. Bikes and Scooters. They never go out of style because all kids like to feel the wind in their hair from time to time. Read iMom’s guide to choosing the right bike and teaching your tike to ride safely. For reluctant learners, the Pedal Magic program works like a charm.
10 Great Gift Ideas for Girls:
What do girls love? It depends on the girl. But, this list of gift ideas for girls is a good place to start.
1. Dolls. We’re not talking your run of the mill dolls. These handcrafted cloth dolls will please your preschooler, and your tween or teen who enjoys artsy crafts. These Waldorf inspired dolls are actually a pattern you can make and give, or give to a crafty girl and let her create.
2. Bikes and scooters. Give your daughter outdoor play items that keep her moving and healthy. You can also try a pogo stick and stilts. My 10 year old got stilts last Christmas and still loves using them.
3. Fun fashion accessories. Girls at this age are just beginning to enjoy creating their own style from time to time. Give her some tools to work with in the form of fun scarves, belts, hair accessories, and jewelry.
4. Hair accessories. Little girls and big girls really get into unique hair accessories. These darling felt hair clips come in shapes of butterflies, birds, and more. Older girls will enjoy any of these one of a kind hair creations.
5. Art supplies. If your girl loves to create, a set of good-quality art supplies from the craft store can supply hours of creative fun. To carry them from here to there, these super-cute art totes keep things organized for preschoolers and elementary girls. And most tweens would love a horse themed art tote bag.
6. Books and Music. Your teen or tween likely has a few titles and singles on her wish list, as well. A gift card for new books or music can’t miss. Check out our iMOM Book List for ideas.
7. PJs. Girls of all ages (3-83) love a cute, snuggly, new set of pajamas. Land’s End has all sizes, and if they don’t work out, you can save on the return shipping by returning them at any Sears.
8. American Girl products. American Girl dolls, books, and accessories are wholesome and perfect for the 5-10 set, sending girls positive messages and creating good role models. It’s true that they are pricey, but the products are high quality. If the price point is a concern, there are a few competitors slowly coming to the market offering similar dolls (18”) and accessories.
9. Luggage. You’ve probably already figured out that your daughter is in constant motion, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. A great piece of luggage will be a welcome companion for weekend trips and sleepovers. If you want to make luggage or an overnight bag the highlight of your girl’s Christmas, a Vera Bradley bag is very in with the tween–college set.
10. Tickets for THE show. Whether it’s a concert or the national tour of a favorite musical, a live entertainment experience is a great memory! You can get reputable resale tickets here.
11. A piece of “real” jewelry. Your tween is finally old enough to keep up with a piece of quality jewelry, like a sterling locket and chain, or some gold or silver earrings. Pieces that can be engraved or personalized are always fun.
12. Room decor. As your daughter starts transitioning from little girl to tween, she’ll probably want to make some changes to her room. A new teen-looking bulletin board, a fun lamp, or a bean bag chair can help her make her nest fabulous. You can also surprise her with personalized Wallies with her name, or a favorite quote or verse.
10 Great Gift Ideas for Boys:
1. Sports Stuff. If your kid is a sports nut, some new equipment or apparel for his favorite sport will be a welcome surprise. You can also feed his sports fandom with customized wall art showcasing his favorite team or game.
2. Building toys. If your son always loved Legos as a little guy, there are more advanced, challenging sets available for older kids. They even have architectural sets that allow him to build replicas of landmark buildings. For guys ages 5 – 15, the Chaos Tower is worth the splurge. Dad or mom will have to help younger kids, but the building and playing are worth the effort.
3. Books. At this age, there’s a world of great literature out there that your child is old enough to read. Encourage him by giving a good book as a gift. Here’s our book list to get you started.
4. Magazines. Kids love getting things in the mail, so get your boy his own magazine subscription. Start with this list and don’t forget classics like Sports Illustrated for Kids (don’t worry, it’s kid-appropriate and no swimsuit issue).
5. Tickets to a big game or event. If there’s a particular team your son would love to see first-hand, tickets to a game in the near future would be a great surprise. Ditto for a concert featuring a favorite pop star. Stub Hub is reputable and safer than buying discount tickets from a scalper.
6. Outdoor/camping gear. Guys of all ages love to camp out and seek adventure, even if it’s just in the backyard. A survival kit, new tent, or sleeping bag would be a big hit.
7. Hobby sets. Find a kit that helps him explore a hobby he already loves or try something new. Lots of boys get a kick out of learning to do magic tricks or cool science experiments.
8. Musical instrument. If he’s ever expressed an interest in learning the drums, guitar, or other instrument, Christmas is a great time for surprising him with an instrument. This site has instruments for all ages and ability levels.
9. The original Beard Hat. Why? Because it makes us laugh.
10. A new watch. Find a watch that fits his personality. A durable sports watch is often a good bet for guys.