Christmas Gift Ideas For Kids That'll Make You a Hero

It's that time of year again! The time where you need to figure out what to get for that kiddo in your life you might not know all that well! Relax, because I've got some no-fail Christmas gift ideas for kids they're sure to love (and that their parents will thank you for)! Mama and preschool teacher approved!

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids: Art Supplies

My first thought for gifts that appeal to a range of kiddos is art supplies. There are so many options!

Pencils, markers, crayons....and those are just the supplies themselves. There are a ton of fun DIY kits for making friendship bracelets, stained glass. Waaay more options than when we were little. Although stalwarts like Lite Brite and Spirograph are still around!

Note: you know this, but do their Mama a favor and stay away from the uber messy (think hard about paints, pastels, etc.). Favorites include (Kansas City native) Crayola, and Alex

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids: Building

Oh man, a good open-ended set of bits to build with? Unbeatable!

Of course you've got the king of all building things with Lego (stay general with cars, houses, etc. rather than guessing on a love of Batman). But there are so many more options to consider!

Magna-Tiles and mosaics are huge favorites at my house.

*If you're not sure if the kiddos are a free-thinking or "follow the directions" type, pair the building gear with a design book that suggests some ways to use them.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids: Games

Okay, games. Think about this from a parent perspective and everyone will be happy. Operation? Kids love it! But will parents want to hear the buzzing for thirty minutes straight? Probably not. A nice game of Go Fish and their heads won't explode (due to the game. No comment on other factors).

A different approach with kids games is to make them less competitive and more team oriented. I love this idea. As someone who maybe didn't pick up the rules as quickly as some of my friends, working towards the same goal is a huge relief. It's also great for the kiddos doing the helping! Check out Peaceable Kingdom for some examples.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids: Books

I'll be the first to admit that the sheer range of books for kiddos can be overwhelming. I narrow it down a few ways.

  • Pick a publisher that you know and browse through there. Chronicle and Usborne books are two of my favorites

  • Think back to a classic book that you loved when you were little. I'll always have fond memories of Madeline, Anne of Green Gables and the Nancy Drew books. What really grabbed your imagination? Share with the new generation!

  • Go with the gold (or silver or...). Check out kids' books that have won awards like the Caldecott Award (best art) and Newberry Honor (best children's book of the year)

*Bonus points for starting the new book with your small friend!

 

Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids: Experiences

This one. This one is the sanity saver for many a family. Families with kiddos have a. lot. of. stuff. Sometimes a gift that is experiential rather than physical is the cat's pajamas.

Unless you know the kiddo super well, stay general. Think tickets to the zoo or a children's museum nearby. If you know them a little more invite them to a baseball game with you or a special movie screening.

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Some of my favorite indie shops:

In San Francisco

Child's Play Toys
Fiddlesticks
Mapamundi Kids
Jeffrey's Toys
Tantrum
Aldea Baby

In Seattle

Top Ten Toys (brick and mortar only)
Snapdoodle Toys (brick and mortar only)
Magic Mouse Toys
Kids' Club (brick and mortar only)

In Kansas City

Fat Brain Toys
Brookside Toy and Science
The Learning Tree
Crayola Store (more than just art! Brick and mortar only)

Okay, so now I want to go play. You know what? I'm going to. And you should too. These are just a few of the Christmas gift ideas for kids out there this season. Go explore for yourself!

Before you go, take a gander at the guide I put together just for families like ours. There is info on decorating, gift ideas, kid wrangling tips….all designed to give you a calmer, merrier Christmas. Go on! You deserve it!

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Hi! I’m Jen, a kids’ rooms designer extraordinaire and only semi-apologetic Hostess/Little Debbie addict. Read more about me here:


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