25 Amazing Gifts for Kids This Christmas
GIFTING| By Alex Greig | October 20, 2020
Struggling for Christmas present ideas for the kids this year? Look no further. We’ve come up with a list of the best gifts for kids of all ages.
Christmas is all about love and giving. Just joking – it’s about kids! Whether you're the parent of a child who wrote an extensive Christmas list in July, or you know a kid who is desperate for that one particular present, you'll find some winners on this list of great gifts for kids. There are imagination-sparking toys to tear eyes away from screens, awesome kits that teach kids skills like coding and construction and presents that immerse them in the worlds of their favourite movie characters.
Encourage their exploration of the world of vegetables and fruit as well as their fine motor skills with this cute wooden play set. It’s an excellent toy for tiny gourmands, especially those with their own play kitchen, who can get busy with a wooden knife “chopping” veggies (held together with velcro), for their dish du jour. It’ll help them recognise the foods on their own dinner plate, and, who knows? It could even encourage kids to eat their greens.
A Reel-y Fun Game
What will they catch next? Starfish? Shark? Whale! Kids use a magnetic fishing reel to haul in their catch in this classic fishing game, reimagined with cute wooden aquatic life. It’s excellent for hand-eye coordination, and for helping little marine biologists recognise species. Whoever gets the biggest catch wins!
A Must-Have for Shop-Play
One of the ways kids learn about the world is by mimicking it. With this cash register, children can play at manning the till at their imaginary supermarket, cafe or toy shop; learn about money and change; or, more likely, use their own credit cards to pay for purchases – just like Mum and Dad!
The MVP baby toy
How about a classic? Crafters have been making appealing toys like this wooden stacking pole since time immemorial. There’s so much for little hands to master: removing the rings from the central pole, then using their motor skills to stack them back on. Bonus points when they figure out how to stack according to size, counting as they go. “1, 2, 3…”
An Engaging Activity Centre
With five different activities to play with, this is a gift for both kids and parents. A cute wooden activity cube will keep little ones busy with a bead maze, sliding shapes, a clock with moving hands and more. That should provide at least enough time for big ones to put on a load of washing and sip a cup of tea!
An Educational Toy They Can Build On
Tiny tinkerers can get creative with this construction kit, containing all sorts of pieces – nuts and bolts, a little screwdriver, wooden beams. Put together towers, bridges, robots, vehicles and more: the set offers a myriad options for open-ended creation. An ideal gift for budding builders, engineers and backyard inventors.
A Practice Shoe
Tying your shoelaces is a real milestone, on the same level as moving to a big-kid bed and having your first sleepover. Make it a fun game for kids who are ready to take the step with a cool wooden shoe threaded with laces. It can take small fingers a while to get the hang of it, but with this practice game, they’ll be self-shod before the first day of school.
Creative Play Essentials
This drawing and colouring set covers the bases for all manner of creativity. Kids aged three and up will love exploring different textures and techniques with this carry case’s pencils, markers, crayons, sketchpad and colouring books. Bring it along to a restaurant, gathering or other occasion in which you’d enjoy a quiet moment to sip a glass of wine and chat, while the kids will be gainfully occupied – no screens necessary.
A Huggable Book
Babies and toddlers are notorious page-rippers. Ever seen a copy of Where’s Spot? with all the flaps intact? That’s why soft books are so much fun for smaller kids who don’t really care about the words just yet. This one is made of fabric in bright colours, its various pages rattle and make crinkly noises and it has (un-tearable) flaps to lift. Once it’s caked in milk and cracker crumbs, throw it in the wash. This is one book that will stand the test of time.
A Cover-All-Bases Art Set
An art-kit is a no-brainer gift for young kids who can’t see a piece of paper without drawing all over it. Kids are delightfully lacking in self-criticism, drawing with abandon and pleasure, without worrying too much about the result. This box of goodies from Crayola contains washable paints, crayons, markers, pencils, footpath chalk, safety scissors, sketch book and glue. Expect much busy art-ing.
A Nursery Rhyme Puppet Set
Little kids adore nursery rhymes – the simple little songs with actions are so much fun for toddlers learning to speak, sing, and gesture. This sweet set is an excellent choice for kids who are starting to learn time-honoured ditties such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Incy Wincy Spider”. There are little puppets for acting out the rhyme – a real bonus for parents who have trouble keeping kids engaged in a story.
Loads of Dough
With 16 different colours, this Kadink bucket is the ultimate in playdough playtime. Throw in some extras: googly eyes for funny characters or coloured matchsticks for structural integrity. Kids can use dough tools or kitchen utensils to roll, model, cut, stamp and just generally create masterpieces. And who knows? An early experience with playdough could inspire a future sculptor like Rodin, or at the very least a keen pastry chef.
A Build-Anything Kit
The Brio Builder Creative Set is suitable for kids aged three and up but we can think of a number of adults who would revel in its possibilities. Wheels, screws, hinges, tools – this set has everything they need to make, well, nearly anything at all. Little ones can hone their fine motor skills by connecting things, building towers and adding wheels; bigger kids might choose a project such as an excavator, a dog or a self-designed vehicle. You’ll be hard pressed to get them to down tools.
A Sparkly Piece of Bedroom Decor
Pink: tick. Butterflies: tick. Sequins: tick. Emblazoned with her name: tick! Let bedroom-proud kids take in this cushion’s sparkly facade, then show them the trick: the name and design is printed on the white side of the sequins. Swipe your hand up over the sequins to reveal the glittery side. (Hot Tip: Allow 7-10 business days for personalised items.)
A Story About Them
For one-of-a-kind gifts for kids, customise their present to make things extra special. Your little ones can be the star of the story with a colourful and detailed hardcover book. Even the most reluctant reader will suddenly turn bibliophile when they see themselves on the page. Choose from different storylines and personalise the books with not just the child’s name but other characters, such as a grandparent or friend. On each page, they’ll follow the story to find themselves amid various locations – a bit like Where’s Wally?, except instead of looking for a guy with a penchant for stripes, they’ll be seeking themselves.
A Personalised Snow Globe
Watch their faces light up when they see a special picture of themselves or a favourite character inside a personalised snow globe. Once you add their name and a small message, they’ll marvel at the snow that flutters down when they shake it up. This one will take pride of place on their bedside table or desk.
A Special Bedroom Door Sign
It seems as though little ones of a certain age will never, ever let it go. We're talking Frozen, of course, the Disney movie that continues to enchant children everywhere. This door sign, starring Elsa, is just one of a slew of movie-themed door signs you can personalise, whether their obsession is Star Wars, Marvel, Disney or Disney Pixar movies.
A Pair of Starter Headphones
For a very small investment, you can ensure some peace with this set of Otto wireless headphones, perfect for Christmas, when it’s going to be non-stop devices (especially if you bought them that new game they’ve been begging for – you did, didn’t you). These connect wirelessly, hopping easily between devices, and the battery lasts for 12 hours. They’re also volume limited to protect young ears.
A Set of Markers With a Difference
If you’re a parent, you may have seen an episode of beloved ABC kids cartoon Bluey called “Rug Island”. In it, Bluey and Bingo use connector pens like these Faber-Castell ones to create their own world. The markers can serve as magic wands, towers, swords or pretty much anything. And with this pack of 80, mini-creators will always have the right hue whether they’re pretending to build a fire or colouring one in.
A Slimy Science Experiment
Who knew there was so much to slime? With the Galt Slime Lab, science-mad kids can explore the gooey stuff's possibilities with seven experiments. If you know a child who would enjoy making their own glow-in-the-dark alien or a bouncy putty ball, this is a Christmas gift that won't fail.
A Robotic Soccer Ball
A soccer ball is a great gift – but this is better. This ball is, in fact, a robot. Whether they’re sporty or decidedly not, kids aged eight and up can experiment with coding and robotics with the nifty Sphero Mini Soccer Ball Kit. The robot is controlled via the Sphero Play app, and if kids want to learn to code its movements themselves, they can download the Sphero Edu app. It also comes with eight cones for setting up obstacle courses for the Sphero to navigate.
A Smart Watch to Keep Everyone Happy
According to Pew Research Center, the average age a child gets their first phone is 12 or 13. In the years before it’s time for a proper phone, this cool Spacetalk smart watch is an excellent gift. Kids will be thrilled with everything this watch can do: phone calls, SMS, an alarm clock, stopwatch, torch and weather updates. And parents will be equally pleased: the GPS tracker keeps tabs on kids’ whereabouts, School Mode keeps it quiet during class, and it can’t access social media or webpages. Win-win!
A Fitness Tracker Just for Kids
Turn fitness into a fun, tech-based adventure and you might just persuade some little gamers off the couch and into the backyard. This Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 Kids Fitness Tracker is Spider-Man-themed (instant win) and you can create step challenges to encourage kids to meet fitness goals (double win). It can track sleep, steps, distance covered and activity time, plus it’s durable and waterproof for round-the-clock wear.
A Snazzy Lunch Set
New year, new lunchbox! This is a dream 10-piece lunch set, comprising an insulated case, a 1.5-litre water bottle, several snack containers, a spork, two gel ice-packs and a sandwich box. The kid who has this set will not endure smooshed bananas or sun-warmed sandwiches. Parents may find themselves compelled to produce elaborate lunches more worthy of the kit: home-rolled salmon sushi or, perhaps, a quail’s egg sandwich.
A Marvellous Flying Machine
Over 80 pieces snap together in the Zip Flyer Kit to create a propeller launcher that shoots discs way up in the sky. Fun in the making and fun in the playing for youngsters age 8 and up (check out our Kids Review), never mind an exercise in STEM that lures away from screens. Merry Christmas to all!