Need some kids gift ideas? Finding the perfect ideas for Christmas (or birthday or any holiday) gifts for kids is hard. Just because something is the hottest toy doesn’t mean it’s going to have staying power. So many toys get played with for a day or a week and then forgotten about. There are certain gifts that pass the test of time that your kids turn to again and again. Those are the gifts I’m telling you about today.
Every toy and gift idea on this list is in our home and has brought joy to my kids. Each one has been played with or enjoyed for countless hours. These are the gifts that hit the nail on the head and have been favorites with one or both of my kids. While Meghan is 7 and Luke is 3 right now, these gifts span a variety of ages. I hope this list will help make your holiday shopping a little less stressful.
You can click on the links to bring you to the gifts if you’d like to purchase any on this list. Please note that these are affiliate links and if you purchase through these links, I will receive a percentage of the sale. By doing this, you are supporting Happy Healthy Mama and helping to keep this blog going, so thank you for that!
The Balance Teeter popper is my favorite kind of gift–the kind that promotes active kids! This is a simple concept, but the kids have so much fun with this toy. There are suction cups on the backside of the curved board, so each time your child rocks back and forth it makes a noise. The kids love it! It helps develop balance and core strength. This is designed for kids 5 and up, but Luke has found ways to play with it as well. He can’t stand and balance on it yet, but he’s determined to learn! This is a toy that has gotten a lot of mileage since last Christmas.[youtube][/youtube]
#2 Magna Tiles
A friend of Meghan’s brought Magna Tiles into Show and Tell and they were immediately placed on her wish list. I’m so glad we learned about these awesome building “blocks” because they have been the biggest hit. Meghan and Luke both love playing with these so much. In fact, we just hosted Thanksgiving and their cousins, ranging in ages from 7-15, all enjoyed building with these. They are essentially building blocks with magnets in them so the kids can build a variety of ways. They have created castles, towns, and animals, robots, and so much more. This is a gift that will spark your child’s creativity. They have loved these so much that we bought an extension set to give them for Easter after they got the starter set for Christmas.
Meghan got this for her birthday when she turned 2. We chose this one because I thought it was adorable, yet reasonably priced. I think it’s as cute as the ones you can buy at Pottery Barn Kids, yet so much less expensive. We also got red as a neutral color in anticipation of perhaps having a boy in the future, and that was a good call for us. This brand of kitchen also comes in pink, white, and black. This is another toy that’s gotten a ton of mileage. Both kids have played with it a lot. They love to use their imaginations and play restaurant and pretend they are cooking and serving food. Even though, at 7, you’d think Meghan has mostly outgrown this toy, she still plays with it. I just snapped this picture yesterday as she was playing house with me and Luke. This kitchen has held up really well over the years. With use the doors start to get loose, but it’s easily fixed by tightening the screws. It’s been well loved and played with often, yet it still looks new. This one is a great value!
Little Passports is a gift subscription that Meghan received from her uncle and aunt the Christmas before last. Initially, Meghan got an introductory kit with a suitcase, passport, and world map. The idea is that each month the child will learn about a new country (we get the World Traveler Edition, there is also a USA Edition) by getting a package from Sam and Sofia, two fictional characters who have a magic scooter that allows them to travel all over the world. They send the child a letter, souvenirs from their travels, and hands-on activities to complete. Meghan has learned so much about different world countries and has loved the journey. Every month she gets excited when she sees the package come in the mail and can’t wait to add a new sticker to her passport, add the place marker to her world map, and learn about a new place. Luke has enjoyed tagging along, but it’s a little old for him yet. There is a Early Explorers Edition designed for ages 3-5 that we may have to try for him.
What little girl doesn’t love playing school? This has been a favorite of Meghan’s that gets played with again and again. It’s especially popular when she has a friend over to play with her. When she doesn’t have a friend over, I’m the next best thing and have sat through many school days, playing the student while Meghan is the teacher. This set comes with lots of goodies, including maps, a calendar, white board, report cards, worksheets, a grade book, stickers, hall passes, and pointer. The greatest thing about this set, for me, though, is that it folds down and doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s super easy to store out of the way.
Meghan got the Top Hat Magic set for Christmas last year and it was perfect for a beginner set. She loved it and mastered every trick it taught her. She has put on countless magic shows for friends and family with that set. For her birthday this year, she got the Melissa and Doug set and it has been perfect for the next level. The tricks are a bit more complex and she’s loving learning them. I can see Luke loving these as he gets older, as well. You can’t beat gifts that can be enjoyed by more than one child! Kids love magic and this is a perfect toy that incorporates learning, following directions, and building confidence by performing shows. As you can see from the video, Luke has enjoyed trying his hand at the tricks, as well.
This is such a versatile table that both kids have loved! This was a gift for Luke, but Meghan enjoyed playing with it just as much as Luke. In the cooler months, we used this as a sand table and in the warmer months as a water table. I never combined the two because I thought it would turn the sand to mud–no thanks. This table can also be brought inside during the winter and used as a sensory table by adding dried beans, rice, etc. The possibilities are endless and it’s been a favorite gift for sure.
#8 Train Table
I really questioned whether we should get Luke a train table. It takes up so much space and wasn’t sure if it would just sit there, unused. Well, that has certainly not been the case. Luke was obsessed with trains at age 2, when he got this for his birthday. He played with it every single day for a long, long time. He’s not as obsessed with trains now, but it still gets played with. I researched a lot of train tables and have been super happy with this pick. It has parts that light up and make noises when the trains pass through and it works with a variety of different trains. It’s also priced reasonably compared to many train tables out there. (Look for it to go on sale–we paid $120.00 for it.) I’ve never regretted this purchase and it’s gotten a lot of use!
I never would have guessed that this would have been a favorite toy. We got this for Luke when he was 1 year old, and it still is one of the first toys he goes for when playing outside. He loves this thing! We don’t use the bubble feature anymore, but he just loves pushing this around. It was great when he was an unsteady toddler and it’s perfect now that he can run with it. It was money well spent!
#10 Kinetic Sand
This is a gift that is perfect for the cold months! This is sand that doesn’t make a mess. It kind of sticks together and can form easily into new shapes. Both kids love playing with it. We store ours in two separate plastic bins and it makes for a great quiet activity. I love pulling them out when I need the kids to have something to do at the table while I’m making dinner. It keeps them busy for a good chunk of time! Luke loves pushing the sand around with his little machines and pretending he’s a construction worker and Meghan loves building pretend food, castles, and whatever else she thinks of that day.
Meghan got this from a friend for her birthday last year, and it was the gift she didn’t know she wanted. She became instantly obsessed with sewing and creating new things and made many fun creations with this little machine. It was perfect for me as I know nothing about sewing and this machine is safe and easy to use. Someday Meghan may graduate to a real sewing machine if her interest holds, but for this age this machine is fabulous. It comes with patterns to make a number of items and also extra fabric and ideas for coming up with your own creations.
I hope you find some gift ideas from this list for your kids or the kids in your life!