Selecting a gift for a child may seem easy enough a task. After all, compared to adults, children are generally easier to please and have less complex emotions. Right? Well, that may not be always true as children are getting increasingly savvy these days and don’t forget: sometimes pleasing the parents is as important, if not more than pleasing the kid.
Select a Category Below to Get Started:
2018 Comprehensive Gift Guide For Kids
Skip to Section
- 1 Birthday and Christmas Gifts for 1 and 2 Year Olds
- 2 For 3 and 4 Year Olds
- 3 For 5 and 6 Year Olds
- 4 For 7 and 8 Year Olds
- 5 For 9 and 10 Year Olds
- 6 For 11 and 12 Year Olds
- 7 In Closing
Birthday and Christmas Gifts for 1 and 2 Year Olds
Shopping for infants and toddlers often presents quite a challenge; many parents are particular about what types of toys, clothing, and surroundings they would like for their children. Children of this age are also prone to choking, and are extremely curious about their surroundings. Gifts that help facilitate healthy curiosity while maintaining safety and health guidelines are the best types of toys for children, as they promote learning and growth, while keeping parents free from worry or fear. Children are motivated primarily by their senses, and are interested in toys and devices that stimulate senses.
Infant boys may benefit from the gift of automobiles, of high-quality construction and composed of finished wood. These toys, though conventional, can help stimulate development, as they introduce new sensations and require a new type of grip in order to play. Watching older siblings or parents demonstrate the function of wheels can assist in developing new hands-on skills.
Freshly Picked moccasins make an excellent addition to a little boy’s wardrobe. As children learn to walk, the bulky, heavy material of shoes often functions as a hindrance, making walking difficult and awkward. These moccasins are created with mobility in mind, and offer a soft, pliable sole as well as a layer of protection from potentially harmful items underfoot.
Hand-knit items make excellent gifts for young boys, as they offer a personalized toy or bauble that can be played with now, and enjoyed as a keepsake down the road. A knit rattle, for instance, makes a stimulating toy, but can be saved and treasured into adult years.
Teething beads make an excellent gift for infant girls. Made with amber, these beads are reported to interact with the body’s chemistry to soothe the aches and pains associated with teething. Beads are attached to a cord equipped with an emergency breakaway to prevent choking, and have rave reviews from parents swearing that all teething symptoms are alleviated when the beads are in use.
A personalized print, though not hands-on for an infant, makes a lovely, meaningful adornment for a little girl’s room. If made directly for the little girl, this can serve as a keepsake throughout her life, and may last well into adulthood.
Sophie giraffe toys make an excellent addition to any little girl’s arsenal. Created with all-natural rubber and food paint, this toy was created with infants in mind, providing children with a safe toy to chew on, with easily-gripped, thin legs and necks. The colors are said to stimulate childrens’ minds and facilitate safe play.
For 3 and 4 Year Olds
3 and 4 year old children are far more mobile than younger ones, and are developing far more independence in play and movement. As such, most are in need of toys and devices that stimulate learning, individual growth, and creativity. Though many of the items listed are grouped under a single gender, they may be regarded as unisex.
Squigz are construction toys, utilizing suction rather than interlocking pieces. Squigz are particularly good for 3 and 4 year old boys, as they encourage building and creativity, but are made of safe materials, and are large enough to render them choke-safe and easy to handle.
BOB Childrens’ Books are excellent starter books for children in this age group, providing children with easy-to-read words and phrases, simultaneously introducing new words and letters and encouraging children to treat the world around them with courage and curiosity.
Art easels equipped with chalkboards, whiteboards, or sheets of paper encourage children to develop their own creativity through drawing. A size-appropriate easel made of child-safe materials and colored brightly functions as both a learning tool and a source of fun for young boys.
Pop-up books make an excellent gift for girls at this age. Many children want to take a more interactive approach to reading, and will more readily sit down for books if they are able to take part in the narrative.
Puppets are excellent toys, as they encourage children to develop their own ideas about life, roles, and stories. Like an art easel, puppets help stimulate children’s imaginations. Puppets should reflect children’s interests, however; if a little girl is interested in space, consider space-related puppets. If farm animals are of greater interest, choose these. Puppets can be used either in solitude or in conjunction with other playmates, making them ideal for a multitude of personality types and situations.
Personalized name puzzles make excellent gifts for children of this age. A name puzzle personalized with a little girl’s name serves several functions: hand-eye coordination is stimulated while placing the pieces in their slots, children are continually familiarized with their name to encourage learning, and the toy is automatically assigned a role in the child’s play.
For 5 and 6 Year Olds
5 and 6 year olds are increased in independence, energy, and the desire to create. As such, most require toys that involve fun, creativity, and a challenge; children are frequently drawn to items that require interaction, such as video games, learning tablets, and other electronic forms of learning and play.
Young boys are typically deeply interactive, rendering a set of walkie talkies an excellent gift. Though high-quality, high-caliber devices would function, radios designed specifically for young boys would be best, as they possess colors, designs, and structures geared specifically toward their target audience and will better serve the function of a toy.
Young boys are frequently interested in speed and vehicles. An electronic vehicle is an excellent gift, provided that the child in question is supervised at all times to avoid accidentally running into a busy road or other such horror. Electronic cars vary in structure and price; more social boys would do well to have a pair of cars, while solitary young men may benefit more from a single, large electronically-manipulated vehicle.
Simple science kits are intriguing for young men, and work double time, inviting curiosity and play, as well as learning via scientific inquiry. Science kits range drastically in nature, from owl pellets designed to be dissected, to rock kits requiring identification. Different types of scientific kits appeal to different personality types, and this should be taken into account before purchasing an item.
Dress-up kits are often enjoyed by young girls of this age. Many young ladies develop an interest in romance and royalty due to exposure to Disney films and fairy tales, and enjoy re-enacting their favorite tales with the visual representation of their status. A small kit of dress-up clothes will assist in perpetuating these re-enactments.
Insect gardens are an excellent introduction to life science, and provide many young ladies with exposure to insects that they may not, otherwise, be exposed to. Insect gardens range from ladybug gardens, to butterfly gardens. When choosing a garden, take the child’s comfort and attention level into account. Butterflies require more time and commitment, while ladybugs are more self-sufficient and are far more difficult to kill.
A pogo stick provides a smooth introduction to independent exercise, providing a young lady with a means of exercising paired with the challenge of developing a new skill. Pogo sticks should be constructed of a sturdy material—preferably metal rather than pure plastic.
For 7 and 8 Year Olds
7 and 8 year olds are beginning to develop distinct personalities, and showing interests in activities, futures, and objects independently of their parents and peers. As such, gifts should be personalized according to children’s likes and dislikes. When searching for gifts for this age group, do not be afraid to ask children or children’s parents what gifts would be best.
A musical instrument book containing familiar songs. Many young men and women of this age are being enrolled in music classes, anywhere from school band excursions to professional piano lessons. Taking these lessons will be made far easier on the child and parents both if a book is available containing songs children like and are familiar with. To decide, do a little bit of digging and poking around to identify the ideal music book.
Sports memorabilia also makes an excellent gift for this age group; many young men are being signed up for various group sports. A signed baseball or baseball decorated in the child’s favorite team’s colors makes a great gift. A jersey with a child’s favorite professional player also makes an excellent present. Do not be afraid to get creative in this area: consider choosing a book about a certain player, or even a homemade gift with the team’s colors as the central motif.
A collection of insects held in resin makes a great gift for the young man interested in the outdoors. Many young men display an interest in studying insects—a pastime plenty of parents (mothers, specifically) are hesitant to indulge. Offering a collection of insects in resin provides children with a source of studying insects, while keeping mom and dad’s minds at peace.
Sewing kits with pre-designed patterns makes an excellent gifts for young ladies. These kits are designed to introduce children to the world of sewing, while providing an extremely narrow focus. Kits offered may include something as basic as a stuffed animal, or as complex as an article of clothing. As discussed above, choose a kit that ties in to the child’s existing likes and interests.
A personalized journal is an excellent present for a child of this age; around this time, children grow more independent and private, and need a place to record their thoughts and perceptions. Providing a child with a journal personalized with a name or even a design that speaks to their aesthetic interests encourages a healthy habit, while making the child feel unique and respected.
For 9 and 10 Year Olds
While 7-8 year olds are just beginning to develop distinct ideas of independence, this notion has solidified by the time 9 and 10 roll around. This is also the time period when children are frequently exposed to ideas and lifestyles opposing those of their parents, and are frequently in need of guidance, attention, and worthy goals and role models. For this reason, gifts for children in this age group should focus on individuality and a healthy way of living, encouraging healthy body images, regard for others, and an eye for the future. This can be done creatively, however, and should not only revolve around educational gifts.
A telescope would be an excellent addition to any young boy’s arsenal of tools and toys. Though, of course, a young man could easily get into some trouble with a telescope, due to spying, options are endless as to what a child can discover using a telescope. The child can use a telescope to study the sky, or to study the world outside. A telescope encourages inquiry and learning through experience, and can also be found for a relatively inexpensive price.
Model cars/figures are great for boys of this age, as the interest possibilities are endless (model cars to model action figures), and the gift itself requires patience and diligence to assemble. This gift is also great for its versatility; it can be completed as a solo project for a child who needs some solitude, or can be completed as a project with family or friends, encouraging the child to bond and share with others.
An age-appropriate biography of a woman to look up to makes a great (if occasionally eye-roll-inducing) gift for a girl of this age. Girls of this age are beginning to be heavily bombarded with images and ideas regarding what they should look and act like; giving them something worthy to aspire to via a biography of an inspiring female figure will work to counteract some of the negative influences in existence today.
A friendship bracelet-making kit is an ever-popular gift idea for girls of 9 and 10, as girls are increasingly social and prone to making lasting declarations of friendship. These declarations are often accompanied by talismans (whether purchased or handmade) to identify one another as friends. A bracelet-making kit allows young girls to offer one another gifts created entirely with the recipient in mind, encouraging creativity and instilling in them the intrinsic value of a handmade gift.
For 11 and 12 Year Olds
11 to 12 year olds (typically 6th and 7th grade) are teetering on the edge of being teenagers, and are being encouraged to develop unique likes and identities at every turn. This is reinforced in
- Social situations
- Educational institutions
- And religious institutions
As such, most children seek out gifts that establish their identity and encourage the notion of being an adult, or being respected. As such, gift-givers should discuss different gift ideas with the child in question, and come up with ideas from there.
Child-designed punching bags are excellent for young men of this age, as they provide a safe way to get out excess aggression. As boys grow older, testosterone swells and many boys experience upswings in competitiveness and aggression. A punching bag provides a safe means of releasing that aggression, while simultaneously providing a means of exercise. The combination will likely also mean a boost in confidence.
Solar robot kits are a multifaceted gift. They teach young men about the versatility and importance of solar technology, while providing insight into the potential functions of current electric technology, and providing young men with a device that can be enjoyed jointly, whether that is through assembling, dismantling, or even battling.
A portable speaker makes a great gift for young men equipped with iPods or other portable music players, as this allows them to share their music with others, or to simply use the speaker without placing the loud noise directly in their ears. Portable speakers come in a variety of colors and designs, and may be personalized extensively.
A beginner’s art kit makes an excellent gift for young girls, as it provides a means of expression that cannot be as easily read as a diary or notebook. In addition to providing an outlet for expression, a beginner’s art kit teaches a new skill that can be showcased and inspire self-confidence. Even for a child with no previous experience, a beginner kit makes a great gift.
A bow and arrow set makes an excellent gift in the era of Hunger Games and Disney’s Brave. Many girls look up to the female-centric messages in these films, and would like to emulate the power and strength portrayed in both. A simple kit will teach girls how to use a bow and arrow, allowing them to fulfill the idea of a strong female warrior.
A photography book with ideas for how to take and edit photos may make an excellent gift for girls of this age. As social media continues to grow, children are becoming interested in photography younger and younger. A brief guide to how to use cameras, how to manipulate images using different angles, and how to edit photos taken provides another medium of expression and may spark a talent that can prove therapeutic and lucrative for years to come.
When choosing a gift for a child, feel free to relax; most children are content to have new items, and will find joy in a Christmas present or birthday present of any kind. However, as you make a choice, keep these things in mind:
- Age: A child’s age is key in identifying appropriate, safe, and enjoyable toys.
- Interests: Try to work your unique spin on a gift into the child’s existing hobbies or likes—even if that is as simple as a color.
- Attention Level: The younger the child, the smaller their attention span is likely to be. Do not purchase a gift for a 2 year old better made for tweens.
Check Out The Guide Below For More Ideas