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Finding holiday gifts for kids can be fun but also difficult. Every family has their own traditions and ideas for gifts when it comes to kids. Some do a set $$ amount, others do a specific number and others have no limits what so ever. We are still trying to deiced how we want to handle gifts during the holidays. I wanted to share some ideas we have to help with gift buying during the holidays.
Gift Idea 1: Books
Books are a great holiday gifts for kids option. They will last longer than a week, and is a gift that keeps on giving 🙂
12 Day Countdown with Books
A neat idea I saw and am planning on doing this year is like a 12 day countdown with books (I have seen it with 24 books also). So for 12 days before whatever holiday your celebrate; be it Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa; you let your child unwrap a book. Similar idea to an advent calendar and you can even incorporate it into that activity if done in your house. We will be wrapping 12 books up and place them under the tree.
Every night for the 12 nights before Yule she will get to pick a book to open and read that night. This is a fun way to make books fun. Things are always better when you get to unwrap them 🙂 If you are giving your child an experience, or if someone in your family is, get books that relate to that experience. This way they don’t know about the experience but you are still helping to get them excited. Building up excitement is always a plus.
Gift Idea 2: Experience
When you are thinking about holiday gifts for kids consider giving an experience. Experiences make for better memories in my opinion. Use what your child is into to help figure out what kind of an experience to get them and then get them gifts around that. Here is an example of a way to give an experience.
Does your child want to help you in the kitchen? Do they love to watch the Food Network or Cooking Channel? Maybe you have the next Chopped Junior Champion, Kids Baking Champion or MasterChef Junior. If they love to cook … LET THEM you might not have to cook dinner all the time. The next time they have a bake sale at school or it is your turn to bring snacks, you might be off the hook.
Get them an apron (“Little Chef” Kid’s 3-Piece Apron Set) and appropriate sized kitchen tools (Silicone Kitchen Utensils Colorful 10 Pieces, Nonstick Cookware Colored Kitchen Utensil set) for them to use. Also, maybe look into some cooking classes in your area to help them learn new techniques. Next get them some great books to answer questions for them and to learn from. Start them out where their food comes from Book of Growing Food, this book talks about how food grows and knowing where the food they cook with comes from. Start to Cook is such a great starting out cookbook that includes food safety information, easy to follow recipes with great pictures and a great allergy index.
Gift Idea 3: Items with Multiple Uses
I don’t have a lot of money or space so when we are looking at holiday gifts for kids especially bigger items we want things that have multiple uses. For example this Play Platoon Kids Activity Table Set – 3 in 1 Water Table, Craft Table and Building Brick Table with Storage that we are getting munchkin this year. This will give her a big base to build with her Duplo Lego’s on and allow her to build bigger castles and stuff. Then the other side of the table can be used as a regular table for drawing, eating and all that fun stuff. Then the inside has many uses: storage, water table, sand table etc. This is also a product that she will be able to use for a few years so I don’t have to worry about her outgrowing it soon.
We are planning on using it as a sand table and are getting her kinetic sand to use since it will not make as much of a mess. For $60 this is a great option for us. I am excited to let her have sand to play with and mold. We don’t live near a beach so that is not really an option for us but this will be a great substitution for it. We have a big tarp like piece of cloth that we use for messy activities that we will put under the table. Nice thing is we can always take the sand out and turn it into a water table if needed.
Gift Idea 4: Toys/Activities that Encourage Imagination
Toys or activities that encourage them to use their imagination are great holiday gifts for kids, because they will keep them engaged longer. There is not just one way to use the activity so as their imagination expands so does the use of the toy/activity. One option that we found is CoolSand 3D Sand Box – Kinetic Play Sand For All Ages. The sand can be molded and played with but does not dry out or stick to everything.
This is something that she can use her imagination with and grow with her. Kids of all ages enjoy playing in sand so this is something that we won’t have to worry about her out growing anytime soon. I like the idea that it will not stick to her so I will not be finding sand all over the place. I am really excited for her to get this for her birthday this month.
Another item that I found after my best friend had it on her son’s birthday wish list is Educational Insights EI-1930 Playfoam Go! This is another product that has a lot of possibilities and is easy to clean. This one is a great car/travel option. Comes in it’s own carrying case and is in small amounts. Get a flat surface for them and let them have at it while you are driving. Maybe make it a car only activity if you have a kiddo who is not a fan of car rides. This is something that we will be getting munchkin for Yule.
One of my favorite gifts that munchkin got for her birthday was some magnetic tiles. These PicassoTiles are so great that even the adults in the house enjoy playing with them. They encourage creative thinking and you can have a hands on 3D experience with things like building a cube. She has had fun putting her different LEGO people into “cages”. This is a COMPLETE win in our book and are planning on getting more.
One of my favorite sets of blocks we have gotten munchkin is the B. Toys Elemenosqueeze A To Z Architectural Blocks. I am a big fan of B. Toys in general but I was thrilled to find these. Not only are they alphabet blocks but because they are different shapes there is a lot of room for imagination when using them to build.
When ToysRUs was going out of business we had grabbed a few things for birthday and Christmas and one of the things we got was the Crayola Color Wonder Mess-Free Coloring, No Mess Markers, Travel Art Desk and this has been
LEGO DUPLO is always a great option. The LEGO DUPLO Large Playground Brick Box is our next LEGO purchase for munchkin. We like the sets and the big green tub is a bonus because we have some place to store the piles of LEGO blocks all over. We have enjoyed helping munchkin build these sets and seeing her have so much fun.
Gift Idea 5: Educational
I know some of you may be thinking … are you nuts. NOPE 🙂 Educational holiday gifts for a toddler can also be fun especially if your kiddo has no idea that what you got them was educational. Something as simple as Foam Bath Toys Preschool Alphabet can be a great option. We got this for munchkin last year and it is still a huge hit. We only do like 5-6 letters at a time and she has so much fun and it has helped her learn her letters but she does not see it as learning. I love items like this because they can be used for so many things. The letters can be used to work on reading, the animals help identify new animals, also they can be used for imagination play in the bath. I love finding things like this that serve multiple purposes.
Blocks are another holiday gift for kids that can be educational while being totally fun to use. If you are looking for more traditional wooden building blocks (I like the natural/wood options when possible) finding a set like the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden ABC/123 Blocks Set With Storage Pouch or the Melissa & Doug Classic ABC Wooden Block Cart Educational Toy With 30 Solid Wood Blocks. Both of these have a lot of potential for your little one and include both alphabet and numbers. Mellissa & Doug is another brand that I have found many products that have impressed me.
Another great block options that we have for munchkin is the Uncle Goose Women Who Dared Blocks. These are so fun and educational. There are 32 blocks with famous women and each block includes information about what they did and a quote. On one side there is a “puzzle” where when your child puts it together it says Deeds Not Words. This has been a fun one for her and I can not wait to have munchkin be able to learn about these women.
Gift Idea 6: Clothing
We tend not to do a lot for clothing as holiday gifts for kids, unless it is something really special. However one tradition we will be starting this year is a Christmas Eve box. This will be a box with a new pair of pajamas, a package of hot chocolate, a book and a movie. This is something she will get to open on Christmas Eve after dinner. She will have new pajamas, we will curl up and watch the movie as a family. Drink hot chocolate and then read the book before bed. This is a great way to allow your kiddos to open a present before Christmas morning.
Look for SALES
This is kind of a standard one, be on the lookout during the year for good sales. Don’t wait until the week before to do your shopping. Yes you might find some good deals BUT your options will be limited. Check out clearance items especially after the holidays. YUP that is right, start shopping for the holiday’s as soon as this one is over. Stores tend to have lots of left over toys that they need to get rid of. So they put them on sale/clearance. Obviously kids may not be interested in the same things next year as this year. However you can buy some stocking stuffer generic items. Maybe a few squishy balls or slime (depending on your toddler). Items that are too old for them this year but next year would be perfect. Just make sure you have a good hiding spot 🙂
I would love to hear if you have some other great holiday gifts for a toddler. These are just some things to get your ideas flowing and maybe help get you started.