I’m coming atcha with some Holiday Gift Guides. Christmas is my favorite time of year—even more so since having kids! They just add that extra magic…and craziness. Either way, I’ll take it.
I’m going to start with all thing Kids & then add some stuff for you Mamas. And maybe a couple things for the Dads. But, lbh, I live & breathe my kids so that’s where I’ve spent most of my energy. I’m including things we’ve bought in the past few years that we have loved & that are still in use today. Our “holy grail” things that we couldn’t live without. And also the things Santa is bringing to our house this year.
My advice is this: If you see something you like, Buy it Now. Amazon is notorious for selling out of things at the Holidays. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve added things to my cart & left them there while I looked for other things & then when I went to order—they’re no longer available. And then I have to start over. So, now I know how to do it—I might Buy it Now 12 times in 30 minutes, but I get what I want before it’s gone. Win.
But first, here is one cute thing to get for your kid right now so they can play with it leading up to Christmas:
Melting Snowman: So fun & cute, my kids look forward to waking up every morning to see their flat snowman. Then, they build him again.
Anddd here is one thing to get for you if you have a fake Christmas tree a la me: stick these in your tree & enjoy the beautiful smell of Christmas. You’re welcome.
Ho Ho Ho, let’s go!
KIDS’ HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
ACTIVITIES & COOL STUFF
Jumbo Rainbow Magnadoodle: One of the best things I’ve ever bought for my kids. We use them daily. And I do mean daily. I draw pictures on it every few nights for my son & it’s one of the things he looks forward to the most. Especially when we might go out on a date night, because when he wakes up in the morning & sees a new pic he knows we came home & checked on him. Both kids draw on theirs all the time.
Kids’ Digital Camera: I looked at soooo many cameras before picking this one. This one is perfect: perfect size, perfect features, perfect storage…and super easy to use. We’re giving one to each of my kids this year (ages 5 & 3). I can’t wait because I know they’re going to love & use the heck out of them. *I think the carrying cases are ADORABLE but if you have an older kid who wants a more “grown-up” look, just take the case off because the camera itself looks super legit.
My Storyteller: THIS IS SO COOL. This is basically a small storytelling device that kids can use easily on their own. No screen, just listening. But the interface is super simple & cool. They select a place, character, and object from a set list. And the stories change based on their selections. You can download more stories from your computer whenever you want, but we started with the free ones it comes with & used just those for months. We find our 5 year old lying in bed or on his rug all the time just listening to this. Love this screen-free creative option.
Scooter: IF YOUR KID DOESN’T HAVE ONE OF THESE STOP & GET ONE RIGHT THIS SECOND. That’s how strongly I feel about these scooters. They are the best. Sooo easy for kids to get the hang of. So fun. My kids have been using them since a little before age 2, no lie. My son is 5 and still rides his constantly. He has the larger Maxi Version because he was an enormous child so we started him on that one. My 3 year old daughter has the mini.
*Don’t forget the helmet! (I love this helmet because it comes in different sizes & colors and it grows with them. And I love that it’s blank because my kids slapped their own little stickers all over theirs!)
LED Lantern: Perfect lantern for kids’ rooms. They feel cool having their own & it’s easy for them to operate. My kids love turning theirs on & reading or playing at night or Quiet Time with it. Or turning off the lights & going on “missions.” No batteries to worry about, just charges with micro USB. Holds charge for a long time. Comes with Pink or Blue accents.
Their very own luggage! I got this Princess suitcase for my little girl & this Superhero one for my boy for Christmas this year! Have you ever seen kids pack their own bags? It’s the cutest. I let them pack the loveys & books they want to take & I then I do the clothes.
Disney Audio Books: These are a MUST-HAVE for us. We have probably 20 different stories on CD/Book. We keep them in the car & listen to them all day every day. I love that these audio CDs with accompanying books keep them entertained the entire time. (Seriously, we never use a DVD player in the car except for on long road trips. I credit that fully to our audiobook collection.) Our faves are these: Princess Set, Movie Night Set, the Pixar Set & of course the new Frozen 2 set.
Sidenote: I got this CD case to hold all our CDs (I laughed that I spent money to buy a CD case I used to have but threw out when iPods took over the world).
Double side note: We let my 5 year old take the CDs & books in his room & listen to them on this old school boombox. It’s simple enough for him to work by himself & provides another screen-free alternative for older kids during their Quiet Time. (is it obvious I am a huge advocate for QT? Mama’s sanity matters.)
PicassoTiles: We play with these ALL the time. Cheaper than some of the more well-known brands but the quality is equal. My kids love these so much so that I am upping our collection this year by adding this “designer artistry” set. We always need more tiles to keep building bigger castles & towers. (Plus, my kids are going to love using their tiles with the Santa gift below!)
Light board: This is a Santa gift this year. I’m really excited about it. My son’s school has one & the kids love using the magnetic tiles on it, putting nature finds on it, tracing things, etc. I like how thin this one is for easy storage.
Water Easel: Love this thing. Paint with just water. Mess free, let their creativity soar with just water. It dries in minutes & they can do it all over again.
Cardboard Playhouse Castle: I think this “life-size” playhouse castle is about the coolest thing ever. It is blank so kids can color all over it & make it their own. This would make an awesome Santa gift because it is a BIG present (with a small price tag!)
Bubble Gun: Enough said. This one lights up & I love that the bubble container just screws right on so you don’t have to fill up a little container & have them dip it. Less mess = win.
Light up Microphone & Bluetooth Speaker: We have 2 & use them ALL the time. They sing on them & also listen to their favorite songs on them (via Bluetooth from my phone). AND, they can sing along WITH the songs (not all of them let you do this). Also, the speaker for music & mic is loud enough. A karaoke machine without the machine.
Binoculars: These are awesome. Easy for kids to use, comfortable to look through, & with 8x magnification instead of a measley 2x magnification. The real deal.
Kids Watch: Classic, simple digital watch in 26 different colors/designs. All the stuff you want in your little kid’s watch, none of the stuff you don’t (games, etc.).
Easel: We use ours often & I always love how my kids magically turn into little Picassos and take their work so seriously. This easel has adustable legs so it can be a floor or table easel, and grow with them. Love that both my kids can use it at the same time. Pair it with this large easel paper pad (sooo easy!) & our personal fave–KwikStix (one of my suggested stocking stuffers below!).
Ant Farm: It lights up at night & you can see them working away. We are giving this for Christmas this year.
LEGOs: This LEGO starter kit is a perfect introduction to all things lego without being too complicated.
BIG Picture Coloring Books: Great for younger kids & have every theme you could imagine.
This Little Golden Book Marvel Comic edition is awesome. My son loves the stories & the fact that the pages have shiny gold edges makes it look extra special. If you have a superhero lover, get this book. (*In general we have about 100 Little Golden Books. Big fan.)
Cool dinosaur “laser” nightlight: Is it obvious dinosaurs are big around my house?
LCD Rainbow Writing/Drawing Tablet: So cool. BUT, it takes a button battery so if there is even a chance your kid might put that in their mouth, don’t get it. (the battery isn’t the easiest to get out, but still, I wouldn’t get it for toddlers/young kids.)
Rocking Horse: Classic. For the younger kids, a must-have. My 5 year old still rides his that we gave him for his 1st Christmas. *Bonus: they have the cutest other animals…everything from swan to flamingo to dinosaur.
KIDS’ HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
MAKE-BELIEVE, HOUSE, DOLLS, CASTLES & STUFF
Kitchen: (linked below) Playing house is one of every kid’s fave things to do. And how can you play house without a kitchen? (am I right or am I right? I feel like I might as well live in the kitchen.) My children play in/with their play kitchen every single day. No lie. If your kid doesn’t have a kitchen yet, this would be the perfect gift from Santa. And if your kid already does have one, make sure you get the below kitchen accessories & add-ons. They are golden.
*BRB, I’m about to go re-do my real kitchen now.
Kitchen Accessories & Add-Ons:
- This food set
- This adorable Keurig set that my kids still adore after 3 years (we play “coffee party” over “tea party” in our house.)
- This Tea Set
- This Ice Cream Set (my kids LOVE THIS THING)
- This Birthday Cake Set (they’ve loved this for 2+ years)
- This Cookie Set (another huge hit for years now)
- This Egg Carton set (love that the yolks are built-in & not choking hazards like on some designs)
- This Pizza Set
- This Grocery Bag + Veggie/Fruit Set
- This Grocery Cart (one of the most played-with items we own)
This kid’s mop/broom set is always a hit.
Doctor Kit: Kids love playing doctor. It’s universal.
Wooden Castle: We’ve had this exact castle for 3 years & it still gets used all. the. time. By my son and daughter. It’s compact and opens up and is a total win. My son puts his dinosaurs, superheroes, and Beast & Gaston toys in it all the time. Right now it has become the Nutcracker’s castle. This little castle is one of my fave finds ever. (*They also have a pink one )
Big Dollhouse: I am so excited to let Santa bring this big dollhouse for my little girl. She will be 3 in January so it should last her a longgg time. If you want something a little smaller, this is my fave.
*I looked at all of them & settled on this dollhouse family set.
*I got these fairy lights to go inside it!
Baby Doll Stroller: We have this one & one of the 4 wheel strollers. This one is my kids’ fave & the fabric doesn’t slip/fall off like on our other one. It’s been in heavy use since last Christmas & still perfect.
Baby Doll Cradle/Bed: Must-have if your kid likes dolls. Honestly, my son and daughter both play with our doll cradle equally. Sometimes the dolls are asleep, sometimes the Beanie Babies, sometimes the Superheroes.
Baby Doll High Chair: Must-have if your kid loves playing babies/house. We saw this adorable clip-on one at a friend’s house & my kids were obsessed with it. If you want a classic chair, get this one.
Baby Doll Carrier: So they can play Mama, the best job in the world.
Baby Doll Car Seat: Because #momlife.
***If you’re going full court press with Baby Doll & Accessories, this set has it all.
KIDS’ HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
DINOS, STUFFED ANIMALS & COSTUMES (oh my!)
Dinosaurs that Roar: If your kid is into dinosaurs at all, GET THESE NOW. Like click the link & Buy Now. You won’t regret it, trust me. They are big, they feel cool, and they roar. My son has 100 other dinosaurs but these take the cake & were a great addition to his ever-growing collection. (Seriously, these are so cool that they single-handedly made all the boys in my son’s class want to be the first one to school just so they could play with their favorite dinos from this set.)
Gigantosaurus: Sticking with Dinosaurs for a second. If your kids like the show Gigantosaurus then this toy is so fun.
Giant Sequin Snake: My son wanted one of these so bad that he used his birthday money from Nana to buy his own & we had to scratch it off his Santa list. It’s big, fun & does that reverse sequin thing. His sister is dying for one of her own.
Don’t forget about toys/plushes from your kid’s fave tv show or book! Daniel Tiger is BIG around our house. These Daniel Tiger stuffed animals are perfect. Puppy Dog Pals, PJ Masks, Paw Patrol, you name it…there’s a toy. My little girl still sleeps with the Keia toy we gave her last year.
Unisex Crowns: Fit my son when he was 1, fits him now that he is 5. Same for my daughter. They don’t hurt their head, they’re soft, and they’re the cutest. These crowns are one of my all-time fave finds & they get worn nearly every day. (This flower crown version is adorbs, too.)
Pirate/Captain Hook Hand: My son specifically asked for this for Christmas this year.
***If you still have your old Beanie Baby collection at your parents’ house or in storage somewhere, go get those adorable things out right this second. My old Beanies are my kids’ all-around most-used toy. Because I had every animal under the sun, so no matter what we read or watch, they can always find a Beanie Baby to go along with it. Trust me, if you still have yours somewhere, find them.
KIDS’ HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
CLOTHES, SHOES & MISC.
Rain boots: These are our fave. My fave because they are easy for the kids to put on by themselves, and are the easiest thing ever to clean after really dirty, muddy days. Either just spray off or put in the washer. You can’t mess them up. They’re my kids’ fave because of the fun colors and they are SO lightweight & comfy. Again, they can put them on by themselves because they aren’t too narrow + the handles are great, and they can run in them without tripping. I always size up in rain boots.
Toddler girl light up sneakers: WE LOVE THESE. Fit true to size. SO comfy, so cute. We’ve bought 3 pairs. Your girl will loooove them. Guaranteed.
Little/Big Boy & Girl Light Up Shoes: My 5 year old has a big foot (size 1-2 boys) so it is hard to find him “little boy” shoes sometimes. I still want velcro for him. And he was dying for some new light up shoes. I got these for his Christmas this year & they already came in & OMG THEY ARE AWESOME. He’s gonna flip. *They have girly colors, too.
A pillow just their size: We got one of these for my son 3 years ago & it is still his fave pillow. And he is a large 5 year old. He loves it because it’s “just his size.” We recently gave our 2.5 year old daughter one and she is equally obsessed with hers. It comes with a pillowcase, but if you want to switch it up then these are my fave pillowcases for this pillow because it comes with 2 and they are the softest ever.
Rainbow Sequin Jacket: My daughter had a fit over this jacket when I gave it to her.
Boys Sequin Flip Sweatshirt: IF YOU HAVE A SON BUY THIS NOW. Let me tell you, it is hardddd to find sequin flip shirts for boys. And of course boys want them, too. Because they’re awesome. This. One. Will. Be. A. Hit.
Pompom TuTu: I cannot wait to give this to my little girl for Christmas this year! I saw a tutu like this in Target but you had to buy a whole outfit set with it & I just wanted the tutu so I didn’t get it. I was so excited to find this one on Amazon!
Slippers: Adorable & cute for boys & girls. Love that they have hard rubber bottoms so they don’t slip & they can run outside without getting feet wet.
Little Girl Undies: We have these in all the designs. Love them. Precious prints & they don’t rub.
KIDS’ HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
STOCKING STUFFERS FOR KIDS
WikkiStix: These are a new discovery for us & they are AWESOME. They are basically wax yarn sticks that are bendable & moldable. We love them most in the car & at restaurants (Keep them in your purse. You can thank me later.).
Cubebot: Perfect car toy! We keep ours in the car & my kids play with them all the time. This size is perfect for little hands.
Colorful Water bottle/Thermos: My kids just told me last week that these are their favorite cups ever. And they just so happen to be on sale on Amazon right now. So, I bought every single color. *We get the straw lid because the spout lid pours too fast for my kids. For older kids, might be fine. (I like these better than the Yeti kids because the Yetis are much heavier & the handle stays up & gets in their way when they’re trying to drink.)
Moon Ball: Last year my son asked for the bounciest ball ever. That was his only request from Santa. Nailed it.
KwikStix: I’ve talked about these so many times before. I wrote a whole article about how KwikStix are a total mom hack. They are basically the perfect paint/crayon hybrid. And superrrr washable. We use them for EVERYTHING. (*Get the big box if you want alllll the colors.)
Polly Pocket: OMG, remember these?
Scissors: If your child is at an age that scissor-use is appropriate, get some. Kids LOVE using scissors.
Electric Pencil Sharpener: For Christmas this year we are giving our son a set of colored pencils & his own sharpener for his room. He is going to flip. (The world is weird. Now that we really don’t need electric pencil sharpeners anymore, we forget how cool they are for kids.)
Mini Sketch Pad: My kids are obsessed with these little sketch pads. They love having their own “journals” or “books.”
All-about-me Fill-in Journal: This is so cute & neat. I just love to hear the things kids say about their world & the people in it…including themselves. I’d say ages 6-7+.
Tie Dye Kit: This one is so easy & fun. Pro Tip: If you have a stainless sink do it in there and there is no mess/staining to worry about. My kids LOVE doing this.
Nontoxic Fingernail Polish: Safe & adorable! My daughter loves it.
Mini Wet Brushes: Love these for my kids. Only thing we use. Love this size for them.
Stick-on Earrings: For the little fashionistas in the house.
*dusts off shoulder*