It’s common knowledge that parents are beyond burnt out, and the last thing anyone needs right now is a houseful of noisy gifts, messy gifts, or gifts that in one way or another make more work for us. These gifts for kids are a no-brainer—they don’t require a lot from us, while encouraging safe, independent play for kiddos. And for our own holiday shopping, we may even want to add a couple of items to our own wish lists (if my partner is reading this, I’m talking about the weighted blanket!)
Must-Have Gifts for Toddlers
Peaceable Kingdom Monkey Around
What it is: A toddler board game that builds social-emotional and gross motor skills through 40 cards, which instruct movement challenges like balancing on one foot, high fiving, etc.
Why kids will love it: They’ll enjoy showing off their skills and practicing some new ones, and they may even be able to “read” the image cards.
Why parents will love it: It’s an interactive activity that doesn’t require too much energy on your part. (Bonus: toddlers can play with older siblings too!)
Pop2Play Toddler Rainbow Slide by WowWee
What it is: A cardboard slide that holds up to 50 lbs., folds flat for storage and is 100% recyclable when you’re finished with it.
Why kids will love it: Their home will become their very own playground.
Why parents will love it: Get those zoomies out on the coldest of days without freezing in the park.
Gifts for Kids Ages 4-7:
VTech KidiZoom PrintCam
What it is: A digital camera with video, games, and photo editing features. It prints black & white images instantly, and the USB cable transfers images to a computer in colour.
Why kids will love it: The print paper is designed to be coloured on, allowing for further personalization of images.
Why parents will love it: Parental controls can be set to limit photos printed and time spent using it.
Doorway Therapy Sensory Swing
What it is: Commonly used by Occupational Therapists for folks with processing disorder, ADHD, or on the autism spectrum, these cocoon-like fabric swings are multi-use and can provide comfort and joy to us all.
Why kids will love it: It can be used to expend energy by floating, flipping, and spinning, and it’s the perfect spot to cocoon away with a book when feeling overstimulated.
Why parents will love it: Weight capacity is 220 lbs. so go ahead and take a turn. (Also, the bar it hangs from can be used as a chin-up bar, if you’re into that.)
Gifts for Kids Ages 8-10:
GameBud Talking Tom
What it is: This first-of-its-kind animatronic character live-connects to the My Talking Tom games and interacts with players in real-time. It’s kind of like this generation’s super high-tech version of Teddy Ruxpin.
Why kids will love it: Kiddos who are obsessed with the My Talking Tom online games will love interacting with their virtual pet IRL.
Why parents will love it: Transition seamlessly out of screen time: kids can continue to have interactive conversations with their ‘sassy and gassy’ buddy outside of game play.
Laser Pegs Building Blocks Playset: Mars Hopper
What it is: A 151-piece Mars Hopper building set.
Why kids will love it: It lights up and is LEGO-compatible!
Why parents will love it: Hours of screen-free, imaginative play. Plus, batteries are included.
Gifts for Tweens:
Throw Throw Burrito Dodgeball Card Game
What it is: Part card game, part dodgeball, this is one of those gifts for kids that is really suitable-for-all-ages and offers the opportunity to throw squishy burritos at each other.
Why kids will love it: Permission to throw things at their siblings and parents!
Why parents will love it: A hilarious and cathartic way of family bonding.
What it is: A kit for building working headphones!
Why kids will love it: The sense of accomplishment in building something that looks (and apparently also sounds) stellar.
Why parents will love it: Peace and quiet.
Gifts for Teens:
Dream Away 5-Layered Weighted Blanket
What it is: Weighted by glass beads stitched into square compartments, and with a removable, machine-washable cover, this blanket is designed to calm anxiety and promote better sleep.
Why kids will love it: It’s an excellent calming tool in a time of lots of stressors.
Why parents will love it: Some gifts for kids are extra meaningful. You’re essentially gifting a giant hug.
Pandaco Sunset Desk LED Light
What it is: These lamps, made famous on TikTok, create a warm sunset ambiance, perfect for these extended hours of darkness.
Why kids will love it: It will provide for some excellent selfies. (But also a very chill atmosphere for studying, reading, etc.)
Why parents will love it: It’s there to borrow whenever you need a mental vacation to Hawaii.
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