It’s this time of the year again and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule or Santa Lucia’s day, festivities are about to take place. Holiday gatherings go hand-in-hand with gift exchanges and though that’s a wonderful tradition, it can cause adults a headache. You want your kids to have magical childhood memories and opening a present that will make them squeal with excitement will surely help. But how do you choose the perfect gift? We are here to inspire you and make the choice easier with our gifting guide.
Gifting Guide for Kids – What to Pick?
- 1 Gifting Guide for Kids – What to Pick?
- 1.1 Age Group 0 – 3 months
- 1.2 Age Group 3 months – 1 year
- 1.3 Age Group 1 – 3 years
- 1.4 Age Group 3-5 years
- 1.5 Age Group 5 – 10 years
- 1.6 Age group 10 – 13
- 1.7 Age Group 14 – 17
- 2 Conclusion
This guide is sorted out by age group so you can easily navigate to the most relevant sections.
Age Group 0 – 3 months
Newborn babies are sweet-smelling and cute. They are also unable to move on their own, see very far or even hold their head up. Therefore, they are not particularly picky. That’s why when choosing a gift for a newborn, it’s probably better to think of what the parents would like to get. Some are more practical, while others more sentimental.
Newborns are getting adjusted to the world around them. They need a lot of comfort especially during night time. Getting a mobile that plays soft music and maybe even white noise is a great idea to keep baby both entertained and relaxed. Some mobiles are also projectors! How cool is that?
Organic Cotton Muslins
These are so handy when having a newborn! You can use them to swaddle the baby, create some shade for them, use them as a nursing cover, a burp cloth or extra large bib later on. Choosing an organic one is even better for the sensitive baby skin and there are personalized options out there too.
Handprint and Footprint Keepsake
Time goes by really quickly, even if it doesn’t seem so when you’ve had five sleepless nights in a row with a newborn. Making hand- and footprints of your baby will help you preserve the memory of their precious little toes.
Age Group 3 months – 1 year
Babies develop with a very fast pace the first year of their lives. From rolling, to crawling to almost walking, that’s a lot of achievements! There’s a great variety of gifts to help the littlest ones achieve their milestones with a smile.
Yes, activity centers or playsets are bulky. Probably noisy too, as they come with all these buttons singing songs and making animal noises. But your little one will spend so much time with these and will learn a lot too, so they are worth it! Playsets allow babies to safely explore their bodies while touching, chewing, pushing, pulling, crawling in and out of the structure.
Natural Rubber Teething Toys
Those gummy smiles of drooling babies are the best. The poor little ones can suffer quite a bit as their first teeth cut through though. So help bring the smile back with a cute rubber teether. Natural rubber ones are recommended as they contain no chemicals and are environmental friendly.
They come in all shapes and sizes and their main goal is to support older babies as they are trying to take their first steps. Choose one with lots of color, moving parts, mirrors and even sounds. This way the little one will be entertained even if it takes a bit longer to walk.
Interactive Cuddly Toys
These often come with different levels built-in. This means that younger babies can just enjoy the cuddles and learn to recognize colors, textures and shapes while older ones can listen to the songs or learn words by pushing and pulling different parts of the toy.
Age Group 1 – 3 years
Toddlers are curious creatures, moving non-stop, exploring the world with all their senses and learning to communicate their needs and wants. Whether your kid is going through the terrible twos or is a threenager, show empathy and gift generously. That’s a phase of big emotions!
Girls and boys alike love play kitchen at this stage. Younger children love to open and close the cupboards and lights and turn the buttons while older kids that have started to engage in pretend play will play for hours preparing imaginary three-course meals. The more parts move or light up the better!
These soft, fabric dolls are especially designed to fit small hands perfectly. They have simple facial expressions that allow room for the kid’s imagination. A perfect first doll as it is suitable both to cuddle with and start role-playing.
Threading big beads promotes hand-eye coordination and helps your little one develop more subtle finger movements. Colors, shapes and even numbers are also themes you can introduce through beading.
Be it the classical, wooden ones or modern, magnetic versions, building blocks offer hours of fun. They promote the hand-eye coordination of the little ones and teach them about colors, shapes, balance and stability.
Wooden Toy Cars
Pick durable ones, with thick wheels as they will be played with a lot! Younger kids love to just roll them on the floor while older toddlers will have hours of fun creating routes on your carpet and couch and garages under the kitchen table.
Age Group 3-5 years
Preschool is a big step for kids. Many of them start now exploring the world without holding mama’s hand for the first time. At this age we see that boy and girl preferences start to differ. Be it because of nature or nurture, little girls and boys get usually excited with different toys.
The size doesn’t really matter much. Just make sure that the furniture are easy to move around. Kids love to re-arrange them and create a new set-up every time they play. A dollhouse is a guarantee of hours of fun.
Pretend Play Groceries
Get your little one a few sets of wooden fruits and veggies, a register and maybe even a farmer’s market stand and watch them learn their numbers in no time.
Kids love animals. However your little one is probably not ready to take care of a real one just yet and you don’t want to clean up after the mess. Getting an electronic pet will make you both happy. Plus, real cats don’t come in pink!
Every little boy’s dream, a knight castle complete with an army, dragons, a gate and towers is guaranteed to be a success. There are many different versions out there: castle construction sets, wooden ones, with many details or more abstract forms. You will surely find one that suits your child.
Super Hero Costume
Help your little one bring their adventures to life with a proper super hero costume. After all, there is a very short period in life that it’s acceptable to walk around wearing your cape at all times.
Learning to bike doesn’t have to be frustrating. Give your little one a great head start with a balance bike. Without depending on pedals or training wheels, kids learn to bike much faster than you could ever imagine.
Age Group 5 – 10 years
School-aged kids have a great capacity to learn. At this stage, this happens both through play and through conscious effort to explore the things that interest them. Feed their curiosity and watch them thrive.
Dolls with Accessories
Girls have a complex imagination at this age and their role play becomes more elaborate. Get your little one a high quality doll with realistic features and many accessories, like clothes, tea sets, maybe a bed or chair and watch as her take care of her little “child”.
The last years quite a few high-quality books have been published the last few years the last few years, that aim to show girls that they can achieve anything they can dream of. Pick a book with “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls”, a book about women in science or just a book with a female protagonist and plant the seed of success early on.
In a similar spirit, show the girls in your life that science is not just for boys and let their complex minds surprise you. Be it opening up geodes, making a volcano is your kitchen or growing your own terrarium, your girl will be amazed and maybe even discover a new passion.
For the “girly-girl” in your life opening a craft supply box will feel like heaven. And if they can make wearable items with it, even better! You can’t go wrong when fashion meets crafting. Think of beads, loom bands, macrame, tons of glitter and you get the idea.
We know that programming is entering the curriculum of more and more schools. It seems to be the skill of the future and you can introduce your kids to it in a playful way. They can program a robot or create circuits through a board game. All that from age 5!
Or if you have an 8 year old (or older), here’s a good pick.
You could go for a dinosaur excavation kit. Maybe a world travel kit. Or one about the rainforests. Or ancient Rome! Most kits include a variety of resources to bring the exploration to life: books, stickers, mini figures and even apps. Your boy will have hours of fun while also learning about other eras and places.
For the athletic boys, getting something related to their favorite sport will be a winner. Do they need a new pair of football gloves? A ball? A helmet? Maybe a bag to drag all their equipment around?
At this age your kid thoroughly enjoys spending time with you. Get your son a board game with a theme they love and promise to play it with them. They will love it!
Age group 10 – 13
Pre-teens are in that sweet spot where you can talk to them as if they are adults and yet they have the innocence of a child to a great extend. They start to have more specific needs, wants and passions. Take some time to find a gift close to their interests and to show your respect of of their emerging personality.
Tablet (Kids Edition)
Your tween will be really excited to have her own tablet. She will finally leave your alone too! Load it with tons of fun movies, educational apps and her favorite music and she won’t believe her luck. If you are concerned about safety, you can control what she watches too through your smartphone.
If your tween is artistic, then she will definitely appreciate a new set of art supplies. Get her a high quality set, preferably with a variety of drawing materials, so she can feel you take her interest seriously. Plus, she will get to experiment with new techniques!
Since tweens are in this in-between stage, a gift basket is perfect as it allows you to combine both worlds into one. You can put in coloring books, make up, a bar of chocolate, a fragrant soap, accessories… Or, if you have no time, you can get a pre-assembled one!
DIY Robotic Kit
Younger boys might need a bit of help from you for this one but older ones will feel so proud creating a robot on their own! There are kits to create all sorts of different robots that move, make sounds and even have light or sound sensors.
Who doesn’t love a drone? You can get a simple one that just flies or more complicated versions that take videos and has light and sound as well. Just make sure to have that talk about privacy before your son trespasses the neighbor’s garden.
Many tweens enjoy watching vlogs. Why not let your kid try their own directing skills and explore another way to express themselves by getting him a relatively inexpensive camcorder. Again, having a talk about internet safety and privacy is a good idea.
Age Group 14 – 17
The teenagers. We all fear their hormonal outbursts but are jealous of their passion and will to change the world. No matter what you get for your teen, they will be angry with you at some point. However, if you get the right gift, they might appreciate it later.
The concept of charm bracelets is really romantic. You start out with a simple bracelet and add on beads that represent meaningful events in your life. You can put a charm with your daughter’s birthstone on it, to make it extra special.
The teenage years are full of inspiration. Having a journal by her side will allow your daughter to record what fills her mind, be it existential despair, quotes of her favorite authors or the strong emotions that come with young love. Looking back to it when older will be priceless.
A personalized treasure box is a versatile choice that you can engrave with an image that matches your daughter’s interests. She might hide in there her bracelets, crafting supplies, gemstone collection or beauty products. Will it be a jewelry box? Then you can put in there a nice pendant too, to kick start her collection.
Complex Construction Sets
The easy solution here would be to get your teen a video game. However, since teens spend so much time of their life in front of the screen anyway, a modeling set might be a better choice. Get one close to their interests, for example an architectural modeling set or a moving car model.
Most boys in their teenage years are practicing some sort of sport. A high quality sports watch that will help them keep track of their training and is durable enough for that muddy football match is a great choice!
Teenagers think all the time. Their mind races on many different topics and they worry a lot about many different things: their life, the planet, politics, the future. Introducing them to great thinkers might inspire them and help them think in more constructive ways.
Our guide is a good start to find out what type of gift is developmentally appropriate for the child you are gifting to. To pick the perfect gift though you will need to think of the character, interests and lifestyle of the child. Don’t forget a nice wrapping and you are good to go!