It’s fun to buy for these early elementary-school-aged kids because their play is generally a lot more independent from parents, but at the same time can be more social with their friends or siblings if they have them. Their worlds really start to open up around this time, and their sense of purpose blooms as some families give their 1st through 3rd graders more responsibility around the house like regular chores or more choices over their day to day lives (what to wear, what to eat, etc).

In short, our babies are growing up.

The best Christmas gifts for 6-8-year-olds give them a little more autonomy, spark their creative interests and are sometimes just plain fun. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites that get high marks from kids and parents alike with a promise that they’ll last a good long while.

Here are the best holiday gifts for 6-8-year-olds. There’s something here for every kid!

The best holiday gifts for 6-8-year-olds

Warmies Stuffed Animals

Warmies

$23.99

Warmable Stuffies

Filled with dried French lavender, the soothing stuffies from Warmies can be microwaved for the ultimate snuggles. They’re the coziest at bedtime but at our house they’re toted along on the ride to school, warmed up for family movie night and even tucked into a sleepover bag now and then.

Zenimal

Zenimal

$69.99

Zenimal Kids 2.0

Got a big feelings kiddo on your hands? The screen-free Zenimal is designed to guide kids through meditations and breath work to better regulate emotions and deepen focus. It comes with nine pre-loaded meditations  that take between 3-15 minutes to complete. It also has three sleep soundtracks to help them get a deeper night’s sleep. The portable design makes it easy to take along on the ride to school or even a long road trip!

Stanley Jr DIY Pull Back Sports Car Building Kit

Red Toolbox's Stanley Jr.

$24.99

DIY Building Kit

Few things give kids (and adults!) a deeper sense of pride than building something with their own hands. Thanks to the awesome DIY Kits from Red Toolbox’s Stanley Jr., you can let your kiddo take the lead, stress-free. The easy-to-assemble woodcraft kits are made from quality pre-drilled wood (so no worries they’ll get frustrated by pieces that don’t fit) and require just a hammer, screwdriver and wood glue to complete. Tap into the app for simple visual instructions and finish it off with a custom paint job.

honest-history-magazine

Honest History

$17.95

Magazine Subscription

Learning has never been so cool with this colorfully illustrated magazine that focuses on historical moments but makes them attainable and fascinating for our elementary school kids. They’ll give you a story of one historical figure and then gives kids the full context around who they were and what world they lived in. They explore topics like the race to space and the rivalry between Tesla and Edison. Individual issues start at $17.95

Tattoo Pen

Tattoo Pen

$35

Wash Off Tattoo Pens

When it comes to elementary schoolers, there’s no canvas more appealing than their own body. If they’re regularly busting out the markers to doodle on their arms, these fine-tipped felt pens are a great alternative. They’re made with water-based inks that easily wash off with just soap and water.

Mudpuppy My Hair My Crown Puzzle

Mudpuppy

$13.99

My Hair My Crown 300 Piece Puzzle

Gah! We’re always smitten with the colorful imagery from Mudpuppy but this particular puzzle is topping our list this year. A celebration of Black hairstyles, the 300 piece puzzle is fun for families or for kids to work on solo.

Crayola Light Up Tracing Pad

Crayola

$25.97

Light-Up Tracing Pad

Mini artists will love the satisfaction of perfect line drawings with Crayola’s best-selling Light-Up Tracing Pad.  The super slim design makes it great for travel and it comes with plenty of supplies to get them started.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Glowing Marble Run

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

$64.99

Glowing Marble Run

With 150 colorful interconnecting tubes, slides, spinners and funnels (that actually fit properly!) and 30 glow-in-the-dark glass marbles, this marble run is fun day or night. The included UV light charges up the marbles to make the runs even more impressive.

L.L. Bean Sonic Snow Tube

L.L. Bean

$159.99

Sonic Snow Tube

As a near 20-year Vermont resident raising two second-generation Vermont children, trust me on this one. Accept no substitutes when it comes to investing in a snow tube. L.L. Bean has this game on lock. Originally designed for use at commercial tubing parks, they feature a semirigid polyethylene base which not only makes their slide unparalleled but also helps them stand up to some pretty heavy-duty use. I’m also a big fan of their tow strap which is easy enough to hold onto even with mittens and cuts down on the chance they’ll lose their grip when dragging it back up the hill (crisis averted.)

Fold and Fly Paper Airplane Kit

Fold and Fly

$14.99

Fold and Fly Paper Airplane Kit

Take their paper airplane skills to the next level! Inside they’ll find a 36-page booklet that teaches them how to make several high flying styles along with a collection of colorful paper and stickers to decorate.

stomp-rocket-dueing-stomp-racers

Stomp Rocket

$29.99

Dueling Stomp Racers

As longtime fans of Stomp Rockets, we’re pretty excited about their latest launch–Stomp Racers. Honestly, the thrill of sending things flying through the air never gets old. Parents and kids alike can spend hours launching these kid-powered cars which take off via a stompable pad and hose.

osmo-math-wizard

Osmo

$50.99

Math Wizard and the Magical Workshop

For educational screen time everyone can agree on, we’re big fans of all things Osmo. This new offering is perfect for first and second graders to brush up on math skills while brewing magical mixtures, helping dragons take flight and more. (Osmo base required.)

Little Feminist Book Club

Little Feminist

$22.95

Book Club Membership

Some kiddos don’t often see themselves reflected in the books they read. Diversify and expand their bookshelf with the thoughtful selections from Little Feminist. Their monthly book club membership includes one hardcover or two paper back books that highlight under-represented identities in children’s literature along with fun hands on activities and conversation guides.

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Squishmallow

$19.99

Oversize Stuffie

Soft, satisfyingly squishy and available in a ton of adorable varieties, I guess it’s no surprise these Tik-Tok famous stuffies have become the must-have item of the elementary school set.

Piecework Kids Crafternoon Puzzle

Piecework Puzzles

$24

Crafternoon Puzzle

Puzzles have a calming effect on the brain, and we could all use a little more of that, right? We love the quality pieces and matte finish of the stunning puzzles from Piecework and their kid-friendly versions are just as magnificent. This fun and crafty tableau makes great decor if they want to glue it together when they’re done!

no-stress-chess

Winning Moves Games

$14.99

No Stress Chess

From building cognitive skills like problem solving, critical thinking and concentration to improving memory and building confidence, chess is more than just a board game. And while it can obviously be played at a super high level, it’s not hard to get started with the basics. This innovative approach can teach even the youngest players (and their parents!) through a set of action cards to learn the moves and powers of each piece. As they get the hang of it, you can ditch the cards and play without them.

Super Smalls Days of the Week Lip Balm Necklace

Super Smalls

$34

Days of the Week Lip Balm Necklace

If you fondly recall your own LipSmacker collection, you know this colorful lip balm necklace is guaranteed to be a hit. With seven fun flavors and a cool chain necklace to hang them from, seven-year-old you is about to be soooo jealous.

LEGO DOTS Designer Toolkit

LEGO

$64.99

LEGO DOTS Designer Toolkit

LEGO DOTS may be my favorite of the recent LEGO lines. The small scale kits offer a new creative way to play, which is more arts + crafts than towers and buildings. This 1K+ piece set comes with ideas for creating things like jewelry boxes, room signs and wall art that can be taken apart and put back together in endless configurations.

Ice_Cream_Kit_Lifestyle

Pottery Awesomeness

$52.95

"I Scream Ice Cream" Pottery Box

This is like two gifts in one for your crafty kiddo. The kit comes with a paintable ice cream cup and spoon (that are totally food safe), paint brushes, a color palette and more so that they can customize their own ice cream eating tools. We love that this helps your kiddo express their creativity while also being a practical piece of art they can use in everyday life.

rothys-kids-sneakers

Rothy's

$55

The Kids Sneaker

We’re huge fans of all things Rothy’s for ourselves, so of course their kid shoes are a no-brainer. Not only do these comfy slip ons come in a bunch of kid-approved colors and patterns, but like the grown up version, they’re made from an innovative recycled material that’s 100% machine washable. Do your worst, kids!

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Spin Master Games

$15.91

Hedbanz Blast Off

The simple “Who Am I” game gets a fast-paced upgrade with Hedbanz Blast Off. Sure, family game night will involve a lot of yelling, but it’s the good kind–promise.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 100 Inspiring Young Changemakers

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

$27.99

100 Inspiring Young Changemakers

Since the overwhelming success of their 2016 Kickstarter, Rebel Girls has graced the bedtime story routine of millions of young girls (and boys!) in 49 languages in over 85 countries. Their latest showcases the stories of 100 extraordinary young women who are making a difference in the world today. Including a foreward by Bindi Irwin and the art of over 80 talented women and nonbinary artists all under the age of 30, it’s one book that is sure to get their gears turning on how they can make their mark as well.

State Bags Kane Bike Bag

State Bags

$75

Kane Bike/Scooter Bag

From playground rocks to their Pokemon card collection, kids have got a lot of important goods to haul around. These crazy rad scooter/bike bags clip to the front of their ride and detach to be worn crossbody when they reach their destination. (And think of it this way–you won’t be the one with three pounds of rocks in the bottom of your bag that they need you to hold for them.)

mongoose-expo-youth-scooter

Mongoose

$124.38

Expo Youth Scooter

If your kiddo has mastered and outgrown their three wheeled ride, it could be time to upgrade. The BMX style scooter from Mongoose features air-filled tires and hand brakes that allow them to take it where skate-style wheels can’t go. Bumps, jumps, and even trails are no match for this free-styling ride.

spot-it

Spot It

$11.75

Spot It Classic

This easy-to-play, super portable game is a family favorite. And while there are five different ways you can play, they all come down to one simple objective–call out the matching symbol before anyone else. It’s perfect for game night, waiting rooms, camping or even in the car.

gabbwatch-2

Gabb Wireless

Gabb Watch 2

If you’re starting to give your kiddo a little more independence, the Gabb Wireless watch is the extra peace of mind you need. Their durable watch triples as a cell phone, GPS device, and interactive watch so they can stay connected no matter where they are. And since they can only interact with their custom contact list you don’t have to worry about who they’re connecting with. Use code MOTHERLY and get the watch free with a two-year contract! Plans start at $14.99 per month.

luna-weighted-blanket

Luna

$49.99

Weighted Blanket for Kids

Weighted blankets are one of our favorite ways to get more restful sleep and it’s not just adults who can reap the benefits. The cozy cloud-like blankets from Luna are specifically designed for kiddos with a lighter weight (choose from 7 and 10 pound options) and super cool prints. And better sleep for them means better sleep for you, right??

Thousand Jr. Kids Helmet

Thousand

$60

Thousand Jr. Kids' Helmet

If it’s time to upgrade their bike helmet, gift them one they’ll actually want to wear! Each retro-inspired helmet includes a pack of super cool reflective stickers so they can easily customize it to their own personal style. As far as fit, it comes in one size and adjusts via a dial at the base of the head. Details like the integrated visor, comfy vegan leather straps and extra ventilation are the icing on the cake.

A version of this story was published November 1, 2021. It has been updated.