Everyone wants to give clever, meaningful gifts. But in this busiest of seasons, you may not have the time to research the inherent value of individual presents.
This year, Parent.co has you covered! We’ve searched high and low to find excellent gifts for every age.
Gifts For Baby and Toddler
Nuby Bandana Bib
Calling all droolers and teethers! The Nuby Bandana Bib’s soft, absorbent cotton will keep baby dry while offering a textured corner for chewing and massaging sore gums. Recommended for age three months and up, this bib is BPA and phthalate-free.
The Tangiball from Discovery Toys is an award-winning toy for ages 12 months and up. The ball never goes flat, the smooth nubs add texture, and squeezing it produces a soft whistling noise. Lightly scented with vanilla, this toy engages all the senses. One of these balls lasted through all three of my kids (even the scent!) and was equally enjoyed by each.
Babies from nine months to toddler-age will love this musical toy. Roll, shake, or tilt the BPA-free cylinder to see and hear the bright beads cascade gently through eight levels. The sound is soothing, and the toy is durable. The Rainfall Rattle was handed down to my kids, then lasted long enough to be passed on again.
3 in 1 Sit, Stride & Ride Lion
Kids from six to 36 months will roar in delight at this toy! The mane offers light-up buttons to teach colors and numbers, balls to “feed” the lion, and other interactive toys for sitting kiddos. For those taking steps, kids can hold the push bar and walk while hearing encouraging phrases. The lion’s voice will continue to encourage bigger children who want a ride.
Gifts For Preschoolers
Goldilocks And The Three Bears Storytime Toys
Read the story, or make up a new one. Either way, this super sweet foam and cardstock play set provides hours of open-ended entertainment that fits neatly on the bookshelf when the fun is done for the day.
Public Bikes Kids Mini Balance Bike
Perhaps the greatest gift our generation has given the one we’re raising is taking pedals off of two wheel bikes. (Maybe it balances out the polluted oceans. Who knows?! Fingers crossed though!) And this happens to be the most stylish we’ve ever seen.
Let’s Play School Set
Preschoolers love to teach others. This set helps them play school. Use the pointer, write lessons on the dry erase board, and give out report cards! The 152-piece set includes a bell, hall passes, a map, calendar, and more. Everything fits into pockets and the whole thing folds up neatly for storage. My kids loved this. You provide the dry erase markers.
Wooden Pizza Party
You can’t ever go wrong with Melissa and Doug products, and this Wooden Pizza Party is no exception. The wood pieces stick together with Velcro for easy “cutting” of slices and toppings are added with Velcro as well. My kids played with this set well past preschool age.
Architectural Unit Block Set
Take building to the next level with these unique hand scrolled blocks. Made of smooth-sanded natural wood, use the set of 44 pieces to build archways, columns, and more. Stores in its own wooden box.
Gifts For Kids Ages 5-7
The Curiositree: Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature
This is the sort of book you buy because it looks good kicking around your house. And then, as luck (and fantastic design) would have it, the kid you used as an excuse to buy it loves it, too. With simple illustrations reminiscent of Charley Harper, it also serves as fantastic inspiration for budding animal-loving artists.
This pleasing-to-the-eye engineering toy provides hours of fun because kids will quite honestly never run out of ways to create new tracks. With funnels and power booster and curved rails, this Hape wooden marble run has the competition beat.
Magna-Tiles 3-D Magnetic Building Tiles
Build with colorful magnetized tiles to create buildings, cars, and more. The 50-piece set has a variety of shapes and colors along with two sets of wheels. Recommended for ages three to nine, but reviewers say that older kids enjoy this toy as well. Check Target.com for larger sets for sharing among multiple children.
Opinel Le Petit Chef Set – Guard, Knife and Peeler
Because the best way to learn is to do, but the best way to keep all your fingers is to do it safely. This well-crafted chef set is a great gift for foodie youngsters and kids of parents who are tired of being the sous chef.
The Butterfly Pavilion is recommended for ages four and up, but will be enjoyed by the whole family. You receive the pavilion along with a certificate for the butterfly larvae. In about two weeks, the larvae will arrive and the fun begins! My kids raced into the living room every morning to check on our butterflies and loved feeding the insects after they emerged. Butterfly larvae can be reordered to repeat the process.
CP Toys – Wooden and Steel Child-Sized Real Tools – 15 Pieces – Ages 6+
Kids are only going to stand by with a plastic hammer and styrofoam for so long. This set of real steel and wooden tools will get them started on a lifetime of tinkering and fixing. I mean, think of how much money you’ll save once you’re retired and have a Mr. or Ms. Fixit beholden to your every need?
Slimeball Dodge Tag
Slimeball Dodge Tag makes for great, active, outdoor play. One player wears a vest with a sticky pad in the center and the other player tries to tag the first player with slimeballs. Recommended for ages six and up, this game makes for sticky, squishy fun without the mess.
Gifts For Kids Ages 8-10
Jam Online Classes for Kids
Jam is “committed to helping kids build confidence, creativity, and talent that will last their lifetimes.” Your child can take classes led by “mentors” in areas ranging from cooking to engineering.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
Can’t wait until this book full of bad asses arrives and I can barely read it aloud to my daughter without choking up. By the way, it’s the most funded book in crowdfunding history. The future is bright.
Holy smokes. This is totally bananas. And while it may result in minor injury, it’s smaller than that trampoline they keep bugging you about.
Alright, so this is still in a Kickstarter campaign, BUT it’s already met its goal. This customizable cardboard tabletop pinball game system allows for endless possibilities of DIY for a little maker (Bonus: if this gift eventually wears out its welcome, just toss it into the recycling bin.)
Snap Circuits 300
The Snap Circuits 300 set contains lots of project possibilities. Snap together to color-coded pieces to create electrical circuits. Make a light bulb turn on or a fan twirl. Build an integrated circuit for a digital voice recorder, an FM radio module, analog meter, relay, transformer, a 7-segment LED display – and more! This award-winning set is highly rated by parents, including me.
PowerUp Powered Paper Boat Conversion Kit
LEGO Creator Vacation Getaway
The LEGO Creator series offers good, old-school building with the ability to use the same set to create three different objects. The Vacation Getaway set is recommended for ages nine to 12 and can become a yacht, summer home, or trailer. It contains two minifigures and accessories for further imaginative play.
The Think Fun Laser Maze game requires mind-bending logic! Kids set up the pieces to solve the maze and are rewarded with a lit-up laser if correct. For ages eight and up, my son enjoyed this game immensely, and it provided hours of fun. Though it’s advertised as a one-person game, he played with friends, and they worked as a team to solve the puzzles.
Gifts For Tweens
Fugifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera
Tweens love to take pictures, and they want instant gratification. Give both to your tween with the Fujifilm Mini 8 Instant Film Camera. This cutie takes and prints credit card-sized photos with a simple white border. The built-in flash and 800 speed film makes even novice photographers look good!
Yes, it’s basically a bean bag chair. But it’s the Mercedes of bean bag chairs. And what better set-up to while away hours behind a screen or book than in absolute marshmallow-like comfort? (Besides, they have to leave the house some time. And when they do, that baby is ALL YOURS.)
You’ve been playing card games with your kids since the days of Go Fish and Old Maid. So you – and they – have earned this. From the genius mind behind the hilarious comic The Oatmeal, Exploding Kittens will be light years more fun than that for the whole family.
WowWeeLumi Easy-to-Fly Drone with Follow-Me Beacon
A quadricopter drone that is so stable anyone can fly it? Yes, please! Recommended for ages eight and up, this is a great starter drone. You control it with a smart device, and because the drone stabilizes in autopilot, your hands are free to choreograph stunts and play app-based games. It will even follow you when you use the included Follow-Me Beacon. The copter also moves to the beat of music.
Tweens love both singing and selfies, making the Selfie Mic a perfect gift. Described as Karaoke meets Selfie, with this device your tween can sound like a star. The partner app offers over three million licensed songs to choose from as well as voice and video effects to add to the experience.
Tile Mate “Anything Finder”
Help your teen keep track of those new car keys… and everything else. The small device and companion mobile app will help you keep track of all those stubborn items with pinpoint geolocation accuracy.
Cotton Elephant Pants
These cotton elephant pants are comfy, casual, and machine-washable. Sold by the fair-trade company Darn Good Yarn, the pants are handmade by entrepreneurial women’s cooperatives in India and Nepal, allowing women in these countries to earn a living wage.
Aark Collective Watch
This small Austrailian brand focuses on well-designed, quality watches – complete with fancy things like “Swiss and Japanese Quartz movements.” If teens can still read analog clocks these days then maybe yours will find themselves on time now and again.
Polaroid ZIP Instant Mobile Printer
Teens will love printing photos wirelessly straight from their phones with this battery-operated instant mobile printer. It prints three by five inch photos in full color with a sticky back for instant stickers. Download the app to add text emoticons to snaps before printing.
Arduino Uno 3 Ultimate Starter Kit Includes Step by Step instruction guide
So that may not look like the most exciting pile of…junk, but if your teen is a STEM nerd then A) they’re going to rule the world one day, and B) they’re going to love this Arduino kit that will allow them to experiment with hundreds of programming projects.
Settlers of Catan Strategy Board Game
The Settlers of Catan is a strategy board game requiring creativity to gather resources and build settlements. You will need to be flexible and strategic as you navigate the unexpected that comes with each roll of the dice. Recommended for ages 12 and up as well as adults. With 40 great reviews on Target.com, this is the game to get this year!
Pocket Projector Micro
This pocket-sized projector connects to smartphones, game consoles, and other devices. It projects up to 50 inches (diagonal) onto just about any surface. Review pictures and watch videos or movies. Reviews on this product are positive, making it a great gift for a teen.
Gifts For Adults
Skillshare is an e-learning platform with a ton of classes covering a broad range of topics, including cooking, sewing, writing, teaching, technology, photography, business, and crafts. You can purchase gift memberships in three, six, and 12 month packages, which gives the recipient unlimited classes for that time.
Tired of wondering when your dude’s giant wallet is finally going to fall through that gaping hole in the butt of his jeans? Yeah, same here. If it’s time for a slim-down, check out Bellroy’s line of sleek wallets and travel accessories. The company began when they realized that the design of conventional wallets was acually more bulk than function.
5-in-1 Entertainment Center
Give mom or dad the gift of an old-school music experience with a 5-in-1 Entertainment Center. Not only does the vintage-look console feature a turntable for spinning vinyl records, but it also accommodates cassette tapes, CDs, and iPods. This gift will be used for years!
Artisanal Brewing Collection
Tea drinkers will love this brewing collection kit from Teavana tea. The set contains a Perfectea 16-ounce brewer. Just add hot water and loose leaf tea, then set the brewer on top of a mug, and the tea will drip in. No messy straining of leaves or tea bags. Also comes with a sampler of Teavana teas and rock sugar for a sweet touch.
goTenna Off-Grid Text & GPS
This small device (sold in pairs) uses your smartphone to send texts & GPS locations even when there’s no cellular coverage or wifi available. While this won’t help you to communicate with your far-flung adventurer if you’re cozied up on the couch, it will help your loved one to stay in touch with other members of their party, or allow your family to stay in touch on the ski slopes.
Sari Silk Wrap Skirt
Support artisans in India by purchasing a Sari Silk Wrap Skirt. Sold by Darn Good Yarn, each skirt is made by co-ops in India that help women sustain year-round employment. Made from recycled saris, the skirts come in a variety of lengths and patterns.
Give the gift of wireless warmth with the Rib Knit Bluetooth Beanie. Comes in four colors, and the rechargeable battery lasts up to six hours for making calls or listening to music on the built-in microphone. Perfect for adults or teens who are always on the go.