The older kids get, the harder it can be to find them holiday gifts that make their eyes sparkle. But fear not. While they may have us bested when it comes to celebrity YouTube star knowledge, you have an advantage: #TeamMotherly. Our editors have combed through the internet looking for THE BEST recommendations for toys and gifts, which ensures you get to hang on to #coolmom status.
Here are the best gifts for the older cool kids in your life.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant camera
With the nostalgia of the Instant camera's from our childhoods and the modern updates like a selfie mirror, the FujiFilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera is sure to be a hit with your big kid (that you'll have fun playing with too).
Umbra Hangit photo display
The perfect gift to pair with the camera. Give them a place to (neatly) display all of the photos they take and add instant fun to any space.
Love Bubby tee-shirt
I'm only a little jealous that I got this for my daughter and not myself. The Love Bubby shirts are super high-quality, unique, and I love that they encourage my daughter to stand up for what she believes in.
GoldieBlox scratch art projector
The STEM pioneers at GoldiBlox have created the ultimate kits for your artistic scientist. Motherly's co-founder and CEO Jill Koziol got to try one out with her kiddos. The verdict? "Super fun, easy, with a great mix of science and crafts with fun." There are lots of kits to choose from, though we are particularly excited about the GoldieBlox Scratch Art Projector.
Ravensburger Gravitrax starter set marble run + STEM toy
Speaking of STEM, this interactive track system that allows your curious and inventive kid to design and build their own race tracks. They'll learn about gravity, magnetism and kinetics, and have a blast doing it.
Tea Collection dress
If your child loves to twirl around or needs a more dressy outfit in their wardrobe, we adore the dresses at Tea Collection. They're high-quality, machine-washable and the brand gives back 10% of profits to The Global Fund for Children—win-win.
Amazing Origami: Traditional Japanese Folding Papers and Projects comes with everything your artist needs to get started on the ancient tradition of origami, no matter what their previous experience is. They'll get instructions and project guides, and tons of gorgeous paper so they can start folding immediately.
Watercolor United States of America scratch off map
Are you a road-tripping family? Let your child keep track of all the adventures with this map. Can you get all 50?
LEGO Friends Heartlake City Amusement Pier
The LEGO Friends Heartlake City Amusement Pier is one of 2019's hottest toys, and we can see why. Your child will spend hours constructing its ghost ship, swing carousel, ticket kiosk and snack stall, and then many more playing with the final product.
African elephant adoption kit
Inspire your little change-maker by gifting them an African Elephant Adoption Kit. They'll get a Soft plush animal, formal adoption certificate, full-color photo of the species, fascinating information about the animal, and best of all, the knowledge that they've contributed to a cause they can be proud of.
Monopoly 'Stranger Things' edition
If Stranger Things has taken over your home, this will be a huge hit (and is another gift that you'll enjoy playing with, too).
L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Crystal Star fashion doll
L.O.L dolls have a new cool big sister. The one is fun, pretty and trending hard, so grab one before they fly off the shelves!
Little Free Library kit
We've been seeing these popping up all over our town, and we could not be more on board. The Little Free Library Kit is a DIY book-sharing movement that allows your child to construct a book-hut, and then share and receive free books from friends and neighbors. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving.
Darice 120-Piece deluxe art set
The set is huge and has everything you little artist needs to create masterpieces all day long: markers, crayons, color pencils, oil pastels, watercolor paints, and so much more.
Lynx faux fur bean bag chair
As stylish as it is comfortable, you'll love that its cover is machine-washable, and they'll love sitting in it reading for hours.
Rebel gift box
If you haven't yet experienced the Rebel Girls Books, you are both in for a real treat. It shares 200 stories of marvelous women that are sure to leave everyone who reads them inspired and hopeful.
The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid
Give the gift of adventure, in book form! The atlas transports the reader to 100 of the most surprising, mysterious and weird-but-true places on earth with tons of facts and stunning images.
Pick-A-Pom ribbed beanie
Leave it to Anthropologie to make your kid want to wear a winter hat. With interchangeable pom-poms that snap on to the top, your child can design something totally unique (that will keep them warm and toasty).
Blank comic book
Let their creativity blossom with the Blank Comic Book. It contains 100 plank pages ready to be filled with the hilarious and daring adventures of your child's next comic.
JIMU Robot Competitive Series: Champbot kit
Motherly CEO and Co-founder, Jill Koziol, tried this out with her daughter, and loved it! "The directions were interactive and helped her to problem solve. It was a great family activity and she was so proud of what she had built; and she loved operating the robot once it had charged. I love that there are different parts to it so there are wins along the way but also a requirement to keep with it, supporting a growth mindset and building resilience.
"This is fabulous for any budding engineers and especially Lego lovers that are ready to take it to the next level!"
Anyone who was a kid in the early 2000s just had to have Heelys, and guess what? They're back, mama. The roller skate and shoe in one is such a fun present for any kiddo who loves to zoom around to wherever they're going. But parents will love that they're a super high quality sneaker that will hold up to everything your kids put them through. We like this classic gray style, but they come in all sorts of colorways including these pink hi-tops and these Spiderman kicks.
This monthly, STEM influenced, subscription box makes teaching kids their way around the kitchen fun and better yet, interactive. Harlow's Harvest supplements what they learn in school, each STEM influenced box comes with recipe cards, a science project, background on the dish they are making, and an online game they can play connected to that month's theme. Send just one month, or a full year's subscription.
Diamond art kit
These Diamond Art kits let your child "paint" with gemstones. They have hundreds of templates to choose from! The kit comes with the gemstones and a special tool which allows your child to pick up each gem, and place it on the designated place on a poster. My daughter got to try this and LOVES it—and um, her mom really enjoys doing it with her 😉. This is a great gift idea for kids who love art and are okay with devoting a chunk of time to a project. The reward will be well worth it!
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