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Gift Ideas for Children

Updated on April 22, 2011

Gift Ideas from Tots to Teens


GIFTS for kids

Many of the kids I've given gifts to are now in high school. Surprisingly, they still have some of those gifts and use them today!

Young Children:

If you sew, you can save a lot and create an heirloom. I made a Paddington Bear for my nephew who now has kids of his own, and still has the bear. A simple small quilt, nightgowns from flannel with a Disney print and a matching book, or stuffed animal are hits with wee kids.

Another idea that worked very well for our family was the Wii and the X-Box 360.  Yes, this sounds expensive, but the parents and grandparents and an uncle all chipped in on one gift and it turned out to be less expensive and was a huge hit with the whole family.  There are many games available for the Wii that keep the kids active and everyone from the three-year-old to my 90-year-old Dad loves to bowl, play tennis or baseball.  Our daughter has four kids ranging in age from 10-18 and we purchased the X-Box 360 for the family last year and they were all very happy.  My neighbor has three sons who each have 3 kids, so she purchased a Wii one year and an X-box another and keeps them at her house.  The grandkids live nearby and visit her quite often, so this was a great idea.  It also means she only had to purchase one!

1. A quality hard-cover picture book. "Find it" type books were a hit, sort of like “Where’s Waldo” only easier. Classics such as "Goodnight Moon", "Peter Rabbit" or any Dr. Suess books in hardcover are a wonderful way to start a baby's or toddler's personal library.

2. A Crayola starter kit with the markers and paper that only the makers work on, so now purple cat drawings on the white carpet.

3. A board game. We all had to play games of “Pretty Princess” with our niece. It contains a box of jewelry and a crown and the goal was to win all your jewels and the crown - actually fun! We had a lot of laughs when her brother's played it with us - they were such good sports!

4. A more active game, but still pretty safe to play indoors is “Hot Potato”, Our autistic grandson loves it and we ended up buying one for his class at school. It’s a plush ‘hot potato’ that the kids just toss back and forth until they hear “HOT POTATO!” from the fuzzy spud.

5. Take them to a movie - just the two of you, kids love this, especially if they have several siblings and rarely get to go to a movie or out for pizza one-on-one. I take each grandchild out for their choice of a movie or activity and lunch. It can be a ballgame, a trip to the zoo or a water park. The fun part is that it's just the two of you.

Be sure to check with the parents what will work. Nobody wants to be that Aunt that gave the fuzzy pink bunny pajama’s to the little boy in the Christmas movie. A Winnie the Pooh bear may thrill one kid and make another throw it over their shoulder in disappointment.


For older kids:

1. A good flashlight.

2. A disposable Camera

3. DVD’s or CD’s (ask for a list of what they want and what the parents will allow).

4. A Nice Journal or Diary with matching pen.

5. Jigsaw puzzle. Many sites let you make them out of your own photos.

6. Alarm clock/radio (this really encourages kids to get up on time on their own).

7. Blow dryer of their own with some toletries. This was a request from a nephew who has several sisters!

8. If they are hikers or campers - I found aluminum lock/clips to hang your water bottle from - it attaches to a back pack or a belt.

9. Find out what they are interested in (dinosaurs ,astronomy, dolphins, frogs, etc.) and get something in that theme or a really nice book about the subject.

10. A magazine subscription to a magazine from early readers such as Highlights up to Popular Science or computer game mags.

11. Gift cards or cash are a cop-out, yet they’re always welcome.

Popular gift cards in our family are from Block Buster, movie theaters, Baskin Robbins or fast food places the parents don’t normally take them.

12. Some of the girls on our list are crazy about Mary Kate & Ashley or Hannah Montana, so we find items in that area.

It really helps if you know what the child is ‘into’. Our nine-year-old granddaughter hates pink and Barbie now that she’s ‘older’ so she had mixed emotions about the Barbie fishing pole she received. She uses it, but always explains that the pink, Barbie part was a mistake


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