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Holiday Gift Giving Ideas for Kids

Updated on December 14, 2011

Parents of younger kids are bombarded by the constant mantra of "I want to get this" or "can I buy that." During the holidays kids' toy radar goes on high alert. Even on a moderate income, there are thousands of affordable toys available, so much so that parents find themselves repeating no like a hyperactive parrot every time they dare to stroll through the toy section of a store. In fact, kid's today have so many toy choices it can be hard to bring the magic to Christmastime.

You know the magic; the anticipation of wondering what Santa left under the tree, sneaking around trying to find your parents' hiding spots. For me, it was always a matter of hoping I would get one or two extra special gifts I had asked for. We drew up things called "wish lists" when I was younger. Today, when my oldest is one step away from writing down model numbers from Amazon, I have to remind my kids that it is just that, a 'wish list,' not a shopping list.

Whatever your beliefs, there is magic in the air this time of year. People reflect on their lives, or at least the past year. People want to care for or be cared for, many are moved to go above and beyond for others.

Of course, during this magical time there is the tradition of gift-giving, and for kids, the best gifts are the ones that inspire wondrous gazes and giddy smiles.

Read on, they are not all what you would think.


Giving for the Twelve Days

For the layperson, it is a little difficult to pinpoint the origins of the 12 days of Christmas, and even trickier to sift through all the conjecture about the origins of the song. For starters, there seems to be no relation between the two.

"The 12 Days of Christmas" song has unknown origins, and despite rumors, appears to be nothing more than a fun song to sing about Christmas. The 12 days of Christmas, at least in Eastern Christianity, is the period from December 25th to January 5th or 6th; dates that represent the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi.

It is not the intention of this section to discuss theology, however, but rather to offer an idea for adding magic to your gift-giving. Specifically, come up with your own 12 gifts for 12 days. The list can be related to the song or be focused on a favorite genre of toys for your little one.

How about a mix of material gifts and hand-crafted love? Consider this list for the Lego lover:

LEGO Ultimate Building Set - 405 Pieces (6166) (Discontinued by manufacturer)
LEGO Ultimate Building Set - 405 Pieces (6166) (Discontinued by manufacturer)

Includes building plate, minifigure, windows, doors and wheels. New container allows for easy clean up and efficient storage - The transparent lid lets builders display their models

405 Pieces


1.) Smallest Lego available. Put it in the stocking or wrap it and set it next to their bedroom door.

LEGO Star Wars Clone Trooper Battle Pack 7913 (Discontinued by manufacturer)
LEGO Star Wars Clone Trooper Battle Pack 7913 (Discontinued by manufacturer)

Includes 1 clone commander, 2 new bomb squad troopers and 1 new ARF trooper minifigures.BARC speeder included. Speeder measures over 5" long

85 elements.


2.) Christmas bread making day. Choose an easy quick bread to make, such as this rich roasted sweet potato bread. Or, buy a gingerbread house-making kit. Quick breads and gingerbread houses are easy for kids of all ages to make, and the smells help bring in the warmth and wonder of the season.

Nordic Ware Gingerbread House Bundt Pan
Nordic Ware Gingerbread House Bundt Pan

Beautiful winter center piece of cast aluminum construction for even browning. Non-stick for easy clean up.

Made in America


3.)Find a holiday-centric Lego or other building toy. Keep it small, it's still early! Couple this with a cookie in a fancy Christmas package, and hint at the next day's baking activities.

LEGO Creator Winter Village Post Office 10222
LEGO Creator Winter Village Post Office 10222

Includes 7 minifigures: Female post office worker, male postman, female, 2 kids and 2 musicians, and even a dog. Post office features dark-green split roof with snow, fireplace, light brick, table, coffee mug, and lamppost and mailboxes outside.Also features evergreen tree and assorted minifigure accessories.

820 pieces


4.)Christmas cookie day! Unless your kids are older and have experience making dough, have the dough rolled out and ready to go. Use a variety of cookie cutter shapes, and let the kids cut out the dough and decorate.

Christmas Cookies Are for Giving: Recipes, Stories and Tips for Making Heartwarming Gifts
Christmas Cookies Are for Giving: Recipes, Stories and Tips for Making Heartwarming Gifts

Smells of cinnamon, cookie cutters, rolling and baking, eating dough, warm times with friends and family: Christmas cookies are a universal symbol of sweetness and family tradition at Christmas.


5.) A Lego alternative day. Time to mix it up and introduce something new and different.
Remember Lincoln Logs? How about Erector Sets?

Erector by Meccano Super Construction Set, 25 Motorized Model Building Set, 638 Pieces, For Ages 10 and up, STEM Education Toy
Erector by Meccano Super Construction Set, 25 Motorized Model Building Set, 638 Pieces, For Ages 10 and up, STEM Education Toy

Comes with a 6V battery-operated motor. A special edition designed for real constructors. Comes with 643 parts and instructions for 25 Fully Detailed Models.


6.) Teach the kids how to make mulling spices and a homemade wreath. This is a lot less complicated than it sounds, but the smells of the mulling spices will bring in the holiday like nothing else. Wreaths can be as simple as attaching and trimming branches around stiff wire, or buying foam rings and attaching Christmas decorations.

For the final 6 days, make the gifts larger or more significant. Consider making homemade decorations or ornaments for activities. Be sure to save the best gift for last!

Give Outside the Box

They want that special doll/xbox game/Lego set/Bakugan and so on. Perhaps they didn't know about all the amazing treasures the world has to offer. If they were aware of interactive talking globes, life-sized chess sets and the wonders of stargazing through a Celestron telescope, their idea of entertainment could take on a whole new meaning!

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Globe Junior
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Globe Junior

A teaching, talking globe for younger children. Two game modes and variable subjects allow children to learn geography with spoken and visual clues, then immediately quiz each lesson. Variable subject selection lets you focus learning on continents, countries, USA states, or oceans. One to three players


Another way to step outside the framework of typical gifts is to take a step back in time. Restoration Hardware is a great store for finding vintage style toys for boys and girls. How about a vintage pedal fire truck or airplane? A trike that pulls a trailer! I wish they made those for big kids...

For many people, a tree house in the backyard will always be just a dream, but Restoration Hardware offers an excellent alternative with their canvas play teepee. Make it magic with a string of their starry lights and the kids will treat it like the best play fort on Earth.

Avoiding the expected gift can backfire, especially if you try to substitute their greatest desire for a cheaper or different brand. The point is, kids often know what they like, but are not aware of all the possibilities. Take time to reach deeper into the genre of the gift.

Are they inspired by legos? Consider stoking the architectural fire with an Erector set, plastic models or any of several unique building toys on the market.

If there is a real princess in the house, ease away from the Barbie monopoly by introducing elfin princess warriors and castles (in pink if necessary.) Buy books about real princesses and the work they do, or consider fiction titles like the Perfectly Princess series which caters to young, independent-minded princess fans.

The entertainment choices for kids are endless, and taking a little time to learn more about them could lead your child into a new world of delight and wonder; one that just might be educational as well.

LEGO Pink Brick Box (5585)
LEGO Pink Brick Box (5585)

Build a house, a pony, or anything else you can imagine with this special box filled with LEGO bricks in colors you love! Special mix of elements and bricks with girl appeal. Classic theme focus for role-play. Innovative storage. 216 Pieces



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    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

      Very nice suggestions here and your tips helped demonstrate usefulnesses not thought of before. Good to think outside all those 'commercial brand' box toys too! Great hub!

    • Free2seethemoon profile image

      Free2seethemoon 6 years ago from Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean

      Thanks Cogerson! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Cogerson profile image

      UltimateMovieRankings 6 years ago from Virginia

      Lots of great ideas in this hub. I had fun reading your suggestions that you included in the hub. Welcome to hub pages and I am looking forward to reading your future hubs.


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