- Holidays and Celebrations
10 Animal Themed Gift Ideas
Perfect for Animal Lovers
I love buying gifts for people. Christmas and birthdays were always just excellent excuses to buy gifts and that is exactly why I looked forward to them. However, even though I love to buy gifts, there are still some people who I dread having to shop for. Some people can simply be difficult to shop for. Even when you know something they like, finding a gift idea that matches that is sometimes hard work.
Most people have a favorite animal. Even if you don't know which animal your giftee favors, once you discover that, you have a plethora of gift possibilities open to you. Here are 10 ideas for awesome animal related gifts.
Every Christmas until the end of high school, I would get at least one t-shirt or sweatshirt that featured tigers, horses, or wolves on the front. I loved them, and I still have many of them, even if I don't wear them much anymore. My mom would also bring home t-shirts with kittens or puppies on them just because they were cute. Needless to say, a lot of my childhood wardrobe featured animals.
Many members of my family often wear clothing with animals on them, as well. Whenever I see a sweatshirt with a cute picture of a cat on it, for example, I want to buy it for my grandmother. Any piece of clothing with dragonflies would go to my mother. Butterflies? A high school friend. Dogs? My dad. Every family member or friend has at least one animal I associate with them.
T-shirts and sweaters with animals featured on them are a nice idea for those who need clothes (as long as you know their sizes). Animal themed clothing doesn't need to be limited to your typical pretty animal print on a boxy t-shirt, either. For example, animal themed socks can be a cute and creative clothing item.
I once gave my best friend a box full of butterflies. Hair clips and combs, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, every pretty (and inexpensive--I was only 18 at the time and had limited funds) piece of jewelry I could find that had a butterfly on it, I bought over the course of a few months, arranged them all in a box, and presented them to her wrapped in butterfly wrapping paper with butterfly tissue paper inside.
She was surprised to say the least, but she loved all the goodies, and it kept her in pretty butterfly things for quite awhile. I think her only problem was deciding which to wear when. The jewelry may not have lasted forever, but I know the memory will.
Another awesome jewelry gift was the cute owl pin pictured here. It was given to my grandma by a friend of hers several years ago, and though she rarely wears it, she does always display it for everyone who passes by to see.
Jewelry can be a great gift for women, men, and kids, but you need to know your giftee's particular style before you go the jewelry route. For those whose jewelry preferences you do know, here are a couple ideas that won't break the bank.
3. Blankets and Bedding
Did I mention along with the jewelry I got my butterfly loving friend some butterfly pillow cases too? Yep, sure did. I might have gone just a bit overboard with the butterflies with that gift, but she never complained.
Around Junior High, I received a blanket with running wolves on it for Christmas from my mom. I loved that blanket, and it graced my bed for years. In fact, I still have it, and I still put it to use. It's a bit more tattered now that it was, of course, but it is still one of my favorite blankets.
While themed bedding is popular with children, be it animals or action figures, animal themed blankets can be a great gift for an adult as well. Some blankets are designed to be decorative, while others give the added benefit of having something warm to snuggle under on chilly nights. When the warm, snuggly item in question has that person's favorite animal on it as well, who could resist?
4. Trinkets and Collectibles
My grandmother, somewhat accidentally, began collecting owls. It went on like that for years: someone would see she had a couple owl related things and buy her another, thinking she collected them. Eventually, she did indeed have quite a collection.
Now, her china cabinet has a whole shelf devoted to her owl collection. Some are cute, some silly, and some, like the one pictured, are absolutely stunning.
Even though my grandma mostly started collecting owls because her friends and family spontaneously started giving them to her, she still loves and appreciates each owl gift.
For those who love to collect things, these are the best type of gift. The price range for collectibles varies considerably. If you are looking for a high quality, inexpensive gift, you may have to look a little harder, but you should be able to find something within your price range.
If you want to buy something beautiful and unique for a special someone, here are some great ideas.
5. Household Items
My favorite shower curtain ever (and yes, I really did get a shower curtain as a present) was one that had hand-sized goldfish swimming in a giant fish bowl. The bowl even had sand on the bottom and green stalks of kelp wavering up to the top of the bowl. I don't know if I decided I wanted an aquarium before or after I started showering behind a half dozen goldfish, but that simple gift made my younger self happy for years.
Another cute household item features my grandmother's owl collection. I don't know who gave her this little owl thermometer, but it is actually a magnet as well, and it has been a permanent resident on her fridge for as long as I can remember.
Good for children or for adults who enjoy animal themed household items, this type of gift can range from inexpensive to moderately expensive. Although you normally can assume a child will be happy with animal related household items, you should be more careful when choosing for adults. While some people love them, others absolutely do not. So make sure that your giftee likes that sort of thing before you gift them with it!
6. Paintings and Prints
I love artwork, and have a ton of paintings and prints decorating my walls. Many were gifts, and many I bought myself. I even still have some from when I was young. In fact, the very first piece of true artwork I ever received was a framed print of a unicorn in ocean waves, shown here.
I was still in grade school when I received this gift, and it wasn't for a special occasion. I had spotted it while my parents and I were at the mall. It reminded me of my then favorite movie, the Last Unicorn, and I begged them to let me have it. My father was pretty reluctant to buy a child not yet ten a nicely framed print, but he relented once I promised to take care of it.
I'm not much for unicorns anymore, but this is still one of my favorite pieces of artwork.
Depending on the artist and whether the item is an original painting, a print, or just a poster, these items can range from inexpensive to extravegant. Posters are normally better for kids or teenagers--they usually don't cost much, do not need a frame, and are easy to pin up and take down. Paintings or nice quality prints can be given to adults, older teenagers, or occasionally younger children. Prints should normally be framed before being given as gifts, while original paintings may or may not be framed depending on the intent of the artist.
Here are some beautiful paintings and prints that your giftee may love.
7. Stuffed Animals
Tigers are well known as my favorite animal, so I have about a dozen tiger stuffed animals perched in various places. One rests on top of the TV, a few can be found on bookcases, there's a stuffed tiger key chain hanging from the knob of my stand lamp...well, you get the idea. They were often given to me as "just because" gifts, and I give stuffed animals as gifts often for the same reason.
It's not just women or kids who appreciate stuffed animals, though. I bought my uncle a stuffed monkey when I went on vacation once and to this day it sits on the dash of his car.
Possibly my favorite stuffed animal gift, however, was one I got for my birthday several years ago. It wasn't a tiger, but a hand-made knitted teddy bear. The thought and effort that went into that gift made it precious to me.
Great for children, these can also be fun or cuddly gifts for adults. Often inexpensive, stuffed animals are good for just-because gifts, thoughtful additions to a larger present, or the main attraction for a particular gift giving event. Universally loved by children and a go-to option when buying for girlfriends, wives, or crushes, stuffed animals can be cute little gifts for men too.
Here are some adorable stuffed animal options.
8. Games and Toys
Some of my favorite games as a child were animal themed. Who can forget Hungry, Hungry Hippos? Strangely, this was one of the few children's games my mother and I could get my father to play when I was a kid. Usually I was required to play Trivial Pursuit, Risk, or occasionally Monopoly, if I wanted to play a board game with both my parents.
My father was the intellectual sort, and normally worked very hard to maintain the image. Somehow moving a hippo's mouth up and down to gobble up marbles transcended his intellectualism.
One of the child-like activities I still enjoy from time to time is coloring fuzzy posters. Like the name suggests, the black background is fuzzy and so absorbs mistakes. These posters come in different sizes and usually have a lot of animal choices.
Definitely more child-centered gifts, animal themed games and toys combine two things children love: animals and having fun. Many toys are educational as well.
The book I cherished most as a kid was, of all things, an Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. I would spend hours flipping through and looking at the pictures, reading descriptions, and learning everything I could about horses. I had a passion for them that defied all reasonable expectations as to what sort of books I should find interesting as a grade schooler.
Luckily, my parents were never much for reasonable expectations where books were concerned. I learned the most I ever had about horses from that book.
Unfortunately, it was destroyed a couple years afterward by one of our dogs. I was so upset, my parents bought me a replacement. The picture on the right is from that book: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, by Susan McBane
For the more scholarly among us, animal books are great gifts. Some have splendid pictures, others teach us about our pets or wildlife. Good for adults and children, books can offer great learning experiences and pleasurable reads.
Animal Related Activities
The summer I was 21, my mother decide she wanted to go to DisneyWorld and invited me along. It was an awesome trip, but what I remember most was the surprise she'd arranged for me at DisneyWorld's animal park, Animal Kingdom. She had signed us up for a backstage tour of the facility. We got to talk to the reptile handler, see some birds of prey up close, and best of all, pet the dolphins.
For those who want a unique present, try an animal related activity. It doesn't need be as elaborate as DisneyWorld. The idea is just to get your giftee engaged in an activity that features real animals. Taking a trip to the local zoo or aquarium may be all your giftee needs to have a memorable day. Many zoos also offer special tours in which people can actually interact with some animals. Is there a wild animal rescue near you? See if they offer tours or have open houses. Even petting zoos can be fun trips.
There are still other options. Does your giftee love horses? Many places offer trail rides. If cost isn't a factor, think of signing him or her up for horseback riding lessons.
Find an Animal Related Activity Near You
Think an animal related activity is a good idea, but aren't sure where to go? Here are some useful links to help you out.
- US Zoos by State
If you are looking for local zoos in your area, this link has a comprehensive list of zoos and wildlife parks arranged by state, with links to each zoo's website.
Seaworld's offical website.
- DisneyWorld's Animal Kingdom
The official website for DisneyWorld's Animal Kingdom.
- Kentucky Horse Park
This park offers shows, trail rides, and great educational information on horses.
- Tiger Island
An amazing park devoted entirely to tigers. It is, however, located in Australia.