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It’s that time of year again. It’s the time of the year when we start making gift wishlists. We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts,” but let’s be honest: you know people who give gifts because it makes them feel good to see other people happy. And that’s okay—those are usually the best gifts. If you’re looking for something special for a kid in your life (or even if you’re just not sure where to start), here are some gift ideas for kids of different age groups.
Our Top Gift Ideas for Kids, Categorized by Age Group
As a gift-giver, you have a lot to consider. How old is the recipient? What are their interests? Are they active or more of an indoor person? Do they like toys, games or books and movies? There are so many variables when buying gifts for kids, but here’s some advice that should help narrow down your options.
Think about what age range they’re in. While newborns and infants will be most excited by soft blankets and stuffed animals (and adults will likely feel good giving those kinds of gifts), toddlers will love simple games and pretend play toys.
Preschoolers may prefer something that helps them learn or makes them laugh (like our top pick). Kids in grades K-6 have interests ranging from LEGO sets to video games—so whatever age group you’re shopping for, make sure they’ll get plenty of use out of what you buy!
Gifts for newborns and infants
There are plenty of options for the new baby in your life besides traditional gifts like blankets and clothes. Sure, it’s a classic choice that has proven its worth over decades, but if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary—or if you just want to try something new with your baby—consider these alternatives.
A baby carrier is an excellent gift for both parents and children alike. They can be used as soon as a few weeks after birth. Some even allow for front-facing (and therefore eye contact) wearing at this time.
There are different types of carriers on the market: those with soft straps like wraps or slings; structured carriers such as wraps that have buckles and Velcro closures; structured backpacks with padded shoulder straps; front packs (think Ergo); hip carriers like mei tais or ring slings; backpacks designed specifically for hiking and biking; ring slings designed to be worn cross-body style instead of over one shoulder only (these tend not to rest well on shoulders since they don’t usually have waist straps).
The best thing about giving someone such an item is that most people love and enjoy them so they won’t be disappointed.
Activity gyms are great for tummy time, back time, or whatever position your infant likes to be in. They are a great way to help develop gross motor skills. They also provide stimulation that’s fantastic for an infant’s developing brain.
Strollers are a go-to item for parents. Whether you’re taking a walk, shopping, or going on a visit, a stroller comes in handy. What makes a stroller even better is toys! These come in a wide variety. They provide entertainment as well as sensory and motor development. There are mirrors, textured pieces, animals, and more.
Toddler Gift Ideas
Toddlers love to make noise, pretend, mimic, and run around. The best toys for them are ones that help them accomplish these things. First, it’s great to know what they like before buying since toddlers often have something they’ve become obsessed with.
Convertible ride-on/walk-behind toys assist toddlers as they gain mobility. It also gives them a fun way to learn, pretend, and get around. They provide hours of fun and imaginative pretend thinking while allowing children to develop motor skills, coordination, and balance. Plus, the freedom they give will increase a child’s self-confidence and independence.
Kitchen and cooking toys are a favorite of many. Kids love to mimic grown-ups. That’s not all, though. Playing like this aids in the development of language skills and vocabulary. It builds fine motor skills and creativity too. Playing with cooking toys develops cognitive skills like thinking and reasoning while providing entertainment and independence building. When you look at it, this type of toy is a win all around.
Blocks and Stacking Toys
From Lego Duplo to wooden blocks and stacking cups, there are a wealth of blocks and stacking toys for toddlers. These toys provide a variety of benefits, like creativity, motor skill development, and coordination. They can also be used for learning colors, shapes, numbers, and even letters (if they’re wooden letter blocks).
A toddler can use blocks and stacking toys in many different ways, making them a fantastic gift.
Gifts for Preschoolers
Preschoolers are still learning about the world around them, so it’s important to choose gifts that encourage creativity, problem-solving, and growth. They love to explore, create, and pretend. Play-Doh, puzzles, games, and books are all things they’ll enjoy at this age.
Toys that Encourage Creativity
The best toys include open-ended play options such as blocks or magnetic board games. These toys allow children to create their own worlds while also encouraging social interaction with other kids. This is a good age to introduce logic puzzles!
Gift Ideas for Kids: Toys that Encourage Problem Solving
At this age, kids are starting to learn how things work in the real world—and they want their toys and accessories to reflect what they’ve learned! Puzzles and building sets provide hands-on experiences that help teach these concepts in a fun way that doesn’t feel like “school” (for either parent or child).
Toys that Encourage Learning
Books aren’t the only things that encourage learning. There are kids’ tablets and workbooks for preschoolers to learn letters, concepts, and math. Bead mazes teach logic and problem-solving. Toy pianos and other musical instruments teach self-expression, form fine motor skills, sensory development, and help brain development.
Toys that Encourage Imagination
Toys such as puppets, dolls, stuffed animals, and dress-up clothes—these items all offer opportunities for kids to step into different roles at will without feeling silly about it or being judged by others–and that kind of freedom is invaluable when trying something new! If you’re looking for something less expensive but just as fun, consider getting Legos instead (they’ll love building castles!)
Gifts for kids in grades K-6
When it comes to gifts for kids, you want to make sure that you’re buying something they will actually use. The best way to do this is by choosing educational toys, books, and games. Kids in grades K-6 are at a crucial age where they are developing their own interests and hobbies. This is why STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) toys or science kits make great gifts for kids in this age range because they can build their skills while also having a good time!
Books are fabulous gifts for kids. They spark the imagination, tell stories, teach history, and inform about a variety of topics. They can inspire the love of reading. Plus, they cut down on screen time. They make a great gift for any child.
As kids grow up, board games can be a way to spend quality family time. Board games teach many skills, from cooperation to counting. They even teach social skills!
STEM robots teach STEM, critical thinking, and problem-solving. They use dexterity, and kids can learn coding skills. They’ll challenge themselves and learn patience too. STEM robots will give a child skills for life.
Thoughtful Gifts are Appreciated
A thoughtful gift is a gift that is carefully chosen to fit the needs and interests of the recipient. It is also something that your child will appreciate, even if they don’t know how much you spent on it.
For example, if you give a book to a 5-year-old, they probably won’t be very impressed with the cover or any illustrations within the book itself. However, if you give them an age-appropriate board game or card game (such as Go Fish), then they’ll appreciate having something fun to play with their friends—while also learning valuable skills like strategy, and turn-taking!
It’s important to remember that not every gift has to be educational or useful; sometimes, kids just want something fun!
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