Both of my kids love these books! We have a few and the rest on are on our Christmas lists. These are the kinds of books I loved as a kid — with so many illustrations I could stare at them and study them forever.
Full disclosure, I’m into Perler Beads! But, I also think they make great gifts and the licensed sets are endless. Both of my kids have enjoyed creating their favorite characters from kits and from looking at new patterns online. These can be handy over that long December break from school too!
My kids aren’t great with board games — there is a lot of sore losing and advertent/inadvertent cheating around here. But, one game they have accepted is Candy Land. I think it is easier to learn with the “vintage” version with cards as opposed to a spinner. We asked for these classy looking board games as wedding presents. For folks with limited storage space, these are a cute find because they can sit on an open shelf without screaming “kid toy."
If you have a kid who loves animal facts on your list, these books are great. Luke likes the gamification of anything, so adding some competition to non-fiction gets him engaged.
We were gifted a small set of these this year and at first I was skeptical, but when Luke demanded a working door on one of his Amazon box forts over the summer, these little guys saved the day. Makedo tools and screws help you and your little builders actually be able to come up with dimensional creations for forts, playhouses, and whatever structures you have in mind.
We bought these secondhand a few years ago and they are still a hit with Luke. He likes to have Snapbot battles which can be a little rough on the knuckles, but these are great for littler builders too.
No sharpening needed! We love Twistables for everyday use, but especially for on the go. These would make for a great stocking stuff or gift with a coloring book or a few other art supplies.
This is a big one. Do not buy this for someone as a surprise — make sure they want it and have a space in mind for it. My kids really do enjoy their classic Pottery Barn Kids chairs. I purchased the chairs secondhand and the monogrammed covers new, which really helps bring the price down if you have time to take a look on Facebook Marketplace. My kids lounge in these and more excitingly use them for living room fort making. Luke and JJ fit in the standard size, but I think we will be looking into the oversized ones in the next year or two.
Someone in our house may be getting this for Christmas this year. We haven’t tried these kits yet, but I’m eager and hopeful that they will add a layer of fun engineering to playing extra video games during the December school break.
JJ loves these and has a few on her Christmas list. We received the Cookies! one years ago and it is still a hit. These books are sweetly interactive which makes them great for kids to look at with a reading helper or on their own.
JJ has been enjoying these sets at our local library. Last year I recommended a particular tangram set, but this year’s recommendation is definitely better for younger ones working on spatial development. What I like about this set is that the cards are big enough to build on top of instead of design cards that you build alongside.
This is one of my favorite toys in our house right now. I keep it in our sitting room and it gets lots of playtime from kids and visiting adults too.
These books are for really little ones, but JJ is still obsessed. If you’ve got a tactile youngster on your list, these will be a pleaser. There are so many books to choose from and their textured pages and rhyming cadence make them regular requests around here.
This handy little tool comes in some of Lego’s larger sets, but if you know a builder without one, it’s a game changer. These puppies can help take apart stuck bricks and the pry apart the tiniest elements in your Lego project. Perfect stocking stuffer!
I love the IKEA Lego collaborations, but they don’t snap shut, so they are not great for travel. This storage container has a drawer and the handle keeps it from being pulled all the way out — less mess is a win for me.
We live in the world of Lego, so we might as well be knowledgeable! This book has been a hit with Luke and a 12 year old in our life. We really enjoyed Legoland New York this summer; so, if you’re looking for a big experiential present, tickets would be an amazing present paired with this book.
These are another item that is fun for kids and grownups alike. The kits are pricey and come with few blocks, but still offer coffee table fun and can make cute decorations or nightlights.
My mother in law gifted Luke a Christmas kit like this one a few years ago. These are well made and great for kids 3 (with assistance) and up. These would make a low stress December break activity too!
We’ve been building our collection of Hape Marble Run sets over the last few holiday seasons. Again, we’ve been lucky finding them on the secondhand market because they are pricey — but they are well made and fun for many ages. You can purchase additional accessories to make the run more engaging and find additional configurations online too.