Kiddos can sometimes be tough to buy for - of course they want the latest toy or trendy product, but sometimes you want to give them something a little more meaningful. Something that shows kids you pay attention to their interests and encourage their budding hobbies. Somthing that reflects time spent together doing what you both love.
For those special presents, we've compiled a list of thoughtful gifts to show your child you care. They don't have to be expensive to be special, and in fact, the majority of the gifts on this list are under $40! From stocking stuffers to bigger gestures, you'll find gifts for everyone from toddlers to tweens. Just imagine their joyful little faces after opening one of these specially-chosen presents!
Kids love helping make breakfast, and what better way than with this adorable animal waffle maker. They can help mix or pour the batter into the non-stick mini waffle maker while you handle the hot stuff. If you have lots of time in the morning this can become a regular routine, or a weekend ritual you both look forward to.
There's a whole wide world out there to explore, so help them develop their love of nature with this kids' binoculars set that includes a real compass and a magnifying glass. The binoculars have powerful 8x magnification and the same adjustable features grown up ones do, plus soft eye cups for safety and comfort. Kids 4-8 will get so excited about viewing landscapes or wildlife up close while charting their own adventures!
It's time they had their very own mug for camping, so make kids feel like part of the crew with this enamel mug. The cold-rolled lightweight steel with durable enamel coating can take all the bumps and bruises kids can dish out and look good doing it! The beautifully decorated mug can hold 11oz so it's not something they'll outgrow quickly.
Areaware's known for its cool wooden toys, and this transforming Cubebot is a prime example. Kids can turn it into an action figure or robot, play it as a puzzle, or find new creative ways to play! This makes a great stocking stuffer for a wide range of ages.
Whether it's tacos, PB & J, popcorn, or gumballs, these cute food socks celebrate their favorite things to eat! The cotton blend socks are super soft on sensitive feet and wash up like a dream. They're available in three sizes that'll fit most kids.
A nice, warm bath is a wonderful bedtime routine or anytime treat. These 12 jumbo sized, brightly colored organic bath bombs in kid-friendly scents like Blueberry Blast, Poppin Peach, Bubblegum, Cotton Candy, and more make tub time extra special! Each bath bomb also contains a tiny toy after the fizzing's done.
If they need a little help concentrating or just something to do with their hands, this set of four Thinking Putty containers is a great option. The gluten-free, latex-free kit contains absolutely gorgeous putties that incorporate new technology to feature two holographic colors and sparkle in one! Ages 3 to adult will get a kick out of this cool stuff - I have some at my desk and often use it to chill out.
I slept with a night light forever as a kid, no shame in it! Help them feel safe and cozy with this cute cloud shaped nightlight that casts a calming glow. They can also take it with them for nighttime bathroom breaks because its soft light is just bright enough that they can find their way.
Little kids love fantasy play where they get to take on different roles and build exciting scenarios. Spark your little caped crusader's imagination with this superhero dress up set. It includes four colorful capes, masks, and wristbands all packed into a convenient storage bag.
Introduce them early to reading through bedtime stories like we did when my kids were babies. They loved the cozy activity we did together and both grew to be excellent readers. This First Board Book Set has 10 books covering a wide range of topics from ABC to colors to transport to vegetables and more, with vibrant pictures and word labels to help toddlers and preschoolers build a strong vocabulary.
Art can get messy often, but it's easy to clean up with this washable finger paint set. The 34 piece set features everything from the paint to brushes to sponge rollers to sponge shape stamps to waterproof aprons and sleeves. It'll keep them busy for hours, and your inner child will have fun getting in on the action, too!
These awesome LED light-up gloves are a blast to use for nighttime dancing, skits, games, concerts, and more. The stretchy fit kids age 6-16, and the replaceable batteries boast a long life - they'll last for 12 hours straight! They can glow in three colors and six modes so kids won't get easily bored.
My kids are constantly stealing my phone to take videos of their antics or the puppy, which is adorable but also annoying because then I can't use it! This multifunction kids' video camera lets them have free reign over their creativity - it can shoot pics or HD video, zoom or take photo bursts and play games, plus it has 15 photo frames and six filters for them to monkey around with. Suggested for ages 3-9, it's built with a shockproof case that can take some abuse.
This clay molding kit includes everything they need to get started on their wild creations, from 24 colors of lightweight air dry clay to tools to animal accessorites to an idea book. Maybe they'll grow up to make the next Wallace and Grommit movie - either way they'll love expressing their creative sides with this imaginative kit. The maker targets kids aged 3-12, but I bet older kids would love this, too!
Let them practice all the cool stacking cup game tricks they've seen on YouTube, and discover some new ones as they play. The game includes 24 sturdy plastic stacking cups, 18 challenge cards, and a water timer so they can beat their personal bests or try to beat each other. Don't be surprised if they want to play this all day and into the night - once they start playing, it's hard to stop!
If they're just learning letters or ready to start on some sight words, this LCD writing tablet is a good way to keep them interested. Kids 3 and up will love using the durable, waterproof tablet to practice math skills and draw, too. With over 10,000 glowing reviews, this tablet is key for some parents to keep kids busy during long car rides or restaurant waits.
As a kid it was thrilling whenever I got to decorate my room to add a personal touch. These neon-colored glow in the dark stars look great day and night on walls and ceilings alike. Let them build constellations, make patterns, or just place randomly around to help them feel ownership over their little corner of the house.
Younger kids will love this set of three walkie talkies for pretend play around the house because they can talk to each other from different rooms. Older kids can take these on outside adventures since they have cool features like a three mile range, LCD screen, and a flashlight to play in the dark! In over 3,000 rave reviews, the adults love that this set's easy to use, has great sound quality, and is color coded so kids don't fight over whose is whose.
Backpack accessories are the in thing for elementary and middle school kids - both my kids have so many keychains and other things on their bags they're sometimes hard to zip! These bead pets combine both arts and crafts time with a gift - kids can keep some and give the rest to friends. This set has enough pony beads, wax cord, key rings, and lanyard clips to make 6 cute animals.
If your toddler has expressed (calmly, of course) that bath time isn't a favorite, make it more fun for both of you with these bath crayons. The five bright colors are just the right size for small hands, and their drawings and scribbles will rinse right off of tub or shower walls. Encourage creativity and avoid meltdowns with a fun distraction!
Get kids into STEM the fun way with this Lego Gear Bots kit. They can build eight physics-driven kinetic creatures with the included LEGO bricks and paper. On a smart note, the kit comes with a 64 page book that talks about axles, cams, cranks, and engineering in everyday machines to get kids thinking deeply!
If they're born performers, keep their entertaining vibe going with this magic trick set. Kids eight and up will enjoy learning 10 easy-to-perform classic tricks to amaze and astound you and their friends! It comes with 52 pieces they'll incorporate into tricks like Secret Silks, Great Escape, Magic Number Prediction, Vanishing Zone, Cylinder Squeeze, and more.
Support their creativity in the kitchen and expand their horizons with this International Cookbook for Kids. They'll learn to make 60 classic recipes from Italy, France, China, and Mexico, illustrated with full-color pictures and chef's tips on ingredients, nutrition, and technique. There are also special sections on safety precautions and taco parties. Who knows, they might be the chief dinner maker from now on which certainly lightens your load!
Once they're old enough to responsibly use permanent markers, let them loose on this Sharpie set. This limited edition set includes 24 bold "Electro Pop" fine point markers that work to decorate most surfaces. Parents love the great value and the fact that the markers will work for quite a long time, unlike most art supplies!
Little scientists will love watching this mushroom kit grow, and foodies will enjoy the gourmet oyster mushrooms they'll harvest in just 10 days! This easy-to-grow kit lets you produce an organic mini mushroom farm right in the box it comes in, just have kids mist it twice a day with water. Each crop makes three or four servings of mushrooms, and each box makes two crops.
My kids have a super long bus ride, up to an hour each way, and were complaining of being bored or stressed out because some of the riders are, let's say, overly boisterous? I got them this set of fidget poppers to chill out and refocus on an engaging activity. The set includes three food-themed toys that make a satisfyingly crisp popping sound - I love that the silicone is durable and washable to nix germs and grime from little hands.
My kids played with this wooden cutting food set for so long - from the time they were toddlers till well into elementary school! It builds fine motor skills (and safe knife skills!) and the feel of the magnets holding the pieces together separating totally engages kids. The safe, non-toxic kit includes a wooden knife and a variety of wooden fruits and veg in a cute basket - you can also use the toy for shape matching, counting, and other early educational concepts.
Elementary kids and tweens will swoon over this neon sign that dresses up their rooms. Often seen in the backgrounds of popular YouTubers and TikTokers, these signs are all the rage among this set! Help them feel more invested in making their spaces their own with cool decor.
What kid wouldn't be mesmerized by this glow in the dark throw blanket come bedtime? The cool celestial pattern glows brightly for 30 minutes on cuddly fleece fabric, just enough time for them to fall asleep. It's so neat I'm thinking of getting one for myself!
Help kids keep a record of their amazingness with this 365 day journal. It features fun, kid-friendly writing prompts to get them going on talking about what they're good at and their hopes. They'll love looking back at it when they're older (you will, too!) so it's really a gift that keeps on giving.
If you remember correctly, the tween and teen years were not for the faint of heart. With all the struggles and growing pains kids face navigating these years, they could use a little reminder that someone's always in their corner. This heartfelt bracelet engraved with "Believe in you like I do" provides a wonderful message they'll love hearing.
Teenage years can be a confusing time - not quite grown up but definitely not a "kid" anymore. Let them know it's ok to indulge their silly side without feeling juvenile with these cute fleece robes in a variety of animal themes. I'm partial to the penguin, but they're all adorable!
Kids want the latest technology, but you don't want to shell out hundreds on something they might lose or break. These affordable ear buds give them the tech they want at a price you'll love! These colorful, waterproof, sweatproof numbers can take hands-free calls as well as play their favorite music and podcasts during workouts or relaxing time, plus gamers can also use them to enhance the gaming experience.
Let them customize their entertainment with this mini bluetooth speaker that comes in all kinds of fun animal themes from monkey to sloth to unicorn and more! They can easily pair it with their tablet or phone to listen to music, play apps, listen to stories, and more. It also includes a "ridiculously fun" Hide and Speak app the whole family can play together!
Elementary kids will love this creative writing journal that has imaginative prompts and tips for creating anything from song lyrics to comics to poems to narratives. They can tell the story of their name, write a letter to themselves, create a secret code, and play a story card game where they piece together sentences to form a zany tale, and more. It'll be a fun keepsake they can read later and cherish as an adult!