So now that we’re past Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the massive deal days, I feel like I have an actual handle on my holiday list. Typically, the kiddos make up the bulk of our holiday shopping, and I was DETERMINED to get it wrapped up early this year. And while I haven’t quite checked everything off my list, I’ve gotten MOST of it done. At least for the kids. And let me tell you….does it feel good!
But, I feel like it can be tough to come up with great ideas for kids under the age of 5, mostly because they don’t really know what to ask for yet. I have a ton of friends who’ve been asking around for gift ideas, which has given me some really fabulous insight as to what everyone’s getting their kiddos for the holidays. And so, I’ve pulled together a little giftable list for the under 10 crowd…which you can check out below!
For the littlest of littles, use this as your Christmas stock up opportunity. Obviously the little littles don’t need a million toys to keep themselves occupied, but it’s fun to have a few new little things around. Tobbles, the FIsher Price stack and roll cups, teethers, etc. are all great finds.
If your kiddo is getting close to walking, a walk behind rolling toy is a great choice – you could do one of the actual walkers, or even a shopping cart (my kids still adore playing with both!).
I’ve always done a super soft blankie and new lovey for this age group, and you can also use their stocking as an excuse to stock up on child proofing accessories. For these little ones, it’s easy to get them a smattering of fun new toys for less than $100, which feels like such a deal compared to my kids today!
2 and Under – Boys and Girls
At the younger ages, I’ve found this amazing trick for gift shopping. Step one: go to Amazon. Step two: type in Melissa & Doug. Step three: Peruse and buy. My kids have always LOVED anything we order from Melissa and Doug. The toys hold up super well, and they always have inventive things that you just can’t find anywhere else. And Amazon definitely has better prices than anywhere else for this brand.
Some of my favorites from last year: the pull back cars, the water wow books (AMAZING for kids ages 1-5), the latch puzzles, the bean bag toss game, the hungry pelican (Chris’s favorite and it’s on sale this week!), the birdhouse sorter (soft toy) and the soft building blocks. OH! And Mr. Potato Head. Ricky still plays with them, and Christopher loves them too!
I ordered a bunch of new stuff for the 2+ crowd on Black Friday for Christopher this year, and on Thursday and Friday of this week, I’ll be opening up my Amazon purchases for Christopher for THIS Christmas on Facebook Live – be sure to follow if you want to check them out!)
Pretend cell phones have always been a hit with my kids at this age, bath toys are super fun, and anything that moves (trucks, helicopters, emergency vehicles) are always well loved around here.
And oftentimes I’ll go with a theme for the bulk of my kids’ gifts. When Ricky was 2, Santa brought him a train table and train set, then we also got him toys that he could play with on top of the train table, like duplos and a race car track. This year, they’re getting a kitchen from Santa and we’ll stock up on pots and pans, food, etc.
3 to 5 year olds
This is the age when kids start to really get into electronics. There are tons of “starter” style devices your kids can try. The Leap Pad is a great one. We have an older tablet that we now dub the kids’ tablet, letting Ricky pick out new apps and games (and getting the full version of the games) is a huge treat. If you’re looking for a good kids’ tablet that’s actually kid friendly, Nabi makes on that has awesome reviews.
All that said, we limit screen time at our house, and try to keep the kids focused on “real” toys more often than not. Legos are a huge hit around here. Ricky got started on the Juniors sets last Christmas, which helped him really get the hang of using the instructions and building. He’s graduated to some of the more difficult sets now, and that’s literally the only thing on his Christmas list.
Kinetic sand, plus some shape molds or construction vehicles, are a huge hit at our house. Although I will say to get a nice, deep bin for your kids to play in. Originally I had Ricky dump it into a glass Pyrex dish at the table when he wanted to play, and a lot would fall over the edges onto the table, and it totally scratched up my kitchen set.
Make believe is so big, too. Pretend workshops, shopping carts, doll stuff, dress up clothes – all of this stuff makes for a GREAT Christmas gift. We have a big basket of dress up options that I pull out when the weather gets cold, and my kids love pretending. Construction toys have been a much loved item at our house as well (and we have the giant sized bin to prove it!).
Another theme that was really fun for Ricky recently was his space-themed birthday. We found a nice kids telescope on Amazon for around $60, it came with lots of solar system maps, and also got him space-themed books and puzzles, and the KidKraft Space Station to play with. It’s been a HUGE hit!
Go for Experiences
Experience-based gifts are a big part of our holiday/birthday giving as well. Usually I’ll time a fun trip to the Zoo or the Children’s Museum with a birthday or a holiday, and we just spend the day seeing all the things that they have to offer.
This year, Ricky’s asked for ice skates and hockey lessons, so we might give that a try during his week off from school. Our local Children’s Theater also has lots of matinee performances that are a fun treat for the 3-5 crew!
I like to stock up on age-appropriate art supplies for the kiddos at Christmastime, too. They make great stocking stuffers! You can get great deals on construction paper, glue, kid scissors, markers, crayons, etc. on Amazon as “add-on” items for your orders. I also find tons of great stickers in the dollar section at Target. Also, Ikea has tons of basic art supplies for pretty cheap stock up items.
And if you’re looking for some of the extra fun art supplies, try the Do a Dot paint markers, Kwik Stix solid tempura paint sticks (current favorite at my house – we LOVE how concentrated the color comes out!), Wiki Stix, and the Alex art kits (which you can sometimes find in the dollar section at Target, too).
Up Next: shopping for the hubs
So, what’s on YOUR list for the kiddos this year?