Holiday Gift Guide: Cool Gifts for Kids

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YAY, the annual gift guides are here, and these are the best ones yet! Here's cool gifts that are kid tested, mom approved.

HOW TO USE THIS GIFT GUIDE: Let’s kick off Gift Guide week with Cool Gifts for Kids! These were hand-picked by my kids as THE gifts of the year (and no Hatchimals in sight, they can get one in January after the hype dies down.) Since all kids and needs are different, I’ve organized them into sections such as technology, creative gifts, pretend play, STEM, and more. My kids don’t differentiate between ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ toys and neither does this list. While most fall in the elementary age range, there are toys that will young and old alike will love. As always, these are toys that we either already own and love or will be found under the tree from Santa this year. Kid tested, mom approved.

First and foremost, if you have a LEGO fan in the house, STOP EVERYTHING and grab these LEGO advent calendars while you can! You’ll want them to arrive before December 1st and they sell out quickly. The three current sets this year are as follows (go ahead, add them to your cart, I’ll wait here):

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

While you’re there, I always recommend purchasing the Open It and having it on hand Christmas morning (and all year long, really). It makes opening packages a cinch, no more ER visits thanks to a stubborn plastic package that feels like razor blades as it slices your hand. Plus the small screwdriver is the perfect size for those annoying battery compartments.

Now that you have those in your cart, let’s get to the list!

STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math) Toys That Make Learning Fun

Minecraft Building Set  Get off the screen and into realtime building with this fun Minecraft set! We tested it out and my Minecraft obsessed son loves it. It does not come with any Minecraft figures so you’ll need to purchase those separately, however there’s a CraftTable that converts diamonds to a diamond pickax and it comes with all those pieces. Whatever that means. I’m just reporting back what Ben says, and he is loving it.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Magic Science Wizard Set  This science set gets four thumbs up from my two kiddos, to the point where I had to hide it because they were conducting unsupervised experiments at 6AM. Harry Potter fans can pretend they’re in potions class and learn scientific concepts at the same time. And at the time of this post, the price is super low and can’t be beat!

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

KEVA Structures Plank Set  My son has these at this school and raves about them so I was excited to find them online. KEVA pine planks are precision cut blocks that stack and stack with surprising stability. Narrow towers can reach the ceiling. Cantilevers can balance beyond belief. No glue or connectors are used, just gravity and imagination.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Kids First Amusement Park Engineer Set  This is a great first set for aspiring builders. Beautifully written storybook manuals guide kids on an educational and fun engineering adventure, with 97 colorful and chunky building pieces that are perfect for little hands. This kit includes a large plastic storage carrying case (hooray, storage!) and simple assembly instructions for 20 different amusement park models.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Awesome LEGO Creations with the Bricks You Already Have  Listen, my son loves his LEGO sets but honestly I can’t handle any more of them! This book gives great ideas for making creations using the bricks you already own.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

SnapCircuits Jr.  Man oh man, my son LOVES these! SnapCircuits can create all kinds of fun projects from a room alarm to making a plastic egg glow. This is the next thing for LEGO lovers who want to build cool projects.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook  Have an aspiring inventor? They’ll love this sketchbook with plenty of ideas for drawing inventions galore.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Smithsonian Inventor’s Studio Kit  SparkLab Smithsonian kits are perfect for the child who has ideas for cool inventions but doesn’t know where to start. They include 120+ fun materials and a 3D idea starter to help kids practice the invention process and come up with a cool product they make themselves.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Power Pen and Learning Cards  These self-testing learning cards are such a blast kids won’t know they’re learning! Don’t forget the Power Pen to go with it. As a former teacher and now a mom, I can say that games like this are a fun way to support learning at home without tears.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Magnatiles  I know, I know. I’ve included Magnatiles in the kids gift guide for the past 4 years. But to this day, this is the ONE TOY my son has used almost daily. They’re great for small kids because they work surprisingly well, and older kids can make more complex structures and mix them with other toy sets too. My best advice is to get the 100 piece set– yes it’s pricier, but you can make SO much more than the smaller sets. This gift has paid for itself many times over thanks to the hours of use it gets each week and after 4 years it’s still in amazing condition.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Cozy Gifts

Jellycats  Kids love Jellycats. Adults love Jellycats. Even if you are swimming in stuffed animals, you can always find room for these adorable additions to the Jellycat line: a reindeer, swan, hedgehog, and ostrich. If you’ve never held a Jellycat, you need to know they are super soft and kids adore them!

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Mermaid Tail Blanket  These blankets not only keep kids toasty warm but do so in style! They’re all the rage right now and come in dozens of different patterns and colors.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Active Toys to Get Kids Moving

Nerf Rebelle Agent Bow Blaster  My daughter keeps asking for a bow and arrow set (hello, future Katniss?!) and this one looks awesome. Arrows are soft tipped, whistle as they fly, and there’s even a secret code and decoder component.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Razor RipRider 360 Caster Trike  This trike is on casters so it’s able to spin and drift and go super fast! With a hi-impact front wheel and a flat-free tire, it’s perfect for active kids who feel the need for speed.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Portable and Foldable Trampoline with Padded Frame and Handle  If you have active kiddos, you’re always looking for ways to get out that energy even in the middle of winter and this trampoline fits the bill. It’s also great for kids who are working on gross motor skills. And sometimes… sometimes, kids just need to jump.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

OgoDisk Set  This hand trampoline for balls and water balloons is a huge hit. Gets kids running and laughing as they use the disks to launch and bounce balls. Try it with water balloons in the pool.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Hoop Shoot  Looking for kids to stay active this winter? Set up the hoop shoot in your garage, playroom or basement for indoor play even on the coldest days.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Wired Toys

My Audio Pet (Wireless Bluetooth Speakers)  These wireless bluetooth speakers fill the room with powerful, rich, and clear sound right from your phone or tablet! Kids will love playing tunes in their own room from a bluetooth enabled smartphone or tablet, plus it comes equipped with a hands-free microphone as well. Five star rated on Amazon and they are super cute to boot.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Mighty Bright Book Light  Stocking stuffer alert: the bookworms in your life will appreciate their very own light to read past the time they should probably be in bed. 😉

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Apple iPad with Protective Case  If you invest in a iPad for the kids, be sure to get a kid-proof case to protect your investment. This shock proof iPad case with stand will keep it safe. We use ours mainly for homework assignments (there are so many educational sites these days) and streaming movies, but if you’re worried about too much screentime these technology tickets have been a total game-changer in our home.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Remote Control Self-Balancing Robot   My daughter went through a robot stage and loves this self-balancing robot! He zooms around the room and can dance and even bring you items on a tray.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Toys that Encourage Pretend Play

Crazy Forts  Tired of kids ransacking the couches for cushions to build their forts? :: raises hand :: Crazy Forts solves that problem by creating an easy way to come up with the frame. As the reviews suggest, it works perfectly as long as you read the instructions. Also, you do need your own blankets to cover the frame. This is such a brilliant way to build and rebuild forts for pretend play. Consider getting two sets if using with several kids or you wish to make large structures.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Camper Van Pop-Up Tent  This retro popup tent is perfect for pretend play both indoors and out. Also, let’s be honest– you’ll be the coolest kids on the beach if you bring this along.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Minecraft Animation Studio  I love toys that encourage interactive use of technology as opposed to simply staring at a screen. The Minecraft Animation Studio does just that by allowing kids to make one-of-a-kind Minecraft films. It combines real-life objects with a mobile app so that kids can direct their own beginnings and endings using the props provided. Watch as creativity abounds while they create their own plots and storylines. You’ll need a smartphone or tablet but this set really brings the game to life.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Gifts that Spark Creativity

Rock and Roll It Flexible Drum Set  Get this: the drum is flexible so when you’re done playing, you can roll it back up into its box for storage. It includes 2 drum sticks and pedals for the bass drum & hi hat, giving the feel of playing a real drum. Plus, kids can plug headphones right in and practice without everyone getting a headache. 😉

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Artist Studio Easy Spin Pottery Wheel  The creatives in your life will love their very own easy spin pottery wheel with soft clay! This set comes with everything: the pottery wheel, clay, and tools. Recommended for ages 8+, plug it in and watch the creativity come out.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Wikki Sticks  Stick these on car windows during long car rides or keep in a baggie in your purse to keep kids occupied while shopping or other times you’re bound to hear ‘Mom, I’m bored!’

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Perler Beads  There are thousands of ideas for using Perler Beads, and while whipping out the iron to make them is a drag the smiles on my kids faces as their creations come to life is worth it. A few moments of ironing is a small price to pay to see the hilarious and creative items they make! We love the sorted bead trays which make finding colors a breeze.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

Family Game Night

Any of the classic board games make great gifts, but this year my kids have been begging for new games Yeti in my Spaghetti and Blokus to add to our collection.

YAY, the annual holiday gift guides are here, and these have the best gift ideas yet! These cool gifts for kids are kid tested, mom (and Santa) approved.

There’s a lot of love and happy hours of togetherness on this list. Be sure to let us know which toys are your favorites, whether they were on the list or not this year!

XOXO, Carrie

YAY, the annual gift guides are here, and these are the best ones yet! Here's cool gifts that are kid tested, mom approved.

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Wow!! These are great gift picks, Carrie. Love the Lego book, science kit and that Snap Circuit thing. You are clearly a lover of science!! I might just get the pottery wheel for myself! As for the Lego Advent calendar, I can tell that my husband has been eying that because it keeps appearing in my Amazon browser ads. Hmmm. Thank you for all the research!

    1. I definitely love me some science, D! And I know how you feel about scientists. 😉 XOXO!

  2. Great stuff! We have a few of these already (big hits) but there are some really cool items here. I agree with Denine- that lego book is just what we need! 🙂

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