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With all the birthdays, holidays, and even just the random trips to Target it’s easy for your house to be overrun with your kids’ toys.
Every year I vow to get the kids less stuff for Christmas and ask family to give more practical gifts, but we all know how that goes.
Since I haven’t been able to realistically reel in the gift giving, I figured I’d at least try to go more practical with what gifts I’m gifting my kids or sending to others for ideas.
I put together a list of the the best Christmas gifts for kids that are both practical and fun! Plus, I’m also sharing how you can make room for the inevitable new toys, as well as experience gifts and stocking stuffers for kids too!
Make sure to scroll all the way through or simply skip to the good part and shop my Amazon store here.
As with any toys, be mindful of the age and supervision needed to play with the toy.
Table of Contents
How to Prepare for More Toys
There are several ways to prepare for the addition of new toys when a birthday or holiday rolls around.
What works in our family is to go around the house and fill up laundry baskets or garbage bags for toys we can donate or the ones that have reached the end of their life and unfortunately aren’t worth saving.
If you don’t have the patience for that, you can certainly take the route of doing it yourself and ruthlessly raiding every cupboard, bin, and closet to donate or trash what you know your kids haven’t played with in months.
Experience Gifts for Kids
One of my favorite gift ideas to give family members for my kids are experience gifts. Not only does it give your kids an opportunity to spend time with family, if they choose to participate in the experience, it’s not another plastic toy that moves into my house.
Experience Gifts Ideas for Kids
- Movie or theater tickets
- Zoo passes
- Science museum passes
- Swimming lessons
- Nail appointment
- Cooking or baking classes
- Concert tickets
- Gift card to favorite restaurant
- Music lessons
Little Tikes Jumpy House
The Little Tikes Jumpy house was one of the best Christmas gift for kids that we received. My kids got this for Christmas from my parents one year and we planned it so they opened all of their presents, then had it blown up in our basement for one last surprise.
You can use it both inside and outside and living in Minnesota, it helps my kids be active and get their wiggles out even when it’s below zero outside.
Yoto Audio Player
My kids also each got a Yoto Audio Player for Christmas when they were three and five and they use them every day.
To be honest, I had actually already purchased a Tonies Box for each of them, accessories and all, but then I learned about Yoto and I decided to switch and I couldn’t be happier.
Tonies are great, but I do think the Yoto player has more to offer, is more affordable in the long run, and grows with children better.
Check out the comparison I did for each.
Play kitchens are not only one of the best Christmas gifts for kids, but they’re great for pretend play with food! And if you have a picky eater, pretend play with food can be extremely helpful!
It can be overwhelming trying to find the right play kitchen for your kids with all the options available. We happened to snag our Ikea play kitchen off of Facebook Market Place for my daughter when she was two.
If you’re really looking to splurge, Pottery Barn Kids has some amazing options and sometimes you can find them on sale.
If you can’t find a hand me down or gently used option, here are a few options to consider:
By far one of the best gifts we’ve given to our kids. We got my daughter a Guidecraft Kitchen helper (use family10 for 10% off) when she was two years old and it allows here to safely and easily be at the counter to help make dinner, wash her hands, and so much more.
We’ve now upgraded to the double kitchen helper so both my kids can fit in it without fighting too much.
A kitchen helper is definitely up there as one of the best Christmas gifts for kids. It’s a great option to give as an idea for grandparents or other family members to gift.
Fort Building Kits
My kids love building forts, but I don’t love that they enjoy using my couch cushions and turning our living room into a jungle gym.
We have both the Crazy Forts Fort Playset and the Tote A Fort Blanket Fort Kit. We’ve had other fort building kits that have been nothing but disappointing, but these both have held up and we’ve made countless forts and memories with them.
Amazon Fire Tablet
I swore when I had kids, I’d never get them a tablet. Then I had kids.
We got my daughter an Amazon Fire Tablet for Christmas when she was four. The primary purpose of the tablet was to be used for long car rides, not necessarily on a daily basis – but I get it if that’s what works for your family! My in-laws are a five hour car ride away and my parents a two hour car ride, so they definitely come in handy.
We also got wireless headphones to go with them as well.
Another option as one of the best Christmas gifts for kids is the Osmo. Essentially you use an Ipad or Iphone as the base for educational and interactive games.
My kids love it because they get to use a device and I love it because it’s educational.
They have several options from math, spelling, creativity, and more!
Note that the Ipad or Iphone do not come with the Osmo. You must already have or purchase separately.
Magnetic Building Toys
My son loves to build, so naturally magnetic building toys are a hit in our house. We enjoy the PowerClix brand from Guidecraft. They have both bright and neutral colors. Use code Family10 for 10% off.
As always, use with caution and always supervise your child while they play with magnetic toys.
Gabb Watch for Kids
We live in a neighborhood filled with kids, but I never felt comfortable letting my kids go to the park or play with friends by themselves.
We got a Gabb Watch for my daughter (6 years old) this summer and it’s given me peace of mind knowing I can let her play with friends, but also locate and communicate with her if needed.
There’s no access to the internet and they can only communicate with people that you make accessible to them. It also has a task feature where they can earn coins for doing certain tasks, as well as pick an animal to take care of.
Every other year I get my kids a new bath robe. It’s practical and they still semi-enjoy it as a gift. I usually give it to them in their Christmas Eve boxes – a box filled with comfy items.
Christmas Eve Box Ideas
- Hot cocoa
- Hot cocoa mug
- Stuffed animal
I typically grab a few holiday pajamas when they go on clearance after the holidays for the next year.
I have found great luck with the holiday pajamas at Target and they usually go on sale right before the holidays. Plus they have matching pajamas for the whole family for a reasonable price.
You can never go wrong with an art easel as a gift for kids. We have the Guidecraft Martha Stewart Crafting Kids’ Easel and not only do my kids love it, it also looks great.
If your child has any interest in cooking or baking, I highly recommend a baking kit so they can really get into character.
Even if you don’t want to get a whole kit, kid-safe knives are a great start and also work as a stocking stuffer.
My kids have also received scooters for Christmas and they use them almost more than their bikes.
Both my kids have come down on Christmas morning to a bike. My daughter got a brand new bike that was three times too big for her and for my son, I scored a Spiderman bike off Facebook Market Place for only $30.
Every year for Christmas my uncle gets my kids a new game, so our collection is slowly building with all the classics, but a few newer ones too.
We’ve also decided that moving forward we’re going to prioritize family game night so we need to get going on building our collection even more!
The one game we play quite a bit is Uno. We even have a mini deck to take along and play when we’re out to eat.
Here’s a few classics that are great to start with:
- Connect 4
- Guess Who
- Candy Land
- Don’t Break the Ice
- Pretty Pretty Princess
Legos are one of few activities that my kids actually get along while doing so I’m here to buy all the Legos if that means my kids won’t fight. Plus there has to be some kind of educational benefit to putting all those little pieces together.
I’m still in search of finding the best Lego organizing system, but for now I’ll have to settle for this toy storage basket.
Want to get your child a toy that helps them learn, but still think is the coolest thing ever? Get a science kit!
Most kids science kits come with many different experiments that will keep your kids busy for the whole year. They will actually think learning is cool.
I like to whip my daughters science kit out when she’s having a hard day and I ask her to pick out 2-3 experiments. She always gets excited and can shift out of a bad mood if it means doing cool science experiments.
Right up there with fort building kits, tents are a great gift option for kids.
For some reasons it makes them so excited to sleep in a tent versus their bed and you can easily set up a small tent in the smallest of spaces.
We also have backyard campouts where we set up a tent, sleeping bags, and outdoor projector where we watch a movie and have a sleep over literally in our backyard.
Stocking Stuffers for Kids
Growing up I always loved opening up our stocking stuffers. My mom, I mean Santa, even wrapped every Chapstick, tooth paste, and body wash that was left in our stockings.
As I shop for my kids’ stocking stuffers, I try not to go overboard and stick to what fits, but some years they still spill over.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas
- Water bottle
- Good2Grow Juices
- Kid-safe knives
- Electric tooth brush
- Bath bombs
- Fidget toys
- Lifesaver storybooks – we got these very year!
- Yoto cards
- Dino Bars – familynutritionist10 for 10% off
- Pokémon Cards
- Their favorite candy
- Hair product
- Hair accessories
- PEZ dispenser
- Wikki Stix
- Childrens chopsticks
- Food picks
- Mini cookie cutters
If you have a picky eater at home, almost all of my recommended picky eater tools would be a great option!
It’s hard to avoid an influx of stuff around the holidays if you have kids. However, you can be thoughtful about the gifts you give or ideas you give to friends and family and aim for items they’ll use time and time again.