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I think we’re all inclined to want to buy fewer toys for our kids. Most of them have more than they need and probably don’t play much with the things they do have.
That’s why it’s a great idea to buy things that support a child’s interests beyond just the latest and greatest toy or piece of technology.
With that in mind I’ve collected some gift ideas for creative kids that you might want to add to your shopping list. And check out many, many more gift guides here for ideas for all the young ones on your list.
Art and Craft Supplies
Of course we have more art supplies than we could reasonably use already, but I usually can’t resist a little something special or different.
I love finding a product or medium we haven’t tried before, like watercolor pencils or fun shaped crayons, for a stocking stuffer.
For kids who have a specific interest like drawing or painting or working with clay, you can get a specialized kit or tool, or if you have a child who is interested in learning a new craft (or who you’d like to get interested in a new craft) you can choose a kit or make your own that will help them get started.
You can also find kits like this space model kit that sort of straddle the line between puzzle and craft and could be really fun for kids who aren’t normally that crafty who you might want to encourage with a project geared toward their interests.
I’m planning to finally make my daughter a fiber arts kit (sewing, knitting, embroidery) this year that I hope will get her more excited about trying to learn to knit and sew beyond the sewing on plastic canvas she is already doing.
Fill a basket, a suitcase, a bag, whatever with goodies and see what your kid comes up with. You could even give a tinkering box, or a collection of random goodies, and make something together while the holiday meal is cooking.
Blocks and Puzzles
There are so many different kinds of blocks and we own a lot of them, from colorful square alphabet blocks (ours are from Uncle Goose) to Melissa and Doug architectural blocks, colored blocks, tree blocks, magnet blocks and tons of LEGOs.
You can buy specific LEGO kits related to something your kid loves, three-dimensional puzzles of all sorts (I have a spaceship one I’ve been holding onto for the girl) and all different kinds of magnetic blocks, which are fun for kids and adults alike and I definitely recommend them if you’ve never had them before. I’m contemplating yet another set of them, mostly because I want to play with them.
Here I will use the word toys because these sorts of items kind of are toys and games but they are great for kids who love to tinker, explore things and learn how things work.
I kind of hate that GoldieBlox needs to exist, because I with it didn’t take “girl themed” engineering toys to get girls (or their parents) excited about engineering. I’m not sure it is necessary, but the girl has the Spinning Machine one and she really likes it. So if you’re shopping for a girl you might want to keep that in mind.
That said, I also want to get some Snap Circuits for her this year so she can start doing some electronics.
We also need to pull out Robot Turtles again, which is a really cute game that helps teach younger kids (it’s rated 4 and up) about computer programming.
Another gift I love to give is musical instruments. We got the girl a little drum for her birthday, and while she doesn’t play it much, it’s nice that she has a real musical instrument that is not a toy.
I think the little thumb piano I got my husband for his birthday would be a good choice for a kid, or even an old-school keyboard if you want to see if your child has any interest in music before you buy a bigger, better model.
There are so many great kits out there you can buy and have sent to your home to encourage your kids to make or tinker.
We used to get Kiwi Crates for a long time and the girl loves, them, we just ended up with a backlog of stuff to make from them. That said, I’m still thinking hard about a storytelling crate. If you’re worried a kit is too restraining, there are ways to use these boxes in unprescribed ways that makes them a lot of fun beyond the instructions.
They have a range of offerings now they didn’t have when I subscribed:
- Kiwi Crate for ages 5-8
- Tinker Crate for ages 9-16
- Koala Crate for ages 3-4
- Doodle Crate for ages 9-16
Green Kid Crafts is another great option, full of STEM science projects and crafts to help kids learn, and I’m sure there are many, many more.
Also, make sure you check out the other gift guides from my fellow bloggers. Here are a few of my favorites: