Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Kids

Amanda M. Rye

A collection of gift ideas for kids featuring tried and true products that my own kids have truly loved over the years. You’ll find an assortment of games, items for imaginative play, STEM products, tech, and more.

This gift guide was so fun to put together – and offered a moment of reflection to truly think about what items my kids absolutely love in our home. Our current family-favorite? Games! We are all about games and I’m excited to expand our game collection this year.

Below, I share all of the things my kids regularly play with or use over and over again – items that add so much joy and many learning opportunities on a daily basis.

Gifts for Kids


The North Face Thermoball Hooded Jacket

Babiators – We’ve been buying these since Joseph was a baby, and they are virtually indestructible. They make sizes for babies/toddlers and preschoolers.

GAMES – My kids LOVE games. They will often head downstairs on their own in the morning and set up a game for themselves. We have a pretty good selection, and these are their go-to-favorites:


Play Workshop and Utility Bench – Our friends bought a very, very similar tool bench for Joseph’s 2nd birthday, and it was one of the most-used toys in our house for yearssssss. All of the kids would play there When my husband would get out a drill or screwdriver, they found their own tools and “helped” him. They even used it as a kitchen occasionally to stir up pasta, chicken, bread, or coffee with the tools and paint bucket 🙂

Kitchen Tools Play Set – Another big favorite! Isabelle will often bring some over when I’m in the kitchen and try to imitate what I’m using and making. The kids will sit and make pretend meals for themselves 🙂

Wooden Food Groups Set – My aunt bought these for Joseph when he was two, and the kids have all loved playing with them. They bring us food, pretend to have picnics, and it’s good practice to name the different foods. I’m a big, big fan of anything Melissa & Doug – they make such great toys!

Tea Set – Another big hit with all of the kids!

Baby Doll and Baby Doll Stroller – Isabelle LOVES her baby dolls and she got a stroller for them last Chrismtas; they get pushed all over the house.

Doctor’s Kit – Perhaps the single most-used toy in our entire house over the last few years. It gets played with nearly every single day, no exaggeration.

Wooden Blocks – A childhood staple!

LEGO 484 Piece Set – Another staple; our kids rarely build according to any directions but make their own creations using their imaginations.

Action Figures – These also get daily use in our house in a million different ways. These are some of the favorites right now:


Double-Sided Easel – This has been in our playroom since Joseph was a toddler, and it gets an incredible amount of use. It has a chalkboard side and a dry-erase side that you can also clip paper onto. It’s been used for drawing, letting writing, and even painting when we clip easel paper onto it!

LCD Writing Tablet – It’s like a pseudo dry erase board but without the risk of getting marker on everything!

Mosaic Creations Magnetic Designer – This is a big, big hit with both Dominic and Isabelle. They have so much fun building pictures and it’s great for color and number recognition.


Magna-Tiles – A classic! The kids love building with these.

Planetarium Projector – All three kids have this in their rooms. Dominic loves to sleep with the “stars” on and they all love to cycle through the planets in a dark room and see if they can name them. A great, fun alternative to a traditional night light.


Hot Wheels Cars – Our kids (mostly the boys, but sometimes Isabelle, too!) have long been obsessed with any and all cars. Traditional Hot Wheels are most-used in our house and along with accompanying track pieces and sets, they can do so much with different setups.

Wooden Train Track Set – Another classic! We’ve had these tracks for years; at first they would just build randomly, sometimes Joseph would try to copy the track on the box, and now that they are very into auto racing, they will actually build their favorite tracks out of the train tracks. Love the imagination!


Indoor Mini Hockey Rink Set – This gets SO MUCH use in our basement!! The kids have so much fun with it, especially in the winter when they can’t get outside as often to get their energy out.

Electric Football Game – My husband picked this out for Joseph for his 7th birthday last year and he absolutely loves it. It’s completely old-school, and Joseph loves learning about the different play formations and setting up the players. A great option for a kid who loves football.


Magnetic Calendar – Joseph got one of these when he was in preschool and then Dominic and Isabelle got their own. They’ve loved “doing their calendar” in the morning, especially during their preschool years. It’s fun for them and a great learning tool, too.

Binoculars – A guaranteed hit for all kids!

Camera – Another guaranteed hit; our kids love being able to take their own pictures.

Nintendo Switch – The kids love it and it’s a good distraction for Dominic when he has to be in the hospital for treatments and procedures.

TELL ME! What would you add to this list? Are there any items that your kids or grandchildren absolutely love?


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