Ideas (And Some Advice)

Gift Ideas For Kids (That’ll Make All Of You Happy)

Here’s what’s tricky about getting a gift for a kid, whether your own or someone else’s: You want them to like it, obviously, but you also don’t want to feel deep shame for having unwillingly acquiesced to the machinations of The Man and purchased yet another wholly expendable piece of crap with the words “death blaster” in the name.

These are pretty great, non-shame-inducing picks, IMO. (And I think your kids will love them.)



Strong Is The New Pretty

My daughter is about three years away from being able to appreciate this simple, beautiful, powerful book, and I was still tempted to buy it for her. A must-own for children of any gender.


My First Bunny


This Platonic ideal of a bunny (it’s made by Jellycat, so is the softest thing EVERRRRR) comes in an adorable little box, and totally does not need to be the Official First Bunny in order to be swooned over.



These little plush toys come in shape of everything from scabs and boogers to platelets and antibodies. They are ludicrous and hysterical and strangely adorable, in addition to being educational.

My personal favorite gifts are the box sets – specifically Body Cells, Super Sick Day, and (oh yes) Plagues From Our Past.

Too good.


Koala & Kiwi STEAM Crates

KiwiCo’s monthly subscription service offers age-appropriate boxes for kids from 0-16+ (Koala Crates are for 2-3 year olds, and Kiwi Crates are for ages 5-8). Each box contains age-appropriate tools to teach your child about everything from reptiles to transportation. I especially love that they incorporate the “A” in STEAM – I want my kids to have a solid math and technology background…but really want them to see the value in artistic pursuits, as well.


Taco Booties

You are seeing correctly: these are baby booties shaped like tacos. As if you didn’t already want to munch on those tootsies.


Chalk Full Of Design Chalkboards

I’m obsessed with Chalk Full of Design’s products – from their Step One traceable chalkboards (which teach fine motor skills and letter recognition) to their fill-in-the-blank and cursive styles for slightly older kids – and think they make timeless, beautiful, and eco-friendly gifts.


Wonderhood Toys Building Kits

Created by longtime friends, moms and business school colleagues Andrea Hollander and Solange Schipani, these unique modular building sets are deliberately open-ended. The goal: To encourage kids to use their imaginations (rather than instruction manuals) to bring their architectural dreams to life.

These sets are specifically targeted to girls in an effort to address a serious market absence in the realm of building-focused toys, and I’m psyched to see my daughter play with them – but I’m also really excited to see how my son, whose natural inclination (and skill set) involves following detailed instructions to the letter – handles this kind of free-form construction activity. (And I extra-love the idea of having both of them play with sets that feature female lead characters. Yes, please.)


"Little Activist" Gift Set

This ridiculously on-point and timely set includes a t-shirt (sizes 12T-6T available) and a “Write to the White House” kit. And yeah, okay, it might be a little much for the one-year-olds out there, but for a 5 or 6-year-old? If yours are anything like mine, they’ve been hearing enough around the house that they likely have their own thoughts to voice, and there’s no time like the present to let them know that those thoughts – and words – matter.


Design Your Own Slime Kit

Full disclosure: I’m mostly including this on the list because I really, really want to design my own slime, and if my kids own this kit, they might let me try, too.


Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Wooden Dollhouse

I don’t watch Fixer-Upper (I know, I know, I know) and know virtually nothing about the stars’ aesthetic or product lines, but I was wandering through Target and did a double-take at this dollhouse from their Hearth & Hand collaboration. I mean, it comes filled with teeny-tiny wooden furniture. I want to play with this, and I am 36 years old; I can only imagine how my kids would feel if they woke up to find it on Christmas morning.


Color Your Own Map Pillowcase

Both of my kids have recently developed a serious interest in geography – specifically where they are, how far away they are from other people they know, etc – and this is a fun, interactive (and inexpensive) way to explore the concept of their place on the planet.


Big, by Coleen Paratore

A good friend whose recommendations I trust 100% told me I had to put this book – about what it really means to be “big” (hint: it’s not all about size) – in the gift guide: she said it resounds for all ages, and still gives her the heartswells after countless re-readings.


Classic Globe

A puzzle-style globe like this one is very kid-friendly, with removable pieces that help kids figure out which continent goes where…but I remember being 5, 8, 12 years old, sitting in my grandma’s living room with nothing to do while the grown-ups talked, and spinning her standing globe for hours, fantasizing about all the places I’d never been.

In short: I love the idea of purchasing a stylish, classic globe that the kids can learn from, but that gets to hang around long beyond the Primary Colors Only years.



The “teach infants to code” craze makes me a little eye-roll-y, but also…I mean…

I totally want my kids to learn how to code because that’s AMAZING.

Our 6-year-old got this tiny robot that you can program to perform various functions using strips of color for Christmas last year, and it is as magical as it sounds. (It’s also really cute.) (And ahem, you can totally buy one that looks like Captain America.)

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