Need help finding that perfect Christmas gift for those special little ones in your life?
Here is this years curated list of the best gifts for boys and girls by theme (& age). Included gift ideas are Nature, STEM, Science, Arts & Crafts, popular Book Sets & Family Games.
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Nature Gift Ideas
Preschool – 7 Years
Bugs world insect marbles set of 15 with magnifying glass. This is a super cool exploration set for kids to get to know more about bugs. Use this set to identify & classify bugs, then go on your own backyard bug hunt! Not for kids under 3 years.
Bug Box– every good bug hunter needs a safe place to store their haul. This container is great for catch, observe & release.
Backyard nature explorer tool kit– this handy kit comes with tools to help pick up and examine insects.
Bug Explorers Deluxe Set– this set has it all. My 5 year old son insisted we include this in our gifts post. We ended up building our own like this but this set would have saved us time & money. It includes a bug box, bug collecting tools, flashlight, compass, binoculars, specimen jars, a net, whistle & toy insects.
Outdoor Explorer costume this is another item my son insisted on, not just to include in this post but he put it on his Christmas list since it’s the only nature toy he “needs”.
Inspire nature drawing & writing with these awesome stick pencils.
Wooden Craft Slices – use for nature crafts, fairy gardens or to make ornaments.
Pressed Flower Art Kit– BYOF (bring your own flowers)! This set comes with everything you need to make for trinket boxes, greeting cards, pressed flower crafts & bookmarks (flowers not included). This set is best for kids 5 & up.
DIY Fairy Nightlight Lantern Kit includes materials for 2 kids’ fairy lanterns per kit. A super fun DIY project that kids can use. My nieces are getting this for Christmas for sure!
Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail is a book is a great beginning field guide for your next hike or nature walk.
After you’ve discovered your nature treasures why not make it into something to admire! Crafting with Nature explores how to make simple homemade gifts, crafts & recipes using natural materials you can grow or find yourself.
The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs is an awesome collection of observations from one explorer’s experience and learning how to trust your instincts when out in nature. It may be suitable for children 7 & up or avid nature enthusiasts as it is not a picture book.
Plant a Fairy Garden! This is a great beginning gardening project for kids ages 3- 9.
STEM Gift Ideas
VIAHART Brain Flakes are a great alternative to block play. They inspire the same open ended creativity but come with step-by-step directions for kids & other adults (like me) who need help getting started. This set is 500 pieces.
TinkerToy is a modern (plastic) version of the original wooden set. This set includes 200 pieces & you may want to get more than one box depending on how grand your child’s projects are.
Brickyard Building Blocks are a STEM based construction & engineering toy. This set comes with 163 pieces and several wrenches for more cooperative play & less arguing over tools or pieces. This set includes a building guide for help getting started with constructing vehicles, animals, robots & more.
Glow STEM Terrarium Kit is a wonderful beginning gardening project for kids & parents (or grandparents). It lights up at night and sprouts within days.
Ages 4 & up
Code & Go Robot Mouse– this is a great tactile, visual coding set for kids to learn how to code.
This Whirligig kit comes with 106 pieces, instruction booklet & are BPA lead & phthalates free! This is a STEM based block set that is best for kids 5 years & up!
Botley This award winning toy (Top Toy of the Year 2019) is a screen free ready to code robot with smart logic (can detect objects in its path & avoid them). It comes with a remote programmer (so no smart phone or iPad are needed) & “grows” with you child. It has hidden features your child can unlock as they gain coding skills.
Bloxels is a programmable video game system that combines digital & screen free video game building experience. This educational toy is for kids 8 & up. I am NOT a fan of video games (at all). My son has been asking for them since he was 4 and I’m holding off as long as I can before these are introduced. (This is becoming increasingly harder since some of his friends are already using them.) WHEN I am ready, this will be our first set so at least he’s learning something and understands the concepts for basic coding.
This Gravity Maze marble run is a “big kid” version of the marble run I shared on last years list. This super cool STEM toy has won several awards including Toy of the Year & Parents Choice. It has 60 challenges from beginner to expert and is best for kids ages 8+.
Snap Circuits Jr. is an electronics exploration kit for kids ages 8 and up. It offers over 100 different electronics circuit projects and has a full color manual.
DIY Spider Robot is a great beginning robot to build with your child. It is intended for children ages 8 and up (even though the description on Amazon says otherwise). Kids who are more advanced in robotics may be able to put it together however supervision is recommended. This is a plastic educational toy and may not have the durability needed to outlast younger robot enthusiasts.
PANLOS Robot STEM building brick toy is compatible with other well know bricks & this set includes instructions to build 12 different projects.
Beginning STEM Robotic Car & Arduino Learner kit helps you build your very own remote controlled smart car
SCIENCE Gift Ideas
Ages 5 & Up
Kids Science Kit includes over 60 experiments. Like most science kits please note that additional household items will be required for some of the experiments. Please read ahead so you know what materials are needed before getting the kids excited about science.
DIY Bacteria Science with these pre-poured agar plates and an award winning science experiment book.
This award winning JR Scientist Kit is a 22-piece set that includes: beaker, magnifying glass, funnel, eyedropper, flask, tweezers, goggles, 1 large 6″ test tube (with lid and stand), 2 small test tubes (with lids and stands), plus 10 activity cards.
Disgusting Science Kit teaches “fun facts about body parts, byproducts and become completely grossed out as you take science to a whole new level. Create a stinky intestine, slimy snot, fake blood and learn how to grow friendly molds and bacteria”.
Dancing Bear Rocks, Minerals & Fossils Kit comes with educational identification sheets, 2 break open Geodes, there is a sorting activity as well. This is a GREAT addition or start to any rock collection!
Magic Science Kit for Wizards Only is recommended for kids ages 6 & up (with supervision). Make your own wand, potions & more with this 9 activity set.
Ages 7 and up
Weather Science Kit by 4M is a fun way to explore our weather. You can experiment with static electricity (which causes lightning), build a desktop water cycle model, and even make clouds in the palm of your hand.
National Geographic Fossil Dig Kit comes with a chisel, brush and magnifying glass and learning guide. The Kit includes fossils for dinosaurs, sharks, brachiopods, mosasaurs, ammonites & more.
Crayola Chemistry Set includes 16 out of the box science experiments & additional ideas for further chemistry experimentation. Be sure to read the instructions to make sure you have all of the materials needed for each experiment.
Combustion Science Lab Kit 25+ DIY projects including; Make Your Own Rockets, Helium Balloons, Fizzy Bombs, Color Explosions, etc. This set is best for kids ages 8 & up.
BYO- Break You Own Geodes kit includes 12 whole high quality geodes.
Ages Nine & Up
This award winning Chemistry Kit is for serious jr chemists and kids 11 years and up!
This is the best value for the money if you’re looking into a beginning microscope. It’s best suited for kids ages 9 & up (but could be used with younger science enthusiasts , just not independently).
Prepared Microscope Slides includes 25 prepared slides (slides are labeled) including plants, insects, and animal tissues & a wooden case.
Kids Labs Anti-Gravity Set includes materials to experiment with floating a pencil, levitating a screw, building a maglev, and more.
4M Crystal Growing Experimental Kit comes with all of the materials needed to grow 7 different types of crystals and includes display cases for when the crystals are fully formed. Best for kids ages 10+.
Arts & Crafts Gift Ideas
Ages 3 & up
ALEX Popsicle Stick Art Kit. This kit comes with everything you need to bring your child’s imagination to life… with Popsicle sticks! You can create their suggested 7 animal and flower projects or invent your own.
Kids standing art easel– These are a childhood necessity as far as I am concerned. He was gifted one for Christmas when he was 3 and I’m sure it’s our most used item to date! This double sided easel comes with chalk, dry erase markers and a paper roll and magnetic chalk board & white board. We paint outside when the weather is good and inside on rainy days!
Melissa & Doug Art Companion Set I try to buy our refills or back up supplies at the same time I order the main gift This way I’m always prepared & I don’t have to look up what size or type of refills I need. This is the most complete set I have seen. It has a dry erase marker, eraser, 4 bottles of paint, 4 color coded (low mess) paint containers, paintbrushes, a paper roll & chalk.
Kwik Stix are a low mess alternative to painting. They are solid tempera paint sticks that are easy to clean up. I like the metallic set because of the realistic gold & silver and the brightness of the other colors. I am sure I have recommended these before somewhere on my blog but they save so much time washing the paint containers & brushes they are worth a double mention!
This drop cloth is 36″ x 48″ and is great for under the standing easel or to protect table top art projects.
Art Supplies Kit is another staple in our household. I used to buy bargain supplies (or the good stuff on sale during the back to school frenzy) but eventually I had so much & it was hard to store (and remember where I put it). Now we get a new art supplies kit each year for Christmas. It’s the gift that keeps on giving… my son has about a year of art supplies and I have emergency or rainy day supplies on hand!
Have you tried Dot art yet? These are pretty popular with Preschoolers and Kindergartners. It is a different way to color and helps with hand-eye coordination and fine motor.
12 x 18 Construction paper is my favorite because there are so many uses. Buy the size of paper you have room to store! Sun Works is my favorite brand but my tip is to buy the value pack (150 assorted sheets) in the summer, its far more economical. It’s great product for the price. I prefer the larger sheets because there is more surface area to draw or you can make your own journals by folding it in half and put copy paper inside. We staple it so it lasts a bit longer and the pages don’t fall out. If you really want it to last faux laminate the cover (after it’s been drawn on) with clear packing tape or translucent contact paper.
ARTS & CRAFTS STORAGE
Ages 5 & Up
This Crayola Art Kit is a great starter or replenishment kit! It comes with 16 crayons, 16 glitter crayons, 16 construction paper crayons, 8 “skinny” markers, 12 short colored pencils, 30 coloring pages, 30 sheets mini construction paper, 1 washable glue stick, 12 colored chalk, 8 classic Ultra-Clean broad line markers, and 1 reusable storage tub.
Crayola Glitter Art kit comes with 8 Glitter Crayons, 5 Glitter Tubes, 5 Glitter Chalk Sticks, 1 Glitter Marker, 1 Color-Your-Own Sticker Sheet, and 30 Sheets of Construction Paper
Kids can make backpack hooks, charms, bracelets and more with this Loom Band Set.
Recycled Paper Beads is a great Eco-friendly crafting tool. Kids make their own recycled beads out of piece of paper. From there they can make their own bracelets & necklaces.
Age 7 & Up
This “big kid” art set literally has it all!
This is the economical version of the and is a great value for the price if you’re looking for a more serious art kit.
I Love Unicorns Craft Kit comes with 6 different unicorn crafts. DIY Sew unicorn, headband, unicorn dust & several color/rainbow projects. This kit says it’s for kids ages 7 and up to create but unless you craft & create often most kids do not have the fine motor skills to sew yet. With these kits I encourage kids to be creative & create the projects that they really want using the directions & then do their own process art thing with rest of the materials.
I Heart Mermaids kit comes with 6 mermaid inspired activities. My nieces & students go nuts for these though & my son never met a craft he didn’t like!
Air Dry Soft Modeling Clay
Modeling Clay with 3 basic shapes is a great starter book to accompany the modeling clay set. Knowing the 3 basic shapes kids learn how to make over 40 different animals.
Model Clay (baking set) This set is a wonderful gift set ( your kids can make the gifts for others OR you can gift it to them & they can make key chains, earrings, rings & bracelets for themselves!
Paper Flying Dragons Craft Kit The infamous Klutz brand came out with a paper flying dragon set. Super cool craft for those How to Train your Dragon fans!
Books & Book Sets
Baby Books & Early Childhood
Eric Carle Boxed Set (12 books)
Pick up a book to go with your gifts. My son LOVES these non-fiction readers!
I am torn on this Junie B. Jones boxed set. On one hand this is a popular series of starter chapter books. They are simple & easy to read BUT they include words & phrases we don’t use like “stupid” and “shut up”.
Books 5-8 Including The Ugly Truth, Cabin Fever, The Third Wheel & Hard Luck
Q-bitz is an award winning game of logic & visual dexterity. This game has won the Parent’s Choice Gold Award, National Parenting Publications Awards’ Nappa Gold, Tillywig Toy Award’s, Bain Child Award and the Major Fun Award.
Swish is a card game that develops logic and visual perception.
Children’s Classic Card Games set includes Old Maid, Go Fish!, Crazy Eights, and an Alphabet Soup.
SkipBo JR. be the first player to get rid of all your cards in ascending order.
Keva Contraptions is a Rue-Goldberg set like any other is ready to go right out of the box. There is not glue or connectors needed.