12 Holiday Gift Ideas For Kids (2012 Edition)

We’ve received a bunch of requests for a Christmas gift roundup for kids (and some more casual “what are you getting Clara this year?” questions) so here are a few items that we’re loving (in fact, since both my mom and John’s mom asked us to send them links to things she might like, there are actually four things in this roundup that she’ll find under the tree from them). Oh and I tried to keep the price down, so most items are under $25 (some are even under $12, and nothing is over $49).

1. Clara loooves painting and definitely has an appreciation for vibrant colors, so I think she’d love something like this $20 watercolor print from Etsy. Another fun gift idea would be to get some colorful paints and a few pieces of cardstock for some good quality time spent painting together.

2. Clara’s always enamored with toys like this in waiting rooms and other kid’s houses, so when John’s mom asked for links to things she might like, we shot a link to this $22 racer ramp to her right away.

3. Pretend play is one of Clara’s favorite things (she loves making meals at her play kitchen, rearranging her dollhouse furniture, and even pretending to care for her dolls by giving them band aids), so we knew this little wooden doctor kit would be a hit. At $38 it’s hardly cheap, but Nonna (my mom) couldn’t wait to pick it up since she knows firsthand how “into first aid” Clara is at the moment.

4. These people-shaped crayons from Etsy are cute, eco-friendly, and budget-friendly (they’re just $8).

5. Clara has one of these cars in pink and she loves it. It’s one of those simple and inexpensive toys that she plays with far more than most of the other more expensive and elaborate toys that she has been given.

6. I was totally drawn to the pretty colors and shapes in this handmade puzzle, although it’s probably above Clara’s current skill level. Maybe next year…

7. This fun $27 bowling set is handmade, eco-frienly, and adorable. I mean let’s be real – who doesn’t love penguins? I like getting “new experiences” for Clara (like learning how to bowl, or how to fish like gift #9) so although we haven’t pulled the trigger and ordered this yet (we’re building her something special, like last year’s play kitchen) I’m definitely tempted…

8. To Clara, Woody = a hero among men. So I bet she’d love to find this Pez dispenser in her stocking (I saw it in Target near the checkout for about $3 a few nights ago).

9. This is the second item that John’s mom is getting Clara. It’s an under $25 set of fish with magnets that can be picked up with a fishing pole (we played with something similar at a friend’s house and she couldn’t get enough of it).

10. Does this even need an explanation? I think any kid would crack up over it just as much as grown ups would.

11. We already own this awesome balancing wooden cactus from Plan Toys and Clara loves it. We’ve squeezed at least a year’s worth of play out of it and it’s still in heavy rotation, so it’s well worth the $25 we paid for it back in 2010.

12. This is the second item that Nonna’s getting Clara since she loves books and she loves dogs (so what’s better than a dog who barks along to key words in a story?).

So that’s what we dug up. Do you have any favorites of the group? What are your kiddos/nieces/nephews going to find under the tree this year? Are you guys all done with your shopping or still working on it like I am? Is anyone going to build/DIY something too? John and I can’t wait to start working on our little homemade gift for Clara (from Santa of course). More details – and probably a million pics – soon!


  1. LeCheech says

    That colour puzzle– above her age level? BAH. They may not go back in the right order, but I think she’d love it anyway. Plus, there’s the possibility of inspiration; say she puts it back the ‘wrong’ way, and you see a few colours together and get inspired!

    … Okay, so maybe -I- would appreciate the puzzle more than she would… haha.

  2. LMN says

    I just love everything about y’all. Even this child’s christmas list, and I don’t even have children! Can’t wait to meet you in person in Charlotte. What do people say? “Hi, we’ve never met. I love you…?” EEEkk. I’m so excited!

  3. says

    Our daughter is also about 2 1/2 and we are going for – a small piano (brave, I know http://www.zulily.com/p/pink-18-key-toy-piano-22188-2444670.html?pos=60&e=1&), a Mr. Potato Head toy, a “zoo” that is essentially a doll house with animals from zulily, a toddler trampoline (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Little-Tikes-7-First-Trampoline/16529105) and a few other little things that we know she’ll enjoy. Between my husband’s divorced parents, and my divorced parents, this kid racks up!

  4. says

    Oh, man, we made the American Girl Doll investment this year. It’s one of those things that I’m not sure who’s more excited about, me or my daughter.

  5. says

    My daughter bought an inexpensive 3-tiered bookcase from Target and transformed it into a Barbie dreamhouse. It’s awesome and I know it’s going to be my granddaughter’s favorite gift.

  6. Steph H says

    I am making EVERYBODY’s presents except 3 (out of 12). I’m sewing blankets, flat iron straightners, coffe cozies and an AWESOME art journal folder for my 8 yr old nephew. My biggest challenge was to keep everything under $15, which I did accomplish! Now I just need to finish sewing…

  7. Morgan says

    Our nieces are 9 and 6 so they are getting the crayola airbrush kit. I saw the commercial and wanted it so we figured they would love it!

  8. says

    True confession? My parents bought me the ’80s version of #2 when I was really little, and I played with it until I was,um, really old. Luckily I had a much younger brother and could make it seem like I was just playing with him, but uh-uh. That toy could put me into a happy trance.

    I hope Clara gets as many years of trance-y fun!

  9. says

    I feel like I get to be a kid again when buying kids gifts. We bought my love’s nephew a remote control 4 wheeler thing. He’s all about trucks and cars. And for his niece we are taking her to see Elf: The Musical! I can’t wait to see how excited she’ll be :) Plus, I love elf, so it’s a gift from me to me too. Haha.

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