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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
Emily Henderson Christmas Holiday Decorating Target Green Red Traditional Decor 13

In the same vein as yesterday, today’s gift guide is a bit more personal and I’m talking about what I’m either thinking about getting my own kids (and would love your suggestions/feedback/reviews) or HIGHLY recommend because my kids LOVE LOVE LOVE. My kids are just entering the “ask for plastic garbage” stage of childhood, which is an expected bummer. We are definitey trying to steer them in different directions without being total grinches. For instance, Birdie saw this massive purple plastic Frozen 2 themed makeup vanity/stool in a catalog and wants it SO BADLY, so I’m trying to figure out what about it she loves so we can get something that is less plastic/cheap/disposable/huge/eyesore and yet let her do her imagination play. But other than those randoms that they accidentally see, most of these ideas are to A. keep them busy and active, B. they are fun to do with them/more family-oriented, or C. educational or stimulating their interests.

Emily Henderson Gg Kids Active New

1. New Bounce Pogo Stick, $39: If any of you have pogo stick recommendations or advice, PLEASE let me know. They each want one and I’m certainly into getting that energy out, but want one that they can do.

2. Kids Bean Bag Toss Game, $39: For rainy/snowy mountain days. I wanted this last year and didn’t get it so I think I’ll do it this year.

3. Sno Stompers, $20: For fun bear footprints stomping around in the snow. How cute is that?

4. Foldable Pop Up Soccer Goals, $32: Charlie and Brian have been playing with plastic pots in the backyard, so an upgrade is necessary.

5. Wild Kratts Adventure Kit, $30: I could kiss these two men. The entire family watches Wild Kratts because it’s so educational and has great messaging. So last year, we bought them their own creative power kit and while they were full of branded plastic parts, they still LOVE the kit, take it into the backyard and pretend to be animal rescuers. If they don’t love the show, put together your own adventure kit with binoculars, a fanny pack, compass, and walkie talkie.

6. Indoor Snowball Fight, $40: A must-have for rainy days inside. Incredibly fun snowball fights all throughout the house.

7. Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper, $17: Birdie wants the unicorn one, of course, but at $17, I’m worried it’s just so cheap and will break instantly—anyone?

8. Adventure Slackers NinjaLine 36 Ft. Pro & Intro Combo Kit, $139: Okay, our kids are too young but in 1-2 years, this will be on our list (or we’ll make our own version). I love an obstacle course so much.

9. Animal Croquet, $40: I’m hoping another indoor family game. Does anyone use this?

10. Bump N Bounce Body Bumpers, $15: I can’t wait. I’m hoping that there are versions for grownups somewhere.

11. Bike Chalk Trail Kit, $20: They have bikes but this will encourage them to ride even more (they are extremely excited about this).

Emily Henderson Gg Kids Creative New

1. Kid Made Modern Ultimate Jewelry Kit, $20: We have this and the kids LOVE IT and make us/grandparents/friends bracelets and necklaces all the time. Highly recommend.

2. Twee Rainbow Unicorn Sidewalk Chalk, $15: Birdie wants anything that can draw and that has to do with unicorns.

3. Yarn Unicorn Kit, $20: We are at the beginning of the crafting/DIY age and it’s so fun.

4. MindWare Playful Chef, $17: The kids love to chop (Birdie loves standing on her stool and making soup with me). Time to get her some safe knives.

5. Osmo Creative Starter Kit for iPad, $70: I’d LOVE any advice on this. Is this one of those marketing manipulations where you feel like you are buying them something creative when really it ends up being another device?

6. Fairy Doors Set, $18: Originally I had a whole “fairy kit” picked out, but then it occurred to me that you can’t really give them that…you just have to set it up because like Santa, they have to believe that fairies live there.

7. Oh Joy! Plus-Plus, $18: These are great stocking stuffers for on-the-go restaurant trips. Our kids love them.

8. Janod Doctor’s Suitcase, $30: Never not fun to get a medical examination from a 4-year-old.

9. Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit, $17: This seems very smart because it’s just taking all the pieces you have and by adding in some new pieces (with instructions) you get all new challenges. A better gift would be to buy a time machine, jump in it and invent/buy stock in Legos because BOY ARE OUR KIDS OBSESSED AND THEY ARE SO EXPENSIVE. They are genius, fun and so great for their brains, but can add up (and we’ve tried the subscription services and are a nightmare for parents). But typically our kids will spend hours putting together their own Legos with barely our help.

10. Brain Bricks Machines Motorized Machines, $22: Legos but motorized. I’m curious.

11. Build Your Own Robot Kit, $15: So fun, has anyone tried?

12. Joinks, $45: If you don’t have Magnatiles, get those first as we HIGHLY recommend, but these look pretty great, too.

13. Electric Light Blocks, from $30: I know my kids will love, but not sure they need more blocks, though I can picture them playing a lot at night up in their room.

14. Mini Doodle Kit, $13: Stocking stuffer, great for restaurants and travel.

Emily Henderson Gg Kids Tech New

1. LilGadgets Untangled Pro Kids Wireless Bluetooth headphones with SharePort, $50: Can anyone recommend new headphones for kids that are good, comfortable and have a cord option?

2. Metal Detector, $37: Oh yes. I would have LOVED to have had one of these when I was little. I’m thinking about planting treasures in the woods behind our house and letting them go at it like a treasure hunt.

3. Unicorn Glitter Crossbody Purse, $13: This purse instigated a 30-minute tantrum at Target that made us have to leave. The terms were clear going in: to choose their special ornament and look at things that they can put on their wishlist. Sorry for all you moms trying to have a quiet Pasadena Target Sunday morning trip… needless to say, Birdie wants this badly and I’m tempted to NOT give it to her (but Santa can?).

4. Relay Screenless Phone/Walkie Talkie & GPS Tracker, $50: We have walkie talkies, but when I saw these I got so excited. For our forest hikes to let them roam (together) even further than we do now.

5. Toddler Girls’ Unicorn Sneakers, $22: Oh right. That was the other meltdown. Girlfriend LOVES UNICORNS. Like she dreams about playing with them, literally; in the morning she’ll report another unicorn dream.

6. Toddler Girls’ Fiala Bootie Slippers, $10: Little monster feet as slippers and super soft faux fur. Enough said.

7. Lovebox Messenger, $100: I think this is such a sweet gift between grandparents, or even parents if they are separated from their kid. Digital love notes. Mine are still learning to read, but it’s a cute idea.

8. Mini ATM Electronic Coin Bank, $27: Charlie is DYING for this. Hoping it’s not total garbage but it does seem like a pretty fun “piggy bank” for a kid.

9. Kids Waterproof Removable Cover 6lb Weighted Blanket, $40: To encourage sleep and less tossing and turning.

10. Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller, $68: I’m VERY excited about this. It comes recommended to me, but essentially your kid chooses the character or location or something like that, and it tells them long stories. Great for car rides, or in place of screens during the week.

11. Personalized Holiday Sweater Ornaments, $22: I ordered them. I only want personalized ornaments on my tree as soon as I collect enough. You know what to get me from now on.

Emily Henderson Gg Kids Books New

1. National Parks of the USA, $30: Sounds dull but it looks pretty, and maybe will help them fall asleep. 🙂

2. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, $14: My hands-down favorite series of kids books that I enjoy as much as they do. They are so clever, with fun rhyming, great illustration and messaging. I know that there are a lot of books with good messages out there, but guys, a lot of them can be boring to actually read over and over. My kids request them, I request them, they are just VERY GOOD KIDS BOOKS. Seriously going on 3 years with this series.

3. Rosie Revere, Engineer $8: Another in the same series, but I love them all.

4. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson, $6: The only other series (besides the one above) that I love as much as my kids. Any book by Julia Donaldson (Australian author) is so entertaining to read. Another series that you can read for years and years and not get sick of.

5. What Can A Citizen Do?, $18: Getting this one for them this year.

6. The Ultimate Book of Space, $22: This (and others in same series) are insanely detailed popup books that are interactive and we all learn so much (not for kids under 3, they’ll destroy them).

7. Wooden Toy Cash Register, $30: The kids won’t care how cute it looks, they’ll play with the IKEA one just as much, but it sure does look good.

8. Small Cash Box with Lock and Slot, $10: My kids are very into treasures, treasure hunting, hoarding, etc. If there are better versions out there, let me know but I strangely know that they’ll love hoarding their treasures in here and maybe, just maybe it’s a good lesson about keeping track of keys. Shoot. I should probably look for a combination lock one…

9. Ooly Chunkies Paint Sticks, $14: All the fun of painting but without all the non-fun mess. (Plus the “chunky” factor makes them easy for little hands to hold.)

10. Magbot Magnetic Block Set, $30: This seems expensive for how many configurations you can do, but I know my kids will like – has anybody tried?

11. Plan Toys Hair Dresser Set, $30: If you haven’t played salon/barber with your kids yet, you are missing out on the hilarity. Get a ton of barrettes, hair ties, etc. and ask them to do your hair. You don’t need this to do that, but it is pretty cute.

OH GEEZ. I’m promising myself that I don’t do what I always do: buy them very, very little because they are too privileged as it is and I don’t want to spoil them, then I panic fearing that they are going to be so disappointed so two days before Christmas, I order random stuff. Then as we are wrapping them (and the grandparents bring their insane loot) I realize that they have WAY too much and we end up hiding or returning a few.

If there are any recommendations, advice, reviews of what is above, please leave in comments. It’s not like I have time to find the BEST pogo stick on the market, so if you have…do tell. xx

  1. So fun, thanks for sharing. You might want to check out the Busy Toddler IG – I loved some of her suggestions, and based on your goals, think you might too! Happy holidays! ❤️

  2. We have the Lil Gadgets Bluetooth headphones and it also came with a cord. We’ve always had problems connecting via Bluetooth so we never use it, so I’d suggest buying the Lil Gadgets wired ones for $15 instead of the wireless for $50. 😊 My three year old will wear them an entire flight with no complaints.

    1. My son loves his headphones too! We have the $15 pair. It comes with a bag making it easy to keep all the components together.

  3. Great guide! I like imaginative options for my kids too. But they will definitely not be getting a pogo stick! That’s right up there in the haaiilll no category as a hover board. 😊

    1. i’m def not in the market for a hover board but we love our pogo stick for my now 9 year old (got it for her 8th bday). it’s a great coordination challenge and great way to burn off energy in not too big an area!

  4. Instead of buying her that massive plastic Frozen 2 vanity, you could get her either the Elsa or Anna “Styling Head” and a little makeup kit, and let Birdie style the head. Years ago, I bought my daughter the Barbie styling head and told her: “Have at it. Cut the hair however you want, style it however you want, paint her face however you want.” I explained that if she cut off all the hair, that was it. She loved playing “stylist,” it didn’t cost a fortune (these heads are like $25 or $30), and it didn’t take up much space.

    1. This is a great idea! I had a Barbie head when I was young (30+ years ago). And this is exactly what I did! So fun!

  5. This is a great pogo stick- https://www.flybar.com/collections/maverick-pogo-sticks. This was a gift for my 8 year old, but my 5 now 6 year old likes to try it out too (it is definitely more challenging for the little guy). It takes some time for the coil to loosen up and allow enough bounce but when it does it is fun to watch them practice and master it.

    1. we have that one too! Got it for my daughter’s 8th birthday and she loves it. make sure that your kids are in the weight range for whatever pogo stick you get – otherwise it won’t bounce!

      not sure how coordinated your kids are, but possibly a real pogo stick might be better a couple years down the road, my now 9 year old has friends that can’t quite get to bouncing on hers. from what i’ve seen, it’s a good challenge for 7 years and older, might be too hard for much younger!

  6. You said “creative power kit,” but I think you meant “creature power suit.” I know this because my four-year-old says “creature power suit” over and over and over and over and over. Whenever talking to Alexa or another smart device, that’s what he asks. Whenever he is saying what he is grateful for, that’s what he says. Whenever I ask what he wants to play, it’s creature power suit. And then he just says it randomly throughout the day. (Obviously, this is what we are getting him for Christmas.)

    We basically just get Duplos and Legos and Nerf guns and Barbies and toy cars. It’s not very creative, but it’s what my kids play with and I like ordering the same sort of thing so it already fits in the toy boxes and I don’t have to figure out where to put things.

    I have four kids, and this year they each picked out a present for around $10 for all their other siblings, and they could combine together if the wanted. Then they are also getting one large present from their parents. And that’s it (besides grandparent presents). Last year, they got one main present, a picture, and a book. It was pretty small, but they really didn’t care. My kids like the candy just as much as the presents. I think the most exciting part for kids can be to give presents and pick them out for each other. And so we don’t really do Santa, and I’m really happy with that decision.

    I don’t find Legos that expensive–there are sets that around $10, and for little kids, that’s about all they have the attention span for anyway. And I’ve gotten off-brand that work all right as well.

    And a note on the slackline: it’s hard to find good space to set-up a slackline and they do sag quite a bit. We bought one but ended up giving away the slackline part of it and then made an obstacle course in our garage using large eye-bolts, rope, and the other parts we got in the kit. And my kids used it all the time until it got cold in the garage.

    I’ve seen a similar foam pogo jumper and it was lasting a long time and was really quite fun.

  7. Regarding “Emily’s Gift Guide // Kids” item #9 “Chunkies” – be weary. The danged things got mess everywhere. They’re essentially made of paint that has an almost clay-like consistently, feel sort of oily, and stain just as much as paint. It did not come out of their clothes or our dining room chair seats. Our then 3.5-yr.-old got this non-paint (TOTALLY PAINT) everywhere. Some little colored bits got on the floor and then adults in shoes tracked them everywhere – greasy colored streaks leading into the bathroom mostly, where the color then became permanently lodged on our bathmat. Meanwhile our then 5-yr.-old got frustrated with the blunt tips – he couldn’t get any precision on his drawings (fine if you want to do abstract art, not fine if you’re trying to illustrate your family on paper). The Chunkies also had a tendency to break in the middle, like break in half (probably as chubby little 3.5-yr.-old hands squeezed them too tightly while drawing, as you do). So, 15-20 minutes of play time, 30-infinity minutes to clean up. Use with caution. Like whatever amount of caution you would normally use, double to triple it.

  8. So excited to see National Parks of the USA recommended here. Not dull at all–surprised you even said that! The illustrations are beautiful and the text is informative and fun to read. My daughter (a little over 2) took to it immediately, as did I. Makes us want to visit all the parks.

  9. Crazy Forts looks like an awesome toy that I look forward to getting my daughter once she’s old enough. It’s a set of sticks and connectors you use to make different structures that you can thrown blankets over to make it into a fort. Would have loved something like that as a child.

    1. We have this, and it is THE BEST. So much fun to use, and actually an amazing travel toy. It packs up so small into the box, but no matter our destination, there can be a huge fort within five minutes. I’m considering getting a second set now that I have two kids, because the only problem is the squabbling over who gets to climb inside. They even use the parts to make things like wands and tools.

  10. We have the puro sound labs headphones and they’re great (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N3TMVB8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1). We use them with bluetooth and they’ve been seamless, but you can also plug them in. They also do a really good job (but not tooooo good) at volume control, which is super important for little ears.

    1. We have these too now for two years and going strong. Love them.

  11. We’ve had that Flybar pogo jumper for a zillion years (or maybe just three?) and it’s held up perfectly well.

    1. My son uses the Flybar pogo jumpers in gym class at school, if they can handle a hoard of kindergarteners I think you’re in good shape!

  12. Those weighted blankets are make a big difference to my little ones’ sleep. Particularly the pink fuzzy unicorn one. And they are $25 on Black Friday.

    Also Emily, Wild Kratz will turn your kids into the kind of people who read the entire sign at the zoo, all the signs. In a few years. Its awesome.

  13. Magnatiles and dot markers are two of the best gifts my girls have ever gotten. They magnatiles are expensive, but they still play with them five years later and are constantly coming up with new ideas for building.

    1. Yes!! Magnatiles – 100% worth every penny. Invest in a few sets (definitely get a set with wheels) and you’ll get hours of creative, inventive play. My kids are 11 and 14 now, and whenever we pull out the basket when we have smaller guests in the house, they will both get down and play with them. They are one of the few childhood “toys” I’m saving for potential future grandkids!

      1. I was going to suggest Magnatiles, too! Then she put a note in her list.

        My daughter, now almost 16, also loved tinker toys, LEGO, and Gears, Gears, Gears (these can be difficult). I also got her Tegu, which are another type of magnetic block set, but wood on the outside. She didn’t really play with them when she was young, but loves them now as a fidget when she’s watching TV. Another ageless gift is Keva planks. They are uniform wood blocks from which you can build all kinds of cool structures.

        1. I’m late to the party…
          We also have Tegu, which is pretty much the same as the Magbot you’ve linked to. My daughter 3,5 is not (yet?) so much into it, but my son 5 loves it very much and plays with it ever since I gave it to him, at the age of 3. These are not cheap, but for us they really paid off.

          Fairy door is currently stashed in my “gift container” 😉

  14. re: #6 – I know that $40 seems like a lot for white puffs of fluff but there is no other item in the house that our kids have played with more over the last five years. They are magic – super fun to throw but they will not break anything or hurt anyone. They go indoors and outdoors and into the washing machine. Highly recommend.

    1. Will second this- LOVE how fun it is to have an indoor snowball fight. It’s like what you wish a pillow fight was-

  15. I still have my personalized Lillian Vernon (!!) cash box from my childhood.
    Also! If your kids love Wild Kratts, find Zoboomafoo on Amazon Prime. Young Kratts plus a lemur puppet!!

  16. If you’d like some more ideas for Charlie and Elliot, I wrote up a list of my kids’ favorites a few years ago! I have six kids (two girls and four boys) and my oldest was 11 when I wrote that list, so you should find some great age-appropriate stuff! (There is a pop art bead set on there that i think your daughter would LOVE!) https://theirchronicles.blogspot.com/2016/11/christmas-gift-ideas.html?m=0

  17. A bit of an investment to but super cool for an engaging nature table with field, forest and wetland special finds, a few kid field guides, paper and colored pencils for nature sketching. Parents Choice award, a super solid, lifetime lasting present, evidently the only American made microscope. This is the cast iron pan of kids nature exploration and would make a really nice kid present. No plugging in, basic and awesome! I work at a wildlife sanctuary and we teacher naturalists all love these! Guaranteed not to end up in a landfill.
    https://www.magiscope.com/

  18. #7 will not crap out and die. Those things are forever toys!! My daughter is 8 and got hers when she was 3 and her and all her friends still use it. They like to jump on the trampoline or do obstacle courses with it. My son is 5 and got his when he was 2. It is WAY easier to use than an actual pogo stick. We got the small flight pogo stick for my daughters 7th birthday and she’s just starting to get good at it. We are getting her an Osmo this year as well bc she’s wanted it for so long and friends parents rave about it being educational and not just screen time. Have you checked out the Uni the Unicorn books for birdie? They’re pretty cute ☺️.

  19. I love your gift guides!!! Things we have that you asked about…
    That Lego book is eh. It’s sort of boring. I think may be better for older kids. My son is 7 and he’s still not into it but is LEGO obsessed.

    We love Osmo. I don’t have the creative one but we have the genius one. It’s probably too old for your daughter, unless she’s a genius 😉 but great for your son. I did notice there was a three to five year old learning option so I may try that one.

    1. The Little Genius Kit for 3-5 year olds is what I bought for my son as soon as the Black Friday 30% off sale hit. Glad you like the kit you have. How have you controlled screen time for your son? Right now my 3.5 yr old gets 30 minutes on his tablet a night just with the stuff that’s already loaded. Not sure if I need to tweak this/ can make a rule just for extended Osmo play.

  20. The chalk for bike trails never really worked for us. Kids got a pogo stick when was 8 and the other 10. It’s definitely more a challenge for kids on the lighter side. The spring needs to compress and it mainly just frustrated my petite 8-year-old.

    Love the book selections!

  21. These are great! I second the Wild Kratts recommendation… what an awesome show. My kids were into it for YEARS and got so much pretend play time out of the lot you mentioned and also the creature power vests that you can order on amazon. We also bought wood discs from craft stores, googled and printed out creature powers and modge-podged our own creature power discs for them to use. Gosh I miss those days! But if you have Wild Kratts lovers, the vests are a must!

  22. OMG the ultimate book of ________ have given my son HOURS of enjoyment. Like he’s played with these books more than any other toys. So good.

  23. We have played with our indoor snowballs for years. They are such a fun seasonal toy! And you can definitely find them cheaper.

    We love Magnatiles. Worth the investment. And marble mazes. My three kids will build them together (3, 11, 14).

    My advice on the ugly plastic Elsa vanity- if it’s what she really wants- buy it. When our hearts are set in something, sometimes there is no (prettier, longer lasting, less plasticky/ugly, etc, etc) substitute.

    1. Yes to marble mazes! And there are so many different types that are fun.

    2. Yes to just getting the Frozen vanity if it is Birdie’s heart’s desire. Put it in her bedroom, just like big girl vanities, so you don’t have to squeeze it into the playroom.

  24. We’ve had the Lunii storyteller for more than 3 years and my older one (who was 3 at the time and is now 6) loves it and still listens to it most nights in bed! (And it’s still in great condition) Granted we are a French-English bilingual family and they have a lot more French stories in their library but hopefully they’re building up the English collection too!

  25. Julia Donaldson is British 🙂www.juliadonaldson.co.uk

  26. The Nugget Comfort couch has got to be the best purchase (splurge) we have ever made. They made forts, they use it for our downstairs “sleepovers” as beds, they read on it… it can be anything and everything. So highly recommend!

  27. such good gifts for kids for Christmas and I love to share beautiful lenses for Christmas and outgoing for more details: https://colourlenses.com.au

  28. Like I don’t even have kids and yet this was such a fun gift guide. Loved all the personal stories and such cool ideas -I want those! Also really appreciate that this wasn’t a gendered guide but just for kids! 🙂

  29. I love Magnatiles as a gift for preschoolers. Pricy but worth it. And the translucent ones are so pretty.

  30. This is an excellent gift guide for kids! My kids are older than yours, but they either had, or would have loved to have many of the things on here. My two cents on the body bumpers—we got them for the kids last year and it was a bad choice. My youngest was 6 and got hurt every time he bumped against my 8 and 11 year old. Their heads aren’t protected when they fall with these. They might work if your kids are basically the same size (but whose kids are?) and are very gentle children. We used them once and gave them away. Also, the LEGO book is definitely for older kids—I would say 9+. I am now planning to buy a pogo stick or two—thanks for the great ideas!

  31. The Melissa and Doug makeup set is wooden and my daughters love playing with it.. could be an alternative to the plastic Frozen one 😉

  32. I’m a mother of 7 and Grammy to 21! Kid credentials out of the way, I can say that Brio construction sets are hands down the best toy for years of enjoyment. My grandchildren head straight for the set we have that was originally bought for my son when he was about 4. It’s expensive stuff, but we added to it over years and boy has it been worth it!

  33. Julia Donaldson is British!

  34. Cool stuff! I may have to rethink what I’ve already bought (but can return)…

  35. Great book: BREATHE LIKE A BEAR. Works for preventing melt downs by teaching them, through the story, to take mindful, calming breaths… for little kids! Yaaay!

  36. Thank you for this!

  37. I teach kids in K, 1, and 2nd grade ( kids with special needs, but really that means they are just like other kids but have some learning issues) and the things my bunch love to play with ( b/c play IS the work of children)are:
    Magnatiles! Worth every penny. For portable play, use a big cookie sheet ( use that with magnetic letters too).

    Blocks Rock! https://www.amazon.com/Blocks-Rock-Educational-Competitive-Structured/dp/B005D1HQ9Y You get cards to match the configuration of blocks and you can play against the clock or another person. Develops great spatial skills.

    Art supplies-can never have enough. I like paint pens best. Go to Arthub4kids. com to follow along drawing EVERYTHING including unicorns and cool characters.

    Lego-iconic and so worth the foot injuries of stepping on them.

    Marble runs-lots of kits out there.

    BeeBot-coding for littles. This generation will HAVE to learn to code. They have lots of kits to choose from. You could do Scratch Jr. on the iPad as well-it’s a GREAT app for kids to learn coding via pre=programmed”blocks.”

    Let me plug good old fashioned wooden blocks and peg dolls for imaginative play as well.

    Osmo-SKIP THIS, there’s enough to do on an iPad already
    Pogo stick=emergency room time for small kids. Wait on this until they are heavier/more coordinated. Trust me on this.
    This that are battery powered: if kids can’t manipulate it it’s not worth the time/$$.

    1. My daughter loves Arthub for kids!!! It’s the best!

  38. Our flybar is going strong after a few years. Worth $17. My 4 yr old still uses it but may grow out of it soon. It’s now a go to birthday present too.

  39. My daughters are roughly the same age as your kids.
    – pogo foam thing my kids got last year. We only use them inside and even the adults use them and have held up.
    – cozy phones are the only headphones that don’t frustrate my kids and me. Most are too big and then results in them always asking us to reposition them.
    – vanity- Melissa and Doug makes a small table top one my kids have had for two years and love!!

  40. Such neat ideas!

    I’m one of the few people out there who does not use the ‘privileged’ vernacular, but I do care a lot about waste/plastic/the environment and things being used well (as well as my kids being grateful for everything they’ve been given).

    Along with buying some things new, my main Christmas shopping venue is our local consignment sale event (in my case, Just Between Friends or Rhea Lana’s). I love to see things reused! Especially really neat toys that still work well. I have a couple big tote boxes in our basement with things like Playmobil sets that I’ve collected from this year’s sales. When the prices go to 50% on the last day, there are some major bargains for toys that my boys will still love. The oldest is 7, so hopefully they continue to not notice if there is a scuff or two on the toys!

  41. We have the animal croquet set and have really enjoyed it. Be warned that the mallets are super short for grown ups but that helps even the playing field a bit 😉

  42. This is the absolute best kids gift guide I have seen this year!! Thank you SO much!!! I have two sons and this is giving me SO many ideas! THANK YOU!

  43. I work in an elementary school and Hamilton Buhl Flex-Phones are like the best headphones for kids that I’ve ever seen! I highly recommend them!!! (They are available in kid and adult sizes and come in several different colors).

  44. Just a heads up: I’ve seen the indoor snowball fight at Home Good for about $10!

    1. I have seen tubs of the snowballs in Homegoods and TJ Maxx for $5.99 a tub!

  45. I love the Rosie Revere and related books so much too! Your kids might be in the young side for this, but in the next few years I highly recommend the DK Smithsonian books. Start with her Knowledge Encyclopedia and go from there. They are awesome non-fiction books that are easy enough for good readers to understand but go into enough depth to feel satisfying. We have lots of these on a bunch of different topics and always give them as gifts. And I love listening to my kids spout off facts both in and out of context on a huge range of subjects.

  46. Book recommendation: ‘Tidy’, by Emily Henderson. I love this, it deserves to be a classic. I get disappointed when daughter hasn’t asked for it at bedtime for a few days!

    I also second the recommendation for Brio. Daughter loves to build a train track and send a train off on a journey. Ikea do a cheap but good quality version of the track. so you can get loads of it and build super-long tracks.

  47. If I were 3 or 4 I’d have lusted after that Frozen 2 vanity deal, too! As an adult, I empathize with you.

  48. Hello, Boomer here… I am going to try and help 20 years ahead Future Emily not have a big regret. Here goes….

    ABSOLUTELY BUY Birdie the icky purple PLASTIC tacky makeup table and make HER dreams come true.

    You might hate it but you will NOT regret it when you see her face lit up in wonderment on Christmas morning.

    Trust me – I have 20 years on you and so, so, so wish I had not made a few of those “my good taste vs. kid taste” mistakes back then. But I knew “right” (eye roll).

    She will be 21 in a blink….

    What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back to 2001 and say yes to those light up, velcroed, rhinestone festooned, rainbows and unicorn printed, probably vinyl sneakers my 3 year old daughter so sweetly pined for that I HATED.

    She even demonstrated how “high” they jumped and how fast they ran down the aisle versus the “slow/low” white canvas old fashioned Keds that I was determined she get so as not to look tacky.

    Omg. I cannot tell you how I regret not getting her what she so wanted. So easy to do for a sweet, not whining, wonderful little girl. And yet, I did not.

    You asked your mom what she wants – and she told you and you’re going to get that, right?

    You’ve said what you want and she gave you two thumbs up so you’re gonna get that, right?

    And Birdie too has told you what she most wants so why wouldn’t you make her wildest dream come true?

    Every time she sits in front of that cheap plastic mirror she will be transformed into strong, wonderful, capable Elsa.

    That tiny bit of advice is my Christmas gift to Emily of the future.

  49. Emily we’ve had the flybar for YEARS and it’s just like new. It was a great purchase especially for the price!

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