A good mantra for kids Christmas shopping I’ve read is ‘Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read’. And I REALLY want to stick to it, but will probably fail. Growing up, when I was small, we each filled a laundry basket full of gifts. With 6 kids it felt like MILES of presents when we walked out at 6am. Talk about a serotonin rush. It was rarely anything expensive but it felt like a treasure trove of gifts. Now whether that was the case or just my perception, who knows? My parents didn’t spoil us but I’m finding it VERY hard not to want to buy my kids so many fun things for Christmas. Last year I learned the lesson that they just can’t handle that many gifts and we stopped at 5 because they were exhausted – we hid the rest of them and brought them out throughout the year, on desperate Saturdays. So the below guide is a mixture of things we already have that our kids LOVE, stuff I want to buy them but won’t, some stuff I’m hoping grandparents buy them and of course some splurges from Santa. I shopped and pinned all of them myself, with my kids in mind (my kids are 2 and 4).
Some of you pointed out that it was hard to read what I had to say about each thing and kinda annoying to have to scroll up and down constantly in the previous gift guides. So we created a product board like we usually do, with links below it AND a brand new gallery that you can click/scroll through for those of you who want to read my recommendations (although I only had room for a couple sentences). We are just kinda testing this out so let me know what you prefer the slider or the moodboard/roundup.
Up first is TOYS. I want ALL of these things for our kids but will obviously not get them all. Generally we stay away from anything electronic and overstimulating, and opt for things that inspires imagination and creativity (you know, like a whoopie cushion). Click through the gallery to read what our kids already have and love.
1. HandTrux Shovel | 2. Small Bow and Arrows | 3. ‘One’ Book | 4. ‘ABC’ Book | 5. ‘Room on the Broom’ Book | 6. ‘Dragons Love Tacos’ Book | 7. Let’s Play House | 8. Rainbow Sound Blocks | 9. ‘The Big Book of Bugs’ | 10. ’50 Cities of the U.S.A.’ | 11. Build A Robot | 12. Doctor Set | 13. Bristle Blocks | 14. Shoe Lacing Toy | 15. Pantry Play | 16. Cheese Wooden Lacing | 17. Bowling Set | 18. Jump Rope | 19. Magnetic Tablet | 20. Chalk Spray | 21. Chalk Bombs | 22. Whoopee Cushion | 23. Cross Stitch Bear | 24. Catchoo | 25. Wooden Animal Pull Toy | 26. Etch A Sketch | 27. Spaceship Stickers | 28. Activity Sensor Board | 29. Horseshoe Magnet | 30. Magnetic Fishing Game | 31. Wooden Cocoa Set | 32. Snowtime
Now click through the gallery for my commentary on each piece!
Our kids love to dig in the dirt, so why not give them shovel arms??
HandTrux Shovel by UncommonGoods
The best messaging of any kids book ever. Every child should own or read this book.
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Birdie got this for her birthday and its beautiful and really engaging.
TouchThinkLearn: ABC by Xavier Deneux
Room on the Broom
Our kids favorite author and extremely fun for us to read. We own every single one of their books.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Dragons Love Tacos
We’ve read this 784 times. A hit with both kids and us.
Dragons Love Tacos Book & Toy Set by Adam Rubin
Let's Play House!
Our kids love to “help” “clean up”. We are getting them this for Christmas.
Let’s Play House! Dust, Sweep & Mop – Melissa & Doug by Target
The prettiest blocks that look good on the shelf and (some) kids love (Birdie does, Charlie never really did).
Rainbow Sound Blocks by UncommonGoods
The Big Book of Bugs
This is on its way to us because Charlie LOVES a bug book filled with facts (he has an ant and bees)
The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer
50 Cities of the U.S.A.
It depends on your kid but Charlie loves these types of books.
50 Cities of the U.S.A. by Gabrielle Balkan & Sol Linero
Build A Robot
SO FUN and looks great on shelves, too.
Planpreschool Build A Robot – PlanToys by Target
There are a lot of checkups at our house every day. It’s ALWAYS fun.
Doctor Set – Plan Toys by Barneys New York
So classic. Both kids love these and spend at least 20 minutes a day building rockets.
Bristle Blocks Toy Building Blocks for Toddlers by Toysmith
Pantry Play Food
Don’t bother with plastic or soft food – our kids ONLY play with wood food when they “cook”. Birdie has personally endorsed these.
Pantry Play Food – Melissa and Doug by The Land of Nod
Any game that we can play as a family is a huge win.
Charley Harper Bowling Set by The Land of Nod
Charlie just started jumping rope and is now obsessed with it.
Classic Jump Rope by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
We have two of these for restaurants and car rides. I HIGHLY recommend. Keeps them busy for minutes.
Free Play Magnetic Tablet by UncommonGoods
A great stocking stuffer that we are getting for the kids. Spray Chalk!!
Sidewalk Chalk Spray by The Land of Nod
Another great stocking stuffer that combines physical with creative.
Chalk Bomb by The Land of Nod
If you want to hear your child laugh …
Self-Inflating Whoopee Cushion by Westminster
Cross Stitch Bear
Our kids are probably too young but next year I want to get this for them.
Moon Picnic Cross Stitch Friends Bear by Trouva
Another family game that we would love to have.
Catchoo 3.0 Velcro Ball Game by Brookstone
Etch A Sketch
We have these for restaurants and car-rides. So much easier for them than the two handled original ones.
Etch A Sketch Junior Joystick by Brookstone
Lord knows we have a lot of cardboard boxes over here and make forts out of them every day. This would take that next level.
Pretend Play Spaceship Stickers by The Land of Nod
Our kids are into magnets. I love this big iconic version.
Horseshoe Magnet by Terrain
Wooden Cocoa Set
Our kids have this set and its shockingly fun to play. They make cocoa for each other and us daily.
Wooden Toy Cocoa Set – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia by Target
A MUST HAVE FOR ANY FAMILY. Seriously – these are practically weight-less, making snowball fights indoor or outdoor possible year round.
25-Pack Snowtime Indoor Snowballs – Play Visions Toys by Nordstrom
When it comes to kids clothes I have a theory – I buy them affordable pieces, mostly from Target for their everyday lives, but I LOVE to give and receive the more expensive boutiquey pieces from smaller brands. I simply can’t spend $60 on a dress for Birdie that I know won’t get worn enough or will get ruined, but I sure do want a grandparent to buy that for them. The smaller brands, made in America out of really high quality materials need support and so that’s how I approach it. I buy those pieces for others as a gift or a special occasion for our kids, but send them to school in more affordable pieces.
Also when it comes to gifting clothing I want it to feel extra special – if it’s a sweatshirt, it needs to be an extra cute one, or if it’s gloves I want them to be super playful. I shopped for all of these myself (with my kids in mind) and love them all so much.
1. Liam Hoodie | 2. Affirmation Badge Set | 3. Mini Long Sleeve Snap Bodysuit | 4. Angelica Tank with Wings | 5. Chloe Ruffle Sleeve Dress | 6. Crew Neck Bear Pullover | 7. Gold Ankle Fashion Boots | 8. Colour In Pjs | 9. Finger Critter Gloves | 10. Reindeer Pocket Neck Sweater | 11. Schuyler Jumper | 12. Lottie Dress | 13. Jolina Ankle Fashion Boots | 14. Wrap Tunic in Light Chambray | 15. Faces Leggings | 16. Leon Crew Sweatshirt | 17. Disney T-Shirt | 18. Playtime Overall in Peach Flannel | 19. Blue and Ivory Check Dress | 20. Cora Dress | 21. Fireman Pajamas | 22. Sleep Mini Zip All In One Jumpsuit | 23. Ava Dress | 24. Heidi Bunny Fashion Boots | 25. Bear Face Pullover
Now click through the gallery for my commentary on each piece!
I just bought this for Charlie and I love that is basic but playful (and affordable).
Liam Hoodie by Cotton On & Co.
I’m all about good daily messages. I would put these on their backpack or jean jackets.
Affirmation Badge Set by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
In order for a onesie to be a gift it needs to be special, but not necessarily expensive. I LOVE this little bear guy so much.
Mini Long Sleeve Snap Bodysuit by Cotton On & Co.
I couldn’t resist. I bought this for a few little ones in my life on Black Friday.
Angelica Tank by Cotton On & Co.
Ruffle Sleeve Dress
Such a beautiful, delicate dress with the perfect ruffle sleeve.
Chloe Ruffle Sleeve Dress in Pink by Mabo Kids
Bear Knit Sweater
Apparently I’m really into bear motif on kids clothes 🙂
Toddler Girls’ Crew Neck Bear Pullover with Textured Sleeves – Cat & Jack by Target
Birdie has these and LOVES them. She asks to wear them every day.
Toddler Girls’ Montana Fashion Boots – Cat & Jack by Target
Colour in Pjs
Our kids are a bit young for this, but how cute is this color-in pjs?
Girls Colour In Pjs by Cotton On & Co.
Done. Such good little stocking stuffers and probably the only gloves our kids will wear.
Toddler Girls’ Finger Critter Gloves – Cat & Jack by Target
The holiday sweater is back, and man this one is cute. We are wearing it to go see Santa.
Toddler Boys’ Crew Reindeer Pocket Neck Sweater – Cat & Jack by Target
Dear grandparents, please buy this for my daughter. She doesn’t need more clothes but I need this.
Schuyler Jumper by Bella Bliss
Birdie has this dress and it is SO CUTE (I bought it on black friday sale but it’s still really affordable).
Lottie Dress by Cotton On & Co.
We have the metallic blush pink versions (obviously) but a great boot that she can really run around and play in.
Toddler Girls’ Jolina Ankle Fashion Boots – Cat & Jack by Target
Probably my favorite boutique kids clothing company. I LOVE their dresses very much.
Wrap Tunic in Light Chambray by Thimble Collection
Not something I would typically buy, which is why it’s a great gift. So cute.
Faces Leggings by Individual Medley
Charlie loves anything plane related – he’s going to LOVE this.
Leon Crew Sweatshirt by Cotton On & Co.
Our kids are going to Disneyland for the first time this month so we need to represent.
Short Sleeve Licence1 Tee by Cotton On & Co.
Birdie has these and UGH, they are soooooo cute I can’t handle it (and so well made)
Playtime Overall in Peach Flannel by Thimble Collection
For those of you/us who want something a bit sweeter and classic …
Blue and Ivory Check Girls Dress by Florence Eiseman
Obviously I want this dress for me, but will settle for it on my child. That collar is ridiculous.
Cora Dress in Holiday Plaid by Mabo Kids
A sweet little holiday one-sie.
Sleep Mini Zip All In One Jumpsuit by Cotton On & Co.
I bought this for Birdie and she loves it. It’s so sweet and simple.
Ava Dress by Cotton On & Co.
Heidi Bunny Boots
BUNNY BOOTS!!!!! Why not make your boots into an animal? I LOVE these.
Toddler Girls’ Heidi Bunny Fashion Boots – Cat & Jack by Target
Bear Face Pullover
Another unisex bear sweatshirt because basic sweatshirts are boring compared to this.
Toddler Girl’s Bear Face Pullover – Cat & Jack by Target
Lastly, decor for the room – obviously not typically on their wish list from Santa, but when it’s playful and engaging it’s both decor and a toy. Click through the gallery to read my thoughts and feelings on each of these awesome pieces.
1. Pink Wooden Blocks | 2. Swan Plush | 3. Space Pod | 4. Rocket | 5. Wooden Swing | 6. Kid’s Trowel and Fork | 7. Wooden Toy Tool Bench | 8. Animal Tracks Chart | 9. Hippo Pull Toy | 10. Dinosaur Chart | 11. Circus Set | 12. Construction Plate and Utensils | 13. Play Kitchen | 14. ‘Work Hard & Be Nice to People’ | 15. ‘Start with Yes’ | 16. Wooden Animals | 17. White Sailing Ship Kite | 18. Alligator Knit Throw Pillow | 19. Wooden London Set | 20. Bear Nightlight | 21. Wooden Dollhouse | 22. Cat Chair | 23. Birds of North America Chart
Now click through the gallery for my commentary on each piece!
Birdie would LOVE this in her room and it’s obviously so pretty, too.
Swan Plush by The Land of Nod
We have enough forts happening over here, but this would be a huge hit with our kids (and its relatively affordable)
Space Pod Playhouse by UncommonGoods
Open this up and it’s a busy ship – lots of soft buttons and pockets to explore.
Carry Home Rocket Ship by The Land of Nod
Every day I try to find a place to put this adorable swing. We don’t need it but I sure wish we did.
Wood + Rope Tree Swing by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
Trowel and Fork
Our kids love to “garden” and digging in the dirt keeps them busy longer than anything else.
Sneeboer Kid’s Trowel & Fork Gift Set by Terrain
Santa is bringing this to both our kids. It’s absolutely the perfect workbench.
Wooden Toy Tool Bench – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia by Target
I LOVE how playful and educational this is.
Animal Tracks Chart by UncommonGoods
Hippo Pull Toy
This is the kind of gift you want someone to get your kid but you don’t buy yourself.
Zoo Crew Hippo Pull Toy by The Land of Nod
Charlie is obsessed with dinosaurs and would stare at this for hours … I should probably put it in his room.
Dinosaur Chart by UncommonGoods
Will someone please buy this for me?? Our kids love the little mice in match boxes, but this takes it next level.
Circus by BrookFarm General Store
Plate & Utensils
In my mission to have the kids actually sit and eat without a battle, perhaps this could help?
Construction Plate & Utensils by UncommonGoods
If you are looking to splurge on a play kitchen, this one is pretty amazing. We have it and everyone in the family loves it.
Chelsea All-in-1 Kitchen by Pottery Barn Kids
'Work Hard' Print
This is in Charlie’s room and we talk about what it means all the time. My favorite kids poster ever.
‘Work Hard & Be Nice to People Print’ by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
'Start with Yes' Print
Also in Charlie’s room, this print sets the tone for my whole life.
‘Start with Yes’ Print by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
Beautiful blocks that kids love AND look great on a shelf.
Safari Puzzle Blocks by UncommonGoods
This kite is a beautiful hanging sculpture – quiet but beautiful (we had the green version in Charlie’s old room).
White Sailing Ship Kite by UncommonGoods
A playful pillow that kids love and is very cute styled on a bed.
Alligator Knit Throw Pillow – Pillowfort by Target
A great grandparent gift – no one needs these blocks but goodness, they are pretty.
Wooden London City Scape by The White Company
A cute nightlight that also looks great on a shelf.
Bear Nightlight White – Pillowfort by Target
Santa is also bringing this for our kids. The most beautiful dollhouse ever (for the price). All my fantasies are coming true.
Wooden Dollhouse with Furniture – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia by Target
We just bought two of these for our new play room (with their names on the back). Typically I don’t like these chairs (visually) but these are SO CUTE. Hoping I don’t regret the white.
Small Roxy Marj Cat Nod Chair by The Land of Nod
Birds of North America
Beautiful and educational. If your kids are into birds it is such a good one.
Birds of North America by UncommonGoods
Let us know how you feel about the product board versus the gallery. Do you prefer one over the other or do you like having both? I kinda like both myself, but I’m a girl who likes options in general so I’d love to hear your preference going forward.
I love this new format for gift guides! I like that you included both the large product board and the new gallery.
This gift guide us fantastic. I actually want everything in it and have none of it!! The format was great, too. So much more fun to scroll through on a phone
I also want to chime in that I love the gallery! And I’m enjoying seeing gift guides with a lot of options for younger kids – I have a lot of baby and toddler christmas gifts to get this year, and so many kid’s guides seemed aimed at 7+.
Hmmmm… Is it crazy that I want an adult size version of the butterfly wing tank top? For fancy dinner parties, obviously.
So many options of the butterfly wings available on amazon. I know because my daughter thinks we should fly together.
Hahaha, you sound like the best Mom. You should definitely fly together!
You are tempting my wallet so much! And I love this new format, it was great for an overview and still made it easy to get down to the nitty gritty.
This is the best kids gift guide I’ve seen! I want everything for my kids! I appreciate that they all look good on a shelf and don’t have batteries. Exactly what I was looking for, thank you! And I loved both formats along with your short commentary. Everything was perfect!!
THANK YOU. xx
My nephew (and honestly, the entire family) LOVES the indoor snowballs.
Love these ideas and the product board! Is it possible to make it so we can swipe? That would be so convenient! All the little girl gifts are making me want to have another baby.
I’m a gallery girl myself so I enjoyed this. I did look through both methods before I realized that they were repeating. Lol I’m tired.
Thanks! Some great ideas in here. I am off to buy those gloves and some bear sweaters. The gallery is great – don’t need the other view. However, could you please compress the white space a bit so one can see the picture, the description, and the next button on a phone screen? Thank you!
The gallery is a HUGE improvement over your previous method. So much more usable and easy to read/digest. The main thing I would add is a price on each slide. The price often influences people’s interest in something so it’s better to show that ahead of time rather than making us click to find out (e.g. I might assume something is expensive and not click, but if I realize it’s a great deal I’d be way more likely to check it out).
I think it’s good to keep the product board as well for a big-picture snapshot of what’s the in the gallery. They work well together.
I completely agree!! Both methods are super user-friendly and made me want to put pretty much all of your great ideas into my cart! I am always much more likely to click on something if the price is displayed ahead of time, so I agree with the above commenter that that would make it EVEN better and easier to use! Thanks for all the fantastic ideas! Love them all!!!
Love the gallery, and would pick that if I could only pick one method, but I do like having both because you can glance through everything quickly, then dive deeper in the gallery if you want specific details. Has anyone else ever clicked all the way through a gallery and then decided it was kind of a waste of time because you weren’t interested in anything? The mood board first sort of saves you from that.
Great picks, too! I have 3 nephews and a niece all in the infant-4 age range, so this was nice to get some ideas that might be liked by both the kids and the parents for Christmas. In fact, the biggest downside is that my sister-in-law also reads your blog, and might take some of the ideas herself!
^This is basically how I feel. If I could only have one, I’d choose the big picture mood board. But, if having both is an option, then that’d be better.
Hey thanks for listening to the feedback and putting in the slider so it’s easier to read. I think what would actually be the best solution is a board that allows you to click each item individually. That way I can glance at everything at one time and only click on the things that interest me. Rather than having to click through 15 things I don’t want in order to get to number 16 or whatever.
Nice gift guide! Add this to Birdie’s clothing list! A friend of mine from high school started it and these darling dresses are made in NYC.
Brilliant guide… But did you say NEW PLAY ROOM?
I think it was briefly mentioned before, but the extra living space- near the powder room and kitchen, is being turned into a play room 🙂
The gallery is such an easy format to follow along with on my phone! Thank you!
I love this post, it is so spot on for toys and cute clothes. I’ve been reading a lot of different gift guides but this one is Useful!
I think the wings you picked are pretty and coordinate with the palette of your board, but check it Tree & Vine on Etsy. It’s a collection of felt wings with coordinating accessories, so precious.
And no Mini Biden in your apparel? They have such an eclectic and colorful vibe season after season.
Shopping for kids is the best. Love the gallery.
Also, I have to tack on my favorite toy ever- Magnatiles. I got them for my daughters when they were 2 and 4, and they still get played with ALL THE TIME now that they’re 6 and 8 and they’re perfectly safe for my baby to chew on (unlike Legos, my girls’ other favorite building toy).
I really love the gallery. It’s easier to see on a phone, and quick to scroll through. Plus it’s nice to see your comment right below the item.
I read once that it’s best to have gifts from Santa NOT be the splurgy gifts, because kids talk about Santa at school and kids with more affluent parents get these amazing toys from “Santa” which leaves poorer kids wondering why Santa gave them less expensive gifts. I thought that was a good tip.
Just purchased the Melissa and Doug Clean up set after seeing it in your roundup. My 20 month old nephew loves cleaning up. I know he’s going to be obsessed with a set his size!
Also, I prefer this format as well =)
Love your list! We give year-round and could only come up with the idea of books for our 19 month old, but which books??? Well, the ones you have on your list are the ones I had been eyeing and spying for a minute. Bingo! This list is great for when we are itching to buy him a new toy. I especially love the robot and medical kit. Oh, and why not snatch up the animal foot print banner for his play area?! Please share more kids gifts idea kid-year day Christmas in July? 🙂
The format is great.
Kid-year day was supposed to be year-round. oops! ?
Loved the gallery. Enjoyed reading your comments while I looked at each item without having to scroll back and forth. Thank you also for the ideas. I selected some of them for my nephew for Christmas. Hope your kids have as memorable a Christmas as you had as a child.
Love the gift guide! Thank you for introducing me to some new brands. I am trying to follow the “want, need, wear, read” rule for my toddler twins but man, it’s so hard. There is just so much cuteness out there.
I stumbled upon these suspender bubble shorts for baby girls (0-24 months) on OshKosh and I thought you and your readers might love them because they fit that vintage aesthetic. I snatched up a pair for my 20 month old daughter – can’t beat the $10 price and she can wear them year-round without the tights.
Thank you so much for including Thimble in the guide – we’re so honored and love seeing Birdie in her Thimble pieces! – Rachel and the Moms of Thimble Collection
I love the gallery, if you are counting. Having both seems ideal for the impact and then the useful info. I love the workbench, but if you were looking for something smaller (maybe easier to ship) then there is one handmade in Colorado that I love. You can find it here: https://plumfieldshop.com/products/work-bench?variant=4535779716
That shop also carries tons of American made gorgeous wood block sets too – I personally like the “Women Who Dared” set (#stillwithher) – but birds/nautical flags/constellations are pretty great too.
I’m feeling the wooden toys this year, apparently.
For books, I got my my stepson Zen Shorts and Zen Socks. Great messages about not sweating the small stuff and having perspective. Good reminders for us grown ups, too!
I like having both! Made it so much easier to see and read!
Heads up – Many of the links aren’t working for me. They take me to a page with the URL that starts with “http://rstyle.me…” and it’s blank and white. 🙁 I want to buy ALL the things!
Very good brief and this post helped me a lot. Say thank you I searching for your facts. Continuous it..
My son is 18 months old and this guide is great for us ! I don’t have access to all the products cause I live in Italy but thank you for the great ideas! And yes, love the new format with both the new gallery and the usual product board 🙂 If I had to chose between one of the two presentations I’ll go with the new gallery but its definitely nice to have both :=) Thanks to all the team for the commitment and the hard work!
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