You may see a couple of repeat gift ideas from my toddler + little kid gift guide below but that simply means they’re either the unicorn gifts that last for years or are gifts our boys (ages 3, 5 and 8) all love.
As in years past, I’ve divided my gift guide for kids into the following categories:
- Something they want (subdivided into a few additional categories)
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
I hope this gift guide gives you some ideas for the awesome big kids in your life!
NOTE: You may find a bunch of these items rounded up together in my Amazon shop! Also of possible interest are the posts I wrote the past two years after the holidays featuring the gifts our boys loved and still played with over and over again after Christmas: Holiday Gifts: The Hits Two Months Later (early 2023) + Holiday Gifts: The Hits One Month Later (early 2022)
GIFT GUIDE FOR KIDS: BIG KIDS
Something They Want
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY + GET THAT ENERGY OUT:
- Nighthawk Electric Ride-On: This ride-on toy was the hit of our big kids’ summer birthdays and is my number one recommendation this year! (Ryder at 5-years-old loves it but it goes fast enough to be cool and fun for an 8+ year old!) It’s the first thing the boys’ friends want to do when they come over. They all LOVE it and the learning curve was practically non-existent for all the kids who have tried it at our house.
- Bike/Skateboard/Scooter Ramp: This is going under the tree for our boys this year. They’re always creating their own makeshift bike jumps so we’re thinking this will be a hit!
- Kid Kayak: This one is obviously location-specific, but if you live in a warmer climate with access to water in the winter, I highly recommend these kid kayaks. Our boys lived on them this summer!
- Bike: We typically use Christmas or Easter to upgrade our boys’ to the next bike size. We’ve had great luck with this bike in all sizes for our boys and it passes the hand-me-down test.
- Gymnastics Bar: One of Chase’s best friends has a gymnastics bar at her house and it’s the first thing he wants to do whenever we go to her house for playdates!
- Sports Cones: The gift that keeps on giving! Our kids use these for everything from creating courses for their bikes/Plasma Cars/Nighthawks to making up various games, sporting goals and more.
- Mini Hockey Set: A birthday gift our big kids continue to play with multiple times a week.
- Ninja Warrior Outside Obstacle Course: Another one the boys love to use at a friend’s house.
- Razor Scooter: Our big kids got these scooters for Christmas last year and we love how they easily collapse, making them a breeze to throw in the car and bring along when we go to a park, greenway, etc.
- Glider Airplanes: Our boys throw and chase these glider planes all over the place.
- Chasing Fireflies Game: Such a fun one for kids who love to seek and find.
- Pop-Up Goals: We got these when our big kids first got into soccer but they use them for a lot more than just soccer!
- Zebco Fishing Rod: The rod all of our boys used to learn to cast and fish.
- Picasso Tiles: These will make every kid gift guide I create for all time. The BEST. If you don’t have magnetic tiles for your little one, let this be the item you get them this year. I recommend getting a pack with at least 100 tiles because your child(ren) will play with them for years and make increasingly impressive creations!
- Pokémon Cards + Pokémon Essentials Handbook: I don’t get the hype on these cards at all but our boys are so into them it’s insane. If your kid is the same way, I cannot recommend the Pokémon Essentials Handbook enough. Our boys pour over it to learn more about their cards, Pokémon characters, damage points… and whatever else Pokémon cards mean to them that I don’t understand.
- Squishmallows: These adorable, super-soft and squishy pillow-liked stuffed animals are huge right now.
- Foamnasium Couch: Our kids drag these cushions everywhere. So great for fort building, story time relaxation, imagination play, clubhouses, etc.
- Fort-Building Kit: Our boys and Ryan have created some awesome forts with this kit. I know air forts are a big favorite for kids at this age, too!
- Walkie Talkies: For a three-pack of inexpensive walkie talkies, these have held up great for us!
Educational + Creative
- Loom Bracelets Kit: These are all the rage in Chase’s second grade class. The kids are always making and swapping bracelets and chokers in various colors and patterns.
- Melty/Perler Beads: You knew this one would make the list! Our boys are obsessed with melty beads! Our kids love this kit with the beads divided into separate sections based on color. Just make sure you get boards and a pattern book, too!
- Legos: A hit every time with our big kids.
- Mini Karaoke Machine: Ryder loves to sing so this will be under the tree for him this year!
- Ant Farm or Live Butterfly Lifecycle Habitat: For animal lovers! These kits are the coolest and had our animal-loving kids in awe.
- Science Experiments Kits: If you ask our boys if they want to do a science experiment at any time, their answer will always be yes! We’ve loved the National Geographic interactive experiment kits and this Crayola Color Chemistry set.
- Surprise Inside Bath Bombs: Our boys flip for these.
- Kid-Friendly Digital Camera: The gift we gave to a bunch of the boys’ friends for various birthdays this summer. It’s a small camera that’s a HUGE hit for kids, especially those with an interest in taking lots of pictures! The boys also had a blast with this mini underwater camera all summer long.
- Puzzles: We do puzzles in our house daily! The Mudpuppy reversible animal puzzles are some of our big kids’ favorites.
- Games: Don’t Break the Ice (our kids get SO into this one), Outfoxed (a favorite for years over here), Clue Jr. (Chase and Ryder reach for this one a lot)
- Electronic Safe: Chase loved this last year and uses it to lock away little treasures.
- Flower Crown Kit: We’ve given this as part of a birthday party gift a number of times and it always seems to be a winner.
SOMETHING THEY NEED
- Pottery Barn Loungers: If your little one is in need of a larger (but still kid-friendly) chair or place to lounge, I cannot recommend these loungers enough. We have a pair in our living room and in our play loft and sit in them all the time. They’re the boys’ favorite spot to curl up with a book and the large size works for our whole family. (You may see ours in action in this post.)
- Smart Toothbrush: Oh my gosh this toothbrush is incredible! It works with an app that guides kids to brush their teeth more thoroughly but it feels like a game to them. We got two for our big kids about a month ago and they absolutely flip for it every night. They love earning points, prizes and silly face masks to take goofy pictures after they brush their teeth every night. I highly recommend this one, especially if you have a kid who doesn’t love brushing their teeth or isn’t the best at thoroughly brushing their teeth every day.
- Silicone Water Bottle Name Bands: We love these name bands because they can be used on any water bottle and they help easily identify the boys’ water bottles with their name! We went the tie-dye route for their name bands because they stand out a little more in a sea of water bottles. Pair this with a new water bottle (YETI 18 oz water bottles are our fav for big kids) for a fun gift idea!
- Name Blankets: Our boys love to get “cozy-cozy” as they say under blankets! We got them personalized name blankets for Christmas last year. These personalized holiday blankets are all kinds of adorable.
- Daily Task Charts: Our boys are majorly motivated by these charts and they’ve been great for teaching responsibility.
- Memberships/Lessons/Experiences: The best gift!!! Consider gifting a membership to a favorite museum, lessons for a favorite sport or activity, etc.
- Arts and Crafts Supplies: KwikStix Fast-Drying Paint Pens (the best for making posters/banners — we use our butcher paper roll all the time), Crayola Marker Caddy (great for small hands + organized markers), Window Crayons, Retractable Markers (to eliminate the frustration of losing caps!)
- Sporting Goods/Activity Supplies: A new soccer ball for a soccer player, a new leotard for a dancer, etc.
SOMETHING TO WEAR
- Slippers: Our boys inherited my love for slippers and get so excited for a new pair. Some of our favorites include these UGG look-a-likes from Walmart (I got these for them this year!) and these reindeer slippers (their Elf on the Shelf delivered them on December 1st last year!)
- Winter Outerwear: Some of our favorites the boys include this lightweight puffer jacket, this ski jacket and this ski jacket for super cold weather and skiing and these UGG look-a-like boots
- Pajamas: We love these Amazon pajamas so much and they have the cutest holiday prints!
- Crocs: Crocs are taking over the world. Our boys will each be getting a new pair on Christmas morning!
- Cozy Robe: I wear a robe non-stop in the winter months and the boys love robes as well, especially for lazy mornings and cozy evenings. I ordered these smiley face robes for the boys for Christmas and these strawberry robes for my nieces!
- Rain Boots: If you have adventurous kids who love to explore and get muddy, rainboots are a must.
Something To Read
Beginner Chapter Books:
- Owl Diaries (Lots of pictures and text bubbles to hold the interest of young readers)
- Unicorn Diaries (If your kid loved Owl Diaries, they’ll love this series by the same author, too!)
- Dragon Masters (A dragon lover’s dream series. Lots of not-so-scary adventure.)
- Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly (The first boxed set in this series is going under the tree for Chase this Christmas. His best friend Jack loves them and his mom, who happens to be a former second grade teacher, recommended them to us!)
- Magic Tree House (The first chapter book series both of our big kids loved)
- Press Start (The first and second grader obsession with these books is REAL)
- Harry Potter Illustrated Edition (A great way to introduce the magical wizarding world to kids)
- Diary of a Pug (Another series we’ll be gifting to the boys this Christmas.)
Picture Books Big Kids Love:
- The Circus Ship (A gem of a book! I cannot recommend this one enough. I broughtit to read to Chase’s first grade class last year and they absolutely loved it.)
- Dragons Love Tacos (A fun and goofy book)
- Those Darn Squirrels (This book cracks our kids up)
- Elephant & Piggie (Perfect for kindergarten + first graders)
- The Snail and the Whale (Because all Julia Donaldson books are a hit)
- Any of the “How to Catch a…” Books (A silly series of books our boys enjoy)
- Cat in the Hat Learning Library Books (Educational and fun!)