8 Creative Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages

Fun holiday gifts can have an educational twist.Fun gifts can have an educational twist

For many families across the country, prep for the holiday season is in full swing. For co-parents, getting your holiday parenting schedule in place is an essential first step in ensuring a smooth transition into this often stressful time of year. You may have already taken this step, and if so, your holiday focus is likely to be elsewhere.

Deciding what to get your kids for the holidays can be hard enough without having to factor in the possibility of your co-parent getting them the same thing or having disagreements about a budget for spending on gifts. Wherever you and your co-parent stand on these matters, the most important gift you can give your kids this holiday season is assurance that you will do your best to keep celebrations peaceful and fun. Set conflict aside in order to give your kids an enjoyable holiday experience that is memorable for the right reasons. 

Once you're prepared yourself to give the gift of a conflict-free holiday season, you're ready to move into planning other gifts for your children. Again, try to coordinate what you and your co-parent will each get for your kids and how much you'll each plan to spend. Yet even if you can't settle on every last detail, set yourself up for success in gift-giving by making smart decisions about what you give. Gifts don't necessarily have to be extravagant or expensive in order to make an impact and be something that your kids will enjoy. Get creative and think of ideas that might not be something that someone else thought of, but also, consider giving gifts that serve an educational purpose. 

STEM (Science, Technology & Engineering, Math) toys and other educational toys and games can be a great approach to take for gift-giving. They're guaranteed to support your child's learning, teaching them things that they may or may not be learning in school. STEM gifts come in the form of games, art supplies, kits to build small machines, and more. In my cases, kids don't just come out of using these gifts only to learn a little something. They'll also be able to show off their creations which can make any kid feel proud. Moreover, their interest in a new skill could be sparked, learning them wanting to learn more about their new found interest. 

From toddlers to teens, we've compiled a list of some STEM toys, games, electronics, and a few other creative and educational items that make great fits for kids.

Ages 3-4

  • Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio - This Play-Doh set lets young kids create unique shapes using their hands or the various molds provided. You can scan their designs into the Play-Doh Touch app and bring their creations to life. 
  • Wikki Stix Activity Set - Like Play-Doh, your child can create different figures of their own design but with a different shape and texture using these wax-coated, pliable sticks. 

Ages 5-7

  • National Geographic Mega Crystal Growing Lab - Kids grow their own colorful crystals at home using this kit from National Geographic. It includes a night light display so your child can mount and glow their creations at night.
  • Educational Insights Math Slam - A fun way to grow math skills in kids, this toy pushes your child's skills by presenting questions faster and faster each time. Math games include addition, subtraction, algebraic addition, and more. 

Ages 8-13

  • Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit - Let your child bring their own Star Wars droid to life using this educational kit. Once set up, they'll use the free Droid Inventor app to take their droid on missions and give it new skills. 
  • Alex Toys DIY Wear Knit and Wear - Knitting is a skill that can stick with a person throughout their entire life. This kit includes thick yarn and chunky knitting needles that make it easy for beginners to learn this creative skill.

Ages 14+

  • Elenco AM/FM Radio Kit - In setting up their own AM/FM radio, your child can learn about radio technology and the functional components necessary when creating radio receivers and amplifiers. 
  • Apple iPad Mini, Refurbished - An iPad alone may not qualify as a STEM or other educational gift, yet what your teens do on their iPad could certainly change this. If you are thinking of giving your teen an iPad this Christmas or if you already have one at home, consider downloading some educational apps like The Elements, an app that goes in depth about the chemical elements, or Hopscotch, an app where kids can learn how to code and make their own games in minutes.