I understand! My husband and I have raised four children. We’ve purchased a lot of Christmas gifts for our kids and we’ve received a lot of gifts from loving friends and family. There are some gifts that get pushed aside, and some that get played with for years to come.
Christmas Gifts for Kids….
Whenever I cleaned house and threw out or donated toys that didn’t meet our needs as a family, I always kept three categories of items: games, building toys, and pretend toys. While the exact models and toys we had may not still be available, I’ve included the newer (sometimes better) versions.
Thinking Kids covers Christian books for children often, so you’ll want to look at some of our great book lists for gift ideas. If you’re looking for art supplies, check out this great list of creative supplies. But in this post, we’re just going to cover great toys and games.
Games as Christmas Gifts for Kids
Game night is a great way to connect with your kids, laugh, build good sportsmanship and character, and learn skills like mental math and strategy. We’ve made an effort to purchase a new game for each child every Christmas. Here are some of our favorite games (up to age 12).
Sequence for KidsClue Junior GameGuess Who? Classic GameSorry! 2013 Edition GameCandy Land The World of Sweets Game (Amazon Exclusive)Chutes and Ladders Game (Amazon Exclusive)Scrabble Junior GameClassic Operation GameYahtzee GameBlokus GameKangaroo’s Folding Wooden Chess Set With Magnet ClosureBattleship GameTicket To RideRetro Series Clue 1986 Edition GameMouse Trap Game (Amazon Exclusive)BohnanzaUno Card GameHasbro Gaming Monopoly Deal Card Game7 WondersKingdom BuilderSequence GameRisk Game
Building Toys as Christmas Gifts for Kids
Building helps kids develop a number of important critical thinking skills. As your kids build, they’ll advance in their creativity, hand-eye coordination and spatial reasoning, ability to follow instructions, and their understanding of basic engineering concepts. Our children have all loved working on their building toys. We’ve loved them so much that the sets are carefully packed for our future grandchildren!
Building toys are versatile–they can be used over and over again to create new models. There are some great building books to use with the sets, too.
I’ve always enjoyed building with my children, which is a bonus–it’s another way to bond with our kids and to help them experiment and develop new skills. Below are some of the brands, building books, and toys our kids have loved.
Magnetic Blocks Building SetMelissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set sBUILD 5-in-1 Model Building Blocks SetLEGO City Airport VIP ServiceLEGO Friends Heartlake Grand Hotel 41101 Popular Kids ToyLEGO City Great Vehicles 60060 Auto TransporterK’NEX 100 Model Building Set – 863 Pieces – Ages 7+ Engineering Educational ToyKID K’NEX – Budding Builders Building Set – 100 Pieces – Ages 3 and Up – Preschool Educational ToyMeccano-Erector Junior Advanced Toolbox, 8 Model Building KitMeccano Super Construction Set, 25 Motorized Model Building Set, 638 Pieces, For Ages 10+, STEM Education ToyMetalEarth 3D Metal Model – Black Pearl Pirate ShipFascinations Metal Earth Moby Dick Book Sculpture 3D Metal Model KitThe Lego Ideas Book: Unlock Your ImaginationBrick Animals: 40 Clever & Creative Ideas to Make from Classic LEGOAwesome LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have
Pretend Toys as Christmas Gifts for Kids
Pretend toys are really important for children. Playing pretend allows them to emulate the people around them, to imagine becoming an adult, to learn new skills, and to develop emotionally and socially. We had several sets of pretend toys when our kids were young that they really loved!
Step2 Heart Of The Home Kitchen PlaysetStep2 Lifestyle Fresh Accents KitchenStep2 Deluxe Workshop PlaysetMelissa & Doug Police Officer Role Play Costume Set, Ages 3-6 yrsMelissa & Doug Doctor Role Play Costume Dress-Up Set (7 pcs)Melissa & Doug Construction Worker Role Play Costume Dress-Up Set (6 pcs)Melissa & Doug Astronaut Role Play Costume Set (5 pcs) – Jumpsuit, Helmet, Gloves, Name TagMelissa & Doug Race Car Driver Role Play Costume Set (3 pcs) – Jumpsuit, Helmet, Steering WheelWooden Wonders Zoey & Joey Magnetic Dress-up Playset (65pcs.) by Imagination GenerationStep2 All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy PlayhouseLittle Tikes Activity Garden Baby PlaysetStep2 Little Helpers Kids Shopping CartStep2 Little Helper’s Shopping Cart-PinkStep2 101 Piece Play Food AssortmentStep2 LifeStyle Dining Room Pots and Pans Set For KidsStep2 Spill & Splash Seaway Water TableStep2 Dino Dig Sand & Water TableLittle Tikes 2-in-1 Food TruckLittle Tikes Cozy TruckLittle Tikes Garden TableMelissa & Doug Deluxe Puppet Theater – Sturdy Wooden ConstructionMelissa & Doug Zoo Friends Hand Puppets (Set of 4) – Elephant, Giraffe, Tiger, and MonkeyMelissa & Doug Tabletop Puppet Theater – Sturdy Wooden ConstructionMelissa & Doug Fairy Tale FriendsMelissa & Doug Surgeon Puppet With Doctor Scrubs and Detachable Wooden Rod for Animated GesturesMelissa & Doug Police Officer Puppet With Detachable Wooden Rod for Animated GesturesMelissa & Doug Chef Puppet With Detachable Wooden Rod for Animated GesturesMelissa & Doug Royal Princess Puppet With Detachable Wooden Rod for Animated Gestures
When spending money on Christmas gifts for your kids, you want to choose toys that will benefit your children and keep them occupied for hours. You want toys that will last for years. I hope this list gives you some great ideas!
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.