In my early years of marriage I remember thinking, “Wow, Christmas isn't nearly as exciting anymore.” Then I had kids and that Christmas excitement again went through the roof!
Shopping for toys, gifting toys, playing with toys, I love it all so much! There is seriously not many things better than the jumping up and down screaming that goes on when a kid opens a gift they are completely in love with.
The items I rounded up for today's Gift Guide are a collection of big hit toys that have been tried and tested in my home. My kids are not ones to sit on the floor and play with dolls or cars quietly, at least not for more than 5 minutes.
Instead, they thrive on creating works of art and any activities that allow them to run, jump, and skip to their adrenaline junkie heart's content.
Here's a quick reference to the other Gift Guides for 2018:
1) Orb Factory Plush Craft: Forget the kids, I LOVE THIS CRAFT! So much so, my daughter stopped inviting me to “help” her. Unlike the latch hook projects of my childhood, these pillows are easy to do and not so time intensive that my kids do half of it and never look at it again. It's a project they can manage on their own and they are so incredibly proud when they see the final product. I also spotted some raccoons and foxes that I will be getting for my boys this year.
2) Klutz String Art: We LOVE the Klutz Kits around here. I've been buying different kits all year as gifts for my own kids and for their friend's birthday parties. These are always, always a bit hit! My daughter really got into this String Art one last Christmas and was making one for all her Aunts, Uncles, cousins, etc.
3) Klutz Shimmer Art: I would say this is her second favorite Klutz kit. It's a bit more time consuming, which frustrated her a little bit, but once they are complete, they are BEAUTIFUL!
4) Cooking Class: I bought a lot of kid's cookbooks before I finally landed on this beauty. The recipes actually work, taste good, and allow for personalized creativity. My daughter finds it very easy to follow the directions as well which gives her a huge boost of confidence in her skills.
5) Fuse Beads 20,000: These melty beads are perhaps nothing new to any of you, but I had to mention this one because this kit contains a great variety of beads (all colors separated into different sections), ironing sheets, and stencils, all in this nice, 3 tiered container. Knock on wood, but we've had this for a year now, and they haven't gotten dumped yet.
6) Super Water Beads: I have been buying these since my kids were just old enough to listen to me when I say, “Don't put that in your mouth.” Place the small beads in water, let them sit overnight, and you get a beautiful bowl full of colorful, therapeutic, wet balls. I know, that doesn't sound all that awesome, but my kids (especially my high energy, can't ever sit still, kid) will dump these from one container to the next forever. Quite relaxing and spellbinding, these balls.
7) Crayola Inspiration Art Case: I've got crayons and markers EVERYWHERE that don't get used nearly enough. But suddenly when they are perfectly organized in a briefcase meant for one, my kids drawing and coloring creativity goes through the roof. Something about each of them feeling ownership for there own supply of coloring utensils makes them feel empowered. I'll take it.
8) Kid Paint Set: Another super fun, super creative, way to let your kid's minds go wild. So many textures, patterns, and potential in one handy-dandy kit. And the paints are washable, SCORE!
9) Crayola Model Magic: I've spent enough hours of my life picking sticky play dough off the floor, I won't do it ever again. I adore this Model Magic stuff! It stays together, it molds well, rolls out with a rolling pin easy, and the kid's finished products seem to dry faster than playdough. Don't quote me on that, I usually throw the playdough creations away in anger, so technically, I'm not sure how long they take to dry. #coolmom
10) Magformers: Splurge Alert! These Magformers can get pricey, particularly this one I'm linking to now (which happens to be my son's favorite 2 years running). There are sets at all price levels so look around for one that fits your budget because in my opinion, this is the best toy I've ever purchased in 8 years of having kids. Entertaining, promotes creativity, and encourages calm happy moments in crazy family life.
11) Fort Magic: AWESOME, AMAZING, BEST IDEA EVER! I bought this set when my twins were 2, and 4 years later my kids still have so much fun with these. The only difference now is that I'm not the one spending hours on creating them something to play in, now they can do it themselves. They'll make personalized tents, cars, tunnels, etc etc. Best collaborative toy I have ever purchased. There are a ton of “fort” type kits on Amazon so look around for one that fits your budget.
12) Mallo Me LED: This awesome mini lantern goes right alongside the fort because obviously if you're building secret tunnels that lead into the depths of the jungle, you're gonna need a lantern. Also, when my husband takes my kids camping (while I stay home and relish the silence), these are a must have.
13) Table Top Magnetic Easel: It always surprises me a bit to see which toys my kids take to and this has been a hit month after month. No mess, no fuss, hours of entertainment. One time my daughter used it to write me a love note while I was on a date with my husband and left the whole thing sitting on my pillow. Awwww, love it!
14) Crayola Dry Erase Markers: Of course you need some awesome Dry Erase Markers to go with that easel! I bought 3 sets of these, one for each kid, and they're great!
15) Kiwi Co: This is one of those subscription boxes that get delivered every month and I am in love with these. It's like having someone box up the most incredibly creative, fun project and handing it to you with a note that says, “Your kids will think you're the best mom ever when you do this with them, everything is included, you're welcome.” I can make one of these last for days which means I'm getting high quality, one on one time, with each of my kids. I subscribe to 3 different crates for all 3 different personalities: Kiwi Crate (more simple, yet artsy crafts), Tinker Crate (more intense, engineer type crafts), and Atlas Crate (a tour of the world, different cultures, ethnic foods, etc). I owe Kiwi Co so much for the many heart to hearts they've helped me have with these boxes. AMAZING! They are starting their Black Friday specials now! Use the discount code CHEER60.
16) Blue Track: This track is the best thing ever for my twins! They loop it over, under, and around stools, pillows, and laundry baskets and then will spend forever racing every single care they own on it. Simple yet genius.
17) Mini Trampoline: I bought this for our unfinished basement and when my kids have energy to burn, I'll send them down to play on this. Jumping is fun, but add the bar and it becomes monumental fun.
18) Road Tape: I've looked at this tape so many times thinking it was ridiculous. No, it's not, it's the best and cheapest entertainment money can buy. My boys trailed this tape from one room to the next and had a blast with it. The best part is that it left no sticky residue anywhere.
19) Bike Spoke Lights: For the hardcore bicycler, these lights are great entertainment. Even in the middle of winter, if there's a dry road in sight, my kids are on their bikes and these lights bring a whole new element of fun.
20) Bike Light Set: And since they are riding during a setting sun for the spoke lights to be fun, a bike light is a must. This light is easy to put on and my kids love that they can ride back and forth to grandma's house with them.
21) Rollerblades: Whoever the smarty pants is that made a roller blade with built-in adjustable sizes is invited to my house for dinner for the next year. I bought these for my daughter last year and they should last her another couple years at least. They ride super smooth, tie up nice and tight, and are still in great shape after many many rides.
22) DIY Balloon Animal Kit: No more wasting money at the farmers market on balloon animals that pop before we get home! I have not tried this kit out yet, but the reviews on it are good and I foresee some seriously good times resulting from this kit.
23) Lego Boost: Another Splurge Alert! I was going to resist putting legos on this list because of the many times I've threatened to confiscate all legos from the house if I stepped on one more painful block, but this one is seriously cool. My son talks often about being an engineer when he's older and this is perfect for him. Once the robot (or animal, guitar, cat, etc) is built, my son uses an app on his tablet to create a series of movements and sounds, presses play, and it comes to life. My son is learning to code at 6 years old and loving it! Big points for this one!
24) Plae Shoes: Finally, the best shoes on the entire planet and THE ONLY shoes I've ever bought that literally DO NOT wear out. No tears, no broken soles, nothin'. My kids take everything to a ridiculous level of intensity, and these shoes carry them through it all. They are a bit on the pricey side when compared to others, but as I said, they wear them until they don't fit, then I pass them to my sister's kids. Watch for Black Friday prices on these! They always do an amazing sale.
There you have it! Twenty Four gifts for the kid in your life that never seems to run low on energy and creativity. Whether you're buying for your own kids, grandkids, cousins, or anything in between, I hope this list will make your life easier this Christmas!
Share your favorites below! I'm on the hunt for more goodies to buy my kids this year and would love your thoughts!
Amazon does amazing toy sales for this season so keep this list handy and do a bit of watching and waiting for the best prices, if you have the patience, that is.
I also like to do a quick price comparison online before buying on Amazon. You never know when you're gonna find it for less somewhere else.