One day, there’ll be a way to bottle that feeling that comes from giving someone the perfect gift and seeing their seriously happy reaction.
Struggling to remember what that feels like? You’re not the only one. Even if you may know exactly what to get your BFF and your other half this year, it’s almost always more of a struggle when it comes to sourcing cool kids gifts; let alone eco-friendly gifts.
But there’s a growing number of unique kids gifts out there, which promises endless opportunities to nurture future passions, discover new interests or just ensure you’re at the top of the list when it comes to sending out thank you notes. Choose the right present and you could un-tap the next Picasso, Mozart or Nobel Prize winner. No pressure.
Not sure where to start? We’ve covered a little of everything when it comes to popular toys for kids, including fashion, electricals, beauty, jewellery and, of course, just plain fun.
The best things in life may be free but the second best things in life are found below in our organised-by-price holiday gift guides.
From budget-friendly treats to high-end premium gifts, it’s all here. And to make sure that you stay within a (reasonable?) budget, we’re breaking down our list by price range:
Psssst, we also curated a list of the best gift ideas for teenage girls and teenage boys, as well as the best gifts for men and women if you’re looking for more inspiration. Or a little treat for yourself…
Unsure how to choose the right gift for younger kids? Check our special children’s gift buying guide after the list to see exactly what you should pay attention to when shopping for children’s gifts online.
The best gifts for kids under $50
We start off our list with children’s gift ideas under $50 that (almost) look like a million bucks. You’ll mostly find below small yet meaningful gifts but also funny or symbolic presents to show that you care.
Those fears of coming home to thoroughly scribbled walls or children’s unique artworks dotted all over prized furniture? Take that artistic talent (even if it’s yet to be understood or interpreted by the world) and redirect it into something that’s – literally – designed for covering with doodles.
The Colour-In Dino Pyjamas are one of the best unique kids gifts and are both soft and comforting, with a subtle off white shade and plenty of outlines on front to back. Spend the afternoon scribbling away and bringing each illustration to life and simply air-cure the pyjamas for 24 hours or iron the design to set the colours before bedtime. Don’t be surprised if your child wakes up a future artist after all.
Lovevery Play Kit
Lovevery’s Play Kits are the sort of present you’ll feel a little smug giving to anyone with children due to just how thoughtful they are. Because these play kits aren’t just designed for mindless fun; they’re specifically designed to encourage subconscious learning at the same time.
Different kits come with different inclusions, which are tailored right through from newborns to toddlers. Expect a range of interesting colours, textures, sounds and designs, incorporated into each unique box. If you know anything about the Montessori way of education, you’ll be over the moon with any of these Lovevery Play Kits. And, if you’re feeling generous, you can set up an ongoing subscription box.
Ages: Newborn – 2 years
Honeysticks Natural Beeswax Crayons
Beeswax crayons promise all of the joy and creativity that comes from drawing without any of the toxic chemicals that many other brands incorporate. Enter: Honeysticks Natural Beeswax crayons. Available in a brightly coloured multipack, these crayons boost creativity without limitations with no waxy residue and no nasty smells.
They’re designed in a traditional crayon size, which makes them perfect for older children who already have a good pencil grasp and an imagination to match. Trying to bring out the artistic side in a child or discover the next Picasso or Monet? These might be your answer.
Parachute’s Stuffed Teddy is equally as adorable as he is sustainable: a timeless new friend who’ll accompany the child in your life from their first activity of the day right through to story time at night, tucked up in bed.
Each of these bears is handmade, which means no two are the same. They’re also made sustainably, incorporating work from artisans across the world and waving goodbye to unethical working practices. Made from soft linen in a muted yellow colour and filled with recycled polyester, this Maileg Teddy is set to become the right hand of any child thanks to his soft fabric and sweet expression.
Ages: Newborn upwards
EarthHero Finger Paint
Earthhero’s Eco-kids Finger Paint might look like they come in soft, pastel shades but as soon as you mix these planet-friendly paints with a dash of water, you’ll admire the vibrant colours that pop out. These non-toxic finger paints are great for kids just developing their own artistic streak, made from food-safe, non-GMO ingredients including potatoes, rice, and beans.
Each colour is naturally derived from plants or vegetables, which means it’s not the end of the world if the little one in question gets a little hungry mid painting. These powdered paints come in recyclable paper cartons and are made almost entirely sustainably, with soy inks in a wind-powered factory. They’re one of the best when it comes to environmentally friendly gifts for young children.
Wash-Off Nail Polish
Nail polish might often call itself non toxic but it’s understandable if you’d still rather keep it away from young hands. But if you’ve got a young child who’s desperate for equally as beautiful nails as yours, the ideal midpoint comes in the form of Wash-Off Nail Polish.
Child friendly both in chemical makeup and colour, this multi pack comes in five vibrant shades and promises to be the star of the show. While it might look just like normal nail varnish, this one scrubs off with soap and water. When you’re finished with nail painting, the box itself is also designed to be coloured in.
Veggie Finger Paints
Carrying on the creative theme, Veggie Baby Store’s Finger Paints for Toddlers promise slightly less restrained creativity with the same hefty dose of colours. Made from natural, organic vegetable-based ingredients, these finger paints are almost good enough to eat.
They’re also suitable for children aged from six months and upwards, who might be slightly more inclined to put the “good enough to eat” side to the test. Famed for being not only fun but also dairy, sugar, nut, preservative and gluten free, this gift fuses the midpoint between snack time and playtime. Just add a little water and you’re ready to go.
Ages: 6 months +
Melissa & Doug Wooden Pieces
Those plastic food and drink pieces you served up in make believe restaurants to willing parents as children? They’re back – but in a more sustainable, stylish and all round better form. Melissa & Doug Food Groups will have you reminiscing of running your own kitchen as a young child but in a modernised way.
Each of these wooden pieces comes carefully painted in its own box and there are multiple boxes to choose from. Opt for dairy, fruits and vegetables, grains or meat, or buy all four boxes if you’ve got a feeling you’ll be involved with raising a budding chef. If you like practical presents, these are renowned for also helping with teaching early number skills, colour recognition, sorting and grouping.
Instyler Hair Pins
Instyler’s WordPlay Hair Pins are the perfect accessory for pre-teens and teenagers and also fit right in with current beauty trends. Which means there’s a fair to reasonable chance you’d buy them for a gift and end up keeping them for yourself.
This two pack of hair pins, one of the sweetest gifts for 9 year olds if you’re struggling to decide, is cute and colourful, a subtle and fashionable addition to dressing up boxes right through to must-need accessories for older children. In a bright pink and a rose gold shade, they’re designed to sit firmly in hair without slipping out throughout the course of the day.
Sprout Plantable Pencils
Sprout’s Plantable Pencils are the gift that doesn’t stop giving. These pencils are multi purpose, in the sense that you’ll first use them for drawing and writing. Then, as they get worn down, you’re encouraged to plant them somewhere safely in the garden.
Give them a bit of time, and you’ll be rewarded with colourful plants, delicious herbs or fresh vegetables. You know the saying “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him how to fish, etc”? These Plantable Pencils are sort of like the child-friendly version of just that. Sustainable shopping, early childhood version.
PlanToys Sorting Game
Brightly coloured hives and super cute bumble bees make up the two core components of this PlanToys Sorting Game. Seriously sweet bees in various different shades are designed to encourage early motor skills and colour recognition in a baby-friendly game that looks equally as cute.
Made from organic pigments and water-based dyes, it doesn’t matter whether your child would prefer to use the pincers to put the bees in their hives or would rather explore them a little closer, as they’re perfectly safe and non-toxic. They’re beautiful to display and might even act as a game you’d play along with.
Sophie The Giraffe Teether
Sophie the Giraffe is just as adorable as she is useful – a handy toy for teething toddlers that comes complete with her own back story. While her polka dot body might ensure she looks like one of the new kids on the block, Sophie the Giraffe dates back an entire 55 years as one of the best toys out there to soothe aching gums.
A soft texture and numerous chewable parts ensures she’s prepared for some wear and tear from even the most energised of toddlers. She’s suitably light for baby hands and even squeaks – a worthwhile distraction when necessary.
Parachute Baby Towel
Struggling to decide what to buy a newborn who seemingly has all of the essentials covered already? Think outside the box – or outside the bath in this case – with the addition of a Hooded Baby Towel.
This one from Parachute is our favourite, thanks to its irresistibly soft long-staple Turkish cotton and delicate colour. A baby towel is one of those things that’s not ultimately essential but is definitely desirable; the sort of thing an over-stressed parent might not think of immediately but will absolutely appreciate when it comes to bathing baby in the colder months of the year.
Dabble & Dollop Bath Bubbles Mixing Kit
Love it or hate it but bath time is an essential part of the day. If you’re spending time with a child who hates bath time, distraction is your friend. And that’s where the Dabble & Dollop Bath Bubbles Mixing Kit comes in. With a child-sized mixing bowl and recipe cards for inspiration, this bath set promises a complete 180 for children who’ll suddenly enjoy bath time a whole lot more.
It’s entirely hypoallergenic, with soft, delicious scents of strawberry, tangerine, and vanilla flavoured products. Each gel and whip is made from naturally derived ingredients and it’s suitable for children of all ages.
The best gifts for kids under $100
Let’s now take a look at the best gifts for kids under $100. These are a step up from the previous ideas. They won’t break the bank, but if you’re ready to spend more on a children’s gift, you’ll want your gift to be memorable and useful.
Axel Arigato Hoodie
These Axel Arigato hoodies will have you wishing for the adult version so you’d be able to mix and match with whichever lucky child is on the receiving end of this gift. But, even if you can’t quite fit into the Kids Single Bee Bird Hoodie yourself, you’ll get a pat on the back in years to come for ensuring your protégé started life suitably stylishly.
Incorporating the brand’s classic premium quality in an understated design, this Bee Bird hoodie is made from pure organic cotton with a brushed back for enhanced comfort. It’s also available in black or grey.
Nike Kids Sneakers
Style meets practicality with this pair of Nike sneakers for kids. A great gift idea if you want the lucky present recipient to be the most fashionable kid at school. Nike offers a range of cool sneakers for children, but we particularly like the Crater Impact collection that’s designed with the Earth mind. These shoes are indeed made with at least 20% recycled materials. They’re lightweight, durable and feature Crater foam cushioning, so your kiddo can make an impact every time they play—in more ways than one.
Gotrax GKS Electric Scooter
If you’ve been jumping on the electric scooter hype recently then there’s a good chance any child who’s seen you whizzing by has also expressed a desire for their own mini version. Say hello to just that: the Gotrax GKS Electric Scooter for Kids.
A miniature variation of one of the most popular electric scooters out there, this one comes with all of the features necessary for a fun day out and also the added benefit of being used manually, too. It has a top speed of up to 7.5mph – fast enough to pick up some speed but not so much that they’ll be able to feign ignorance or inability to hear you when they shoot off into the horizon. If you prefer a non-electric option, check our round-up of the best scooter for kids.
Axel Arigato Clean 90 Sneakers
The Kids Clean 90 Triple Animal Straps will have you seriously considering starting an Instagram account for the child in your life, just to show off their fashionable fits.
These mini luxury sneakers are not only adorably small but also come with a minimalist silhouette, leopard print panels and the brand’s signature gold accents. They’re a pair to buy with some trepidation, though: gift these to a young boy or girl in your life and expect a request next year for Yeezy’s or something similar.
Ages: Size UK 25 – 34
FitBit Fitness Tracker
The Fitbit Ace 2 Activity Tracker for Kids aims to gamify exercising in a way that’s fun and accessible without being too intricate or forceful for children. It comes with all of the typical features of the best fitness trackers in a child friendly format: think skipping, jumping and moving rather than heavy gym sessions or fitness classes.
Kids can challenge their friends to step competitions or send messages in the app, as well as taking this Fitbit to swim classes or pool parties, thanks to its waterproof nature. Better yet, it also incorporates sleep tracking, bedtime reminders and silent alarms, if you live with a child who loves their early mornings.
Bobo Choses Backpack
Whether that’s to bring along to school for daily use, to be saved for fun weekend adventures, to be the safe place to store essentials during extracurricular activities, there’s always a use for a good backpack. Better yet if the backpack in question is great quality, in a kid-friendly design and sustainably made.
The answer? Bobo Choses Printed Recycled Backpack. This piece might be a little more expensive than your standard backpack for children but it’s made of strong enough fabrics to ensure a lot of wear and tear. It’s also a cute, versatile design, suitable for all kids to enjoy.
Liewood Beach Set
Summer holiday coming up or just looking for a few more additions to the sandpit in the garden? Liewood’s Dante Fruit Beach Set is the stylish essential to bring along to the beach for hours spent playing in the sand.
This tonal shade beach set is a little more on trend than your typical garish bucket and spade combo and also promises to withstand a lot more pressure. It’s made entirely from rubber, which makes it safe and suitable for younger kids without any dangers of sharp corners. Complete with four different beach molds, it promises days on end of fun.
Gorjana Adjustable Bracelet
We’ve talked a lot about our favourite jewellery brands before but not all of them are quite so child-friendly. What that basically boils down to is the chance of jewellery getting lost, broken or somehow otherwise harmed. But Gorjana’s Bespoke Plate Adjustable Bracelet is a great midpoint for something that’s delicate and sweet without being overly expensive or liable for breaking.
Each of these bracelets comes with the opportunity for customisation, so you can even go one step further with an engraved name on the side. It’s perfectly dainty and ensures a much-loved, thoughtful gift for whoever’s lucky enough to receive it.
Liewood Silicone Cups
Liewood’s Silicone Cups is the ideal gift for kids who know well enough not to throw everything they’re given straight on the floor but also don’t necessarily have the right level of motor control to not accidentally end up smashing the occasional glass.
A cute and tonal addition to your glassware drawer that’s child friendly, these cups come with two holders and – hopefully – the promise of more liquid ending up being drunk rather than splashed on all nearby surfaces. If you have a child who’s pushing for their independence, these cups add to that experience without breakages.
The best gifts for kids if money is no object
Now we’re talking! The gifts below are more meaningful investments. These are the luxury gifts for the children who have everything and want nothing.
Below, our favourite luxury gifts for kids.
Best Choice Products Electric Car
If you’re looking to go all out during the next gifting season, there are a few failsafe options that all kids will love. One of the most popular comes in the form of Best Choice Products’ Kids 12V Ride On Truck. With five different colour options and a proper behind the wheel experience, it’s the closest thing you’ll find to independent driving for children of a young age.
Take your child on a wild ride with full control over the truck’s driving features with a 3.7mph max speed that feels much faster on the road. What’s even cooler is this electric car’s built-in Bluetooth speakers, adding a musical element to playtime.
Check our round-up of the best electric cars for kids if you want to see other great options.
Bearaby Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets promise a new realm of comfort for any anxious sleeper but many – due to their heavily weighted element – aren’t suitable for kids. Bearaby’s Nappling Weighted Blanket For Kids puts an end to that problem, with the arrival of a beautifully soft weighted blanket that ensures a consistent and relaxed night of sleep.
Perfect for any kid who struggles with nightmares or staying asleep, this weighted blanket offers a reassuring presence and comes in four soft shades. It’s made from organic cotton and has a thick, knitted design – a real life comfort blanket that takes the stress out of bedtimes each night.
We’re big fans of Yesglasses and the child-friendly glasses are arguably even cooler than the adult designs. These fun sunglasses fuse fashion with function in a way that’s truly versatile and personalisable. The Reece is a durable, oval-shaped kids’ frame that promises to withstand all of the delights of childhood.
A high quality structure fuses with kid-friendly additions like a saddle bridge fit that will perfectly sit on your child’s face and additional silicone nose pads for added comfort. They also come in five different frame colours and three different lens colours, all with sun protection and anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings.
Eberjey Night Time Set
Eberjey’s Gisele Sets are a soft, sumptuous and all-around comforting option for nighttime wear. These premium quality pyjama sets are both stylish and soft, the sort you’ll throw on fresh on Christmas morning and find yourself refusing to change out of the rest of the day.
Taking night time comfort to the next level, a pair of Eberjey pyjamas is an evening essential. Available in sizes ranging from XS to XL and in a large range of colours, you’ll want to buy a pair for the teenager in your life and then buy a matching pair for the rest of the family, too.
Barbara Sturm Beauty Set
Skincare warrior Dr. Barbara Sturm is a big name when it comes to all things health and beauty and her new line extends to children, too. A great option if you’re buying skincare for mum or dad and would like to continue the theme with children, this Baby & Kids Set comes in beautifully pastel shades and is 100% suitable for young skin.
It features a gentle, calming bath soak, almond blossom and jojoba oil shampoo, chamomile body cream and Baby Bum Cream to ensure every part of baby’s body is soft and happy. It also comes with a super cute fluffy bunny toy.
Ages: Newborn +
Liewood Organic Blanket & Pillow Set
Liewood’s Organic Blanket and Pillow Set comes in a range of neutral shades, making it a brilliant choice for boys or girls. It might be created for children but it’s designed in such a pattern that adults probably wouldn’t say no to adorning their beds with it either.
Seriously soft and made from organic cotton, it’s a welcoming sight at the end of a busy day – the sort of blanket you’ll snuggle up on and instantly find yourself heading off to dreamland. Including a duvet cover, a pillowcase and a dust bag, it’s one of those gifts that’s just as useful as it is enjoyable.
Reebok X Victoria Beckham Backpack
Any little girls (or boys) who love to play with mum’s accessories will love having their own, miniature version to accompany on all kinds of outings. Child-friendly but suitably grown up styled, this backpack by Reebok X Victoria Beckham comes inspired by the same line in a larger style.
A soft forest green colour is a popular choice for kids and the lightweight design ensures it’s a joy to wear rather than a burden on small shoulders. This backpack is fully lined to keep books, toys and fruit secure on all kinds of adventures, no matter where you’re going next.
Looking to give the child in your life a thoughtful gift? Choose a pair of earrings, like the gold TOUS Baby Earrings, for a personal gift with a unique touch. These earrings are designed with children in mind, thanks to their understated design and cute bear faces.
But it’s a child friendly design with adult friendly quality: these aren’t cheap earrings that can cause irritation or leave marks behind. Instead, these bear earrings are made from 18kt yellow gold; a quality pair that they’ll treasure long after they’ve eventually grown out of the design.
Ages: Toddlers upwards
A treehouse might not be a year-round friendly option but that doesn’t mean playtime and secret hideouts should be restricted to the summer months. Bringing outdoor fun inside, Wigiwama’s Teepee Set is fun and playful, the ideal size for young children to escape into with their imagination without taking up too much space of the outside world.
This Teepee Set also comes in both colourful and muted shades, designed to blend in with the rest of your playroom or nursery’s existing colour scheme. Both a play mat and cushion cover are included and it’s fully hypo-allergenic on the inside.
Ages: Toddlers and young children
Stylish luggage is the gift that keeps on giving and Away’s The Carry-On Suitcase promises just that. The best way to inspire (or nurture) the travel bug in kids, Away luggage is designed to last no matter how many planes, trains or automobiles it’s taken on.
The Carry-On comes in different colour options and is the perfect size for most airline’s hand luggage requirements. It comes with a durable polycarbonate hard shell and 360° spinner wheels; perfect for racing from the car to the hotel or strolling between cities if you’re travelling with an older child.
Buyers guide to the best gifts for kids
Struggling to decide what to buy for the child in your life? It’s a justified concern: children don’t tend to have the same subtlety when it comes to feigning joy about a not-so-loved present. But, along with our gift guide, here are some handy tips to keep in mind when it comes to buying the best gift for kids.
Something that’s likely to be just as much of a concern to the child in question as it is for their parents, you’ll want to ensure your kids’ gifts are age-appropriate. That means no small parts or things liable to be eaten for very young children and a careful double check even for slightly older kids that their present can’t accidentally be swallowed.
You’ll also want to check if the present is age appropriate from an enjoyment perspective. Buy a gift for a child that they would have played with a few years ago and you might just find it disregarded after a quick glance. It’s not so much of a hassle if you buy a gift for a child that’s slightly too old for them – as long as it’s not something that’s edible or has an upcoming expiry date.
What’s better than a toy you can play with? A toy you can play with that’s also got an educational element. One of the best ways to score top points with parents and an easy way to claim credit for any child genius that may reveal itself in the future, a sensory development toy will help bring a child’s imagination to life without any kind of conscious learning.
Most gifts for children are, as you’d expect, child friendly anyway, but it’s worth double checking fabrics and beauty products to ensure they’re suitable for young skin.
When buying clothes for children, you might see OEKO-TEX certification on the label, which means the fabrics are free from all known allergens and dangerous chemicals. Similarly, when buying bath or beauty products, choose ones made from natural ingredients wherever possible.
If you’re buying gifts for young children, bright colours almost always go down best. Bright shades – especially when incorporated into prints or patterns – are great for baby development. If you’re buying for an older child, there’s more room for experimentation.
Obviously, the easiest way to choose a colour is to ask the parent (or the child yourself if possible) to see which would go down well. A rise in sustainably created presents for kids also means you won’t just find the same garish bright shades nowadays, if the children in question would prefer muted tones or soft creams.
Let’s face it: most kids already have too many toys. And while it’s easy to pick out a new game or fluffy toy, there are so many sustainably made options available that we’d recommend going for something else, instead. The benefits? Not only will sustainable christmas gifts likely have much longer shelf lives than their plastic counterpart, but they’re also likely made from healthier ingredients, making them safer toys to play with.
Frequently asked questions about the best gifts for kids
Our full guide breaks down all of the best gifts for children ranging from those under $50, under $100 or the best gifts for kids if money is no object.
Eco-friendly toys, seriously cool glasses or creative games are just some of the things to buy a kid who has everything. Read our full guide to discover more cool kids gifts ideas.
If you’d rather not give kids a gift, you could buy them an experience by taking them somewhere new or enlightening them into a potential new hobby. Read our full guide to discover the perfect gift for kids just in case!