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1. A Craft-tastic "Make a Fox Friend" craft kit if your child wants to learn the basics of sewing while putting together a full wardrobe of clothes and accessories for this fantastic (and fabulous) little fox stuffie. No special tools or additional supplies to buy makes this a great all-in-one gift!
2. A Lego dinosaur set because your kid wants to bring Jurassic Park to life in their living room. It comes complete with an-easy-to-build airport, helicopter, buggy and T. rex figure that'll set the scene for their imagination to run wild as they go on a ~raw-ring adventure.~
Promising review: "My daughter loves this set. She is 5 years old and she was able to put this set together by herself. Instruction is very clear. My daughter loves to play with the mini figures. Great set for developing fine motor skills, imaginary play and following instructions. Definitely recommend." —Olga
Get it from Lego for $49.99.
3. A Fat Brain door pong game that's basically Ping-Pong without the need for a table. Attach it to a doorway, adjust the tether length, and then start batting that ball back and forth. Another prezzie "for the whole family!"
4. A Hape Quadrilla Super Spirals building blocks set for all the marble madness and Rube Goldberg goodness a kid could possibly enjoy.
5. A Playmobil Dino Rise T-Rex: Battle of The Giants play set, because, honestly, what kid's brain won't explode like a comet hitting the Earth during the Cretaceous period as soon as they see the box!
6. A Crayola Inspiration Art Case packed with 64 crayons, 20 colored pencils, 40 washable markers, and 15 large pieces of paper for creative kiddies to bring their art and imagination to the world. But why does daddy look like he's crying in all these drawings?
7. A set of handmade satin butterfly wings that any little lepidopterist can enjoy for hours of indoor or outside pretend play. A real fly gift if we do say so!
8. An updated Lite-Brite set that comes with more templates and pegs and is bigger and brighter than the classic 1980s version. This gift might be the most affordable time machine money can buy for kids and, in all likelihood, adults.
9. A Wiwiurka wood climber triangular rope ladder available in indoor (hung from the ceiling) or outdoor (hung from a tree branch) options that's capable of holding up to 175 pounds' worth of children (or possibly one immature adult).
10. A massive 28-inch Hot Wheels "Massive Loop Mayhem" track set because the real fun comes when racing multiple cars at once and avoiding near collisions. Comes with one car, so if giving as a gift maybe pop for a few more!
11. A set of VTech KidiGo walkie-talkies with preset animated messages and four games preloaded. Safe and secure for up to 500-feet of kid talk. That's a 10-4 little buddy! Over and out!
12. A Melissa & Doug ice cream station that'll have them setting up shop, serving up plastic deliciousness, and politely asking eager beavers that scream for ice cream to quiet down and patiently wait in line. This is serious biz.
The set includes a wooden ice cream counter, eight ice cream scoops, six toppings, two cones, cup, scooper, tongs, wooden spoon, reusable menu card, and six pretend dollar bills.
Promising review: "My 5-year-old daughter has played with this non-stop for two days now. She easily hands out the menu and takes everyone’s orders. It took her a few tries but she can easily get the ice cream in the scoop and release it onto the cones. So much realistic detail. Just an overall fun and educational birthday present (memory practice, counting, money exchange, balance, social skills, etc.)." –Kat
Get it from Amazon for $31.63.
13. A handmade, wooden matryoshka solar system learning game for future planetary scientists to get a grip on what's out there in the cosmos. A great gift that's meant to last and can be passed down to future generations, too!
14. A "Role Play Fingerprint Kit" so junior gumshoes can learn "how to detect and collect fingerprints" and finally solve the mystery of who ate the last cookie from the jar. J'accuse, papa!
15. An easy-to-use Melissa & Doug wooden multi-craft weaving loom to encourage the kids to make art that's "wearable, usable, and displayable." It's a gift that says, "Get lost, screen time, I'm making something!"
16. An Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. talking telescope (in multiple languages, no less) with built-in photos from NASA and 120 facts and quiz questions (respectively) to open up whole new worlds to curious little minds.
17. A super cool dinosaur pillowcase so your playful paleontologist can scribble some jurassic buddies to life and tucker themselves out with countless roars, all while having a convenient place to rest their head right at their fingertips!
The pillowcase comes with 10 washable fabric pens.
Promising review: "I bought this for my nephew who loves dinosaurs. It was a huge hit. He opened it at night and spent the next day filling out the whole pillowcase. The markers are vibrant and good quality." –Carolyn
Get it from Uncommon Goods for $20.
18. A rechargeable (for up to 10 hours of play), roll-up (for easy portability) electronic drum set for beginners ready to rock steady with some block rockin' beats (or any other kind of beats for that matter). The best part of this gift, other than it not being an actual drum kit, is the included headphones for quiet playtime!
19. A 6-pound combo pack of nontoxic National Geographic kinetic play sand that stays "wet" for all sorts of (easy-to-clean) building and shaping fun. Comes with six molds including castles and pyramids.
20. A Masters of the Universe Origins action figure with a retro look but updated design for passing on "the power of Grayskull" to the next generation of sci-fi/fantasy fans.
21. A magic bean garden kit that makes it super easy for kids to earn their green thumb — either from painting the pot or planting the seeds that reveal a "secret" message. Give the gift of horticulture!
22. A digitally printed, organic cotton canvas world map featuring some of your little one's favorite regionally appropriate animal friends. And yes, you can indeed give the gift of knowledge!
23. A Play-Doh Kitchen Creations "Rising Cake Oven Bakery" play set that even Paul Hollywood might approve of (might) for aspiring young bakers. Plus you can give a firm handshake for a job well done as a bonus gift!
Includes five Play-Doh colors.
Promising review: "This is a great Play-Doh set. Super adorable, LOVE how you can fill the pan with 'cake batter,' then lock it into the stove and use the lever to make the cake 'rise.' The kids are thrilled with it. Couple of things to note: Make sure the cake pan is locked into the oven by sliding its lower edge under the notches. After pulling the lever, you need to put it back into its original position BEFORE trying to open the oven door. Don't force it or it could break. Also note that the set will need additional Play-Doh if you want to make any color of cake other than pink. It comes with enough pink Play-Doh to make a cake but not enough of any other colors to make a cake. That wasn't a problem for us, we have PLENTY of Play-Doh..." —elise
Get it from Amazon for $15.96.
24. A Grouch Couch game for teaching children the importance of never losing the remote control! But seriously, they're going to love this seat (get it, loveseat!).
25. A passcode-protected, electronic piggy bank (sans the swine) that eats cash like an ATM (and coins too) and is a great way to teach kids about saving. When giving as a gift, don't forget to include a couple of bucks.
26. An indoor/outdoor galaxy dome tent playhouse made of durable and breathable materials so little tykes (and little Tycho Brahes) can camp out under the shining stars in the sky or the glow-in-the-dark stars stuck to the ceiling.
27. An outdoor explorer bug catcher kit for taking the creepy out of creepy crawlies while teaching entry-level entomology. But we all know the toy insects will be used for practical jokes. This gift has it all!
28. A Learning Resources Botley The Coding Robot 2.0 activity set because it's never too early to get the kids into coding. Botley can be programmed to follow a sequence of up to 150 steps including following plotted courses and avoiding obstacles. The best part, it's all screen free!
29. A Buddha Board for painting rich, inky, water-based images onto a "canvas" that will slowly fade as the water evaporates. We don't know art but we know it's not messy.
30. A subscription to Little Spoon "Plates" balanced and preservative-free toddler meals (with plenty of hidden veggies) starting at under $5 a plate delivered directly to their door. What better gift is there than a well-fed child you didn't have to actually cook for?
Plates will launch with over 15 different recipes — from chicken pot stickers with quinoa veggie stir fry and edamame to broccoli bites with sweet potato carrot poppers and green beans. Yum!
Promising review: "We appreciate that the dishes are easy to warm up, the size and portion is right for the age group, and the plates can be recycled or reused. In terms of nutrition, I was very impressed with the ingredients, the lack of preservatives, and the mix of food in each plate. We loved the plates!" —Jenee
31. A super-affordable LCD writing tablet doodle board that cuts down on paper waste and gives the kiddos their own tech to play with (re: destroy). Just make sure they write a nice thank-you note on it!
32. A two-pack of soft and breathable Pact "Dream Big" pajamas made with pre-washed, shrink-resistant, 100% organic cotton worth every penny. As any parent knows, PJs are rarely just for sleeping in!
A question parents often face when it comes to buying clothing their constantly growing little creatures is whether to invest in quantity or quality. Quantity often wins because you can buy more for less, let the laundry pile up a bit (risky, very risky), and not give a second thought to the investment. But kiddos tend to spend a lot of time in their PJs, especially compared to their number of outfit changes throughout the day due to their peak human levels of messiness.
I've tried and tested a LOT of pajamas between my two children these past three years but this super-soft two-pack from Pact really sets the standard. Finding anything that's 100% organic cotton is not only a challenge but it's going to come at an added cost. However, from post-bathtime hijinks to sleeping soundly through the night to early morning hang time, they've been totally worth it (especially when they stop growing out of things so quickly).
Get them from Pact for $50 (available in sizes 18M–10 and nine color sets).