Here at Fun Finds for Families, we’ve compiled a list of great gifts for kids and families of all kinds, made up of some of our absolute favorites. I hope you’re able to find some neat ideas for the kids on your list this year.
• Gears, Gears, Gears - This is one item I stumbled on at a thrift shop for just a few bucks. But the set has been such a hit with the kids that I’m considering adding the larger set.
• Corolle Landau Baby Carriage and Dolls - Just wait and watch your kids’ faces light up when they see this luxurious baby carriage. The doll bassinet detaches and can be used as a separate accessory. And the Miss Corolle dolls are a perfect compliment. Here’s our full review of both.
• Marble Run – This has always been a favorite activity for the kids at preschool and allows for lots of creative building and open-ended play.
• LEGOs – This is always at the top of our kids’ lists. While both kids are starting to show interest in the specific themed sets (LEGO Dino, anyone?), the best value is almost always in the general Bricks and more building sets. (At a loss? I highly recommend the Fun With Vehicles #4635 set.)
• Step2 Art Desk – Let your little Picassos and Kahlos unleash their creativity in their own space – and don’t worry about how you’re going to clean up after they’re done creating their masterpiece (it’s easily wipeable!)
• Play-doh – New this year is Play-doh Buster the Power Crane. Kids can use Buster to construct buildings with little bricks – and, even more fun, knock it all down and start again. Play-doh is always a winner in our house.
• Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set - This is another favorite of ours this year. Both kids love this set, whether they’re sorting colors or just setting up their own produce stand.
• Doc McStuffins Time for a Check-Up doll – This is a hot seller already and tough to find in stores already, but still possible to snag one yourself.
• Play Kitchen - We’ve had ours for years and it’s seen its share of pizza, cupcake, and cookie baking sessions. Without a sign of slowing down.
• Melissa and Doug plush – Whether you’re looking for a giant giraffe, an elephant or a dinosaur, Melissa & Doug have you covered.
• PlanToys Green House - This is truly the dream house for the next generation of environmentalists. Not only is the dollhouse itself made from sustainable, sturdy materials (rubberwood), but it also works to demonstrate the important tenets of reduce, reuse, recycle, within the daily play. My little recyclers are going to so enjoy playing “green” with their dolls!
• Prince Lionheart Wheely Bugs - We tried this one briefly at a cousin’s house. And by “briefly”, I mean… they played with this one toy the entire 2.5 hours we were there. Literally. Did not get up once. That’s a winner, in my book.
• Tegu Magnetic Blocks - This is a great twist on the traditional wooden block. Read our full Tegu blocks review here.
• Green Toys Seaplane – Made from 100% recycled plastic, Green Toys are earth-friendly. They contain no BPA, lead or phthalates, so they’re safe for kids (even the young ones!). And they’re safe to use with real food AND dishwasher-safe. They’re also made in the USA, from start to finish. Read the full review here.
• Calico Critters sets – These adorable little critters strike a chord with the animal fan. Calico Critters are a total hit in our house (and everywhere else, since our daughter carries hers with her everywhere she goes.)
• VTech Switch-n-Go Dinos - This line comes highly recommended from a good friend. Check out her review here. Since our son has both Transformers and dinos on his list, this is an absolute must for us this year.
• Skylanders Giants - This is Activision’s follow-up to their wildly popular Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. The concept is unique (and pretty awesome). Players collect Skylanders figurines and, when placed on the “portal of power”, the figurine comes to life on the screen.
• Magic Moves Electronic Wand – This has been a recent discovery for us… and such fun! Both kids enjoy playing along and following the different directions.
• EZYRoller - Get kids outside, active and building their gross motor skills with this fun outdoor toy.
• Ancient fossils from Safari Ltd. – This is the perfect stocking stuffer for your junior archaeologist. Hand-painted and highly detailed, this line will be fun for your own backyard dig sites.
21. Folkmanis puppets – I had the great pleasure of meeting the founder and creator of Folkmanis at last year’s Toy Fair. She’s such an inspiring lady… and her creations have taken a large role in helping my kids remain engaged and curious with all the creatures in the animal kingdom. We’ve bought a few over the years for the kids and they’re a huge hit every time (even with the adults). These hand puppets are true works of art and you won’t be disappointed at the high level of detail on each one.
Games and Puzzles
• Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game - One of our favorite gifts from last year, we’ve had lots of fun family game nights with this one.
• ThinkFun Roll and Play game – Even your youngest family members can participate in family games, when you roll out this winner. For ages 18 months and up (but even our 5-year-old still willingly jumps in on this one with his sister).
• Zingo – This variation on Bingo is another favorite here. The inclusion of pictures along with the words means even pre-readers can get in on the fun.
• Angry Birds: Knock on Wood game – So our kids haven’t actually played the app version of Angry Birds yet, but somehow our son caught wind of it. I like that when he plays this (for hours at times), he’s also working on building skills and learning a little physics as he figures out where best to launch the birds.
• Crocodile Creek puzzles – I’ve fallen for these bright and cheerful puzzles, especially those that come in the little pouches. They’re portable, don’t take up a ton of space and there’s a great selection of designs. (New customers can use code YOYO30A to save 30% on any one toy.)
• Reverse Charades: Junior Edition - This variation on the classic Charades game is great for those that typically shy away from Charades. In this version, the whole team acts out clues for one person to guess (rather than the other way around). The goal is to guess as many words as possible in 60 seconds. For ages 6 and up.
• Bananagrams – We’re a Scrabble family, through and through. But every time the Scrabble board comes out, so does Bananagrams. The kids love building words on their own alongside us.
• Little Passports - Travel the world virtually with characters Sam and Sofia. Each monthly subscription package includes adventure letters, activities, stickers, photos, souvenirs and more. Choose from USA or world subscription. Subscriptions start at $10.95/month. Use promo code DEC10 to save 10% on any order through December.
• Kiwi Crate - A monthly subscription featuring fun and engaging project for kids ages 3 to 7. Each box includes plenty of materials and inspiration for 2-3 projects in arts & crafts, science activities or imaginative play.
• BabbaBox - This has been one of our favorite family activities over the past several months. (You can read our full review here.) Each box is created by child development experts to cover four major components: Create (2-3 projects – all materials included); Explore (theme-based product); Story tell (carefully curated books) and Connect (interactive digital learning with prepaid downloads). Use promo code a20off to save 20% off your first order.
• Zoo membership – This is often the most cost-effective family membership available, especially if you love animals as much as our kids (and we) do.
• Gym, swim or enrichment classes – If you’re overwhelmed with “stuff” check out the
• Museum memberships (or tickets) – Indulge your children’s curiosity and choose a nearby museum to explore together as a family. Art, natural history, children’s museums are all great options.
• Garden or arboretum memberships – Explore the outdoors with your family all year long.
What are some of the gifts on your radar this year?