A good mantra for kids Christmas shopping I’ve read is ‘Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read’. And I REALLY want to stick to it, but will probably fail. Growing up, when I was small, we each filled a laundry basket full of gifts. With 6 kids it felt like MILES of presents when we walked out at 6am. Talk about a serotonin rush. It was rarely anything expensive but it felt like a treasure trove of gifts. Now whether that was the case or just my perception, who knows? My parents didn’t spoil us but I’m finding it VERY hard not to want to buy my kids so many fun things for Christmas. Last year I learned the lesson that they just can’t handle that many gifts and we stopped at 5 because they were exhausted – we hid the rest of them and brought them out throughout the year, on desperate Saturdays. So the below guide is a mixture of things we already have that our kids LOVE, stuff I want to buy them but won’t, some stuff I’m hoping grandparents buy them and of course some splurges from Santa. I shopped and pinned all of them myself, with my kids in mind (my kids are 2 and 4).
Some of you pointed out that it was hard to read what I had to say about each thing and kinda annoying to have to scroll up and down constantly in the previous gift guides. So we created a product board like we usually do, with links below it AND a brand new gallery that you can click/scroll through for those of you who want to read my recommendations (although I only had room for a couple sentences). We are just kinda testing this out so let me know what you prefer the slider or the moodboard/roundup.
Up first is TOYS. I want ALL of these things for our kids but will obviously not get them all. Generally we stay away from anything electronic and overstimulating, and opt for things that inspires imagination and creativity (you know, like a whoopie cushion). Click through the gallery to read what our kids already have and love.
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Now click through the gallery for my commentary on each piece!
Our kids love to dig in the dirt, so why not give them shovel arms??
HandTrux Shovel by UncommonGoods
If your child is as obsessed with Robin Hood like ours is. Charlie LOVES this (and the end is so soft)
Small Bow and Arrows by From Jennifer
The best messaging of any kids book ever. Every child should own or read this book.
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Birdie got this for her birthday and its beautiful and really engaging.
TouchThinkLearn: ABC by Xavier Deneux
Room on the Broom
Our kids favorite author and extremely fun for us to read. We own every single one of their books.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Dragons Love Tacos
We’ve read this 784 times. A hit with both kids and us.
Dragons Love Tacos Book & Toy Set by Adam Rubin
Let's Play House!
Our kids love to “help” “clean up”. We are getting them this for Christmas.
Let’s Play House! Dust, Sweep & Mop – Melissa & Doug by Target
The prettiest blocks that look good on the shelf and (some) kids love (Birdie does, Charlie never really did).
Rainbow Sound Blocks by UncommonGoods
The Big Book of Bugs
This is on its way to us because Charlie LOVES a bug book filled with facts (he has an ant and bees)
The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer
50 Cities of the U.S.A.
It depends on your kid but Charlie loves these types of books.
50 Cities of the U.S.A. by Gabrielle Balkan & Sol Linero
Build A Robot
SO FUN and looks great on shelves, too.
Planpreschool Build A Robot – PlanToys by Target
There are a lot of checkups at our house every day. It’s ALWAYS fun.
Doctor Set – Plan Toys by Barneys New York
So classic. Both kids love these and spend at least 20 minutes a day building rockets.
Bristle Blocks Toy Building Blocks for Toddlers by Toysmith
Shoe Lacing Toy
I’m getting this for them – helps them learn to tie and is a lovely object.
Shoe Lacing Montessori Toy by Pawoo Toys
Pantry Play Food
Don’t bother with plastic or soft food – our kids ONLY play with wood food when they “cook”. Birdie has personally endorsed these.
Pantry Play Food – Melissa and Doug by The Land of Nod
Cheese Lacing Toy
You don’t need both but this one is pretty cute, too.
Wooden Cheese Lacing Toy by Wood and Care
Any game that we can play as a family is a huge win.
Charley Harper Bowling Set by The Land of Nod
Charlie just started jumping rope and is now obsessed with it.
Classic Jump Rope by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
We have two of these for restaurants and car rides. I HIGHLY recommend. Keeps them busy for minutes.
Free Play Magnetic Tablet by UncommonGoods
A great stocking stuffer that we are getting for the kids. Spray Chalk!!
Sidewalk Chalk Spray by The Land of Nod
Another great stocking stuffer that combines physical with creative.
Chalk Bomb by The Land of Nod
If you want to hear your child laugh …
Self-Inflating Whoopee Cushion by Westminster
Cross Stitch Bear
Our kids are probably too young but next year I want to get this for them.
Moon Picnic Cross Stitch Friends Bear by Trouva
Another family game that we would love to have.
Catchoo 3.0 Velcro Ball Game by Brookstone
Wooden Pull Toy
Birdie loves collecting her animals in variety of boxes – this is the pretty version.
Wooden Animal Pull Toy Wagon by Mielasiela
Etch A Sketch
We have these for restaurants and car-rides. So much easier for them than the two handled original ones.
Etch A Sketch Junior Joystick by Brookstone
Lord knows we have a lot of cardboard boxes over here and make forts out of them every day. This would take that next level.
Pretend Play Spaceship Stickers by The Land of Nod
Busy Boards are expensive, but man can they occupy the 1-3 age so well. SUCH a great gift.
Busy Board Sensory Activity by Mary Magic Work
Our kids are into magnets. I love this big iconic version.
Horseshoe Magnet by Terrain
Magnetic Fishing Game
We fish a lot at our house with a more DIY version of this. But I’d love this pretty set.
Magnetic Fishing Game by Mamuma Bird
Wooden Cocoa Set
Our kids have this set and its shockingly fun to play. They make cocoa for each other and us daily.
Wooden Toy Cocoa Set – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia by Target
A MUST HAVE FOR ANY FAMILY. Seriously – these are practically weight-less, making snowball fights indoor or outdoor possible year round.
25-Pack Snowtime Indoor Snowballs – Play Visions Toys by Nordstrom
When it comes to kids clothes I have a theory – I buy them affordable pieces, mostly from Target for their everyday lives, but I LOVE to give and receive the more expensive boutiquey pieces from smaller brands. I simply can’t spend $60 on a dress for Birdie that I know won’t get worn enough or will get ruined, but I sure do want a grandparent to buy that for them. The smaller brands, made in America out of really high quality materials need support and so that’s how I approach it. I buy those pieces for others as a gift or a special occasion for our kids, but send them to school in more affordable pieces.
Also when it comes to gifting clothing I want it to feel extra special – if it’s a sweatshirt, it needs to be an extra cute one, or if it’s gloves I want them to be super playful. I shopped for all of these myself (with my kids in mind) and love them all so much.
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Now click through the gallery for my commentary on each piece!
I just bought this for Charlie and I love that is basic but playful (and affordable).
Liam Hoodie by Cotton On & Co.
I’m all about good daily messages. I would put these on their backpack or jean jackets.
Affirmation Badge Set by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
In order for a onesie to be a gift it needs to be special, but not necessarily expensive. I LOVE this little bear guy so much.
Mini Long Sleeve Snap Bodysuit by Cotton On & Co.
I couldn’t resist. I bought this for a few little ones in my life on Black Friday.
Angelica Tank by Cotton On & Co.
Ruffle Sleeve Dress
Such a beautiful, delicate dress with the perfect ruffle sleeve.
Chloe Ruffle Sleeve Dress in Pink by Mabo Kids
Bear Knit Sweater
Apparently I’m really into bear motif on kids clothes 🙂
Toddler Girls’ Crew Neck Bear Pullover with Textured Sleeves – Cat & Jack by Target
Birdie has these and LOVES them. She asks to wear them every day.
Toddler Girls’ Montana Fashion Boots – Cat & Jack by Target
Colour in Pjs
Our kids are a bit young for this, but how cute is this color-in pjs?
Girls Colour In Pjs by Cotton On & Co.
Done. Such good little stocking stuffers and probably the only gloves our kids will wear.
Toddler Girls’ Finger Critter Gloves – Cat & Jack by Target
The holiday sweater is back, and man this one is cute. We are wearing it to go see Santa.
Toddler Boys’ Crew Reindeer Pocket Neck Sweater – Cat & Jack by Target
Dear grandparents, please buy this for my daughter. She doesn’t need more clothes but I need this.
Schuyler Jumper by Bella Bliss
Birdie has this dress and it is SO CUTE (I bought it on black friday sale but it’s still really affordable).
Lottie Dress by Cotton On & Co.
We have the metallic blush pink versions (obviously) but a great boot that she can really run around and play in.
Toddler Girls’ Jolina Ankle Fashion Boots – Cat & Jack by Target
Probably my favorite boutique kids clothing company. I LOVE their dresses very much.
Wrap Tunic in Light Chambray by Thimble Collection
Not something I would typically buy, which is why it’s a great gift. So cute.
Faces Leggings by Individual Medley
Charlie loves anything plane related – he’s going to LOVE this.
Leon Crew Sweatshirt by Cotton On & Co.
Our kids are going to Disneyland for the first time this month so we need to represent.
Short Sleeve Licence1 Tee by Cotton On & Co.
Birdie has these and UGH, they are soooooo cute I can’t handle it (and so well made)
Playtime Overall in Peach Flannel by Thimble Collection
For those of you/us who want something a bit sweeter and classic …
Blue and Ivory Check Girls Dress by Florence Eiseman
Obviously I want this dress for me, but will settle for it on my child. That collar is ridiculous.
Cora Dress in Holiday Plaid by Mabo Kids
Charlie has these and he gets so excited to put them on every night. Birdie has the police version. Anything to make going to bed more fun, right?
Jersey Pajamas Firefighter by H&M
A sweet little holiday one-sie.
Sleep Mini Zip All In One Jumpsuit by Cotton On & Co.
I bought this for Birdie and she loves it. It’s so sweet and simple.
Ava Dress by Cotton On & Co.
Heidi Bunny Boots
BUNNY BOOTS!!!!! Why not make your boots into an animal? I LOVE these.
Toddler Girls’ Heidi Bunny Fashion Boots – Cat & Jack by Target
Bear Face Pullover
Another unisex bear sweatshirt because basic sweatshirts are boring compared to this.
Toddler Girl’s Bear Face Pullover – Cat & Jack by Target
Lastly, decor for the room – obviously not typically on their wish list from Santa, but when it’s playful and engaging it’s both decor and a toy. Click through the gallery to read my thoughts and feelings on each of these awesome pieces.
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Now click through the gallery for my commentary on each piece!
Pink Wood Blocks
I bought a version of these at the flea market (that were full of lead) but until I knew that our kids played with them A TON and they look pretty on shelves.
Pink Wood Blocks by The Wooden Gem
Birdie would LOVE this in her room and it’s obviously so pretty, too.
Swan Plush by The Land of Nod
We have enough forts happening over here, but this would be a huge hit with our kids (and its relatively affordable)
Space Pod Playhouse by UncommonGoods
Open this up and it’s a busy ship – lots of soft buttons and pockets to explore.
Carry Home Rocket Ship by The Land of Nod
Every day I try to find a place to put this adorable swing. We don’t need it but I sure wish we did.
Wood + Rope Tree Swing by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
Trowel and Fork
Our kids love to “garden” and digging in the dirt keeps them busy longer than anything else.
Sneeboer Kid’s Trowel & Fork Gift Set by Terrain
Santa is bringing this to both our kids. It’s absolutely the perfect workbench.
Wooden Toy Tool Bench – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia by Target
I LOVE how playful and educational this is.
Animal Tracks Chart by UncommonGoods
Hippo Pull Toy
This is the kind of gift you want someone to get your kid but you don’t buy yourself.
Zoo Crew Hippo Pull Toy by The Land of Nod
Charlie is obsessed with dinosaurs and would stare at this for hours … I should probably put it in his room.
Dinosaur Chart by UncommonGoods
Will someone please buy this for me?? Our kids love the little mice in match boxes, but this takes it next level.
Circus by BrookFarm General Store
Plate & Utensils
In my mission to have the kids actually sit and eat without a battle, perhaps this could help?
Construction Plate & Utensils by UncommonGoods
If you are looking to splurge on a play kitchen, this one is pretty amazing. We have it and everyone in the family loves it.
Chelsea All-in-1 Kitchen by Pottery Barn Kids
'Work Hard' Print
This is in Charlie’s room and we talk about what it means all the time. My favorite kids poster ever.
‘Work Hard & Be Nice to People Print’ by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
'Start with Yes' Print
Also in Charlie’s room, this print sets the tone for my whole life.
‘Start with Yes’ Print by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
Beautiful blocks that kids love AND look great on a shelf.
Safari Puzzle Blocks by UncommonGoods
This kite is a beautiful hanging sculpture – quiet but beautiful (we had the green version in Charlie’s old room).
White Sailing Ship Kite by UncommonGoods
A playful pillow that kids love and is very cute styled on a bed.
Alligator Knit Throw Pillow – Pillowfort by Target
A great grandparent gift – no one needs these blocks but goodness, they are pretty.
Wooden London City Scape by The White Company
A cute nightlight that also looks great on a shelf.
Bear Nightlight White – Pillowfort by Target
Santa is also bringing this for our kids. The most beautiful dollhouse ever (for the price). All my fantasies are coming true.
Wooden Dollhouse with Furniture – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia by Target
We just bought two of these for our new play room (with their names on the back). Typically I don’t like these chairs (visually) but these are SO CUTE. Hoping I don’t regret the white.
Small Roxy Marj Cat Nod Chair by The Land of Nod
Birds of North America
Beautiful and educational. If your kids are into birds it is such a good one.
Birds of North America by UncommonGoods
Let us know how you feel about the product board versus the gallery. Do you prefer one over the other or do you like having both? I kinda like both myself, but I’m a girl who likes options in general so I’d love to hear your preference going forward.