Christmas Gift Guide 2016: Gifts for Kids


When it comes to gifts for kids, you'll notice that our guide leans toward art, nature, reading, and the imagination.

We skipped right over the big box toy shop catalogs to find you the most magical, whimsical, and wonderful gifts for your kids in 2016.

Note that the gifts in this section are geared especially for ages 5-9. Check out our Baby and Preschooler guides for ideas for little(r) ones.

Amelia Boot by See Kai Run


Never fear the rain, snow, or sleet! The little girl in your life will be ultra-cozy and super-stylish in these adorable leather boots. Reminiscent of a bygone era (Think: Sara Crewe of "A Little Princess" or Samantha Parkington of American Girl fame), these beautiful boots are a royally good choice for the young lady in your life. Available for newborns up to age eight.

  • Buy the Amelia Boot.
  • Like See Kai Run on Facebook.
  • Follow See Kai Run on Twitter.

Animalium and Animalium Activity Book


Goodness, this book is gorgeous! Sold in a sturdy, oversized hardcover design, this coffee table style picture book is sure to delight young artists and scientists. The book features elegant illustrations of more than 160 animals. Plus, the book is so exquisite that you won't mind displaying it anywhere in your house. For added hands-on fun, you can purchase the corresponding activity book, which includes mazes, trivia, and drawing lessons for ages 7-10.

  • Buy Animalium.
  • Like Big Picture Press on Facebook.
  • Follow Big Picture Press on Twitter.

Chill Headphones


Designed specifically for smaller heads, these comfy and durable headphones are made with growing brains in mind. Sound is limited to 85db to ensure that ear drums stay safe and volume is kept to a reasonable level. These colorful and stylish headphones are equally ideal for road trips or homework. There's even a microphone built into the fabric cable - handy for video chats with grandparents. So much better than little "ear buds" that have a tendency to fall out of small ears. Available in black, pink, or red, these cute headphones are only $19.99.

  • Buy Chill Headphones.
  • Like Chill Headphones on Facebook.
  • Follow Chill Headphones on Twitter.

Color Your Own Famous American Paintings


This slim coloring book features 30 detailed famous American paintings for young artists. The front and back cover the book show miniature images of the full-color paintings so that children can imitate the original...or they can use their own imagination to create a new masterpiece. Pages are perforated so you can easily display your child's work.

  • Buy Color Your Own Famous American Paintings. Currently available for under $4 on Amazon!
  • Like Dover Publications on Facebook.
  • Follow Dover Publications on Twitter.

Crayola Color Escapes


Any kind of Crayola colored pencils are sure to be a well-used and well-loved book for kids who love to draw - but these premium pencils in the Color Escapes line are extra special. The 50 included colors steer far from the basic. Find the perfect shade for your next project - olive, metallic copper, turquoise, gold, lilac, and mango (to name a few).

  • Buy Crayola Escapes.
  • Like Crayola on Facebook.
  • Follow Crayola on Twitter.

Desmond and The Very Mean Word


Based on a true story from the author's life, this beautiful hardcover picture book is written so that you feel the emotions on the pages. Children in all parts of the world will relate to the excitement, the anger, and the hurt that the young boy experiences. Best of all, they will walk away with a renewed understanding of the incredible "magic" of forgiveness. Five stars for this engaging story.

  • Buy “Desmond and the Very Mean Word.”
  • Like Candlewick Press on Facebook.
  • Follow Candlewick Press on Twitter.

EyeLike Stickers


Stickers are always a hit around our house. They're fun to use for crafts, pen pals, and birthday cards. Workman Publishing currently has sixteen themed Eyelike Stickers books out - Christmas, Space, Wild Animals, Dinosaurs, Baby Animals, Horses, Easter, and more. Each book comes with 400 photographic reusable stickers.

  • Buy Eyelike Stickers.
  • Like Workman Publishing on Facebook.
  • Follow Workman Publishing on Twitter.

Hi-Tec Hiking Boots


For your intrepid explorer - sturdy hiking boots are a smart gift pick. Hi-Tec's boots come in high-top or low versions in sizes 10 up to 6.5 youth. Backed by a 60-day comfort guarantee and a 1-year warranty, you can rest assured that your recipient will be happy in these durable trail shoes.

  • Buy Altitude Lite i Waterproof Jr Boot.
  • Like Hi-Tec on Facebook.
  • Follow Hi-Tec on Twitter.

Lock & Key Diaries by Peaceable Kingdom


Little writers and poets will think these square diaries are stuPENdous. Featuring vibrantly colored covers in 24 different themes, the journals each have 208 lined pages and 2 keys. Bonus if you pick the Deep Space option - the cover glows in the dark! At $9.99, these lovely books can work as stocking stuffers too.

  • Buy Lock & Key Diaries.
  • Like Peaceable Kingdom on Facebook.
  • Follow Peaceable Kingdom on Twitter.

Oil Pastel Twisty Stix by International Arrivals


When you want to paint with bright, vibrant colors WITHOUT the mess, grab these twisty stix. The set comes with 24 colors that can be blended together to create amazing artistic masterpieces. Pair with a sketch pad for a rainbowriffic present.

  • Buy Oil Pastel Twisty Stix.
  • Like International Arrivals on Facebook.

Patrick Puppy by Mary Meyer


Silky soft and super snuggly, Patrick Puppy is oh-so-adorable. His expectant and lovable face will win over any child. As a side note, stuffed animals are among the most-played-with toys in our house. They are toted out of the toy box almost every day for picnics, parties, and games of make-believe.

  • Buy Patrick Puppy.
  • Like Mary Meyer on Facebook.
  • Follow Mary Meyer on Twitter.

Rainbow Mechanical Pencils by International Arrivals


Every kid loves the ease of mechanical pencils. No need for sharpeners! Just pop in a lead and you're good to go! That being said, COLORFUL mechanical pencils turn up the fun by a notch. This set comes with 12 colored 2mm refill leads and an (optional) sharpener to create an even finer point. For a more back-to-basics gift, choose a set of the Very Best Mechanical Pencils (pictured above).

  • Buy Rainbow Mechanical Pencils.
  • Like International Arrivals on Facebook.



We don't feature many traditional "toys" in our gift guides because they tend to be "here today, gone tomorrow" when it comes to play. Not so for Shapemags. These magnetic building blocks look suspiciously simple - but they offer hours of hands-on building fun. By sticking the shapes together, kids can build castles, houses, skyscrapers, faces, fashion ensembles, anything they can imagine. A box of Shapemags is an especially ideal gift when you are buying for multiple children because "sharing" isn't painful. This toy lends itself well to collaboration and teamwork.

  • Buy Shapemags.
  • Like Shapemags on Facebook.
  • Follow Shapemags on Twitter.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey


One of my favorite Christmas pictures is now available in gorgeous hardcover! Masterfully written, the narrative pulls at your heartstrings, while the vivid illustrations pull you into the story. Cuddle up with your kids and read this one aloud. Even after many readings, I rarely can make it thru the pages without goosebumps or tears. Such powerful messages about compassion, grief, and new beginnings.

  • Buy "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey."
  • Like Candlewick Press on Facebook.
  • Follow Candlewick Press on Twitter.


What are YOU getting for your kids this Christmas?

BROWSE the complete 2016 Christmas Gift Guide to get ideas for everyone on your list!

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5 comments on “Christmas Gift Guide 2016: Gifts for Kids”

  1. All great ideas! We love stuffed animals also. They're like my two year old daughters entourage and my 6 year old boy still loves them too. I might try the shapemags. I love how they're more affordable than magnatiles.

    P.s. I didn't see a link to the stocking stuffers or Christmas home tour.

    1. Shape Mags are *very* similar to MagnaTiles. All three of my older daughters (ages 4, 7, and 10) enjoy building with them.

      The Stocking Stuffers posts are coming soon! Thanks for your patience.

  2. For the kids in this age? Legos and more Legos. ;) Also a few Star Wars themed things for the oldest, like a giant BB8 stuffed thing from Costco (little brother got the giant stuffed Olaf last year) and Star Wars themed little post it notes for his stocking.
    Now to find a couple little things like that for little brother!

    1. Oh, and last year we got the oil pastels and thick nice paper for them. They are so fun! But unfortunately we forget to pull them out often as little sisters are not yet allowed to play with things that stain... everything!

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