Thursday, December 3, 2015

Gift Guide: The Kiddos

There are a lot of adorable kids in my life -- my friends have lots and lots of kids, which means I get to play aunt to so many little munchkins! I'm always thinking about them during the holidays and as I like to maintain my status as Favorite Grown-Up, I definitely make sure to show up bearing gifts.

When you're not a parent, I find picking out gifts for kids is tricky. It's impossible to keep up with trends or keep tabs of what everyone has, so I often just straight up ask: mom and dad, tell me what to get your kid or I'm buying her a set of drums. But if they can't give you any guidance, I have some ideas..

gg: the kiddos

WHO I'M SHOPPING FOR: my friends' kids

Most of my friends have handfuls of little ones, so often I think about buying a family gift rather than a bunch of individual ones. Most of these kids get LOTS of presents over the holidays, and part of my gift philosophy is being mindful of people having too much stuff. Family gifts can also encourage kids to share and play together...all good things!

WHO YOU'RE SHOPPING FOR: kids, pretty much

Box Creations Pirate Ship, $32
An adorable way to let the little ones be creative. This pirate ship will let them act out their swashbuckling, Captain Sparrow fantasies. They can also color and draw all over it -- I'm hoping this means that once in a while they'll stay occupied for an hour so I can have an adult conversation with their mom. Pretty please?
Mini Foosball Table, $20
Foosball is just a crowd pleaser. It's a little retro, so you may be introducing this classic to the little ones for the first time, and they'll think you're very cool. I'm giving this to my cousin's kids (I'm probably going to also add in the air hockey version as well), and I think we'll all have fun playing each other on Christmas Eve.

Darth Vader and "Ice Princess" Hooded Towels, $18+

These hooded towels are so cute and perfect for those kids who just love a good soak. There are plenty of animal characters out there, but I love these Darth Vader and Elsa inspired versions.

Minecraft Handbook Collection, $21

I don't really know what Minecraft is, but I've faked my way through a lot of conversations with young friends. If you know a crew that digs this game, they'll love this set of handbooks that will let them build bigger and better virtual worlds.

Kid Made Modern Kit, $25
Craft kits are great gifts -- all kids need opportunities to express their creativity (and a few hours aways from screens). This one lets budding architects build their own dream house.

BeanBoozled, $8
When they've outgrown Candyland, try Bamboozled. This is just silly fun - you take turns eating different JellyBelly jelly beans -- each color comes in two flavors (one nice and one naughty), and you won't know which is which until you pop it in your mouth. I'll bet they've never tried a centipede flavored candy before...

Viewmaster Virtual Reality Viewer, $30
First you'll have to explain what a ViewMaster is, but then they'll totally dig this cool virtual reality version. You do need a smartphone, so make sure your r have access to one they can play with (note: do NOT volunteer yours; they will break it).

Metropolitan Museum of Art Wooden Art Kit, $25
Art sets are really wonderful gifts. Any kid could use new colored pencils, markers, and paints, and just think about the creativity that you might be unleashed! This one is from The Met -- make sure they promise that you get first dibs on any masterpieces that might be hanging there one day.

Wonderful Objects Subscription Box, $54+
If you're gifting from a distance, a subscription box could be a really fun gift. Wonderful Objects sends quarterly boxes full of all kinds of fun things to discover -- most kids really love getting mail (I used to save all of my junk mail for one little peanut, he just adored playing with it), so after the box arrives the goodies inside will just be a bonus!

Inside Out, $25/Mouth Popcorn Subscription, $112
This monthly popcorn subscription is great for the family that does a regular movie night. This would make a great present along with a copy of one of my favorite family-friendly movies -- this year, it's definitely Inside Out.

Crumbs Giant Cupcake Mix, $30
I've given this before and it was a huge hit: a kit that let's you bake an enormous Crumbs Bake Shop cupcake that will literally serve the whole family. Perfect snowy day activity. (Note: check your local HomeGoods or TJ Maxx as I always see tons of these in the kitchen section, usually for about half the price).

If you need a few extras...

A giant gummy bear on a stick might just be the wackiest/coolest gift they've ever gotten.

Almost every child I encounter is eager to show me their latest "tattoo" -- these shiny ones are pretty.

Sometimes I worry about buying something that the kids already have -- I don't think that's a problem with a rainbow stripe unicorn horn.

You don't have to be a scout to want some funny patches, perfect for jackets or backpacks.

I don't really know what to do with washi tape but I think it's huge with middle schoolers.

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