Choosing gifts for kids—whether they are your own or not—can be overwhelming. Not only is the sheer number of options daunting, it’s hard to get past all the bells and whistles to find toys the kiddos in your life will actually play with for more than five minutes.
These picks cover a wide range of ages and will get kids crafting, creating, and discovering new skills and interests—and please the parents, too. While we don’t expect your tots to pack away their Lego sets and dolls right away, these toys encourage kids to think and play in new and improved ways. So much so, mom and dad might start thinking of “borrowing” these present for their own amusement. We like to call it the “parent tax,” and you are totally entitled.
Browse the rest of the Domino gift guide here.
This Book Is a Camera, Kelli Anderson,
The creative kiddos in your life will be in awe over this book that doubles as a camera—and yes, you read that right. This pop-up book explains how all you need to create a photo is just a strategically-folded piece of paper and a little light.
Work It Out Exercise Mat, Ban.do,
The bright colors and funky patterns on this play mat will make the little ones in your life enjoy it, but you may also want to borrow it for your morning yoga practice.
Kinder Modern Arc Play Table, The Land of Nod,
Whether they’re playing restaurant or simply using it for craft time, the geometric shapes, bright colors, and interlocking features serve to make this chic table as much a part of your kids’ nursery decor as it is a plaything.
2018 Calendar Cloth, Shop Fog Linen,
Teach the little ones their months and dates in a creative way with this soft cloth calendar. It won’t give your kids any paper cuts, and the bright polka dots provide a fun edge.
Linen Safari Giraffe, Indego Africa,
Who needs the traditional teddy bear when you have a cuddly giraffe? This uber soft and luxurious toy will fit into a child’s hands perfectly, and the best part is, all profits from the sale of this adorable stuffed animal go to funding educational training programs for the women who handcraft the company’s products.
Peace Sign Coat Hook, Eric Trine,
Hang up those stockings in style this Christmas—these peace sign-shaped, brightly colored hooks are just what every home needs.
Ray Geary Art Starter Kit, Whitney Museum of American Art,
Any burgeoning artist will simply adore this starter kit, complete with a canvas and art supplies. From acrylic paints and crayons to pencils and paintbrushes, the set has everything the kid in your life needs to develop his or her creativity.
Toys Talking, Enfant,
Isn’t it every kid’s dream to have a toy that talks back? Well, that dream comes true in this book, which reads as the perfect bedtime story.
GingerNutz: The Jungle Memoir of a Model Orangutan, MW Editions,
When the creative director of Vogue, Grace Coddington, decides to write a children’s book, you know it’s going to be the most stylish one ever. Modeled after Coddington’s own life, GingerNutz tells the story of a 10-year-old orangutan who finds a copy of Vogue in a bottle washed up on the shore. As for what happens next? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out.
Waverly Mini Pillowcase, Hill House Home,
Send kids off to dreamland in style with this soft cotton sateen pillowcase. It has scalloped edges and a cream hue, and can even be monogrammed if you so desire.
Canteen Tray, HAY,
The last thing you need is little toy trinkets to get lost. Instead, keep everything safe in Hay’s stylish canteen trays that come in a multitude of colors. They’ll teach your child that organizing can actually be fun.
Ana Types Type Rug, GUR,
Traditionally handwoven with overlaying colors embossed on top of one another, this playful rug is a luxe staple that even the tiniest children will enjoy.
Small Diatonic Marimba by Auris, ABC Home, $225
Inspire the little musicians you know with this marimba. Handmade in Sweden, this set produces a beautiful mellow sound, so it won’t drive mom and dad batty.
Kids Bath Collection, Beauty Counter,
Kids’ sensitive skin deserves the best—and this bath collection is just that. This set of shampoo, body wash, and conditioner is free of all synthetic ingredients, and boasts fun scents like berry and orange vanilla.
3D Printing Pen, $69.99, The 3Doodler
We’re definitely going to want to take a turn playing with the 3Doodler Start. Creative kids will adore using this cool 3D printing pen to create shapes, buildings, and creatures. Watch their illustrations come to life as they use specially formulated and eco-friendly plastic that hardens quickly, but won’t burn little fingers.
Kiddimoto Wooden Balance Bike, $99.99, Sound of Fun LLC
Making the transition to a two-wheeler will be a much smoother ride if your kiddo has the core strength and balance to keep himself upright. This cheery, cherry-covered balance bike will get the job done with a simple and effective design. With a three-position adjustable seat height, it adapts as your little rider grows and becomes ready to tackle pedals.
Blockitecture Garden City, $74.99, Areaware
Blocks have come a long way since we were kids—now, you can find them in an astonishing array of sizes, designs, and materials. We like how Blockitecture maintains the basics of what kids love about blocks (read: their simplicity and endless building potential), and adds a direct architectural element. Trees give the creations a rooted sense of space and contrast, and encourage little ones to dream up the future with a balance of green space and living space.
In Bloom Book Collection, $64, Rifle Paper Co.
Indulge your grade schooler’s burgeoning love for both art and books with this book collection, a collaboration with Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. The hardcover collection of classics—including Heidi, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and A Little Princess—features whimsically illustrated covers and matching bookmarks. The covers will entice your young reader to dig in, and the beloved stories will keep him or her engrossed long after winter break is over.
Teepee to Call Your Own, $159, The Land of Nod
Teepees are a staple in kid-friendly spaces, and for good reason. This chic, metallic, gold-striped teepee is far more fashionable than most, but still sturdy thanks to solid bamboo poles and a durable canvas fabric.
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