2023 Gift Guide

It’s gift-giving season, and I’d love to share a few gift ideas (for kids, women, and men)!

As we’re contemplating what we might give our children, let’s lean into their interests. Instead of just filling their stockings with the latest “it” toy, let’s think about what inspires them and purchase (or make) things that encourage them in that direction!

Here’s what I mean: our daughter, Lanie (almost 9), has taken an interest in learning more about the human body and how to apply first aid. She is quick to hand out bandaids when her brothers scrape their knees and is growing in compassion. So to foster that love, I’ve purchased a small first aid kit and a book we’ll read together on how to use it. 

Maybe your child is passionate about science or dinosaurs or building things or creating culinary masterpieces! I’ve come up with some ideas for eight different interests that will build skills in those areas, and I hope you discover some fantastic gift ideas on this list!

Side note: Our family has a three-gift rule: something to read, something to wear, and something to play with. We give those three gifts plus simple stocking stuffers and pajamas every year. It keeps Christmas delightfully simple!

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For the future scientist: 

  • Coin microscope: We have had this microscope for several months, and it has quickly become a favorite! The best part is that it has a large screen, so everyone can see what’s under the microscope at the same time. It’s easy to recharge, but it can also be disconnected from the power source to take on nature walks and get a (much) closer look at a drop of pond water, the intricacies of a leaf, or whatever you might find!
  • Chemistry kit: This highly rated STEM-based chemistry kit would be perfect for ages 8-12 and includes 45 different experiments!
  • Break Your Own Geodes Science kit: This has been one of our kids’ favorite gifts in past years! It’s so much fun to break open geodes at home and see what might be inside.

For the future doctor or nurse:

  • First aid kit: This mini first aid kit would be a great starting place for kids to learn how to apply first aid to those in need. It comes with 130 pieces of quality supplies in a beautiful carrying case that can easily be refilled. 
  • First aid book: This book is geared toward ages 8-10 and helps kids learn basic first aid skills like how to splint a broken finger, how to soothe a burn, and even how to handle more emergent situations. I also purchased this more in-depth manual that we’ll look through together.

For those who love to build: 

  • Magna-Tiles: These magnetic tiles have been the most played-with toy in our house for almost a decade! They are endlessly fun for all ages. We store them in cloth baskets like this one
  • Makedo Discover: We recently purchased this kit, and the kids have enjoyed constructing forts and other cardboard sculptures from empty cardboard boxes! It includes kid-safe tools that allows them to cut cardboard, punch holes in it, and put it together with plastic screws. The possibilities are endless!
  • Buildzi: This is an award-winning game that can be played in a variety of ways, based on your child’s age. Our 6-year-old son likes playing this by himself and following the cards' prompts to build colorful structures.

For the book lover:

  • Independent reading journal:  Our brand new independent reading journals are perfect for ages 5+ to record all their favorite books! There are lines to record up to 100 books that your child has read, plus 52 pages for more detailed accounts of favorite books that he or she wants to remember. These special hardcover journals come in 4 colors. 
  • Adventure Awaits Library Bag: For boys or for girls, these make the ideal library bag.
  • Book light: Our kids each love having a book light to use before bedtime. 
  • You can find lots of our favorite book recommendations in our many book lists!

For the adventurer: 

  • Life Straw: This is a personal water filter contained in a straw! Our family has fun testing it out on nature walks in clear, flowing streams.
  • Walkie talkies: We love this set of Walkie Talkies that we’ve used for years. Our kids especially love using them while playing in the green space behind our house. 
  • Kids' hydration backpack: For longer hikes, this is a perfect (and convenient) way for kids to carry their own water and snacks.
  • Vintage Bugs & Insects puzzle: An adorable bug-inspired puzzle that would be a perfect activity for the colder months. 
  • Nature Journals: These nature journals can be used to record all of your favorite nature finds!

For the music lover:

Yoto player + music cards: The Yoto audiobook player has been a hit in our house, and each of our kids uses their Yoto Mini every single day! But did you know it can also be used to play music? Here are a few of our favorite music cards: I Dream of You: Calm by JJ Heller, I Dream of You: Sleep by JJ Heller, My First Classical Music Collection, Songs from the Playground

For the artist:

For the chef: 

  • Apron: Perfect for boys or girls to keep their clothes clean while cooking.
  • Kids' cookbooks: We love this one and this one.
  • Kids’ baking set: This is a quality set that includes all kids need to get started in the kitchen.

Favorite pajamas:

  • These pajamas (sizes 6 months to 7 years) are incredibly soft and are available in such beautiful colors! We have purchased these for years and they truly last. 
  • For our daughter, I purchased these pajamas as they’re a little more girly, but still available in gorgeous solid colors and soft material. Available in sizes 6 months to 12 years.

Stocking stuffers: 

Looking for more ideas for kids? Be sure to check out our previous gift guides: 

A Simple Gift Guide for Kids

Screen-Free Gift Guide for Kids

For women: 

For men: