Our favourite Christmas gifts for kids, by age
Can you smell the sweet scents of cinnamon, pine and magic in the air? Do you hear the unmistakeable sound of bells and classic Mariah?
Oh yes it's the most wonderful time of the year. The only thing between you and a beautiful Christmas is all those decisions that need to made to keep everyone happy ... because you're the family anchor, the rock, the super(ish) family hero.
When it comes to kids, we got you! Deciding on the best Christmas gifts for kids depends on their development. Here's a guide to each age group - what they're going through and how gifts can help them.
There are tips and ideas for each age group: 0-3 years, 4-6 years, 7-9 years and 10-12 years.
Ideas for 0 to 3 year old kids
Current research shows our earliest memories start around 3 to 4 years old. It's not until kids are about 4 years old that the brain is sufficiently developed to start forming memories consistently.
So, if the 0 to 3 year old kid is not going to remember this Christmas anyway, the pressure is off!!!
Haha, not quite, there is still a little thing called photos.
The most beautiful photos are of connections - hugs, smiles, laughter, tears, raw emotions. And that's what gift the 0 to 3 year old kid wants too - hugs, smiles and to feel loved.
As little kids find their feet and develop their gross motor skills, they start to enjoy the concept of present opening, and that makes fun photo memories.
So our tip for 0 to 3 year olds? Give them a big box wrapped with wrapping paper which they can rip off with much fanfare! Inside, keep it very simple. 1 or 2 presents will suffice.
Make sure the gift is safe for under 3 years old, and make sure it comes with lots of hugs and love.
Floating building blocks ($35) are ideal for water play in the bath or a paddle pool
Painty Prints activity book ($12) is a beautiful book for adults and kids to work on together. Littlies complete the pictures in the book with paint fingerprints and thumbprints.
The Balancing Boat Game ($16) teaches hand eye coordination as kids try to place the all the wooden blocks on the rocking boat without it toppling over.
Ideas for 4 to 6 year old kids
Our little bunnies are so full of energy at this age that it makes us jealous. To the 4 to 6 year old, the world is such an A-MAZ-ING place, so full of new things to discover and try!
4 to 6 year olds have left the frustrations of being a 'threenager' behind them because their fine motor skills are developing, so they're eager to try anything and everything. "Let me do it" is their go-to phrase. The 4 to 6 year old kid is still learning boundaries though, so their bright and shiny personalities come with a dose of rule-breaking every now and then.
Gifting for a 4 to 6 year old is just da-best! They love almost everything! They're bold and they're explorers. If it's new, colourful and hands-on, they want it!
If a gift looks complex or challenging though, the 4 to 6 year old kid will need a little help from an adult to get started, because their problem solving skills are still being formed.
Our tip for 4 to 6 year olds - give them physical gifts that are simple to work out, interactive, and brightly coloured.
Here are some examples:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Magnet Book ($18) takes kids on an adventure. It's a classic story with interaction!
Hammer and Nails Tap Game ($22) is brilliant for developing hand-eye coordination and creative imaginations.
Ideas for 7 to 9 year old kids
Kids of 7 to 9 years old are becoming more defined in their personality - they're discovering who they are and how they fit into their family, school and social groups.
At this age kids are making clearer choices about what they like and don't like ... and their opinions can be quite strong! The key to gifting is to start with something they already like and taking one step forward from there.
If they like their pet dog, for example, they will be willing to try science experiments with their dog using the book Dog Science Unleashed.
7 to 9 year old kids are still very much open to new ideas and concepts. Show them an activity that fits in with their interests and watch them get into it with gusto!
With their patience and problem solving skills growing, this is a terrific age group to gift hands-on activities that will take 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Choose a gift that loosely relates to an existing interest of theirs and they'll be into it!
Puzzle Battle - Pirates Edition ($19) is a game for 2 people to build their puzzle the fastest ... with 1 big twist!
What's That Sound? ($22) is an energetic game where a player attempts to make the sound of an object they are given, and the other players try to guess the object. It's fun for both adults and kids.
Ideas for 10 to 12 year old kids
Our intriguing tweens are starting to realise the impact they have on the world.
They now recognise that they are part of a bigger picture ... though they are not yet sure which part!
Our tweens are gaining confidence at this age, but can be easily knocked down, so developing resilience is a key focus for them.
The best gifts are those that build their confidence and help them to exceed their own expectations. Often that comes in the form of a kit, activity book, or puzzle, because by completing the activity they will buzz with self pride!
The Big Green Activity Book ($22) is filled with puzzles and games based on eco-friendly topics, such as local produce, conservation and water use.
Glow In The Dark Lab ($38) is a big kit filled with 20 science experiments that light up the night!
Code This! ($29) is a puzzle solving book from National Geographic Kids that introduces kids to coding concepts.
Ideas for the whole family
Family games nights are where memories are made.
Here are some games that both kids and adults can play together ... there is no need to pretend to have fun, you will have fun with these!
For the younger family, Adventures in Storyland ($45) is an early-learning game where players use their imaginations to create fantastic stories and adventures. With no reading required it is suitable from 5 years old.
The Scavenger Hunt Game ($15) burns energy as players race around the home to find household objects ... or creative alternatives!
Host your own Family Quiz Night ($40) has question cards with kid-questions and adult-questions to level the playing field, whilst being interesting for all ages.
Make the silly season easy
For more ideas, check out our Gift Ideas by Age.
Whether you're seeking gifts or entertainment - the kind that doesn't involve screen time - we can help. Click, click, and suddenly the gifts and entertainment are there on your doorstep, in one neat happy-coloured package. Fist pump super(ish) hero!
At the end of the (Christmas) day, no matter what gift you choose to give, nothing is better than the gift of acceptance - making someone feel good about themselves, just they way they are.