Gift Ideas for Kids

35 gift ideas for kids ages 4-9 in STEM toys, pretend play, sports, and creative fun.

One day, I know I’m going to miss Christmas shopping for all of the fun kid things. I’m already seeing this phase slowly slipping past me now that Olivia has become “Santa’s Helper” to keep the magic alive for Regan. (She really enjoys the “eating Santa’s cookies” part of the job.)

Savor all of those giddy Christmas morning squeals while they last, friend, because they really are so special and so fleeting. If you have a kiddo in your life age 4-9 that you feel a little stumped about what to give them, here are a few of my kids’ favorites with a bunch of great finds sprinkled in.

Gift Ideas for Kids Ages 4-9

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Gift Ideas for Kids Under $50

1. Air Hogs Gravitor

The perfect first “drone”. And it has over 12 tricks they can learn how to master.

2. Go Glam Nail Salon

My girls got one of these for their birthdays, and I really didn’t think much of it at first. But it really is cool! They love stamping all of the different patterns on their nails.

3. Aqua Draw Doodle Mat

This mat is so great for the preschool/kindergarten age group. Just fill the pins with water and watch them go doodle crazy. It’s as mess free as it gets.

4. Dog Man Book Series

These books are what got Olivia hooked on reading. Before this series, I tried everything to get her excited about reading books on her own and nothing stuck. Now she’s absolutely obsessed with any Dog Man book she can get her hands on.

5. Arts and Crafts Library

Warning: the crafter kid in your life will go crazy for this (and will probably make a mess with all of the art projects from this kit). But that’s a price worth paying for endless creativity.

6. Coding Critters

If Tamagotchi and robot building toys had a baby, it’d be this. I love how it teaches early coding skills.

7. RollerCoaster Challenge

Did you ever play RollerCoaster Tycoon back in the day? (Or am I the only computer nerd over here?) This building game teaches engineering skills, logic, and critical thinking but is super fun as kids work through roller coaster puzzles.

8. Instax Camera

This camera has been around the block in recent years, but if your kid doesn’t have one, it really is the best. We have so many randomly sweet family pictures captured by Olivia now saved in an Instax photo album that I know we’ll always look back on and treasure.

9. Light Up Tracing Pad

This tracing pad is so smart! And great for kids who want to improve their art skills.

10. KidiZoom Creator Cam

For all the kids out there who want their own YouTube channel, this one’s for them. The camera allows them to add backgrounds, special effects, and even green screen for animation but without the need for internet access.

11. Floor Lounger Cover

Love this one for family movie nights or sleepovers! Stuff standard sized bed pillows in it for a comfy lounge to sprawl out on the floor. Gift it along with comfy pajamas and movie candy.

12. Osmo-Little Genius Starter Kit

If your child has an Amazon Fire Tablet, this is a good addition for hands on learning with phonics and math.

13. Zero Gravity Wall Climbing Car

This car is so cool! Use the laser guide to make the car drive on walls and ceilings! Small enough to gift as a stocking stuffer too.

14. Personalized Nightlight

This nightlight would be great to give to a toddler or preteen too. And it supports small business. You can see more nightlight designs here.

15. Glow in the Dark Basketball

If your kiddo is getting a basketball goal for Christmas or already has one, this ball would be perfect go give for night play since it gets dark so early this time of year. Gift it along with a hoop light. Great for teens too!

16. Pop Up Soccer Goal

For the soccer fanatic kiddo who is always practicing footwork but you don’t want to deal with a soccer goal in your backyard 24/7. This goal is easy to set up and take down whenever you want.

17. Discovery Kids Gemstone Dig

My girls go crazy for anything related to rock collecting or gem mining, so this lets them have fun with a little bit if science in the mix.

18. Arts and Crafts Glow Kit

This kit is really fun if you have a little fashionista who loves to accessorize. And it’s really fun to play with in the winter months when it gets dark in the early evening.

19. Crazy Forts Building Set

Remember building blanket forts as a kid? This makes them next level awesome.

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Splurge-Worthy Gift Ideas for Kids

1. Harry Potter Build a Wand Coding Kit

HP nerd out moment! This wand builder teaches coding skills and lets kids try out over 70 “spells” on an interactive app.

2. Star Light Play Tent

I love that this play tent is neutral and decorations can be added to suit your girl or boy. Plus, twinkle lights make everything magical.

3. Bluetooth Karaoke System

There are a lot of kids’ karaoke machines out there but the disco lights on this one make it extra awesome.

4. Corinne American Girl Doll

I grew up loving American Girl and Olivia just became obsessed with her first doll last year. This is American Girl’s 2022 Doll of the Year with a story about a Chinese-American girl adjusting to life after her parents’ divorce and adventuring in her new town with her little sister sidekick.

5. Orboot Interactive Globe

A great toy for learning geography, social science, environmental science, and cultural studies.

6. Electronic Drum Set

A musical instrument kids can play that come with headphones so you don’t have to hear the “learning process”. Sign me up!

7. Calico Critters Country Home Cottage

This sweet dollhouse is a great first suited for kids from 36 months all the way to 8 years.

8. Melissa & Doug Grocery Store

Especially fun if you have two or more kids close in age so they can play cashier and customer together.

9. Nintendo Switch

Olivia chose to buy this last month with her birthday money and allowance she saved, and it’s been one of the most fun purchases our whole family enjoys.

10. Scooter Balance Bike

If your 3-5 year old loves Luca, this balance bike is the cutest! For the slightly Vespa-obsessed. Regan got this last year, and it has held up great!

11. Porsche Powered Ride-On Car

If mom can’t have a Porsche then I guess she’ll live vicariously through her children, right? 😉

12. KidKraft Wooden Playhouse

Can this come in adult size? Please and thank you. This little playhouse has a working doorbell and a cafe window that can be used as a pretend restaurant or as a puppet theater. And it’s big enough to last kids up until age 10.

13. Razor Electric Drifting Go Kart

Remember Mario Kart? This makes it real life!

14. Chic Play Kitchen

We’ve had this play kitchen for two years and the girls still play with it every day. The working ice maker is a unique extra touch.

15. Hot Wheels City Car Wash

So much fun for the Hot Wheels enthusiast! Use it on its own or add additional tracks and accessories to it if you wish.

16. Toniebox Starter Set

A great alternative to screen entertainment. This audio player works for reading stories, playing music, or education. Just add new characters to go on new adventures. And it requires no Wi-Fi.

Free or Almost Free Gift Ideas for Kids

  • Make DIY slime or homemade play-dough
  • Make a coupon book with redemptions like: Good for staying up 30 minutes past bedtime, Good for having breakfast for dinner, Good for getting out of doing chores for a day, Good for one movie night, etc.
  • Gift day passes to somewhere inexpensive: the park, zoo, bowling alley, mini-golf course, museum, etc.
  • Visit the thrift store or look through your own closet to create a “Dress Up Trunk” filled with costume items
  • Make a DIY play tent using painter’s drop cloth and sticks or dowel rods.

See more DIY gift ideas here and cheap gift ideas here.

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