30 gift ideas for kids ages 3-9 in STEM toys, pretend play, 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 3-9 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 3-9
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Gift Ideas for Kids Under $50
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.
These play kits come in ranges for all ages and can be gifted individually or as a subscription for months of creative playtime.
HP nerd out moment! If your kiddo loves all things Harry Potter, this play set is a lot of fun.
It seems like a rite of passage to get a Lite Brite at some point in your childhood. This Disney version to celebrate Disney’s 100 year anniversary is extra cute, if you’re a super fan.
This is a good addition for hands on learning to prepare for reading, but it’s so fun kids won’t even realize it’s educational.
If you love American Girl dolls but can’t stomach the big price tag, this series is a great alternative with so many cute accessories and furnishings to start a play collection.
So cute for imaginative play or as decor when not in use.
Green Toys are awesome as they’re made with 100% recycled plastic, super durable, and very easy to clean.
If your kids love the Barbie movie, they’ll be instantly obsessed over this.
You can warm these stuffies in the microwave for kiddos to cuddle at bedtime. Their lavender scent promotes relaxation and sleep. It’s become our bedtime routine for our kids to microwave their Warmies before hopping into bed.
If you’re Bluey fans, this game is a total hit! Our girls play it every chance they get. It’s the perfect first board game for preschoolers.
Warning: the engineer kid in your life will go crazy for this (and will probably make a mess with all of the building projects from this kit). But that’s a price worth paying for endless creativity.
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Splurge-Worthy Gift Ideas for Kids
A modern spin that combines a kid’s cookbook and a science kit. Kids can virtually “cook” to learn about chemical reactions and gastronomy.
It seems like a rite of passage to get a bike on Christmas morning. The vintage design of this one is adorable, and the woven basket makes it even more functional.
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.
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 an avid reader all because she learned to love this series.
Love this one for kids’ movie nights or sleepovers! Make it comfy lounge to sprawl out on the floor or rearrange it into a gym for toddlers/preschoolers. Gift it along with comfy pajamas and movie candy.
There are a lot of kids’ karaoke machines out there but the disco lights on this one make it extra awesome.
Zoey Dollhouse for Barbies
This sweet dollhouse is a less pricey alternative to Barbie Dreamhouse, and honestly… way cuter and better quality.
This is so much better than an iPad. Content is all ad-free with parental controls, is super sturdy, and comes with a subscription to thousands of books, games, videos, and apps.
A total classic and a beautifully designed set for imaginative play.
This art easel is so much better than any other out there. Kids can design marble runs on the back to try out their engineering skills.
The most adorable play kitchen ever! Plus, it’s great quality and durable to stand up to rough playing kiddos.
These beautifully handcrafted dolls are made by artisans in The Phillippines and available in a range of skintones to promote diversity and inclusivity.
The best lounger beanbag chair that won’t bust and embroidery options for personalizing.
Especially fun for preschoolers/kindergarteners if you have two or more kids close in age so they can play cashier and customer together.
Basically the coolest nightlight ever with soothing aurora effects.
Scooter With Basket
The cutest little scooter! The vintage style basket to tote treasures all over the neighborhood is a huge plus.
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.