Ho, ho, ho! With Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to begin prepping for the most magical time of the year. We’ve put together the first of our series of holiday gift guides, this one broken down by age group, so that you can easily select the gift that they’ll remember for years.
Best gifts for 1 and 2 year olds
Children this young love spending time with you, so pick something that you can play with together. Even better if it’s a toy that’s open-ended and develops their cognitive and motor skills, letting them have fun while they learn.
Best gifts for 3 and 4 year olds
Imagination is everything when you’re this age – you’re an astronaut! A pilot! You own a sundae shoppe in Iceland!
Storytelling, exploration and pretend play toys that foster communication and creativity are right on the nose if you want to encourage confidence and hone those fine motor skills. Open a world of fun with gorgeous playsets, wooden pretend food, and building blocks that allow them to build whatever their imaginations can dream up.
Best gifts for 5 and 6 year olds
My, we are growing up! Your little one has really come out of their shell, and just loves playing with others. Whether it’s a game of Go Fish!, or a role playing game involving costumes, these kiddos have expanded their creativity and are willing to take on more intellectual and physical challenges.
This is a great age to buy for and you’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to picking something they’ll love and won’t end up in a landfill by New Year’s. A wooden train set or a dollhouse with all the accessories goes down a treat, especially when you play together, or set it up just in time for a play date!
Best gifts for 7 and 8 year olds
Be it science experiments or nature walks, building fantasy structures or playing ball, this age group is really into the world. Their minds are like sponges and they’re constantly asking, exploring…figuring it all out.
They have developed their interests and are quite independent, so pick gifts that encourage this, but also seek out those that have creative elements. And of course, you can’t go wrong with STEM or electronics kits!
Best gifts for 9 year olds +
One day you can’t get your toddler to sleep in his own bed, and the next you’re dropping your 9-year-old off at a sleepover with his best friend. 9-year-olds are on that cusp between kid and tween, and finding the right gift may be a bit more challenging.
They’re leaving the toys of their childhood behind and focused on developing friendships; but play is still important, and they use it to work through the emotions of all the changes they’re going through.
Look for gifts that build on their developmental early years. They’re still curious about the world, so for those inclined, science, building and engineering or electronics kits will definitely get the thumbs up, as will crafting and art kits, and role-playing and pretend toys that allow them to safely explore their growing maturity.