Christmas ideas for kids

I find it a tad bit hard to blog about Christmas ideas for kids without giving away what I am doing for my kids.  So this post will be a mish mash of things that have been sent to me to review, things that my kids are requesting, things that I have stumbled across online that look cool to me, and ideas I’ve brainstormed.

One fun game that we just got and have enjoyed is Killer Bunnies . It is for 2-8 players ages 12 and up. I think the age suggestions are fair:  our 11 year old kids enjoy it, but our 7 year old needs a bit of help to play. If you object to bunnies being run over by cars and chopped by weed whackers (things humorously depicted on game cards) you might not love the game. But people at our house find it to be hilarious (except of course when it happens to your OWN bunny!) and the game is good fun. I linked above to the starter set. There are other packs that expand game further.

Another perennial favorite with me is K’Nex. I am a sucker for games that allow kids lots of creativity and options for play, and K’Nex excels at that. Recently I was able to preview the K’Nex 400 piece value tub, and was impressed with the versatility of that set. I also was given one of the Sesame Street Neighborhood collection, which is geared towards preschoolers. This set contained only a few pieces, so less versatile, but it would be a great addition to an already-existing set of K’nex.  Just a heads-up:  K’Nex is currently running a K’NEXion video contest which will net one lucky family $1000 worth of K’Nex products!

Something else that my older boys have enjoyed lately are Star Wars Minis. This game is for about ages 10 and older. There are tons of different sets, but the best way to go at first is to look for Star Wars Miniatures ‘starter sets’. Most of the sets come with several different figures.  If your kids are new to this, look for sets that include maps, since they are needed for the game.  It is a strategy game, where different Star Wars figures have different strengths and weaknesses.  Before you begin play, you try to pick characters that together will make a strong team, so the more options, the better.  The game takes quite a bit of time, both to set up and to play.  But my older boys love it.   All of my boys have minis on their Christmas lists.

Other ideas might include project or ‘experience’ gift certificates.   For example, a kid who’s been begging to learn to sew might enjoy fabric remnants, a beginner’s sewing kit, and permission/instruction to use mom’s sewing machine.  A kid who has been nagging for a different color of paint in their bedroom could be given painting supplies and a gift card good for a couple of cans of paint.  Or what about a gift card to a local amusement park?  Or a certificate good for a shopping date with mom?  One of the most memorable Christmases of my childhood was the one where my mom and dad gave me a certificate good for piano lessons.

Other ideas, anyone?


  1. I’m doing the sewing idea you mentioned. My mom is buying my daughter a sewing machine for Christmas, so I cut out a pattern for her to make a craft and included the thread and stuffing and rickrack to go with it.

    My neice is getting a fish bowl with accessories. I’m debating whether or not to buy the goldfish or give her a walmart card to buy her own.

    My daughter is also getting a horse head hitching post that you mount on the wall of the barn. She will just love that. I’m also making her matching curtains and quilt for her room made with horse material I bought last year! Let’s just say it’s been a busy year. 🙂

  2. another suggestion is memberships to places like museums (children’s, science, art), gyms, swim clubs, bouncy house play places (i’m seriously considering it for us here in the rainy PNW for the winter/spring), ect. We’re definitely doing children’s museum memberships this year.

  3. Amber Howard-McGinnis says:

    We like to make our own “movie themed fun kit”. You can find an assortment of kids movies at wal-mart for around $5. Let’s say your pick a “Dora the Explorer” DVD. Put it in a box. Add a backpack, a stuffed monkey, a map, binoculars, a children’s spanish/english book, or anythings else that might be relevant to the DVD. So when they are done watching the movie, they can do some pretend play.

  4. M daughter loves doing crafts. One year I put together a rubbermaid style tote filled with craft supplies and kits that I had gotten on clearance all year. I threw in some plain paper and general craft items and she loved it. My son asked for one the next year. It keeps them busy for hours and uses their imagination too. They are always using their “own” stuff and tend to pick it up better too. Ownership means a lot!

    I have book lovers too. So I tend to scrounge clearance aisles, save up points etc. to get the sets they like. I also buy from garage sales and goodwill and put a big box of books together for them. Who says a gift has to be new?

  5. I am a big fan of “experience” gifts… like tickets to the movie theater… or a gift card to jamba juice… not things we normally do. Our kids are gifted so many “things” around the holidays it’s very overwhelming… and quite frankly … they only use about 1/3 of the things they receive. We usually end up donating or holding a garage sale the following summer just to get rid of the stuff. I wish people would cut back their gift giving… it seems like it has gotten out of hand since I was a kid 🙂

  6. We love Killer bunnies! One note on it – it has many expansion sets, which aren’t required. Be sure to pick up the starter set, and not one of the expansions by itself!

    I should plan more “experience” gifts. We have enough clutter!


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