There is something extra special about Christmastime when children are around. The anticipation of presents, the time spent with family, and the tender memories made each December are truly wonderful to watch. But as a parent myself, I’ve found that it is so easy to find yourself lost in the stress of ‘playing Santa’ and getting gifts for everyone to the point that you miss out on those beautiful, special moments of Christmas.
So to help make your holiday season a little less stressful, from the tall to the small, here are some of my favorite Christmas gift ideas for kids that will hopefully help check some of the names off your gift-giving list.
Gifts for readers
New readers and elementary school kids will love the colorful illustrations in The Whole Armor of God, Only a Trenza Away, Let Your Light Shine, and A Child of God (and bonus: you’ll love the gospel messages these stories convey, too!).
Older bookworms might appreciate a great new story like The Wild Journey of Juniper Berry or The Paper Daughters of Chinatown. And you can never go wrong with introducing an avid reader to a bestselling fantasy series like Fablehaven or Leven Thumps. Or if your son or daughter is anything like my nephew—a true class clown at heart—nothing would make his heart happier than a new joke book.
Gifts for busy bees and game-players
Got a group of kids who love playing games and staying entertained? If they’re into crafting or doodling, maybe look into a new temple-themed coloring book or a sticker and craft book they can spend hours with. If your game cupboard has lost its appeal lately, Grandpa Beck games like Cover Your Kingdom and Skull King have become family favorites in our house and make for never-ending laughs, especially on cold wintry days. For younger game players, a temple matching game or a Christmas memory matching game would make for a great activity to do with siblings or cousins on Christmas morning.
Gifts for junior chefs
My son is only three, but his greatest joy in life it seems is whenever he can help me in the kitchen. Whether it’s baking or cooking dinner, he loves it when he feels helpful and when we can accomplish things together.
If you have a budding junior chef in your life too, Christmas is a great time to give them something to fuel their passion or jumpstart a hobby. Themed cookie cutters, stamps, and aprons are a great gift for cooking toddlers like my son or a holiday table placemat (with activities!) they can put at each place setting for Christmas dinner.
If you’re struggling to find age-appropriate recipes, you could give your child an easy place to start like a brownie mix box they could make on their own, or give them their very own cookbook designed for chefs of all ages and skill levels. OR if your junior chef is also a fantasy reader, you could kill two birds with one stone by giving them the brand-new Official Fablehaven Cookbook!
► You may also like: Find magical family fun in the kitchen with kid-friendly ‘Fablehaven’ cookbook
Gifts for the littlest family members
In our family, it seems like sacrament meetings and Sunday afternoons are rife with potential for either great learning opportunities or epic meltdowns. If your goal is the former instead of the latter—because of course it is—you could give your child a new engaging, quiet activity like lacing cards or a fabric ‘quiet book’ featuring the stories of the Book of Mormon.
Bath toys are always a big hit in our house too, as are new books. Some of our personal favorites include Z is for Zoo, The ABCs of Love, The Plan of Salvation board book, and the quintessential classic, You Are Special. My Nativity Friends has also become the sweetest Christmas addition to our nightly storybook rotation throughout December, and it’s great for Sunday reading, too.
Bonus idea: Early Christmas gifts
There are so many great holiday-themed books, toys, and traditions that could be enjoyed all season long, and maybe it makes sense for your family to have a certain elf or North Pole helper bring a fun surprise even before December 25.
In our family, we have started Christmas traditions like The Little Lamb from Bethlehem as early as December 1, and we’ve put books like More Than Just a Star and Ming’s Christmas Wishes on my son’s bedroom bookshelf to help decorate his room for the holidays.
If you don’t already have a kid-friendly nativity set as part of your Christmas decor, the Little People Nativity has been beloved for generations for good reason, or you could incorporate a fun new set like a movable felt nativity or a nativity quiet bag. Or start a new tradition for the whole family—adults included—of ultimate coziness: matching Christmas socks to wear all winter long!
We wish you a very merry Christmas season!