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There’s nothing more beautiful than the joy of kids during the holiday season, especially on Christmas morning. We started a new tradition last year that I heard about from my friends at In Honor of Design, called the Three Gifts Tradition – 3 gifts for each kid, just like the first Christmas. We still did stocking stuffers as well (mini Play Doh, crayons, candies, stickers, chapstick, that sort of thing), but the main gifts were limited to three. It was a much simpler approach to gifts and helped everyone keep their focus on the true reason for the day. And the kids did very well with it because they weren’t overwhelmed by so much stuff. They had space to really soak in each gift! It also narrowed down our shopping so that each item we picked out was something the kids would truly love and use, rather than just a lot of things.
Another great method we like to reference for narrowing down gifts is the “Want, Need, Wear, Read”: gifting your kids something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. We loosely follow it as categories to help us come up with a good variety for the three gifts!
With that in mind, I put together this roundup of our kids’ go-to toys, games, and activities that they play with regularly to give you some solid ideas for gifts for kids in that 3-5 age range. I also rounded up a collection of their favorite books, which always make wonderful gifts! We have a bunch of book worms around here and spend a lot of time reading, both together and the kids on their own. Our kids are all still pretty little, so the books are great for babies and toddlers.
Gifts for Kids – Toddler Toys
- Bristle Blocks – These blocks stick together so the kids can play with everything they build. They love making planes, rockets, robots, etc. and towers, houses, cabins that stay together when you move them around!
- Wooden Blocks – Simple and classic building blocks. They’ll be all over your floor for years to come 😅
- Binoculars – Lots of color options, kids size, adjustable. These are very budget friendly, have lots of color options and different multi-packs. They also include a canvas carrying case and neck strap.
- Bow & Arrow for littles – We got this bow set for each of the kids when they were pretty little (there are boy and girl colors). It’s great for younger ages with a built in arrow holder on the front of the bow so they don’t have to try to hold the arrow at the same time as learning to shoot. Includes a few suction cup arrows, quiver, and target.
- Bow @ Arrow for kids – Weston loves this bow and shoots almost every day! We moved up to it when he was about 4. It shoots like a long bow and includes two arrows, a target, armguard, and quiver.
- Dinosaurs – All the kiddos love dinosaur figurines. This is a great, affordable set! We have some smaller dinosaur figurines, but they always go for these medium sized ones.
- Scooter – Weston got this for his birthday this year and rides it around the driveway and in the shop all the time. Ava has been using it more and more as she gets older too.
- Lincoln Logs – All the kids (and mom, dad, papa, aunts, uncles 😂) love playing with these. Classic, original Lincoln Logs set.
- Play Grill – The kids love to pull this out next to the real grill to “grill” with us, or use it in the house to “cook” all sorts of creative meals!
- Frozen Car – We got this for Ava when she was pretty little and it’s still one of her favorite toys. She rides it up and down the hallways like a little racecar driver – thank goodness for durable baseboards and walls haha.
- Girls Dress Up Set – Another Ava favorite. She wears all the jewelry and skirts from this set all the time.
- Girls Dress Up Elsa Outfit – This was originally meant to be a Halloween costume, but I don’t think Ava has worn anything else since the beginning of October 😅 I was surprised at the quality and how beautiful it is! A definite dress-up favorite!
- Lego Classics – Weston has really gotten into LEGOS lately. We got him this set to start off and then have been slowly adding individual models as well! Amazon, Walmart, and Target all have a great selection and good prices. A few of his favorites:
- Little Tikes Truck – Another classic and great affordable option!
- K’Nex – Click and connect building pieces with endless options. Weston uses both the K’Nex and LEGOS all the time, depending on what he’s trying to build.
- Puzzles – We all love puzzles around here and these Ravensburger ones are awesome. They are excellent quality, affordable, and have tons of options. A few of the kids’ favorites:
- MagnaTiles – If your kids aren’t fighting over who gets to play with the MagnaTiles this morning, then what are they even fighting about? Just kidding. Kind of. But these are another kid favorite for building all the things and sticking to all the kitchen appliances! As the description says – math, science, and creativity in action. There is also another option called Picasso Tiles. We don’t have those so I’m not sure how they compare, but the reviews look awesome also!
Gift for Kids – Baby & Toddler Books
- Mother Goose Treasury – A collection of classic fairytales and nursery rhymes. One of the kids’ favorite books for short stories.
- The Wonderful Things You Will Be – This one makes me tear up every time. A beautiful book that captures so many of the things we wish for our kids.
- Dragons Love Tacos – Fun and lighthearted, this one always makes the kids laugh.
- There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flee – The kids love when we read this one faster and faster and faster as the coyote gets more and more full. Goofy and fun.
- A is for Apple – Perfect for teaching letters and sounds. An Arlo (1 yr old) favorite!
- Never Touch a Dinosaur – There are a bunch of these “Never Touch a …” books. The kids love this dinosaur one, as well as Never Touch a Monster.
- Saint George and the Dragon – Weston received this book as a gift last Christmas. It’s a longer kids book, written in old medieval style, and quickly became one of our favorite stories to read.
- Bedtime for Frances – An all-too-accurate account of bedtime with kids. It always makes Joseph and I laugh as Ava ponders how she and Frances may have quite a bit in common at bedtime 😅
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – The ol’ tried and true classic. Always a winner with the kids.
- Goodnight Moon – The simple, classic bedtime story. I read this book to Weston almost every night when he was a baby.
- Cars and Trucks and Things That Go – TONS of pictures and pages for the kids to look through. Weston spends hours looking through this book and searching for Goldbug!
- Go Away Big Green Monster – A fun read for the kids to chase off the monster. One of Ava’s favorites!
- Knuffle Bunny – Arlo has fallen in love with Knuffle Bunny, so much so that we may need to get another copy soon (it’s beyond the repair capabilities of duct tape anymore 😅). A short, fun tale of Trixie and Knuffle Bunny’s adventure with her Daddy. They have a version that includes the Knuffle Bunny stuffed animal as well [HERE].
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – From the same author as Knuffle Bunny, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus follows a pigeon through his temper tantrum when he’s not allowed to drive a bus. It’s a humorous (and very accurate 😅) recount of toddler tantrums – the kids laugh every time.
- What Pet Should I Get – A classic Dr. Seuss story where the kids get to decide the ending. This one always sparks a conversation to try to figure out what pet the kids would choose.
Don’t forget to check out second-hand childrens’ stores as well – I’ve found many many toys, activities, games, dress up sets, and all kinds of books in like-new condition!
Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
| Tylynn |