Can you believe the holidays are right around the corner? If you’re stumped when it comes to buying meaningful Christmas gifts for your budding global citizens, we get it. Believe it or not, you don’t need screens, tons of action, or flashing lights to get your kids’ attention, though. There are so many wonderful Christmas gifts this year, which your kids will adore. Best of all, these gifts are non-tech-driven, educational, and meaningful.
But will your kids really get into gifts without plugs? Absolutely! These gift ideas for kids may be largely electronic-free, but they’re far from old school. They’ve been revamped and revitalized for a new generation of kids. Let’s take a look at 2020’s best holiday gift ideas for kids.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
Do you feel like you’re pulled in a million directions right now? If so, you’re not alone. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that there’s no better gift than spending quality time with your kids. Whether you participate in a fun activity or a unique experience together, set aside time to create lasting memories. (Sign up here to be in the know about the best trips, tours, and activities for families.)
Of course, there’s also something magical about watching a child unwrap that special gift. We look forward to it all year. But how do we also make that gift meaningful? Check out these educational ideas that will add value (rather than clutter) to your life.
Gifts that Nurture KINDNESS and COMPASSION
Ah, the holidays! Black Friday Sales, Doorbuster Deals, and eggnog lattes. The season can feel hectic if we don’t set aside time to count our blessings. Now’s the perfect moment to acknowledge those who are less fortunate than ourselves by paying it forward, too. Fortunately, there are excellent gift options for those who want to touch the lives of others while enjoying a little holiday cheer.
Giving the Gift of Cuddle + Kind Dolls
Are you ready to embrace the most adorable line of dolls on the market today? Check out Cuddle + Kind’s darling designs. From mermaids to reindeers, penguins to bunnies, they’re hand-knit in Peru by female artisans. Made of premium cotton, they feel cuddly and ultra-soft. Certified non-toxic, they meet or exceed all US and Canadian safety ratings. So, you can rest assured they’re a fabulous and safe gift for your littlest family members. Better still, Cuddle + Kind partners with the World Food Program USA and the Children’s Hunger Fund, providing one million meals a year to children in need.
Helping America’s Youth with STATE Backpacks
Kids love fun and stylish backpacks. Why not buy yours the perfect place to stash books, toys, and art supplies? STATE Backpacks not only look great, but the company remains committed to addressing the immediate needs of American children. How? Through their #WhatDoWeTellTheKids initiative. Through this initiative, for each backpack purchased, a bag filled with essential “tools for success” will be hand-delivered to a US child in need.
Sponsoring a Child Through Save the Children
Consider making this the Christmas that your family sponsors a child in need. Save the Children remains dedicated to ensuring every child, everywhere, has a healthy start. This organization provides kids with the opportunity to learn and stay protected from harm. They’re a top-rated non-profit organization, reaching more than 2.8 million children in 23 of the neediest countries worldwide. Best of all, you can rest assured your money will end up in the right place. Approximately 87 percent of all donations to Save the Children go directly to program services.
Gifts that support SUSTAINABILITY and EQUITY
Where can you find meaningful Christmas gifts that support environmental sustainability and greater equity for vulnerable communities? By purchasing from toy companies that give back. From wooden blocks to bracelets and more, you’ve got plenty of creative and compelling choices.
TEGU’s Magnetic Wooden Blocks
TEGU’s sustainably-sourced, brightly hued magnetic wooden blocks rank among our favorite Christmas presents for kids. For every tree harvested by the company, the company remains dedicated to planting 983 more to replace it! Tegu has also brought humane working conditions to their Central American location. These conditions include things we take for granted, like a living wage and long-term career growth and development. TEGU has also partnered locally, providing education to the children of employees at the Tegucigalpa City Dump.
Pura Vida’s Collection of Handmade Bracelets
Handcrafted by international artisans, Pura Vida’s line of colorful handmade bracelets will delight your school-aged kids. A synthesis of friendship and charm bracelets, they come in a wide variety of hues and designs. But no two bracelets are alike. The proceeds from their Charity Collection bracelet sales fund non-profits around the world. So far, they’ve donated more than $1.9 million to more than 175 charities around the world.
YOOBI’s Art and School Supplies
From pencils to paints, glitter to stickers, YOOBI’s art and school supplies offer everything your little one needs for hours of artistic fun. What’s more, YOOBI works with the Kids in Need Foundation to provide essential supplies to classrooms across America. To date, they’ve positively impacted millions of students in vulnerable areas nationwide.
B. Toys’ Handcrafted Collection
B. Toys strives to create better toys, ones that inspire creativity and sustainability. They’ve worked hard to use recycled materials, decreasing their environmental footprint in the process. For example, they reduce waste by shipping toys in 100% reusable and recyclable packaging. A portion of each sale goes to WE. In 1995, 12-year-old Craig Kielburger started this charity to bring education communities worldwide. WE adopts villages in Kenya, Haiti, Ecuador, and China, permitting thousands of students to attend school daily.
Gifts that Foster INDEPENDENCE
How do you find fun gifts that foster independence and build life skills? With gifts that stimulate a little autonomy. After all, we want to inspire our children to make their beds, brush their teeth, and shower on their own. Here are some fun gift ideas that encourage independence and the development of life skills.
Melissa and Doug’s Slice & Bake Cookie Play Set
Melissa and Doug make some of the most darling playsets out there. And there are few things kids like more than “play” cooking. This colorful set lets children pretend to slice and bake a dozen wooden cookies. Then, they decorate each cookie with an elaborate topping. The collection also comes with an oven mitt, knife, spatula, and wooden cookie sheet.
Minted’s Personalized Kid’s Apron
We’re all about family cooking sessions. They teach kids to develop valuable life skills while creating excellent food and fabulous memories as a family. Of course, kitchen fun does get a little messy. So, buy your child this adorable kid-sized apron from Minted. These aprons come in various prints and can be personalized with a custom leather tag.
Winter WillowFelts’ Handmade Campfire Set
We’re in love with Etsy’s vast collection of one-of-a-kind gift ideas this year. But one of our favorite items remains the handmade campfire set by WiinterWillowFelts. It comes with everything your kids need to organize an imaginary camping trip, including a fire with logs, a camping lamp, compass, marshmallows on roasting sticks, and items to make s’mores. All sewn from plush felt. That way, your child can imagine countless “outdoor adventures” all year long.
Crate and Barrel’s Wooden Toy Workbench
This children-sized workbench would make Bob Vila jealous! It comes with plenty of whimsical pieces for your little woodworker so they can master motor skills while flexing their imaginations.
Gifts that Stimulate CURIOSITY
Kids have a boundless sense of wonder. But it’s up to us to keep that curiosity alive by cultivating their interest in the natural world. What’s the best way to do this? Books are always a great bet. But the gift ideas don’t stop there. Check out these innovative gift ideas that cultivate curious minds.
The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook by Jean Mackay
Jean Mackay has created an inspiring space for exploration, observation, and creativity with this beautiful sketchbook. It contains 20 pages of instruction and color illustrations followed by blank pages with hints and examples every ten pages. It’s an excellent resource for environmental education programs and will excite budding nature lovers and young artists alike.
National Geographic Kids’ Why?
Why is the sky blue? What makes the stars shine? School-aged kids will pepper you with thousands of imaginative and (sometimes difficult-to-answer) questions. That’s why we love Why? by National Geographic Kids. It contains “over 1,111 answers to everything.” Gain a little respite from endless inquiries while your child dives into this beautiful book filled with intriguing answers and the stunning photo quality we’ve come to expect from Nat Geo.
Playz’s Volcanic Eruption & Lava Lab Science Experiments Kit
Your kids will love conducting the eclectic science experiments in this kit, from lava bombs to fizzing mineral pools and crystal deposits. Bring out the mad scientist in your little one while providing them with the educational space to learn all about the nature of volcanoes.
AmScope’s Beginner Microscope Kit
Among the most revolutionary and vital innovations of the Scientific Revolution was the invention of the microscope. It let scientists see the world in new and exciting ways. Why not open a world of unseen creatures and tiny details to your kids with this compound microscope? The main device comes with a 52-piece accessory kit, which makes it the real deal.
Dreamingbox’s Compact Shock-Proof Binoculars
Besides going small with a microscope, your kids will see far with this compact, colorful set of binoculars. It comes with soft rubber eyepieces for added safety and protection. What’s more, an extra coating on the lenses prevents them from breaking during unavoidable falls. Your kids will see the world in a whole new way!
Backyard Safari Company’s Grow-Your-Own Pizza Toppings
For your budding gardener, consider this darling Grow-Your-Own Pizza Toppings kit. It contains everything you’ll need to cultivate the ultimate veggie supreme pizza. From bell peppers to oregano, scallions to tomatoes, your family will be in for a homemade treat while learning about agriculture.
Gifts that Promote ACTIVITY
Now more than ever, we’ve got to provide our kids with plenty of opportunities to get outside and blow off a little steam. Fortunately, there are many fun and innovative ways to do this. Here are some of this year’s most beloved toys for kids on the go.
Surney’s Snowball Makers
Put a new spin on winter fun with this tri-colored set of snowball makers. They mold perfectly round snowballs in a matter of seconds, which means you can ramp up the cold-weather fun. Crafted of thickening PE material, they’re wear- and freeze-resistant.
Razor A Kick Scooter
Razor scooters are all the rage again this year. So, capitalize on the trend while inspiring your kids to get some fresh air with the A Kick Scooter. Top-quality aluminum construction makes it durable yet lightweight, and the easy-to-adjust handlebars equal speedy setup.
LL Bean’s Tandem Sled
Sledding has never been more picturesque or comfortable than with this upholstered tandem sled from LL Bean. This heirloom quality item will help your kids make plenty of unforgettable winter memories in style.
Gifts that Promote CREATIVITY
There’s no shortage of fantastic ideas when it comes to gifts that inspire the imagination. Creative gift ideas include anything and everything that’ll get your child’s creative juices flowing. Here are a few of our favorites.
Kikkerland Jungle Masks
Send your kids on a jungle adventure with this collection of whimsical animal masks. These soft foam masks are reusable. They come with sturdy elastic straps and large eye holes for added comfort. The collection of colorful disguises will inspire your little ones’ imaginations whether they opt to be a lion, koala, panda, or something else.
Diffly’s Superhero Mask and Cape
Transform your child into a superhero with this fun cape and mask set from Diffly. Crafted from durable, double-sided satin, the cape features a velcro neck strap for ease of wear. The soft felt mask comes with a one-size-fits-all elastic band. Choose from five gorgeous jewel-toned hues and get ready to watch your child’s imagination soar. Yet, because the set isn’t related to DC or Marvel characters, you’ll avoid the problematic violence and adult themes so often associated with superheroes today.
World Market’s Paint Your Own Tea Set
Transform your child’s next tea party into a chance to express their artistic side with this 32-piece paint-your-own-tea set. It comes with all of the essentials, including a creamer and sugar bowl. Twelve mini paint pots provide a rainbow-hued array of choices. Once the painting is complete, bake the pieces in the oven for a fully usable set.
Kid Made Modern’s My First Stamp Collection Set
The My First Stamp Collection Set by Kid Made Modern encourages kids to flex their creative muscles while perfecting fine motor skills. The set includes wooden stamps and easy-to-hold crayons for hours of creative exploration.
Gifts that Enhance GLOBAL AWARENESS
Ready for fun new ways to expose your kids to the world and different cultures? Many great gift ideas exist. Check out a few of our favorites.
Kidzlane Store’s Interactive Globe for Kids
Nothing beats this globe when it comes to inspiring little ones to learn about geography. The globe includes easy-to-read labels and colorful country designations. Kids will learn about continents, countries, cities, and natural wonders. This globe also transforms into a nighttime scene with illuminated constellations for double the fun.
A Subscription to Little Passports
A Little Passports subscription is also a perfect gift for little explorers. Imagine your child’s delight each month when they receive a new box filled with fun and educational activities, toys, and souvenirs from different parts of the globe. Little Passports’ award-winning subscriptions will get your kids excited about travel. They’ve partnered with educators and parents to deliver adventure and discovery each month. Kits appeal to kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old, and subscriptions come in one-month-, three-month-, six-month-, or 12-month-long commitments.
A Subscription to National Geographic Kids
Filled with vibrant photos and fun stories, National Geographic Kids will entertain and captivate your little ones. And they’ll learn all about wildlife and the environment to boot. The magazine comes in two versions, National Geographic Little Kids (for ages 3-6) and National Geographic Kids (for ages 6 and up). National Geographic remains dedicated to expanding awareness about wildlife and the environment and supports exploration, critical research, and education programs worldwide.
Meaningful Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids
Do you have any meaningful holiday gift ideas for kids you’d like to add? We’d love to hear about them. What is the best unplugged gift your child has ever received? Which gifts have most inspired your little global citizens?