2022 Holiday Gift Guide: Christmas Ideas for Kids
It’s almost the season for gift giving, which means it’s already the season for holiday gift guides. Whether you’re looking for gifts for a baby or kids of all ages, there are sure to be a thousand articles out there listing great gifts that kids love.
You probably don’t have time to skim through a hundred lists of gift ideas for kids that promise to make this year their favorite Christmas ever. So, in a spirit of helpfulness, we’ve pulled together a list of kid friendly brands, instead of specific Christmas toys, so you can take a deeper dive into the ones that fit your kid’s interests and skip the ones that don’t. And for what it’s worth, we don’t earn a commission if you buy any of these products. We just like these brands.
Brands So Fun Kids Don’t Realize They’re Learning
Educational Insights has been developing toys and games for kids since 1962. Their goal is to inspire “creativity, imagination, good sportsmanship, and out-of-the-box learning.” And, from our view, they’re really good at it.
We especially like their Artie 3000 robot. It gives kids a fun, artistic introduction to coding and has a 4-star review average on Amazon (with nearly 2,000 reviews).
KiwiCo offers “2,000 expertly designed projects to inspire the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers.” You can purchase “crates” on a subscription model to get monthly shipments tailored to a child’s age and interests. You can also buy individual products. Every crate and set includes step-by-step illustrated instructions and all the materials needed for kids to build it themselves.
We love that their site allows parents to filter by age and interest. Take a look at their Walking Robot as just one great example of KiwiCo’s amazing line of STEAM-inspired projects designed just for kids.
ThinkFun was founded by a husband and wife in 1985 with the mission “to translate the brilliant ideas of the craziest mathematicians, engineers and inventors into simple toys that can be appreciated by boys and girls around the world.” Nearly four decades later they’ve stuck true to that mission with hundreds of products encouraging imaginative play, learning, and thinking skills.
Brands That Take Silly Seriously
Exploding Kittens isn’t exclusively focused on kids products but they’re a great brand to be aware of if your kid loves board games but is getting tired of the classics. The company started with a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $10K to produce their first game but it ended up raising $8.7M from 219,000 backers in just 30 days.
Their commitment to unique, zany games has remained true as their product line has expanded. We think Throw Throw Burrito would make for a great gift for any fun-loving kid.
Wicked Uncle is an online toy shop that was founded specifically because finding great gifts for kids can be so hard. They “scour the world to find a really useful selection of fun, unusual and different presents for children” and extensively try out and test every product before deciding to add it to their inventory.
They have a wide selection to browse but if you’re looking for great stocking stuffers then you might take a look at the Fun Tape Measurer.
Brands That Encourage Life Beyond the Screen
This brand caught our eye for a couple reasons. One is that we’re all about encouraging kids to live beyond the screen. Another is that their story reminded us of our own: LaScoota was founded by parents who simply couldn’t find safe scooter options for their kids. So they created their own. We love that.
Retrospec is a brand to know if your family loves outdoor fun. Their goal is “to make everyone feel at-home in the open-air” and they do it by offering bikes, paddleboards, skateboards, coolers, helmets, and more for every member of the family. We love their focus on inclusion: this isn’t an outdoor brand tailored to the pros, it’s for everyone.
Few things make for a more magical Christmas morning than a new bike under the tree. For older children, check out the Dart Trail Bike. For the little ones just learning to ride, check out these great options.
Thames & Kosmos
Living beyond the screen doesn’t just mean action sports and Thames & Kosmos is a great example of that. Founded in 2001 by a science museum director and her son, they’ve been dedicated to “publishing and distributing toys and games that are both engaging and educational.”
They offer a wide variety of products so you’re likely to find something great for any kid on your list. One we love is their Ultralight Airplanes.
Brands That Open Kids’ Minds
Candlewick Press is an award-winning independent children’s book publisher that started in 1992. They began with high-quality picture books but have grown to offer books for all kid age ranges and in all sorts of formats: eBooks, board books, and good ol’ fashioned paper books.
If you’ve got readers in 5th grade or above, then consider Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (rated age 10+ on Common Sense Media). For a great picture book that’s fun to read aloud with kids, look at The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen.
Sourcebooks is another independent publisher we love. While they do publish books for adults, their imprint Sourcebooks Kids was started in 2007 to focus on books that will enlighten the lives of children.
They have a lot to choose from but our top recommendation is 100 Screen Free Ways to Beat Boredom by Kris Hirschmann because it’s a great catalyst to help kids get creative during unstructured time (which is crucial for development).
Kid-Safe Tech From Gabb
Gabb was created to help families thrive in a digital world. If you have a child old enough to be exploring beyond the walls of your own home—but too young for a device designed for adults—then take a look at our kid-safe devices below.
The safe phone kids wear. Perfect for any child old enough to be on the go but too young for a phone. Gabb Watch lets kids send and receive calls and texts from a parent-managed list of up to 25 contacts.
The world’s safest phone for kids. Give your child all the right tools, but none of the wrong ones. Gabb Phone is the world’s safest phone so your child can stay connected without becoming consumed.
Gabb Phone Plus
The premium safe phone for kids. No internet, social media, or addictive games but it comes preloaded with essential apps and parents can add additional safe apps from our ever-growing, fully-vetted library. Gabb Phone Plus offers the next step in kid’s safe tech.
Each Gabb device was designed to help you stay connected to your child while keeping them safe. That means no internet, no social media, and no addictive games so there are no worries and no need for labor-intensive monitoring. We might be biased, but we think any of these will make for a perfect gift this holiday season.