Good Gifts for Kids showcases cool gift ideas for kids, babies, and teens. We know how it can be when searching for the perfect gift for a child. For instance, you might be an uncle looking for an appropriate gift for your niece, though you may not know anything about what she's into. Or you might be a mom who is just looking for ideas for an upcoming birthday party gift for one of the kids in your child's class. This site covers types of gifts that are appropriate for kids of different ages, as well as showcasing some items that have a certain wow appeal. Some of these have been tried firsthand by our own family — others are ones that we've discovered works well for others. No matter how you came across our site, you're bound to find a good gift idea for a kid. You can start by just browsing, or click on an age group if you know what age kid you have in mind. And you have any ideas you'd like to share, please do so.

Climb and Crawl Foam Playset

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Just as a child is finding it’s footing, she is likely looking things to climb on. The ECR4Kids SoftZone Climb and Crawl foam playset offers a variety of blocks to sit, crawl, climb, push, and play around with.

These colorful blocks are just the right size for toddlers and to crawl on. They are lightweight enough that as they want to push them around and one day pick them up on their own, they can do so. These are nicely made, good in quality, and easy to clean. It’s a cinch to wipe off any spills from the colorful vinyl, and they hold up to the abuse.

Amongst the five pieces is a ramp, and though depicted in some marketing photos as if it’s a slide, it definitely isn’t a slide. It’s more for crawling up, or arranging other shapes, or another fun thing is to use it on its own for mom or dad to roll balls to their child. All the pieces are great for a pillow fort, too.

ECR4Kids makes additional ‘SoftZone’ sets of blocks made like these with the same foam, but with different shapes. Any set in this line-up would be a great gift for a 1-year old kid!

Interior Color LED Car Light Strips from Govee

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Around the time a kid is 16 is when he or she will get her own ride. Maybe it’s a clunker from the 80’s, or maybe it’s a brand new Lexus, but either way, it’s their own, and nothing says making something your own like adding your own accessories.

Enter Govee’s Interior LED Car Lights kid (about $26), that install easily, and works with any cigarette lighter. There’s a supplied controller, or there’s also a phone app, that can be used to light up the interior in any color (or all of them!). With an option to react to music, it’s a party-on-the-go that puts that extra delight to any kid’s first car.

Using the brightness modes, the lights are bright enough to see the interior without a harsh glare at night on the lower setting. There’s no complicated wiring - it’s driven from a standard cigarette lighter, and it’s simple for the kid to install themselves if they desire.

For those reasons, we think Govee’s Color LED Light Strips for a car interior make a good gift for a kid who just got is first set of wheels.

Glitter Gel Pens – Color Technik

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With all the gifts kids get over the holidays and for birthdays, some will need to write some thank you notes. What better way to make said chore more fun than by doing so with a set of quality Color Technik Glitter Gel Pens (about $13). The ink flows smoothly, dries quickly, and has sparkles that enhances the color. In this set of 30 glitter gel pens, there is a variety of lively colors to choose from. The ink and glitter shows up well on dark pages as well as light, and is great for grown-up coloring books, posters, or just writing notes. They are easy to color with, outline, or just for writing to-do lists or for doodling. Color Technik is a reliable brand, and these easy-to-grip glitter gel pens don’t clump or bleed. Customers agree that these last longer than similar pens from other brands. The Color Technik set of 30 Glitter Gel Pens is a great set to add for any kid who enjoys getting artsy every once in a while.

Beginner’s picture guide of knots

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Kids don’t have much exposure to the variety of knots there are beyond how to tie their shoes. There is so much more to learn, and having a good picture guide of knots to reference helps make that happen. That’s where My First Book of Knots: A Beginner’s Picture Guide (under $10) comes in,

What this book covers

In this book, authors Berndt Sundsten and Jan Jager cover several useful knots, and indicating the appropriate situation and application for each one, which is just as important as learning the knots themselves. When looking for a picture guide of knots, large and color is better. In this book, the illustrations are large, colored, and clear – with appropriate shading so it’s easy to tell where the rope or string should go behind or in front of other parts of the rope.

Regarding the book’s title

As a parent, I cannot help but feel like the book title, ‘My First Book of Knots’, would make me a bit cautious to want to pick it up. The phrasing ‘My First Book of whatever‘ is reminiscent of toddler books that have similar names. Despite that, the book’s material is meant for older kids – as young as 7-year-olds up to 12-year-olds (honestly there is no cap – even adults like this book). If kids find this picture guide of knots interesting, then perhaps they will seek out additional books, but it certainly isn’t a mere introduction – there are a good number of knots covered in this book alone. That said, the book succeeds as a gift to kids in teh 7-12 year range despite the title.

Application of knots

The need for a knots come up in all sorts of situations, and in many times in unpredictable ones. Many people like to know knots for fishing, boating, and camping, but it isn’t limited to those heavily involved in outdoor activities, and knowing how to tie a knot can come in handy in emergency situations. Other applications includes: tying shoes, tying two short ropes together to make one long one, making a bead bracelet, making a sling, tie a bundle of sticks together, or lifting and carrying buckets.

Why a picture guide of knots makes a good gift for a kid

The draw in presenting a kid with a picture guide of knots is that there is an inherent challenge to want to make each knot. And once kids learn how to make various knots, they’ll look for opportunities to put their learning into practice. It’s also a handy skill (literally and figuratively), and could prove useful in a variety of ways. Consider combining this gift with some paracord or other rope to encourage practicing knots.

Ripstik Ripster - Two Wheeled Thrills for Kids

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One might be tempted to describe the Ripstik Ripster caster board as a mix between a skateboard and inline skates, but that wouldn’t really capture how much fun it is. The Ripstick Ripster, like the Ripstik Classic, has a back half and front half, each with one wheel. The board can swivel a bit at this connection, allowing the rider to flex the board and create forward momentum without feet ever needing to touch the ground.

How easy is the Ripstik Ripster to ride?

One might think it’s tricky to ride one of these, but this site’s author has some experience watching a certain 9-year-old take to it fairly quickly. The first 20 minutes were using a wall to balance next to a driveway that had a very gradual slope going downhill. Did the slope make it harder? No – the opposite. Having a little momentum made it easier to learn to balance instead of learning how to make it go. Kind of like riding a bike – after going forward you learn how to keep balance.

Wouldn’t this slip?

The nice thing about the two swivel wheels on the Ripstick Ripster is that the wheels are pretty grippy. A cautious parent’s active imagination might picture this board slipping out from underneath the kid, but it isn’t long before that idea is proved false. Although I’m sure there are accidents that can happen with this as any other riding toy, and it certainly shouldn’t be ridden over a wet surface, it’s not as prone to slippage as what a parent might be fearful of at first glance.

What’s the difference between the Ripstik Ripster and Ripstik Classic?

In addition to being cheaper, the Ripster has a shorter wheelbase, and is good for riders with a narrower stance (such as younger kids).

How easy is it to dismount?

Kids generally find their own natural way of dismounting with a little practice. See the video below to see one way of doing it if at the right speed. To stop the Ripstik Ripster, kids find a way to just ‘step off’.

Here is a demonstration of a nine-year-old son of this site’s author getting on the Ripstik, riding around the carport doing quick turns, followed by a dismount:

Bottom line

The Ripstik Ripster is a great gift for a kid that already enjoys riding toys like skateboards, skates, and bikes.

Doodle Pro magnetic drawing board

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With a built-in easy-to-grasp slidable eraser that makes it easy for kids to get a blank slate to play with, the Fisher-Price Doodle Pro magnetic drawing board (~$19) is a re-writable writing and drawing board that comes with a magnetic stylus and shapes.

The Doodle Pro magnetic drawing board may sound a lot like another product called the Magna Doodle. They are similar, as once Magna Doodle was sold by Fisher Price. Now that it’s no longer sold by Fisher-Price, Fisher-Price started producing its own alternative called the Doodle Pro. They basically work the same way.

The Doodle Pro magnetic drawing board makes for a great toy, and kids love to draw and erase with it over and over again. However, a big part of the Doodle Pro’s usefulness is that a magnet drawing board makes a great teaching tool for young kids. It can be used for quick minute lessons that can fit any learning level.

Magnetic drawing board as a teaching tool

For a 3-year old (or even 2-year-old if you feel your child can do it) draw a picture of circle and square on the Doodle Pro. Hold it up and ask “Which one is the circle? Which one is the square?” Have the child point to the board. Erase and repeat with more variations of shapes as they get better at identifying them. Give them positive reinforcement for getting the answers right.

Once they are good at identifying the shape, also work on having them say the name of the shape on their own, like so: Draw one shape on the Doodle Pro magnetic drawing board and ask the child “What is this shape called?” Have them say “circle” or “triangle”. Again, give them positive reinforcement, like saying “Great job!”.

As the child gets older, instead shapes, use letters and numbers. Start out by drawing two letters on the Doodle Pro board and ask “Which one is the ‘o’? Which one is the ‘t’?”, and have the child point. Erase and repeat with new letters. Letters can be overwhelming, so go easy and start slow, and make sure to include easy ones like ‘O’ and ‘X’ pretty often at first.

What is harder is recalling the name of the letter, so also do lessons where you draw a letter on the Doodle Pro and ask “What letter is this?”.

Once children get close to age 5 they can start learning sight words, so doing the above with real words, like “and”, “the”, and “me”, will help them get better at identifying sight words, and strengthening reading skills.

Also, children will find themselves wanting to draw the shapes, letters, numbers, and words, too, and let them ‘turn the tables’ on you by having them play the teacher, by drawing out the lesson themselves on the Doodle Pro magnetic board, and you the student. Let that happen – teaching others has proven an effective way to solidify learning.

Have you ever wondered how magnetic drawing boards work?

You likely knew there were magnets, but what else is involved?

The display is a piece of plastic that seals honeycomb cells of a thick white liquid and magnetic particles. The magnetic particles are pulled through the white-dyed liquid when a magnet pulls them to the front of the display. The magnetic particles are very fine and light in weight, while the liquid is purposefully thick, therefore preventing the magnetic particles from falling to bottom of the cell. The sliding eraser is actually a magnet as well, pulling the particles to the back of the cell and therefore all the player sees is the while liquid again.

Bottom Line

The Doodle Pro magnetic drawing board is an fun drawing and learning tool, requires no batteries, and can be used in different ways through the different stages of childhood. While the magnetic shapes might get lost, the magnetic stylus is attached via string and so it will always be usable. The ability to erase is just as satisfying as drawing with this durable toy. The Doodle Pro magnetic drawing board is a good gift for a kid.

Good Guitar Starter Set for Teens - Fender Squier Acoustic Bundle

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The approachability of an acoustic guitar makes it a great gift idea for teens no matter if they’ve ever had a music lesson, and no matter what kinds of music they are interested in. At $200, the Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar Bundle is a superb deal for a quality product. Everything needed to get started is included: the guitar, a case, a stand, strap, tuner, extra strings, picks, and instructional media. Right out of the box, it’s set to go.

The guitar is the type of instrument that can reward even the smallest of efforts (relatively to the violon, for instance). As many rock songs use a basic three chord progression, someone can literally be covering and creating songs within the first hour. As someone seeks to master the guitar, so too are they learning about new music styles and cultures. If someone takes lessons (or looks online for free ones), suddenly kids born in the 21st century are getting exposure to the Beatles, Santana, and Led Zeppelin.

Even though the learning curve isn’t steep, we wouldn’t recommend guitars for kids younger than teens. The ability to stretch hands around the neck of the guitar to pinch strings just right for chords can be tough and frustrating for smaller hands – it’s more suitable for older kids/teens whose arms and hands can handle an adult instrument.

A guitar encourages focus, can be a nice introduction to the vocabulary in music, and serves as a social bridge when getting to know new people. It can also boost self-esteem and help kids practice patience. These are all invaluable things particularly for kids in the teenage years. And over time, this gift can lead to supplemental presents like guitar chord songbooks for the favorite bands.

Tie Dye Kit

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When was the last time a kid thought a plain white t-shirt would be a fun? With the Jacquard Tie Dye Kit ($16), that t-shirt is a blank canvas just waiting for a bright and striking display of color to be applied. The Jacquard Tie Dye Kit comes with an instructional video, color dyes, gloves, rubber bands and soda ash dye fixer. The video shows how to make a variety of designs, and the quality of the dyes result in vibrant colors that remain vivid even after multiple washings. Tie dye is a process, so this isn’t something that can get thrown together within a single afternoon birthday party, but it still can be good activity for families and friends who are already staying together. While this kit contains all the tie dye materials, there are other things needed for the process: drop cloth or plastic for the ground, a bucket deep enough to dip shirts in, and another plastic bag to sit for a day (instructions call for 12 to 24 hours). This is a one-of-a-kind activity that is memorable as much as it is wearable. Because each result is unique, a tie dye kit gives opportunity for kids to personalize their creation. And though there are suggested designs in the instructions, there is no right or wrong way to do it – try different designs and see how they a turn out. As for quality, the Jacquard brand tends to give a more favorable impression of than other brand tie dye kits. Even though targeted towards shirts, the tie dye kit can be used with other things such as pillow cases, socks, or napkins. Kids of all ages can have fun doing the steps and getting a cool shirt out of it, but its best for older children and/or grownups to supervise the steps. Tie dye kits are a good gift for a kid.

Good Gifts for Kids showcases cool gift ideas that parents, friends, and family members can get for kids, babies, and teens. Updated about once a week — visit early and often, or subscribe below!

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