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. Look into the subscribe options to see how to stay in contact with us.


Doodle Pro magnetic drawing board

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.

Fender Guitar set for kids

Good Guitar Starter Set for Teens – Fender Squier Acoustic Bundle

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.

Jacquard Tie Dye Kit

Tie Dye Kit

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.

uno moo game

Uno Moo Game

Considered the preschool version of the classic card game Uno, Uno Moo ($15) Uno Moo is a fun farm animal spin on an old favorite. By matching pieces by type (various farm animals) or color, kids learn to categorize a piece in two different ways, and try to be the first to get rid of all their figures. And of course, much like the original card game, the player who is down to one piece has to yell “Uno moo!”, which is an irresistible hook to keep attention invested in the game. The cute Uno Moo game pieces are perfect sizes for little ones to hold, and the rules are simple to understand.

Uno Moo game play is fairly fast, which should help with anyone learning how to take turns. Keep your pieces behind haystack to keep others from seeing what you have. Everyone draws pieces from the barn, and the youngest player gets to kick off the first turn by placing one of their pieces in the barn door first. The next player checks to see if they have a piece with the same animal or the same color, and plays their piece on the barn door next, pushing the piece originally on the barn door back into the barn. Then it’s the next person’s turn.

There is also a bit of technique to playing the farmer (which is like playing a wild card), as well as penalty points like playing the skunk. Although with younger players you can just skip over those rules to simplify things even more if it’s too challenging. The first player to play all their pieces is the winner. Then you’ll find the remaining players wants to see who could finish next – although I think all players just look for their opportunity to shout “Uno moo!” too.

lock pick set for beginners

Lock Pick Set for Kids

For older kids who might benefit from the challenge of a more grown-up brain teaser, you may try introducing the hobby of lock picking. Believe it or not, this is a legitimate hobby that many enthusiasts enjoy and find fun to do. For the curious tinker type, lock-picking can be an engaging hobby with a bit of a brow-raising factor when the topic is mentioned (although it may be best to not mention it, more on that later). One just needs a few things to get started:

  • A good starter lock picking set with a modest variety of tools. From the, this 14-piece beginners lock pick set ($28) is a good choice as a lock pick set for kids.
  • Additionally, the lock picker hobbyist needs some practice locks. If you have some old key-driven padlocks, or an old piece of door hardware no longer needed, those can make a nice start to dabble with. Many hobbyists end up collecting a variety of practice locks as they go. As obviously you won’t want to practice on your, or your neighbor’s, front door. Which leads us to the next item…
  • A set of rules. Lock picking can be a fun hobby, but requires some responsibility and boundaries. In addition to not doing something illegal, be clear that the practice locks are the only things that should be used, as locks can become damaged by the novice hobbyist. Also, it’s likely best not to brag too much about having such abilities, as it can understandably signal some alarms if parents of friends find out that this is your kid’s new hobby.
  • A lock pick set is only good if you know how to use it, so a nice starter book like Practical Lock Picking would be a good complimentary item to round out the gift.

Combine the lockpick set with a guide!

practical lock picking book

I can’t stress that last bullet strong enough. A proper and thorough guide is a great companion to a lockpick set. We’ve looked through several options for books for lockpicking, and we feel Practical Lock Picking is the best. A great companion for a lockpicking set.

Check out the book

A lock pick set is a pretty unique gift – you can likely count on someone not already have one. Also, this type of gift shows the child that he is trusted, and is perceived as a responsible person, which is important to reinforce with younger teens. Obviously, you’d only want to give such a gift if you really do feel like the child can partake of the hobby in a responsible manner.

And yes, the skill may actually come in handy one day.

This particular Southord 14-piece lock picking set comes is a quality set for the price, and is a top seller at It consists of 10 picks and 4 torsion wrenches, and a leather pouch to keep them in. We’ve personally given all things listed above to a 13-year-old in the family, and it was extremely well-received.

zoom zoom baby flap book

Zoom, Zoom, Baby! flap book

Lift-the-flap books make reading time for engagement for little ones, and a great book to add to the collection is Zoom, Zoom, Baby! ($6) by Karen Katz.

Reading with little children is one of the best activities one can start at an early age. Kids at 6 months are into playing peek-a-boo style games, and a lift-the-flap book reinforces the idea of this type of discovery. Flap books are sturdy so that little hands of this age are getting used to grasping items, and flap books are very hands-on and built for kdis to play with.

When reading with younger kids, ask questions about what is on the page. Point and say thing appropriate for the book. For this one, “Do you think the baby is in here?” Then when lifting the flap… “No! It’s a funny bunny!”. Exaggerate your voice to make book reading more engaging. Point out other things on the page – “See the wheels? What color is the sky?”. The illustrations in Zoom, Zoom, Baby! are inviting, friendly, and funny. Point to them and talk about them, while also calling attention to the words that you’re reading.

With Zoom, Zoom, Baby!, vocabulary related to travel (‘car’, ‘boat’, ‘bus’, and ‘train’) can be reinforced to the kids. Obviously they won’t walk away knowing exactly what this item is, but the more they see it and hear the parent name it, the quicker kids pick up on what names these items have. Babies likely have some of these toys already, and associating objects with the same name—”This is a bus, and look – you have a toy bus, too!”—can stimulate intellectual growth.

In summary, reading with children is one of the best activities for kids and parents. An appropriate-age book, like the Zoom, Zoom, Baby! flap book for older babies and young toddlers, is a good gift for kids.

personal finance for teens book

Personal Finance for Teens

Not a single adult has ever looked back at their handling of money and thought, “Yep, I did it just right – there is no room for improvement.” Instead, there is likely a strong desire to magically return to your teenage self and drop the wisdom to start saving more, spending less, staying debt-free, and building up investments. Though we cannot travel back to a younger version of ourselves, we can help the next generation by passing on the knowledge found in The Complete Guide to Personal Finance: For Teenagers ($16), as it’s one of those subjects that teens cannot learn about soon enough.

Kids in the tween/teen years are exploring their independence, and being mindful of what it’s going to take to survive. Money management is a key factor here. Twelve year olds are thinking of how can they buy their own iPads or video games, mid-teens are thinking about getting the car they hope to drive, and older teens are thinking about how to pay for college. Do I need to get a job? A savings account? A loan? It’s crucial that teens learn about personal finance before they get approached with credit card offers the moment they step onto a college campus, and this book a great introduction to personal finance for teens.

In addition to the warnings about falling into debt as soon as they are legally able to, this book also touches on personal banking, budgeting, taxes, and just all around being fiscally responsible. The author (Tamsen Butler) has a very approachable and informative voice. Learning about personal finance for teens can be a tricky thing to approach by a parent, as the parent may – as much as they might not want to admit it – have a habit of talking down their kids, or feel a tendency to dangle the fact that the kid has been financially supported by the parent for their entire life. Whether or not that’s the case, Butler’s book encourages kids to bring the topic up to parents, so allowing the kids to learn from another source, such as this book, may be a nice way to introduce the topic into discussions at home. When it comes for a good gift for teens, fiscal responsibility tops the charts.

quadrilla vertigo wooden marble run

Quadrilla Vertigo Marble Railway

If you are looking for a good quality gift for a five- to seven-year-old, the Quadrilla Vertigo Marble Railway ($124) wooden marble run is dizzying fun. The Vertigo set, like the other Quadrilla sets, provides a collection of interchangeable pieces for creating marble runs in many configurations. Kids will enjoy assembling marble paths from the curved wood tracks, funnels, and an assortment of blocks made from high quality natural wood, with each configuration changing the marble’s path. With add-ons available from other Quadrilla wooden marble run sets, this set will be a repeat favorite for multiple kids in the same household, and even multiple generations.

Marble run construction sets allow kids to exercise logic, math, and physics on a basic level. They realize “to make the marble run this way, I need to add another block to this tower”. Especially when wanting to build their own marble run maze, they will strategize and reason when planning out the run. This type of toy rewards being constructive, as they will want to build the biggest track, using the most pieces, as they can. While friends will want to play with it, too, a wooden marble run constructive toy is also good for independent play, as kids can guide their creations and control their own pace. This type of play is quite important for kids’ development.

The Quadrilla marble run sets are a well-crafted series of toys, easily approachable by kids as young as five, and provide an outlet for creating and problem solving. It’s a simple toy that makes kids want to challenge their own limitations. They will be proud to show off their ingenuity in assembling their own marble railway.