It's holiday time! Deciding what to get can be difficult for everyone on your list. We've rounded up some of the best of the best for babies, tots, big kids, tweens, smart kids who love STEM, amazing girls who will rule the world, and bookworms. No matter who you are buying for, you are certain to find a gift that's just right (and in your budget) in our Ultimate Gift Guide.
Chomp, chomp! Check out these beautiful silicone teething necklaces from Qualo that can be customized. Since these necklaces are meant to be worn by an adult, it will double as a gift for Mom as well. Necklaces even come in a nice cloth pouch that can be used to keep the necklace clean when not in use.
Babies and drool go together like cookies and milk. Get baby her very own super-soft scarf to complement any outfit with the Hauptli Haus nuscheli scarf that doubles as a beautiful burp cloth.
Learn the ABCs at home with My First ABC Clutching Puzzle. Preschool is synonymous with learning the ABCs. Rote memorization doesn't always work, but fun ways of teaching letters, like age-appropriate puzzles, can get kids off to the right start. Puzzle pieces can also be used to teach matching and colors. Write-On, Wipe Off, Let's Write Letters are a great way for kids to practice copying and tracing letters.
Try this Kleen Kanteen sippy cup that is pretty enough to deserve a place under the tree and sturdy enough to last through elementary school. It comes with a variety of lids so you can pick the option that best suits your child's needs and preferences.
Babies and bath toys go together like cookies and milk. Get a gift baby will love into the toddler years like this five star rated Yookidoo Sensory Bath Mobile that can used in two ways in baby bathtubs or full-sized tubs. Babies love watching the flowers go!
Let baby come along on your bike trips and jogging routes. Check out this Thule Cheetah Chariot that works just as well for jogging as it does for taking children along on bike rides. This trailer is super-lightweight and its maneuverability is unmatched. Kids think it's really comfortable and absolutely love sitting in the trailer for rides. It also makes a great everyday stroller that can handle any terrain.
Baby deserves comfy ride. Check out the Nuna Pepp Next, which might be the only stroller baby will ever need. This stroller is compact like an umbrella stroller, yet pushes as easily as a much larger stroller. It even has features like a dream cape and full recline so it's suitable from birth and naps well into the toddler years. Plus, features like a faux leather handle bar and a gorgeous heather gray frost color make this a luxe stroller.
For babies, or new parents, who want a complete travel system, this all-in-one Britax B-Free & B-Safe Ultra Travel System is a complete package that will ensure baby has the most safe ride possible in the car and the most comfortable ride possible in the stroller.
Especially if it's baby's first winter, chances are you are hoping for a little nose that stays clear of snot all winter long. This bbluv umi ultrasonic humidifier & air purifier in one is super-sleek, kicks out a ton of steam, and is adjustable based on how much help your little one needs.
If there is a better sound in this world than a baby's laugh I don't know what it is. Check out this adorable Baby Yoee. It's like a duster made just to tickle baby and comes in a variety of cute animal themes.
Does the baby on your list love her paci? Check out these adorable PaciMitts that allow babies to self-soothe.
For the most adorable gift try a carousel pull toy that moves as your child pulls it along. It comes with another way to play since the pieces can come apart to double as a stack-and-balance toy.
The Brushies are the absolute cutest way to introduce little people who have never had teeth before to the concept of brushing their teeth. This adorable brush set comes with a cute book explaining the very complex process of tooth brushing to little ones.
The ezpz Mini Mat and Bapron Bundle takes care of two feeding needs in one with a coordinating bib (that grows with your child up to 3t) and feeding mat that can be used for meals at home or snacks on the go.
Does it seem like everyone has a toy barn? Mix things up and get your kids an entire farm. The Field is a collection from Ireland created to replicate Ireland's green fields and come with large grassy patches along with tractors and animals. You can grow the set over time by adding more animals and vehicles to the set or decide to stick with just one.
Puppets are good for kids of all ages from babies on up. These adorable zoo friends animal puppets can be used to create hours of endless fun and as kids grow they can use the puppets themselves.
Are your kids disappointed when their paper airplanes don't fly very far? Change that with a Power Up Dart which gives nearly any paper airplane the ability to fly up to 180 feet and allows you to control your paper airplane from your smart phone.
It's (almost) never to early to start teaching kids to read. Recommended for kids as young as three, this set of Bob Books and Versa Tiles starts simply then gradually adds more complex words. Along with the Versa Tiles, this set is a complete learn-to-read kit. If Santa brings books, your kids are practically obligated to read them!
Kids love puzzles! Challenge them early with jigsaw puzzles made for the toddler set like this Giant Firetruck Floor Puzzle that has just 24 pieces but gives kids the sense of a job well done just like big kids!
Playmobil is classic for a reason. Their toys are designed to create open-ended play with sets that are sturdy enough to stand up to toddlers. This aquarium set is one of the cutest out this season. Keep your sea animals dry or add water to create a real-life aquarium for your child's new ocean friends.
This Sesame-Street endorsed Garden Friends Dough Activity Set from Green Toys allows kids to join Abby Cadabby to make a colorful garden out of colorful dough to help build fine motor skills and encourage creativity.
Imaginative play is key for toddlers and preschoolers. There is just about nothing cuter than this ice cream Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter. Thanks to the magic of magnets kids can really scoop their own ice cream and they can take orders using the real included menu.
This 2-in-1 scooter from Swagtron is absolutely perfect for the toddler set. It can convert from a traditional scooter to a ride-on trike so you get two ride-on toys in one. It can be used from about the time kids can walk through the toddler years.
Is your child really good at yelling? There is a toy to make good use of that talent. Check out Yellies, like the toy spider Bo Dangles, that responds to your child's screams and goes faster the louder your child gets.
The Project MC2 Ultimate Makeover Bag comes packed with kid-friendly make-up but the make-up is disguised as art supplies and other common items like pens and markers. Because the popular “science girls” from Netflix are behind this kit, kids need to mix their own make-up and learn the science behind it in the process. This really shows that smart is the new pretty!
Every kid longs for stuffies! Check out these adorable ones from Moosh Moosh. They come in all sizes from small clip-ons to large 12″ versions. Kids can't resist the Moosh Moosh lovely blue unicorn, cute shark or the amazing donut cat.
Weighted blankets help many kids stay calm and sleep better. Once used for kids with sensory processing disorders, the benefits of weighted blankets for all kids has been recognized in recent years with some adults using them as well! These weighted blankets from Harkla make a great gift because they are soft – and the cover can be removed for washing.
Shrinky Dinks are a childhood classic and make a great gift because kids of nearly any age can use them. Shrinky Dinks have evolved from the original draw-and-bake to shrink sets to sets that make toys can play with ranging from Mini-Racers to 3-D butterfly jewelry. Shrinky Dinks are a great family activity to complete over winter break or kids can use their Shrinky Dinks to make gifts of their own to give away.
The Big Life Journal was designed with the idea of expanding kids' minds through a series of prompts designed just for kids. Parents can go through the journal with kids and older kids can complete the journal themselves. Questions range from naming three things you like about your friends to asking someone about a time they failed and what they learned from the experience.
Kids love crafts! Check out this Linkt Craft Kit: Athena Necklaces with enough materials for kids to make several necklaces or enough for several kids to make necklaces at once at a playdate.
Want your kid to build his own gift? Check out this cool build-your-own Gumball Machine kit which will walk your child through building his own, working gumball machine while learning about simple machines. Think about how great that gum will taste coming out of a gumball machine he built with his own two hands (along with Mom or Dad, of course).
Last summer's hottest item sold old quickly, but now that temperatures have cooled, the Giant Unicorn Sprinkler (along with the Dinosaur and Elephant versions) is back in stock. Even if it's too cold to turn on the sprinkler, you can still blow up the enormous unicorn that's over six feet tall to create a magical Christmas morning experience. Then, when your kids have long-tired of most of their Christmas presents this summer the Unicorn can come out for your kids to be delighted again. Want something more seasonal? This adorable Reindeer snow tube is the next best thing to flying on a reindeer with Santa.
The latest obsession for many toddlers is Top Wings. These colorful, fun toys from stuffies to ones that light up are sure to please as stocking stuffers or under the tree.
Give a gift that is literally dreamy. This Sweet Dreams DIY Kit has everything kids need to create a sleep mask, lotion bars, bath crystals, and their own dream journal.
Any kid who loves to play with cars will love this unique flexible track system by Max Flex RC. Kids can build tracks in nearly any configuration they like then watch their cars go!
Kids love trucks that look like the ones they see on the road. This 2018 HESS truck with a motorcycle and RV is three gifts in one!
Kids love to make and they love blankets. These make-your-own quilt kits from Melissa & Doug are made using only knots so they are safe for kids of any age. This is a great project for kids to do with a family member or on their own from about ages six and up. It's a great project that can be done all at one or in increments throughout the winter. Plus, once it's done you have a one-of-a-kind blanket to cuddle under whenever it's cold.
What child doesn't dream of being a mermaid … or a shark. Thanks to Fun Fit Mermaid your child's dream can come true every night … or afternoon.
The Creative Cafe Barista Bar allows kids to play barista by allowing kids to make beautiful (caffeine free) drinks with frothy milk. The Barista Bar comes with recipe cards, cups, chocolate and strawberry flavoring, stencils to make designs on top of the milk, a pitcher and more. Before you know it, your kids will join in your morning coffee ritual by making their own daily frothy beverage!
For the tween who is not afraid to stand out from the crowd (and may even seek to forge her own path) this amazing silver bag with rainbow handles from Bari Lynn is the prefect weekender (or bag for school).
Have a tween on your list who aspires to be a You Tuber? Or who just spends too much time hanging out online? Check out this great broadcasting webcam from Razer. The Kiyo has a dimmable light and pro-level broadcasting quality. Add the Siren Elite Microphone to give a pro-quality sound that reduces background noise and picks up subtle nuances in voice. These are gifts the whole family can use.
Get crafty! LaurDIY has awesome DIY kits for tweens on themes from Unicorn Balloon Animals to Mini Plushies. Because these are DIY they keep tweens off the screen and allow them to personalize their crafts to fit their style.
Tweens feeling angsty? This Gratitude Journal helps kids track of the things that make them happy with a way to track what makes them happy with prompts and stickers to help remind them about what life is all about.
Biking is a classic pastime for tweens, but hoverboards are the new cool way to get around. This Swagboard Elite is the best ride around since it has bling like lights and built-in speakers. Watch your teen delight in cruising around the block (or in the house).
Check out the Who's That Girl? line of products ranging from glitter roots to selfie masks to temporary tattoos. Girls will love to glam it up over winter break or when hanging out with their friends.
Get to know your tween in a new way, or let them get to know their friends better, with the famed How Do You See the World? containing 500 questions to prompt discussion and deeper thinking.
Nerf guns and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly. Check out the Nerf Infinus Elite Blaster, which can hold up to 30 darts at time. The Nerf Laser Ops Pro is a great option for siblings since it comes with two blasters read for battle out of the box.
Want a fun, active game the whole family (plus some friends) can play together? Check out the cool flag football set from Dick's Sporting Goods. Add in a kid-sized football jersey to make the game even more realistic.
Kids love when they have toys that look like them. American Girl Truly Me dolls make the perfect “big gift” to put under the tree. Girls will adore having a doll that looks like them and they can add any outfits or accessories that they like to make their mini-me into anything from a news reporter to an astronaut, gymnast baker, country rock star, rap singer, and on and on. American Girl's well-known reputation for quality means that girls and their dolls will go through their childhoods together and be in good shape to pass on to the next generation.
PonyCycle ride on toy that does not need batteries or electrical power. Unicorns, tigers, and more are also available! You will not believe the delight on your child's face when she gets her very own pony under the Christmas tree. The PonyCycle ride on toy can be used indoors or out and comes in two sizes for very little ones up through elementary age. Your child will know that he was very good this year if he gets this unique and special gift.
The Redline Proline Push Boss will keep your little one out and about on his very own balance bike. The Push Boss is not just adorable, but kids will love balancing on this colorful bike. Kids who learn to balance first learn how to ride bikes sooner so this is gift that will help give life-long skills.
Check out the Nighthawk Ride On powered by batteries. This awesome toy is good for kids as young as six. It's a great option for siblings to share as well. The Nighthwak is all about fun since all kids really need to do is sit and have fun. Handles make sure kids stay safe.
There is no Dad who wouldn't have fun playing Star Wars with his child on Christmas morning. This Kessel Run Millennium Falcon with Han Solo is highly detailed and a great choice for a gift that will promote family play.
Strong girls don't always play with dolls that are just like them. Check out Selma's Dolls featuring a Muslim girl, a girl with Down Syndrome, and a Mexican girl who each come with their own storybook.
An icon that will be remembered forever is the Notorious RBG. Give your child their very own Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figure. As one of a very few women to ever sit on the Supreme Court, RBG is a role model whether you agree with her opinions … or dissent. They even come in multi-packs to give all the fierce girls in your life.
Rosie Revere, Engineer is back with Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters who will inspire girls to follow their dreams and never give up on their dreams – even if they don't quite get it right the first time.
Just because girls love Princesses doesn't meant they are not also strong and capable. Check out Princesses Save the World by Savannah Guthrie to show your child what happens when Princesses band together to help each other out.
Barbie Role Models: Want to show girls they can be anything? Check out Barbie Role Models based on real-life women who have changed the world like Frida Kahlo and Misty Copland. While we love all of Barbie's professions, giving your girl real-life women to emulate will go a long way towards showing her Barbie's career goals are attainable by any girl – even her!
Any girl with big plans to go far in life will love finding Girl CEO under the tree. Icons like Oprah as well as younger women in business and established powerhouses making it as women leaders in business share their advice and guidance.
Does your girl aim for the stars? Help her get there with the pink NASA flight jacket from Aeromax that will let her soar.
Every kid needs some downtime during the holidays, but that doesn't mean you can't sneak some STEM skills into their downtime. The Project MC2 Slumber Party Science Kit encourages kids to make their own clay masks and body scrubs while learning about the science behind what they are doing.
For the girl in your life who appreciates both rebel girls and beautifully illustrated graphic novels, check out Brazen: Rebel Ladies who Rocked the World to learn about daring women in a comical, easy-to-follow way.
For big kids, check out graphic novels like Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner exploring how a boy copes with returning back to school after a boring summer with nothing to tell and Dear Sister by Alison McGhee, which shares touching letters from an older brother to his little sister.
Another good option for big kids is Children of Blood and Bone, which was named one of the best Young Adult novels of the year when the year was still new. This is a West African-inspired fantasy debut that takes place in a world full of magic – where the magic has disappeared and there is only one chance to get it back.
All kids know about superheroes but they probably don't know quite as much about those whom superheroes fight – super villains! Check out The Big Book of Super Villains to get to know Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn, and some of their lesser known villain fiends in this colorful, fun book.
Even little boys can learn early on that they should treat their Mom – and all women – with respect! Teach boys it's okay to cry and that they should clean up after themselves in My First Book of Feminism (for boys).
It's never too early to start learning about Star Wars. Check out Star Wars Block, which introduces young jedis to 100+ of the most important Star Wars words with beautiful illustrations.
Llama Llama is back! Something every kid should be able relate to is Llama Llama's newest adventure: Llama Llama Loves to Read. Follow along as Llama Llama goes to school and learns so much!
Introduce kids eight and up to a great series like the bestselling The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier that already has over two million copies in print. These kids escape into a world of play, zombies, friends, and adventures. Start with giving just one book in the series or go all in and get the box set to provide for reading all winter long.
Sports fan? Give him or her something to read when the season ends. No Slam Dunk by Mike Lupica weaves together the sports world and the personal world in a way that even kids who are not basketball fans will enjoy.
LEGO isn't just good for teaching STEM skills through building. Check out this LEGO Superheros App Controlled Batmobile that comes with two motors and a bluetooth hub – and an exclusive Batman minifigure. Watch kids light up with pride when they not just build their own Batmobile, but control it as well.
Mini Waffle Blocks are a favorite of many preschoolers. These building toys, in the shape of waffles, fit together just so to create both flat and 3-D structures. These will literally keep kids busy for hours and they build and create and then start over again to create something completely different.
No kid can resist playing science detective when poop is involved. Check out this Bones! Dissect Owl Pellets kit which encourages kids to dissect owl pellets to determine what kind of prey the owl ate based on clues they find.
Kids don't know that problem solving skills can be developed while they think they are having fun. Check out the Cube Puzzler Pro which challenges kids to fit the colorful pieces together in different ways. There is also Kanoodle Jr. version for younger kids.
Does a child on you list love slime? Check out this Slime Making Lab Kit that encourages kids to slap on the included googles and gloves and mix up slime using a pipette and all of the included materials. After kids make their slime they can try their hand at any one of the other 17 included experiments using the kit's real lab equipment and full-color lab guide.
Every kid needs some downtime during the holidays, but that doesn't mean you can't sneak some STEM skills into their downtime. The Project MC2 Slumber Party Science Kit encourages kids to make their own clay masks and body scrubs while learning about the science behind what they are doing.
SmartMax magnetic discovery toys are a great introduction to basic STEM concepts for kids as young as one. Watch in wonder as kids figure out how animals and tractors and fit together. Once they figure it out, kids can have fun playing with the animals and vehicles. For kids who are a little older, this SmartMax XXL Set offers plenty of opportunity for open-ended exploration and play. Pair it with this SmartMax Stunt Cars set (which can also be used on its own) to add more fun building possibilities.
MagnaTiles are cited by many parents as the most played with toy in their house by kids of all ages from preschool on up because they are so versatile. This glow in the dark version adds even more versatility. These MagnaQubix are a mini-version of MangaTiles that are great for on the go or just a different way of building. MangaTiles are the perfect blend of building, art, and engineering skills in one.
Check out this cool Circuit Conductor that allows kids to build circuits with large, colorful disks and then use an app to watch how electricity flows between them and play with their creation. This gift can be played with over and over. For kids who might like building with circuits but want something a little more basic, the Klutz Circuit Games kit walks kids step-by-step through building five different games that use circuits.
Try this Sphero Mini, a tiny robotic ball that kids can use to learn to code or just play games. It's a favorite for many!
This Itty Bitty Buggy is something you and your kids can make five different ways then program their creation!
Even very young kids can begin to learn basic STEM concepts. Get a gift that will last like this HABA Ball Track Basic Pack Funnel Jungle.Watch as kids experiment and learn how to get the marble to roll down and around the funnel. This gift can be played with in more complex ways as your child grows.
Games are gifts the whole family can enjoy. Even kids as young as three or four can enjoy board games like Diggin' Dino Bones with rules simple enough for even little kids to follow but engaging enough for older siblings and parents to enjoy.
Can you Kanoodle? Kanoodle and Kanoodle Jr. for younger kids are popular for single players. Try Kanoodle Head-to-Head to race against someone else trying to fit colorful pieces together in different patterns for a game that will really make you use your noodle.
A game all ages can play (really) is Tabletop Shuffleboard. This five-foot version plays just like shuffleboard you would play anywhere and is compact enough to fit in the back of a closet for storage. This can be a great family game night for years to come.
The award-winning Not Parent Approved game recommended for kids 8+ is just like Cards Against Humanity but for kids and it's 100% family-friendly! Over 300 five star reviews can't be wrong. This game is fun for everyone.
Chickapig is the new hot game where chicken-pig hybrids try to reach their goal in a family-friendly game with over 100 five star reviews. This really is a game that both kids and parents alike can enjoy.
For a game that's fun from toddlers on up check out Phil the Fridge. With rules simple enough for toddlers to follow and games that can be finished in a reasonable amount of time, this game will be reached for again and again. Fizzy Dizzy Hippo is another great game for the toddler set. The colorful hippo spins and makes hilarious sounds as kids try to fill him up!
Any game in the series The Exit will have kids entertained for hours. Think murder mystery type parties designed for families. In each version of the game players try to “escape” from anything from a Polar Station to a haunted mansion. Each game comes with everything you need to get into a mindset of a new location and solve riddles to find your way out. The only problem is that you might get hooked and go through the entire series.
Harry Potter is always a hot, but this year more so as Harry gets rebranded for the next generation of Hogwarts fans. Check out this amazing build your own wand kit that isn't a knock-off. It's a real wand that responds to movements and can perform all kinds of (app-enabled) magic with the flick of a wrist.
Another great choice for kids who ask 5,000,000 questions a day is Calling All Minds by Temple Grandin which answers important questions like how does a kite fly or a boat float. This book by a world-renowned autism spokesperson, scientist, and inventor goes through the process of inventions and discoveries and how thinking differently can lead to great things.
A staple in every toddler's toy closet has to be the Batcave. Check out the new and improved Wayne Manor Batcave with two stories, a jail, a light-up Bat Signal, a hidden launcher, Batcycle and more. For kids who don't just want to play Batman but who want to be Batman, check out this DC Justice League Batman Voice Changing Tactical Helmet so your child can not just look but sound like Batman as well.
Spiderman into the Spiderverse comes with a real webshooter (that shoots soft projectiles) and comes with a wearable for your child, making it a big hit under the tree.
Beyblades are hot this year. Get a set like Burst Evolution to get kids ready for battle.
For Harry Potter fans, an adorable stuffed Niffler from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them are a great bet for a gift they don't have already.
Play-Doh is always hot, but these new Play-Doh Wheels sets combine two great childhood loves – play-doh and trucks. You will get extra credit for finding this combination.
Elmo is always hot. This new Sing and Dance Elmo is one the year's hottest toys. Fans of Elmo will love that they can dance along with him and learn colors, songs, and all about animals while playing with him.
It's Scooby Doo! This awesome transforming Mystery Machine is a great toy that kids and parents can both relate to. It turns from a van into headquarters for the gang in a couple of moves. Plus, the Mystery Machine comes with Scooby and Fred.
For many toddlers, no Christmas would be complete with finding Thomas the Tank Engine under the tree. This Thomas and Friends Big Loader Set is a safe bet for ensuring Santa brings your toddler's next favorite toy for the next year.
Hello trucks! Trucks hold a special place in many kids' hearts. This big and sturdy John Deere Big Scoop Truck is certain to elicit squeals of delight on Christmas morning and last for many Christmases to come.
Sporting equipment is always a good bet for a gift that will be loved and used. Wilson Sports has a great selection of all types of balls and more in sizes including youth, junior, and professional. Sporting equipment is always a great gift that promotes kids and grown-ups playing together.
At-home laser tag? Yes, please! LaserX has a system that is super-fun for kids and adults to use. No real lasers are used. It's good for both indoor and outdoor use. Even better, all LaserX guns sync up with each other so you can add to your set or play with friends for even more fun.
Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More
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