Choosing the Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids

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We’re all looking for great gifts this holiday season! But a plethora of “hot” toys under the tree may not be exactly what your child needs. I’m sharing tons of kid friendly, non-toy gifts for toddlers, kids and teens. These are practical holiday gifts for kids that they will totally LOVE! I’ve got something here for everyone on your gift giving holiday list.

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Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids

Why Choose Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids?

I’ve never been one for silly and frivolous. Perhaps because money was tight growing up our gifts erred on the practical side. Despite my current stance on buying practical holiday gifts for kids, I’ve been there as a parent. I’ve bought the silly and unnecessary gifts because my kid had it on their Christmas list. I wanted my kids to get that “hot” gift like their friends. But after seeing how short-lived that super-hot toy was has made me rethink the entire gift buying process. Yes, we’re frugal and stick to a gift buying budget for our four kids. But it’s also about making smart purchases and giving kids exactly what they need and not just what they want in the frenzy of the season.

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids

8 Practical Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy

  1. How many times will my child actually use this item?
  2. What is the approximate cost per use on this item?
  3. Am I buying this as a “want” or a “need”?
  4. Could we possibly borrow or rent this item instead of buying it?
  5. How does this item add to my child’s life? Will my child benefit from having this item?
  6. Am I considering this item only because it’s what “all the other kids” are getting for gifts this year?
  7. Can this item be used by anyone else in the home?
  8. Will this item be handed down later? Or could it possibly be resold?

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids

Develop a Childhood Hobby

Before you buy anything, think about your child on a personal level. Too often we toss items into the basket that we think our kids will like. But how about choosing a gift that really speaks to their personality. A gift that will encourage their talents or nurture a new hobby. Once you have an idea on a theme, it’s easy to buy a few coordinating pieces to go along with each hobby. Here are some great suggestions for a new childhood hobby!

Photography

Sewing

Gardening

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids
Plant seeds to attract butterflies!

Fishing

Camping

Cooking

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids
Kids who like to bake may enjoy their own kitchen kit

Art

  • Drawing pads
  • Drawing Pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes


Archery

Looking for practical gifts for kids this holiday? I've got 100+ ideas for boys and girls that are both practical and fun! These gifts include hobby builders, family gifts, learning toys, and gifts to encourage exercise and outdoor activity. These are all reasonably priced and high quality gifts! These practical children's gifts are sure to be a hit this Christmas season and there's not a "hot toy" among the list. | Toys for Kids | Christmas List | Holiday Gift Guide | Shopping | Gift List

Choosing the BEST Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids

If you say the words, “Practical Gifts” do your older kids roll their eyes? So how can you choose the best practical holiday gifts for kids, the gifts that they will love, the gifts they’ll appreciate and truly be able to use? By truly focusing in on your child’s personality and taking into consideration their favorite things, you’ll be able to find practical items they can play with and use year-round.

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids
The toddler with his new practical stuff – pillow, book and slippers!

Character driven gifts are often what kids love the most. Look for high quality items that feature their favorites. Keep it classic by choosing items that feature characters like Star Wars or Mickey Mouse as these never go out of style!

Give the Gift of Lessons and Instructions

Choose local classes that your child shows interest in. Sign up for a month to try it out and make sure it’s a good fit for your kid.

  • Bowling
  • Piano
  • Swim
  • Guitar
  • Golf
  • Art
  • Tennis
  • Voice
  • Dance

READ MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Your Kid’s First Dance Class

Gifts that Move Your Kids

Enjoy the great outdoors with these practical gifts for kids that will get them up and moving. Consider making these a family gift so that everyone can join in on the physical fun.

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids
Bikes are a fun and practical gift for all.

Practical Kids Items for Home

These practical gifts for kids will encourage at-home time with the family. Gifts range from warm and cozy, bedroom decor or fun in the kitchen!

Practical Toys That Withstand the Test of Time

I’m not against toys. Toys are important in all stages of childhood for brain and social development. What I am against are toys that don’t require any input from the child to “play” them. Toys that kids will use once and then never show any interest in again; those toys just aren’t worth bringing into my house.

Why do kids need free time for imaginative play? These are the tips for squeezing in free play and ideas for the best toys

From the start, purchase toys with “staying power”. Look for toys that can be used in multiple ways and that stir your child’s imagination. Purchase high quality toys, even if they cost a bit more. You’ll have these toys for years and maybe even hand them down to future generations.

Also, your kids require a lot fewer toys than you think! A few versatile staples like blocks, fabric silks and vehicles can be used in conjunction with new toys to extend their life.

Gifts That Bring the Family Together

Choose something that can be gifted to several family members or a group. These are the ultimate gifts for family time and many can be used year-round or for weekly together-time, like game night.

  • Puzzles, like these from ShopDisney
  • Board games for families, like Jenga or Pictionary
  • Photo Album, like the versions from Shutterfly
  • Dinner Gift Card
  • Annual Pass. Consider a local museum, play house or even Disneyland! Did you know that if you purchase regular tickets you can upgrade to an annual pass by applying the amount paid for the ticket to a year-long pass (as long as you do it before the last valid day of your ticket).
  • Movie Gift Card
  • Tickets to the theater
  • Musical Instrument Set
  • Monthly subscription box with something you all love, like Disney goodies from Walt Life

A Love of Learning

My first-grader’s love language is learning. If I gifted him a desk full of school supplies, he’d be thrilled on Christmas morning! If you have a kid who loves to learn consider these practical gifts for kids that will keep them educated.

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids
Books are a learning-lovers best practical gift!

Gifts to Clothe Kids Head to Toe

I don’t know many kids who cheer when they receive socks & underwear on Christmas morning, but you can still find some fun and practical clothing gifts for kids that they’ll love. We always gift our kids a special outfit to wear on Christmas Eve (often something coordinating that looks good in photos together). Choose character-driven styles or something fun and quirky for bonus points!

The girls in their coordinating Gymboree holiday outfits in 2016

Electronic Gear That’s Practical

I’ll confess that I’m not really up on the latest tech. We keep it mostly unplugged in our house, even for the teens. But there are some practical and still fun things that kids may enjoy as a gift. When I do purchase tech equipment, I tend to just buy the adult version instead of the one geared for kids. However some items may include added protection to the equipment in the child’s version to make them less likely for breakage with younger kids.


Gifts to Build

Think beyond the LEGO sets (though these are always great gifts!). If you have a kid who likes to build or make, help them learn by using their fine-motor skills. I’ve including building sets and crafty things for kids of all ages.

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids
K’nex offers unlimited play for kids who love to build

On-the-Go Gifts for Kids

My kids love to travel so the practical gift of travel essentials will get them excited about an upcoming trip!

Practical Stocking Stuffers for Kids

I used to think that stocking stuffers were just the junk filler. Aren’t stocker stuffers are just extra stuff, seen once on Christmas morning and then abandoned in the far reaches under the bed? Not so. These practical little goodies can be used year-round.

Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Kids
You can even stuff the stockings with practical gifts, like hair ties.

Looking for practical gifts for kids this holiday? I've got 100+ ideas for boys and girls that are both practical and fun! These gifts include hobby builders, family gifts, learning toys, and gifts to encourage exercise and outdoor activity. There are even some reasonably priced and practical tech gifts! These children's gifts are sure to be a hit this Christmas season and there's not a "hot toy" among the list. | Stocking Stuffers | Christmas List | Holiday Gift Guide | Shopping | STEM | Gift List

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