There’s nothing like having the excuse of the holidays to splurge on fun toys, games and gifts for your kids.
But let’s keep it real… It’s easy to get carried away and go overboard! And then the kids get focused on all. the. things. So the least we can do is be intentional about the gifts we give. Which is why this year all of my top gift ideas for kids support and encourage their natural curiosity and creativity. Because we all want to keep them this awesomely curious and creative as long as possible, right? Let’s check ’em out…
Some of the products featured were provided by the brand free of charge. However, all opinions are authentic and my own. Also, this post contains affiliate links. Which simply means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I receive a small percentage of the sale – without your price being any higher. Thank you for your continued support. For more information, see my disclosure policy.
Psst… We’re getting down to the wire for holiday shopping. Don’t forget you can Try Amazon Prime’s 30-Day Free Trial for fast 2-day shipping to get gifts to you or their recipient by Christmas!
Top Gifts for Curious and Creative Kids
Imaginative & Pretend Play Toys
There’s nothing quite like pretend play to help kids explore their world (the real one and the make-believe one) and their evolving role in it. And dramatic play is great for developing social skills, practicing emotional regulation, and expanding curiosity and creativity. Here are my favorite toys that encourage pretend play…
HABA Doorway Puppet Theater & Puppets
- No kid should go through early childhood without puppets as far as I’m concerned. They’re amazing for encouraging language development, social skills, and imagination. And a puppet theater makes those puppets SO fun, right?! We used to have a big wooden puppet theater, but it always seemed so cumbersome, in the way and tripping a child up, so that one got passed along to a Kindergarten class. And now I’m loving this doorway puppet theater from HABA. It’s simply made of fabric and uses adjustable curtain-type rods to hang in any standard door frame. Brilliant, right?! Oh, check out HABA’s amazing selection of glove puppets, too!
- Purchase the Dragon Vinni Glove Puppet here: Amazon
- Purchase the Magician Glove Puppet here: Amazon
- Purchase the Doorway Puppet Theater here: Amazon | Walmart | Nordstroms | Fat Brain Toys
Pretend & Play® Calculator Cash Register
- This is one of those toys your family will get years of use out of. This year, you’ll be counting the life-size play money, “1… 2… 3… “, and giggling over the “cha-ching” sounds at your little one’s pretend farmer’s market. And before you know it, that same child will be asking to borrow the same cash register for the skit they wrote for their 5th-grade math class – which the register’s solar-powered calculator feature is perfect for, you know!
- Purchase here: Amazon | Learning Resources | Toys”R”Us | Walmart | Staples | Barnes & Noble | eBay | The Scholastic Store | Fat Brain Toy
Fun Craft Kits for Creative Kids
What creative kid wouldn’t love a box full of creative supplies and inspiration?! Check out these awesome craft kits for kids…
- This kit isn’t your typical cardmaking kit with plain old cards and simple stickers to decorate them. This Thank You Card Kit includes the supplies and easy-to-follow steps for your child to make their very own stamp to decorate their handmade cards! So creative, right?! And what a fun way to promote the social-emotional skills and life lessons of gratitude and showing others appreciation. This craft kit is a win-win all around!
- Purchase here: Amazon
- Your little one will be so proud to have their glimmering, colorful suncatcher strung across a sunlit window in their home. And you will love how this artful activity engages them in creative work, strengths their fine motor skills, and even encourages vocabulary building with a strong message of perseverance.
- Purchase here: Amazon
A Green Kid Crafts Kit or Subscription
- “Green Kid Crafts is a mother’s invention, created by a working mom and environmental scientist whose personal experiences taught her how important it is for children to exercise creativity, develop a love of discovery, and learn about the world around them.” What’s not to love about that, right?! You can get a single craft kit, like the Creativity Art Box or the Holidays Around the Word Box, or you can sign your child up for a monthly subscription of a Discovery Box full of creative STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art, and math) activities – delivered each month. It’s a Christmas gift that keeps giving!
- Purchase here: Green Kid Crafts
Origami Animals Super Paper Pack: Folding Instructions and Paper for Hundreds of Beasts and Birds by Creative Publishing International
- If you have an animal-loving kid, this gift-pick is for you! This colorful Origami Animals Super Paper Pack includes everything your kid needs to make their very own paper menagerie. With 232 sheets of colorful, patterned origami paper and a 32-page instruction book, your little paper artist will be folding for hours. (This would be great for a family craft night, too!)
- Purchase here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Target | Walmart
STEaM and STEM Toys & Gifts
I know how tempting it is to keep your kids from tech in order to encourage more hands-on learning and creativity. But I think moderation and balance are a better tech plan for raising curious & creative kids. And I believe the right tech can actually promote learning and creativity, too. One great way of making tech more beneficial for our kids is to integrate it with science, engineering, and math (STEM) and even with art, too (STEaM). Check out these STEaM and STEM toys and gifts that will keep your child curious and creative and not just vegging out…
Stikbot Pirate Movie Set
- Your kids might already be familiar with Stikbots. Those little suction cup handed and footed figures that make stop-motion animation easy to make? Well, now Zing has made full Stikbot Movie Sets for your little moviemaker! This Stikbot Pirate Movie Set includes a Stikbot, stick-on wardrobe options, and everything your kiddo needs to make a fun pop-up pirate ship movie set. They’ll just have to download the free Stikbot Studio app on an iOs or Android device, then start snapping photos to stitch together into an animation, complete with music and sound effects, too. Arrrr… you cool enough to get your kid this Stikbot Movie Set?! (Haha!) There’s a Stikbot Farm Movie Set too if that’s more your kiddo’s style.
- Purchase here: Amazon | Walmart
GeoSafari® Constellation and Solar System Explorer
- Have a future astronomer? With this “handheld observatory” they can stargaze in any room of the house! Just set the projector to one of 3 viewing modes (celestial, connected, or illustrated) to explore the 12 Zodiac constellations, the sun and moon, all eight planets, and The Big and Little Dippers.
- Purchase here: Educational Insights® | Amazon | Walmart | Wayfair | eBeanstalk.com
The STEAM Kids All eBook Bundle
- Written by an amazing group of “engineers, teachers, math nerds, art lovers and writers”, the STEAM Kids eBooks are jam-packed with engaging, educational and fun STEAM activities for kids. I bought the original STEAM Kids book as a gift for my kids’ STrEAM teacher and he loved it! Imagine the fun and learning the kids will have with the entire ebook bundle – all year long!
- Purchase the eBook Bundle here at a GREAT PRICE!
- Here’s another toy I think every kid should have… a marble run! Marble runs encourage so much learning; from problem-solving skills to science concepts like gravity and balance to cooperation when building with a sibling or friends. And this one from Hape is top notch made from heirloom quality birch and using German Engineering Design Inspired by Da Vinci circles.
- Purchase here: Amazon | Walmart | Educents
Unique Building Toys for Curious & Creative Kids
Skip the same-old building blocks and typical LEGO bricks and instead stretch your child’s imagination and creativity with these unique building toy gifts…
Magformers Log Cabin Building Set
- Magformers are cool as it is, but this… this is a magnetic building set I would sit right down on the floor to build! Maybe it’s because it reminds me of my childhood with it’s nostalgic Lincoln Log look? But the magnets would keep it together! I swear that Lincoln Log mansion tumbled over every time. (Tell me I’m not the only one…)
- Purchase here: Amazon | Target
- These tube-shaped building toys are fun as it is, but add in the wheels and musical parts, and you’ve got yourself a party! Or at least an entertained and happy child who’s learning while they play.
- Purchase here: Amazon
ANY and ALL Books!
Books, books, and more books! Of course, we all know that our kids can’t have enough books to encourage their developing literacy skills and ever-expanding curiosity. Here are some children’s picture books (of all themes and genres) I’m loving right now…
And some children’s activity books to keep the kids’ learning and creating…
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Looking for More Awesome Kids Gift Ideas?
This Curious & Creative Kids Gifts Guide is just one of many amazing Kids Gift Guides in the Kid Blogger Network Holiday Gift Guide Collection!
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