Bells Are Ringing, Children Singing: Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
Today is a special day because it means we are officially one month out from Christmas Eve. At this point, many parents are already aware of what their kids are asking for from Santa, although not always. And beyond that, there’s a ton of ancillary folks lining up to gift kids with some creative gift ideas they’ll actually play with. Today I’ve rounded up a bunch of cool gift ideas for children, ranging from the really young uns to just before that tween phase.
Sega Toys Homestar – $149.99 USD
I mentioned earlier this holiday season that I recently spent an overnight in the Sahara Desert, and the most breathtaking part of that experience was watching the stars at night. It’s astonishing how many millions of them there are when you’re far removed from the lights of civilization – and even moreso how many shooting stars streak across the sky every few minutes. Now you can bring that magical experience into any room in your home, with Sega Toys’ Homestar home planetarium. With an ultra bright LED light and rotating movement, this amazing little device projects the night sky and its position throughout the year. Swap out two interchangeable disks to look at the fixed stars in the northern hemisphere, or a map of common constellations. There’s even a function that simulates shooting stars! It’s a wonderful gift the whole family can enjoy, encouraging young minds to look well beyond their front porch. Don’t forget to pick up the extra discs for a fun stocking stuffer! Not only that, but it’s pretty guys. Really pretty. You can actually set it to light up the room so it feels like you’re falling asleep under the stars – a built-in timer will automatically shut the unit off while you’re getting shuteye.
Playskool Friends Sesame Street Love 2 Learn Elmo – $79.99 @ Amazon, Toys “R” Us, Superstore and more
My niece is obsessed with Elmo right now, so this gift totally caught my eye. Elmo can be programmed to speak thousands of names, as well as adjusted for your child’s age level and interests to interact directly with preschoolers and toddlers via a handy app. From playing games and singing songs to making fun sounds and providing parent-friendly encouragement like ‘use the potty’ or ‘brush your teeth’, the nifty thing about this toy is as long as your kid digs Elmo, it can grow up with them. You can continually tweak the app and how Elmo interacts with your kids to unlock new activities and learning experiences. From shapes and colors to animals, numbers, and letters, there’s a whole world of interactivity to discover – Elmo actually says 350+ different things! A perfect way to bring your kids’ favorite furry red best friend to life at home.
Waiting for Snow by Marsha Diane Arnold / Renata Liwska – $20.77 and The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear / Chris Turnham – $23.99
When I was a kid, every Christmas Eve I got a new book and a pair of PJs. The idea at a particularly young age was I’d be read the book before going to sleep, to help channel those visions of sugarplums I suppose. So, I thought it’d be nice to highlight a couple of books that aren’t quite Christmas-y, but certainly feel in line with the season, that’d make wonderful picture book gifts for kids. Waiting for Snow features five adorable forest critters that are desperately excited for the first flakes of snow to hit – so much so, they try every old wives’ tale under the sun to get it to come. The Wish Tree meanwhile, channels ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown’. Charles believes there’s a magical wishing tree, but his siblings are dubious. Charles sets off on a journey to track down the tree, with his trusty sled companion Boggan along for the ride. And naturally, they discover that wishes have a funny way of coming true in ways you least expect them to. Both books are totally adorable and worth a read this holiday season!
WWF Symbolic Adoption Kits – $40 each
This holiday season, teach your kids the importance of conservation with these cool symbolic adoption kits in support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Canada). Each kit comes with an adorable plush toy, personalized adoption certificate, and a pint-sized poster featuring stats about their newly ‘adopted’ friend. With dozens of varieties available, this year kids can adopt a narwhal, known as the ‘unicorn of the sea’ (and domestic to Canada). Or go for something decidedly wintery and festive – adopt a Caribou (Reindeer) or a cuddly Snow Leopard or Polar Bear. All proceeds go to support WWF-Canada’s efforts both domestically and abroad. It’s a cute gift idea children will actually still love to play with – but with a nice, heartwarming purpose attached to it. And as a heads up, you’ll nab free shipping if you order two kits or more – so treat all the kiddies 🙂
Pipsticks Sticker Box Subscription – From $9.95 USD / Month
I heard about this gift idea from a friend of mine whose kid actually loves stickers (not to mention, my own newly obsessed-with-stickers niece). The idea couldn’t be simpler yet more delightful for kids. Each month you’re sent a box filled with sheets of stickers, craft paper, and a postcard (depending on the box size you choose). It’s a cool thing to get some mail specifically tailored for your kids, even moreso when it encourages their creativity. Just make sure they only stick those beauties on places you can easily remove them! Shipping is available to Canada for just an extra $3 a month. Oh, and, adults? If you’re secretly craving some stickers of your own, there’s totally a grown-up subscription box available too.
Joe Fresh Baby Boys’ Knit Polar Bear Sweater – $24 / Kid Girls’ Snowflake Graphic Sweater – $29
A cuddly sweater is a welcome gift they’ll wear throughout the season, and Joe Fresh has some of the cutest, most affordable options on the market. That red and white snowflake intarsia sweater you see above actually comes in sizes for babies, toddlers, kids, and adults, making it a potentially cute pick for family portraits this holiday season. Boys meanwhile, will look adorable in cute picks like this bow tie-wearing polar bear sweater for babies, or one of the other dozens of styles perfectly tailored to the holiday season and beyond.
Furby Connect – $79.99 @ Toys “R” Us, Sears, Walmart, Loblaws + More
Everyone’s favourite furry robot is back and more advanced than ever. Naturally, Furby now syncs up with an app – when there’s new things to discover in the app, including songs and videos, its antenna lights up. In the meantime however, you can check out Furby’s 150 different eye animations to figure out what it wants, or interact with it by tickling, petting, shaking, or moving its antenna around. Want to put Furby to sleep? Just slip on the included sleep mask to let Furby get some beauty sleep. It’s a particularly neat toy because it doesn’t lay everything out at once. I like toys with a discovery element to them, because it means it won’t sit on the shelf collecting dust after the holiday rush has worn off. Furby is available in a bunch of cool colours, and the price is perfect for Santa’s budget too!
HBC Barbie – $59.99 @ Hudson’s Bay
My cousins always used to get a limited edition holiday Barbie at Christmas and I was totally jealous – but this year if I was a kid, I’d be asking for this Canadiana chic iteration! Barbie has teamed up with HBC to don their signature four-colour stripe, across a range of items like her enviable toggle coat and matching pencil skirt, puppy sweater, and accessories. Finished off with a cool faux leather bag, knit cap, and glasses (!) this stylish Barbie is a fun piece of Canadian culture to gift to any little girl – or grown-up collector.
Starbucks Bearista Bears – $29.95 each
Feed the addiction early…I’m just kidding. Starbucks Bearista Bears have been around for well over a decade at this point, coming out in new, limited edition seasonal outfits and motifs that make them fun to collect. This season they’ve got three Bearistas rocking Starbucks’ signature aprons – in green, brown, and red. It’s a cute gift for the kid that is known to imbibe a hot chocolate or two over the winter season, or a wink to a mom that’s always bringing their kid in as they get their own caffeine fix. The kids can pretend to take your order with their favourite Bearista, and you can add to their collection as the years go by.
Star Wars BladeBuilders Spin-Action Light Saber – $59.99
Star Wars is enjoying a renaissance with kids right now, in part because of the huge success of last year’s The Force Awakens and continual hype with the new Rogue One movie hitting cinemas shortly. The cool part is today’s Star Wars toys take advantage of new technology and advancements. Creating your own at-home light saber is more realistic than ever with these neat BladeBuilders sets (for the record, the one above is not the only one, in case you’re buying for multiple kids). Each kit comes with multiple pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a range of ‘weapons’ to defend their side of the galaxy. With cool sound effects, lights, and spin actions, it makes for some hyper-realistic battles – even if the children are jumping off the sofa and not the Death Star.
Want to win a kid-friendly prize package? I’m giving away a bunch of cool gift ideas for kids valued at over $450, including:
- Sega Toys Homestar Original
- Waiting for Snow Picture Book
- The Wish Tree Picture Book
- Pipsticks Studio Sticker Box
- Furby Connect
1) First and foremost! You must be a Canadian Gift Guide subscriber to enter this giveaway. Just find the ‘Gift of Gab’ box on the righthand side of this page and either hit ‘Follow’ or enter your email address. Once you’ve done that, leave me a comment by December 6, 2016, telling me what your favourite kids gift ideas are in this post.
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around December 7, 2016 to select the winner(s), who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry Opportunities:
Like Sega Toys on Facebook and leave a wall post on why you’d like their amazing Homestar Original planetarium! Leave a link back to your wall post in a separate comment below.
Follow Raincoast Books on Instagram and either regram one of their photos or share a photo of those two picture books I highlighted above onto your own Instagram. Be sure to tag them! Link back to your photo in a separate comment below.
Follow Pipsticks on Instagram and either regram one of their photos or share a photo of their Studio Sticker Box I highlighted above onto your own Instagram. Be sure to tag them! Link back to your photo in a separate comment below.
Follow @HasbroNews on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway, tagging them + me (@cdngiftguide) and linking back to this post. Be sure to leave a separate comment below that links to your Tweet!
BTW: You can check out all active giveaways by visiting the Winners Circle section of my site!