Trying to figure out what to gift a child can be tricky, especially since their interests change from year to year. Luckily, between my own child and lots of nieces and nephews, I’ve got thirty years and counting of gift giving under my belt, from babies to college kids. I’ve curated their favorites over the years to share Christmas gift ideas by age.
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Christmas Gift Ideas by Age
I’ve curated their favorites from over the years that seem to be always be a hit no matter so you aren’t left wondering what gifts children actually like.
Gift Ideas For Children Under 10
When it comes to holiday shopping for children, I adapt the four gift rule:
- something you want
- something you need
- something to wear
- something to read
Following this guideline settles the question of how many presents you should give a child.
Some of the best Christmas gifts (that have been big hits with the kids in our life) are:
- Classic games. Connect four, Scrabble Jr., Uno and Clue are my favorite picks. One year we gave our niece and nephew a corn hole game and they really enjoyed it. We bought an inexpensive one, but these handmade corn hole games would last a lot longer.
- Pillow Pets – We got our niece and nephew Troll pillow pals a few years ago and they were a BIG hit.
- Toys from the latest hit kid’s movie – Star Wars was the “it” movie a few years ago. Anything Disney or Marvel is probably a safe bet. Double check with the parents to find out what’s current.
- Virtual Reality Headset – We got a virtual reality headset for our nephew last year. It was a huge hit with him and his little sister. We found the one we bought at TJ Maxx. Amazon has a good selection, too.
- Personalized Puzzles – There are all kinds of personalized name puzzles on Etsy that young children would love.
- Personalized Books – Young children love when their own name shows up in a story. Amazon has a lot of titles to choose from. You can also get personalized books for girls, boys, babies and toddlers at putmeinthestory.com
- Hatchimals – These hatching egg toys bring a lot of excitement to young children.
Non Toy Gift Ideas
I prefer to include gifts that aren’t toys when I’m buying gifts for children who have everything. A couple of my favorite non toy gift ideas include:
- Tickets – They could be for an event like Disney on Ice, Cirque de Soleil, the circus, or any attraction in your town. Comedy Sportz is also a great, family friendly venue where you can bond over laughs. You can buy sports, concert, theater and other tickets through Rakuten and earn cash back.
- Subscriptions – Cratejoy has subscription boxes for every age and any interest you can imagine. I love this Snail Mail box. Sunny the Mail Snail sends kids a letter every week.
Cute Gift Ideas for Teen Girls
Most kids have outgrown getting toys for Christmas by they reach their teen years. Good Christmas gift ideas for the young women in your life include:
- iTunes gift card. For downloading new singles of her favorite artists.
- Lip balm I suggest a tinted or flavored one.
- Face Masks – ORGAID sheet masks, a charcoal mask, or a red clay mask are all good choices.
- Polaroid Camera – I will tell you though, that the interest in a polaroid seemed to be a brief phase. If you’re okay with that, it is a really fun and exciting gift for a teenage girl.
- Concert tickets – Getting to scream and cry and giggle over Taylor Swift with her best friend is a gift she’ll never forget. Earn cash back when you buy concert tickets through Rakuten.
- Phone Cover – Teen girls love keeping up with the latest designs in phone covers.
- Cozy throw Blankets – Every teen girl that’s ever been in my home has gone straight for a throw blanket to cuddle up under while visiting.
- Clothes – word from the teen girls I know is you can’t go wrong by getting clothes or gift cards to:
- Urban Outfitters
- American Eagle
- Forever 21
- Abercrombie and Fitch
Get cash back when you shop these stores through Rakuten. You can shop online or in store with the app.
Cool Christmas Gifts for Teenage Boys
Knowing what the teenage boys in your life are interested in is a great starting point for gift ideas. Some of my favorite ideas are:
- Lounge room signs like this personalized one for surfers or this glow in the dark basketball.
- Fishing pail, bait and a tackle box for the fisherman
- Leather tech organizer for the tech lover
- MLB/NFL sports history collectibles make great gifts for sports fans. You can find some great vintage items on Etsy. There’s also a fun selection on Amazon.
- Leather wallet, especially if he’s a driver. He’ll need it to carry his drivers license.
- Money clip for the working teen
- Cologne – this cologne was a big hit with one of my nephews.
Useful Gifts for College Students
I’ve found college students tend to have a more practical wish list. Whether you’re shopping for a college girl or college guy, they’ll love receiving any of these gifts.
- Money – Every college student I know appreciates getting a cash gift. There are a lot of creative ways to give money to teenagers and college students. The simplest way is to wrap it in Christmas money holders. If you prefer to support small business owners, Hunter Paper Co has a cute cash money wallet card available on Etsy.
- Gift Cards: Gift cards are a great gift option for college students. They appreciate not having to use up all their cash on everyday expenses. Some good gift cards for college students include:
- local restaurants
- gas cards
- local grocery stores
- airline gift cards
Grocery stores, Walmart, and Target all have gift card kiosks in their stores as well as at the checkout aisle. If you’re on a budget, try buying discounted gift cards at Raise.com
- Clothes – My daughter would rarely buys clothes when she was in college because she doesn’t feel like she can afford it. I’m sure she’s not alone in that. You’ll find clothes they like at H&M, Zara, Asos, Target, or Lulus. Get cash back when you shop at these stores through Rakuten. You can shop online or in store with the app.
- Packing Cubes – Packing cubes make great gifts whether your college student is packing for a road trip or to fly home. TJ Maxx often has packing cubes hanging on the wall in their luggage section. The Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube Set and the Eagle Creek Specter Pack-It Tech Cube Set consistently rank on lists for best packing cubes. Amazon Basics cube sets also made some of the lists and has great reviews on Amazon.
- Luggage – Speaking of traveling, a nice weekend bag or carry-on makes coming home much easier. Again, TJ Maxx usually has a good selection.
I hope these Christmas gift ideas for kids of any age is helpful. If you do purchase something from this gift guide, I’d love to hear about their reaction when they opened their gifts. I’d also love to hear any gift ideas you have as well.
For more Christmas gift ideas, check out:
- 25+ Unique Christmas Gift Ideas for Her
- 20+ Creative Gifts for Him
- Christmas Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List ( a master list of holiday guides, plus ideas for teachers, colleagues, and neighbors)
And before you go, be sure to get your free Printable Christmas Shopping List.