NJM Blog

Classic-Inspired Gifts for Kids

Red decor bicycle with ice skates on Christmas decoration at studio.

Researching gift ideas for kids can be overwhelming. Many blogs and websites name specific products that seem suspiciously sponsored. If you’re looking for ideas, not brands, you’re in the right place! These gifts are classic for a reason.

Here are some low–tech, classically inspired gift ideas that can help children learn important skills.

  • Play Kitchen or Tool Bench
    Imaginative play is an important part of childhood. Playroom staples like kitchen sets, tool benches, dollhouses and toy phones, vacuums, and lawnmowers tap into kids’ creativity and let them act out “adult” activities in a safe environment. Treehouses, tents, or playhouses can have long–lasting value as an area to play “house,” or serve as a fort, clubhouse, or reading nook.

  • Building Sets
    Toys like building blocks, LEGOs, and Lincoln Logs help children develop fine motor skills and spatial reasoning. Free–play sets are great for younger family members who cannot read instruction manuals. However, these toys appeal to fans of all ages. Older kids might enjoy building sets inspired by their favorite movies, games, and shows.

  • Musical Instruments
    Get your kids dancing with a boom box or karaoke machine. Or introduce them to musical toys; an inexpensive ukulele, bongo set, or recorder; or for your budding musician, an electric keyboard or student instrument.

  • Art Set or Tie–Dye Kit
    What kid doesn’t like to get their hands dirty creating something for themselves, their friends, or their family? Art sets usually go on sale around the holidays and are perfect gifts for children who love to draw. Arts and craft stores also sell kits designed to teach new skills, like beading, tie–dye, calligraphy, macrame, and more. Even better, helping your child learn new hobbies could be a great bonding opportunity.

  • Skateboard/Scooter/Roller Skates
    Why not go classic with a new skateboard, scooter, or pair of roller skates? These toys will get your child outside and moving. Go for the original, non–electric versions for maximum exercise potential!

  • Bicycle or Balance Bike
    Bicycles are gifts children will love! For those who are too young to ride, consider a balance bike. These toys are bicycles without pedals that teach kids to balance on two wheels.

  • Sidewalk Chalk
    Tap into the endless possibilities of sidewalk chalk. Creative kids enjoy decorating driveways and sidewalks with their artwork. Active kids can enjoy games like Four Square and Hopscotch. This inexpensive gift will keep them occupied for hours!

  • Science Kit/Microscope
    Spark your child’s interest in the sciences with gifts that teach basic programming, engineering, biology, or physics concepts. Kits are available for learners of all ages. Some companies offer subscription services that keep the science projects coming every month.

  • Piggy Bank
    It’s never too early to start teaching financial responsibility! A piggy bank is a classic gift that will encourage your child to save their loose change. As they get older, you can teach them how to responsibly spend using their savings. This could also be a great way to introduce an allowance or opportunities to do chores for some spending money.

  • Slippers/PJs
    Kids grow quickly! There is a good chance that kids will outgrow last year’s slippers or pajamas by the time their next birthday or holiday season comes. Many families choose sleepwear as a staple gift for that time of year.

  • Sleeping Bag
    As your child grows older, they may be invited to spend the night at friends’ houses or with their scouting or sports teams. A sleeping bag is a great gift to mark the milestone of a child’s first sleepover.

  • Books
    Encourage good reading habits and appeal to your children’s interests by gifting a few books. You could mix in classics from your own childhood, and let your kid choose a few for themselves. It’s okay if the reading level seems low when your kid picks a book — allow them to read what they want to read. The most important thing is that they enjoy the activity!