43 Creative, Cool Gifts for Kids
Most kids will likely have a wish list put together before any major gifting occasion, but sometimes you want to shop off-list. Sometimes, you want to give the little one in your life—your child, a niece or nephew, a friend’s child, whoever—a cool, creative, unique gift. Like gifts for teens or tweens, finding distinctive, good gifts for kids can be tricky, but there’s a lot out there, and you can rest assured that your stand-out present will have a special place in the recipient’s memory for years to come.
Harry Potter gifts are a pretty safe bet, especially if your little recipient is just starting to enjoy the books or movies; gift card ideas rarely fail, especially if the parents have big plans that those gift cards could contribute to. But if you take pride in your connection with your kid, you’ll want to give at least one cool gift, something unique that they’ll truly treasure. These great gifts for kids might not even end up on their wish lists. They might be toys, clothes, accessories, and more that kids don’t even think to ask for, but once they unwrap them, they realize these gifts are items they’ve always wanted. (Aren’t those the best type of gift, anyway?)
These cool gifts for kids (even if cool isn’t the coolest descriptor anymore) include challenging mind-benders, creative crafting supplies, engaging books, and more. If the kid is too young to truly appreciate them, the parents will love it—and some of these gifts have serious staying power, so the child can grow to appreciate them someday.
These gifts cover ages across the board, from infants to toddlers to school-aged children. They’re also great for boys and girls alike, so children of any gender can enjoy whatever type of toy they like. Whatever the kid’s interests, there’s something here to appeal to them, and prices include under $20 gifts and $100-plus gifts alike, so you can be sure to find something in your price range. Once your shopping and wrapping is finished, you’ll know that you’ve given something memorable. (Save those broad white elephant gift ideas for other occasions.)
Take a look at this list of great, cool gifts for kids and save yourself a trip to the toy store—you’ll thank yourself (and us) later.
Vtech Drill & Learn Toolbox
Let little ones join in on the home maintenance fun—or let them mimic their parents’ handiness—with this clever toolbox, which contains a working toy drill, a hammer, nails and screws, and more. The box itself has buttons they can press to learn about the tools they’re using (plus fun songs); pair with Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries—the #1 longest-lasting AA battery—for hours of smart fun.
To buy: $15; amazon.com.
Parkland Edison Critters backpack
Preschooler-sized, this sharp backpack has a playful design for them—and a water bottle pocket and writable name tag for parents. The exterior is made of 100 percent recycled polyester, too, so it’s as good for the environment as it is for little ones with a lot to carry.
To buy: $35; parklandmfg.com.
Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Safari Tub Set
Encourage creative coloring with this animal set, which has figurines and washable markers that let little ones color as much as they want, then wash and start again. (The markers will also wash out of skin, most clothing, and most painted walls.)
To buy: $20; target.com.
Gardenuity My First Garden
Filled with everything little ones need to develop little green thumbs, this kit lets kids nurture vegetables and herbs, even if they don’t have a yard to work in. The growbag lets them work on a patio or balcony (or a larger space), and the fully rooted starter plants sets them up for success.
To buy: $98; thetot.com.
Sh*t That I Knit The Kitten Balaklava
This precious balaklava is hand-knit with Peruvian Merino Wool: Sized for children aged two through six, it’ll keep little ones cozy and cute.
To buy: $80; shitthatiknit.com.
Nike Adventure Club
This subscription box for kids delivers a new pair of Nike or Converse shoes to their door, complete with a set of activities to encourage them to go out and explore in their new kicks. Delivery options can be as frequent as every month or as spread out as four times a year, so it is truly the gift for kids that keeps on giving.
To buy: From $20 per month for four shipments a year; nikeadventureclub.com.
Super Smalls ‘Dinner & a Movie’ Clip-on Earring Set
For little ones with a passion for jewelry and shiny accessories (their parents’, usually) give this flashy earring set, which will give them the glamour they crave without risking valuables. For ages four and up.
To buy: $27; supersmalls.com.
Love Bubby Speaker of the House shirt
This short-sleeved tee is the perfect reminder that your little one is going somewhere. Whether they have political leanings or just a quick mouth, they’ll love sporting this shirt at school and everywhere else they go.
To buy: $28; shoplovebubby.com.
This adorable playhouse quickly inflates to 77 inches wide and 50 inches tall with an ordinary box fan.
To buy: $49; amazon.com.
Primo Ride-On Push Scooter
Toddlers will ride in style atop this vintage-inspired push trike.
To buy: $149; moma.store.org.
Mukikim Rock and Roll It Drum
This roll-up drum pad has a headphone jack so your little musician can jam without giving the whole house a concert.
To buy: $70; amazon.com.
Mason’s Planets Sidewalk Chalk for Autism Research
Jon Klassen’s Hat Box
Get all the beloved picture books in Jon Klassen's hat trilogy (I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat), along with a frame-worthy print.
To buy: $26; amazon.com.
The Play Kit
Each box of educational books and playthings is tailored to a baby’s or toddler’s cognitive growth stage.
To buy: from $36; lovevery.com.
Slumberkins Snuggler Bundles
Promote emotional learning by pairing snuggly toys with a book on a big topic, like authenticity or self-esteem.
To buy: $42; slumberkins.com.
Quut Cana Watering Can
This playful gardening tool has an easy-to-hold design that’s great for small hands. Available in two on-trend colors and made from BPA-free, recyclable plastic, this tool and toy combo offers fun for the garden, beach, and bathtub alike. It’s super practical, too, so kids can use it now and when they’re older.
To buy: $18; gretelhome.com.
Rifle Paper Co. Dachshund Little Kid Double Decker Slip-On
This collaboration with Keds offers quality, cute shoes any kid will love wearing. Infant and little kid (5-10) sizes are available, and the easy slip-on style gives bigger kids a little footwear independence.
To buy: $45; riflepaperco.com.
Fairy Tale Play: A pop-up storytelling book by Julia Spiers
This illustrated storybook shares classic fairy tales with gorgeous images to pull in kids too young to read. Smaller readers will enjoy reading the stories anew (or having them read to them); bigger ones will like seeing their favorite tales presented in a fresh, colorful way.
To buy: $19; barnesandnoble.com.
Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet
For kids capable of caring for their own tablet, try this top option, which comes in a kid-proof case (available in three color options) and has enough storage and battery life to keep up with any screen-savvy kid. Purchase of this tablet comes with a 1-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited, which offers games, books, videos, and more, and built-in parental controls make screen-time management simple.
To buy: $80; amazon.com.
Younger kids will love playing lively rounds of bingo with this gorgeously illustrated game, which features jungle creatures and eight bingo cards.
To buy: $20; laurenceking.com.
Areaware Blockitecture Big Apple Building Blocks
Made from pine wood, this bright building block kit has 74 painted pieces that can be nested and stacked to build towers, homes, parks, and more inspired by the New York City skyline. This gift is recommended for ages six and older, but even older kids can get into the city-building.
To buy: $150; gretelhome.com.
Personalized Wooden Vet Set Toy
With a slew of veterinarian-inspired wooden tools, this handmade gift is appropriate for children three and older. The bag can be personalized with the recipient’s name (up to eight characters), too, and can inspire little ones to get more involved in caring for the family cat or dog.
To buy: $51; etsy.com.
Kindle Kids Edition
This updated version of Amazon’s best-selling Kindle line gives kids the gift of reading. Your purchase comes with a 10th generation Kinde, 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited programming, a kid-friendly cover (four styles are available), and a 2-year guarantee. With the free subscription, kids can enjoy top book titles and series, and included tools help kids learn new words as they read.
To buy: $80; amazon.com.
Kind Culture Co. The Fair Doll
This soft, 18-inch doll has a good message for kids: Be kind. Each Kind Culture Co. doll comes with a kindness kit, packed with tokens for kids to pass around reminding themselves and others to be kind, show gratitude, share love, and more. The doll itself is cute and cuddly, sure, but it’s also a sweet reminder to be fair to others.
To buy: $59; kindcultureco.com.
Wool Felt Night Sky Mobile
Why not teach them to reach for the stars when they’re still in the crib? This sweet mobile will please parents and baby alike.
To buy: $45; rhbabyandchild.com.
The next Buzz Aldrin or Mae Jemison will blast off to school thanks to this stellar backpack. This junior jetpack is a cool gift for any kid.
To buy: $50; sfmoma.org.
Yeti Tracker Snowshoe Package
Amuse your kids with these stabilizing snowshoes that leave Sasquatch-sized footprints in their wake. The quirky set also includes aluminum poles and a bag to stow away the shoes when it’s time to head inside.
To buy: $100; llbean.com.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial by Kim Smith
A sweet retelling of the 35-year-old film plot, stripped down to the story of a boy and his intergalactic friend.
To buy: $14; amazon.com.
Know a mom with a handbag obsession? Gift her little one this all-natural, stylish teether and give mom a good giggle.
To buy: $18; roseandrex.com.
Rainbow Unicorn Horn Sidewalk Chalk
A whimsical writing instrument for your artistic kid and their creative pals to take to the streets. This trio includes two rainbow horns and one wrapped in gold (but writes white).
To buy: $18; etsy.com.
Mermaid Duvet and Pillowcase Set
Transform your tot as they sleep with this clever duvet and pillowcase set. A perfectly placed silhouette of a mermaid (or dinosaur, or princess, or astronaut) on the comforter and a topper on the pillowcase will leave them looking like their fantasy self. Sweet dreams, indeed!
To buy: $119; uncommongoods.com.
Fred & Friends “Lil’ Winner” Trophy Sippy Cup
Of course your little champ is number one to you, but now he can have proof of his winning toddling skills. This “gold” trophy is actually a sippy cup with a spill-proof lid made from BPA- and phthalate-free plastic. But you don’t need to tell them that it’s not a real trophy. Let them think they actually won first place in the “finish-your-vegetables” contest. Their prize is a trophy filled with delicious, healthy water that they can’t spill all over the floor. Come to think of it, maybe it’s a trophy for you for being so clever.
To buy: $24; amazon.com.
Briarpatch I SPY Eagle Eye Find-It Game
How many times do your kids beg to play I Spy on long road trips? Now you can take this version of the timeless game, based on the best-selling book series, indoors for family game night. Pick a card and hunt down an item from the card on the game board. There are eight different game boards so your family can play over and over without repetition (a great bonus for your own level of enjoyment). Children don’t need to be able to read to play this game, so it’s a good choice for young children or siblings of different ages.
To buy: $15; amazon.com.
Kiwi Crate Pinball Machine Crate
This is a great non-electronic gift for mini gamers. The limited edition craft crate has everything your child needs to build a manual pinball machine. She will learn about angles, momentum, and patterns while she builds a fun game, and once it’s built she can continue to shift the parts around for endless variations. Since she has the ability to change around the parts, your child can also make the game easier or create more challenging courses to stump an older sibling (or mom and dad). This kit is best for children between five and eight years old.
To buy: $25, kiwicrate.com.
Crayola Air Marker Sprayer
Artistic kids can express their inner Banksy with this awesome new tool. Now you can insert any “broad-line” (thick, not thin) Crayola marker into their spray machine to create a graffiti effect. Future Keith Harings can simply insert a marker into the spray nozzle and press or pull the handle to dispense the color (no batteries required!). Get close for a darker, more defined line or pull back for a fuzzier effect. The kit includes the airbrush unit, 5 Pip-Squeaks Washable Markers, two stencil sheets (both letters and fun shapes), 10 sheets of paper, and instructions.
To buy: $23; amazon.com.
He wants to be just like you—at least for now. Relish it while it lasts and gift a metal toy cart that looks just like the one he sees you pushing around at the grocery store. He will love loading it up with all the toy fruit and pantry items in his pretend kitchen; you’ll admire its sleek lines. The front of the cart features a chalkboard sign for writing his name, shopping list, or just making a pretty picture. Suitable for ages three and up, the cart measures approximately 18 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 18.5 inches high.
To buy: $69; potterybarnkids.com.