A Guide to my Favorite Gifts for Children Ages 0-12

Thanksgiving week has arrived! We are hosting this year and my family spent the weekend doing a little prep work in the kitchen. I taught my daughter how to make the dough for my favorite rolls, my son prepared this appetizer and my husband was on vegetable chopping duty for a big batch of Potato Cheese Soup we made to eat that night and freeze for future dinners. Keep an eye out for the recipe in the upcoming weeks.

Black Friday is right around the corner and it feels like many of the sales have already begun. Are you searching for gift ideas for your favorite little one? Often times when friends and relatives ask what they should buy my children for a birthday or holiday, I respond that they should pick a toy that is a favorite in their own home. Chances are a gift tested and approved by someone the same age or a little older will be a much bigger hit than anything I could suggest. The following lists are made up of toys that are durable, promote imagination and have delighted my own children over the years. Pin this post to a Pinterest Board that you add gift ideas to throughout the year so that the next time you are out buying a last minute gift you can pull out your phone and reference all your ideas in one easy place.

*Prices listed are rounded to the nearest dollar and reflect the price advertised on Amazon the date this post was published. 

Age 0-3

Fisher-Price Little People Nativity This nativity set is the perfect way to introduce the Christmas story. My kiddos especially loved the light up star that plays music when the angel is placed on top.

LEGO Duplo My First My First Bricks  Colorful blocks in various shapes and sizes are easy for little hands to build with and help develop creativity.

Angel Dear Cuddle Blanket This velvety soft lovey soothed both my kiddos to sleep from the time they were itty-bitty. I appreciated the fact that they were durable and washable.

Melissa & Doug Pretty Purse  Little ones can have fun going through a purse (that isn’t yours) while playing pretend with these washable accessories.

Lamaze My Friend Emily This was my daughter’s first doll and favorite teething toy. It could often be found attached to her stroller or carseat as her favorite form of entertainment.

Age 3-6

Magformers Basic Set The building possibilities are endless with these easy and fun to maneuver magnetic blocks. This set will be just the beginning of a collection that will grow with your kiddos for years to come.

VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix I loved seeing the images my kiddos would capture when left to their own devices with this sturdy first camera.

eeBooTea Party Spinner Game This beautifully designed game most definitely my favorite one to play with little ones. Everyone has fun taking turns with the spinner and picking our delectable treats for their tea party

LEGO Juniors Fire Patrol Suitcase  The suitcase makes it easy to take these Legos with you on your next trip and kiddos will enjoy the nonstop action adventures they can create with this fire patrol set. 

Melissa & Doug Joey Magnetic Wooden Dress-Up Pretend Play Set and Melissa & Doug Julia Magnetic Wooden Dress-Up Pretend Play Set These wooden figures take paper dolls up a notch with magnetic clothing that is easy to swap out and stands up to the test of time (unlike the paper tabs on the paper clothing of my past).

Age 6-12

Laser X Two Player Gaming Set I can’t rave enough about this fun laser tag set. This is fun for the whole family (I payed 3 rounds with my son yesterday). I especially like the fact that you can add additional sets in order to include even more players.

Snuggie Tails Comfy Cozy Super Soft Warm Mermaid Blanket for Kids This cozy, velveteen blanket is great for snuggling up with a book, curling up on the couch for a movie, keeping you cozy on a long car ride or even using in place of a sleeping bag at your next sleepover. It is available in multiple styles and colors. 

Anki Overdrive Fast & Furious Edition This reminds me of of the Hot Wheels tracks I grew up with, but combines the latest technology so that children control their cars with the use of a mobile device. The track is made of durable magnetic cardboard and snaps together easily. You can add additional track, ramps and cars to your collection to keep your races interesting.

LEGO Friends Stephanie’s House Not only is the gift recipient able to build their own playhouse from the ground up, but it includes a houseful of detail oriented furniture and home accessories that will keep a child engaged for hours on end.

Beats EP On-Ear Headphones Your tween will love playing games, listening to music, and watching videos with these “cool” and comfortable headphones that provide superior sound and a personalized fit. Available in multiple colors. 

Electronic Battleship Game Classic battleship gets an upgrade with this electronic version that allows you to play against an opponent or yourself. The cool sound effects are a fun bonus.

Do you need a gift idea for the adults in your life? Check out this post where I shared a few a my favorite gift ideas from Nordstrom. I will not be posting this Thursday due to the holiday. I am looking forward to watching the Thanksgiving Parade in my jammies with a latte and my family cuddled on the couch before helping my husband prepare dinner for our family. My husband is in charge of the turkey and stuffing and I’ll be making a salad, mashed potatoes, and an apple cake. Our relatives are rounding out the meal with their specialty dishes. Do you divide and conquer Thanksgiving cooking responsibilities in your home? Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving from the bottom of my heart!

This post has Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Please consider viewing on your computer, or a web browser on your phone/tablet, rather than the Amazon app so that I am given credit for the sale and I can see what products you like best in my posts. These commissions are what help support my blog and I am extremely grateful for your help. Opinions and post ideas are always my own and in no way influenced by the affiliate. 


  1. Nicole Andre

    December 18, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Going to get the laser x. Needed one last thing and this sounds perfect. Also my son loves his Anki racetrack and cars. Great ideas Melissa!

    1. Parker

      December 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Thank you! I just spotted the Laser X on sale at Target if they are gone from Costco. The Anki Overdrive ramp extension is on sale at Target too if you want to add on to your son’s track. Happy Holidays!

  2. Malu Trehan

    December 4, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Great ideas Melissa!

    1. Parker

      December 5, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Thanks! Happy Holidays!!!

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