[Note: This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children. She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ items as well as local explorations with little ones. See more of them here, here, here, here, here, and last year’s stocking stuffer ideas here.]
If anything is a reminder that less is more for kids this holiday season, it’s the 25 plastic spider rings my family acquired during spooky season. Enter this gift guide — created for anyone who adores kid gift-giving but also gets overwhelmed by the excessive kid “stuff” in their home. These picks, recommended for preschool to early elementary ages, will be used over and over, will minimize clutter, and will delight kids and even the most minimalist parents. Don’t forget to share with Grandma and Grandpa!
The “no such thing as too many books” attitude is great until you hit at-home library status. I’ve reduced our collection to favorites and ones that my kids will keep going back to — and maybe learn something new each time they read them. (Paired with a good public library!) Here are a few good reads that make the cut.
What Should Danny Do? (also: School Day & Vacation)
Fairy Tales: A Timeless Collection of Favorite Fairy Tales
Paw Patrol Little Golden Book Collection
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If you’ve put together Don’t Break the Ice for the 100th time, or have experienced the unnecessary complication of Mouse Trap and its 25 adjoining pieces, these game picks are for you. Easy set-up, simple concept, not a million little pieces, discreetly educational, and FUN.
Guess Who? (new easy-to-load frame!)
Tenzi (ok, it’s a lot of dice – but only dice!)
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Fostering a love of art knows no bounds. Some may not want “artwork” consuming their fridge, but parents will always enable the process. Here are reusable, long-lasting, well-contained, and lovable items for all pursuits, scribbling included.
Tabletop White Board/Chalkboard
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Play Set Extensions
Is there one play set that rises to the top in your home? In our house, a Paw Patrol tower has decorated our living room for almost a year now while everything else went out of style. Magnetic tiles also have a permanent seat by the coffee table. Extend what works!
2022 Paw Patrol Vehicle (and the latest and greatest tower)
Wooden Train Set Add-Ons: Crane & Bridge
18-Inch Doll Disney Clothes (for these dolls or the splurge ones)
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These are those items that will just make everyone’s day better. Practical and pleasing — which equals magical. These gifts will get your kids to beg for bath time, brush their own teeth, and willingly put on a jacket — no negotiation tactics needed.
Animal Electric Toothbrush Set
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Getting a kid something organizational may seem like the most boring gift ever, but think outside the box for a moment. These ideas will provide surprising joy in your home. One of them was my daughter’s #1 gift request last year.
LEGO/DUPLO Storage Basket & Play Mat
Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair