Shopping·10 min read

Gifts for Kids That Won't Drive Parents Crazy

Design: theSkimm | Photo: Super Smalls
November 15, 2022

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Giving a kid a gift is often much more involved than you’d think. What age are they? What are they obsessed with right now? Preferences change so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. And, most importantly, what’s something the child will actually enjoy that also won’t have mom or dad wanting to pull their hair out? It’s a fine line.

We’ve gone ahead and done the hard work so you can expect more giggles from your adorable gift recipient and less side-eye glares from their parents. From puzzles to blocks, you’re guaranteed to find a winner here. Play-time, activated.

Buy Buy Baby

A classic Pooh Bear stuffed animal…

In this house, we love Winnie-the-Pooh. This one is made from soft velour for plush hugs and is wearing his signature red shirt. His eyes are sewn on, so there’s no chewing hazard there, and he’s machine-washable for when he’s been extra loved. D’aww. ($22.99, Buy Buy Baby)

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A set of crayons that spell out their name…

Personalization is always a good idea. Delight the kid (and parents) with these handmade, nontoxic crayons they’ll wanna color nonstop with. You can get up to 14 letters and choose between solid and swirl colors. Neat. ($5+, KagesKrayons via Etsy)

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Super Smalls

A set of rings perfect for dress up…

Excuse us, where were these when we were young? This set comes with five sparkly rings adorned with oversized gems that lend just the right amount of glamour. They’re adjustable at the back and would be great party favors as well. ($28, Super Smalls)

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A sleep suit that comes with a pillow…

This suit is designed to be the coziest way for their baby or toddler to snooze. Just from the look of it we’d like to crawl inside. There’s a zipper between the legs that converts it from a sleep suit to a sleep sack, so parents with more wriggly babies can choose the former, while those with infants who love to be bundled can choose the latter. The pillow works in a crib, as well as when they move to a big-kid bed. ($95.92, ergoPouch)

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An advent calendar that’ll teach them something every day…

This calendar can help build communication and memory skills thanks to its card games and challenges. Leading up to the holidays, their kid will get to open one box a day to uncover a few surprises. It’ll help build excitement and cheer during the winter season. It also comes with a pop-up Christmas tree they can decorate with the included stickers. It’s ideal for ages 5–12. ($19.99, Amazon)

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A kit that helps them learn about animal shelters…

If you have a little animal-lover on your hands, this kit includes everything they’ll need to start their animal activism early. It’ll teach them all about why animal shelters and adoption are important, and includes supplies so they can make dog and cat toys for a shelter in Texas. It also includes a pre-paid label so the parents can ship everything easily. ($29, Alltruists)

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A puzzle that glows in the dark…

This 100-piece puzzle will come together to make a photo of colorful reptiles and amphibians. The best part? It also glows in the dark. It’s made with nontoxic ink and is best for ages 5 and older. ($11.99, Walmart)

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A play purse so they can pretend to go shopping…

This purse has everything they need to hit the mall, from a faux cell phone to play cash to three credit cards (respect). It also comes with pretend makeup and a pink-and-white bag so they can tote everything around. ($24.99, Amazon)

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An interactive cube that helps them learn basic problem-solving skills…

This cube connects to their parent’s phone or tablet, and can guide the child through twisting and turning to help them eventually solve the cube, matching up the colors on each side. It’ll make screen time more valuable and educational, also allowing the parents to get in on the fun as well. ($49.95, Amazon)

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A chess board that helps them learn the rules…

Once upon a time, you realized as an adult that even you don’t really know how to play the game. Make sure their child can learn the right way with this set that weaves the rules into a beautiful storybook. No experience is required, and once they know the basics, the board can also be used for unguided matches. ($39.99, Amazon)

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Sam's Club

An easel that lets them be creative in three different ways…

Only the real ones know — an easel is one of the best toys to have while growing up. This one combines a chalkboard, dry-erase board, and paper roll for endless ways for their child to creatively express themselves. It has 23 accessories, from paint to paint brushes to markers, none of which make any annoying noises. Bless. Psst…Watch the recording of our Party Like a Pro event for more budget-friendly party hacks. If you attended live, check your inbox for your exclusive membership offer from Sam’s Club. ($79.98, Sam’s Club)

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Hanna Andersson

A pajama set if they gotta catch ’em all…

These adorable long johns are made of super-soft organic cotton with seams that lay flat so they won’t scratch or itch. They have cuffs at the bottom and feature the most adorable Pikachu graphic we’ve ever seen. Psst…they also come in adult sizes. Obsessed. ($25, Hanna Andersson)

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A pack of play sand that won’t make a mess…

This soft-and-squishy sand won’t ever dry out, so they’ll be able to build sandcastles for hours, even if they’re not at the beach. The kit includes six molds to help them play, with nontoxic sand that sticks to itself so cleanup will be easy. Just ball it up and put it away. ($27.99, Amazon)

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A set of five dinosaur figurines…

If they’re big into dinosaurs, they’ll love these giant hand-painted figurines. They’ll get to know the different types while using their imagination to play, no batteries (or beeping sounds) required. ($24.99/5 pack, Amazon)

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A block set that’s almost too pretty to play with…

Almost. They’ll love building and stacking this 70-piece set of brightly colored blocks. They can build little cities, a mobile car, or even thread them together, all while fostering problem-solving and creative skills. Einstein, who? ($90, Lovevery)

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A wagon that’s as much for the parent as the kid…

Make it easy to tote their kiddo around with this stroller-wagon hybrid. It’s packable, a smooth ride, and can be pulled or pushed, no matter the terrain. It also folds up easily to get through security while they’re traveling. A huge bonus: The front wheels lock so it’s not accidentally rolling without their permission. Phew. ($689, Joey)

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