You are wanting to buy a gift for your child, or that special child in your life. As we all know, there are some gifts, usually involving screens, that can really distract kids and make it hard to spend quality time with them. But with great gifts for kids, they will enable you to spend that precious time together.
Some of these gift ideas will promote conversation. Others are just about having fun and creating happy childhood memories.
When you look through the list you will notice I have not included any electronic devices. This has been deliberate. While it can be fun to sit down and play video games with your kids from time to time, for the most part, iPads, consoles and computer games tend to be a hindrance to quality family time. I’m sure many parents would agree… let’s have less screen time and more play in the backyard!
Great gifts for kids #1 – Board games and card games
Board games and card games are an obvious choice. I’m sure many readers have already experienced the joy of playing games like Monopoly or Uno with their kids. They are a great way to create quality family time. There are plenty of opportunities to laugh and have fun together but also to have some great conversations. I think my first conversation with my son about money and savings was over a game of monopoly at the age of four!
The key to bonding over board games is to prepare yourself with some questions for your kids. While you are playing, look for breaks in the game to engage with your kids. Also look for opportunities to subtly teach values like honesty, humility and how to lose gracefully.
Click on the links below to purchase any of these popular kid’s games from Amazon:
Great gifts for kids #2 – Craft sets
Craft sets are a great way to bond with your kids while you create something together. Your child will love it if you let them drive the process. Listen to their ideas, encourage their creativity and work as a team!
Click on the link below to purchase a craft set from Amazon:
Great gifts for kids #3 – Science sets
The advantage of science sets is that you learn together. Depending on the experiment, you may need to form hypotheses, solve problems and overcome challenges. This will require teamwork! If your experiment succeeds you can celebrate your success together. If it fails, you can both question why and view the failure as an opportunity to learn. So grab a science kit, put on your safety goggles and start experimenting!
Click on the link below to buy a science set from Amazon:
Great gifts for kids #4 – Kites
There is nothing quite like getting outside on a sunny day and flying a kite with your kids. It is guaranteed fun for the whole family! The best day to fly a kite is one with a gentle breeze. If it is your child’s first experience, take time to talk them through how to launch and fly the kite. Be their coach, talking them through it rather than doing it for them. Then be their biggest fan, running alongside them as the kite takes flight. If you’re feeling creative, you may even want to build a kite together.
Click here to learn how to make a kite from scratch.
To purchase a kite from Amazon, click the link below:
Great gifts for kids #5 – Lego
Lego is a favourite gift for kids and if your children are like mine, they have plenty of it. It can be bought as specific sets or creative brick boxes. My kids love the specific sets as they are often marketed well. Who can go past a Star Wars or Harry Potter themed lego? My kids love building them and displaying them afterwards. I find they are less inclined to repeatedly play with the specific set lego and for this reason, I prefer the creative brick boxes. With these, you build your own creations. It requires more imagination than concentration. It can be a shared activity that lasts twenty minutes or two hours. We often have great chats while we are building and bounce ideas off each other. I also get brownie points from my kids when I help them find that elusive “missing” piece!
To purchase creative Lego boxes from Amazon, click on the links below:
Great gifts for kids #6 – Frisbee
This one is a favourite of mine. When I take the kids to the park, I always grab the Frisbee. It is so convenient and you can play with two or ten people!
To buy a frisbee from Amazon, click the link below:
Great gifts for kids #7 – Ball games
Many a Dad has bonded with his kids over a ball! Whether it be throwing and catching with a preschooler or shooting hoops with your teenagers, ball’s bring Dad’s and kids together. Talk to your child about technique, rules of the game, sportsmanship and how to be a good loser. Then throw in some questions about school, friendships and their hopes and dreams. Kids are often more open with their parents if the communication is non-confrontational and occurring incidentally while they are engaged in a fun activity.
To buy a soccer ball or basketball from Amazon, click the links below:
Great gifts for kids #8 – Bikes & scooters
This is an activity I love to do with my kids on the weekend. When they were little I would take them out on their scooters. They would scoot and I would walk alongside. As they got faster that walk would sometimes become a run. Scooters are great for portability and convenience. Perfect to throw in the back of the car!
Now they are older they prefer to ride their bikes. I recently purchased a bike rack for the car so we can take the bikes on holidays. Bike riding has become something we love doing as a family.
To purchase scooters for younger children and a bike for older children or adults click the links below:
- LaScoota 2-in-1 Kick Scooter with Removable Seat Great for Kids & Toddlers Girls or Boys
- Razor A3 Scooter Clear
- Gravity HD Trail 27.5 Hydraulic Disc Brake Full Shimano 21 Speed Front Suspension Mountain Bike
Great gifts for kids #9 – Tickets to a show
Tickets to a show can be a great “experience” gift to give a child. Take them for a milkshake or treat afterwards and talk about the show. From a child’s perspective, it doesn’t matter if it’s an amateur or a professional production. They will love the excitement of a live show and being there with you.
Great gifts for kids #10 – Dad and Me journal
This is one of my top gift recommendations for bonding with your kids. The journal provides insightful questions and topics for you and your child to discuss. It helps you know each other more.
Examples of exercises the journal takes you and your child through include:
- Listing reasons why you love each other
- Describing places you love
- Identifying your hopes and dreams
The journal has many suggestions for conversation starters with your kids.
To purchase a Dad and Me journal for sons or daughters from Amazon, please click the links below:
Great gifts for kids #11 – Laser tag and water pistols
Both of these gifts offer similar fun and entertainment. Laser tag is great to play indoors and is safer than Nerf guns as there are no projectile bullets to hit Dad in the eye.
When it comes to water pistols (or water bombs) the rule is – you can not be a spectator. To maximise the fun, you need to get involved – and get wet!
To purchase a laser tag set or water pistols from Amazon, please click the links below:
- Laser Tag Guns Set with Vests, Infrared Guns Set of 4 Players
- Yoohoom Water Gun Super Soakers Blaster
Great gifts for kids #12 – Totem tennis or Swingball
I love playing tennis and so does my son. We have a totem tennis pole in our backyard and this has been a great way to have one on one time. Some totem tennis sets come with portable bases so they are suitable for paved courtyards as well as big backyards.
To purchase a totem tennis set from Amazon, please click the link below:
Great gifts for kids #13 – Twister
This classic game requires at least three people to play and is a guaranteed way to have a laugh with your kids. I play it with my two and the more twisted up in knots we get, the more fun it is. A word of advice for Dad’s – be sure to warm up first… you don’t want to pull a muscle!
To purchase Twister from Amazon, please click on the link below:
Great gifts for kids #14 – Books
It goes without saying, reading is a great way to spend quality time with your children. You can read aloud to them or if they are old enough they can read to you. I asked my two kids (age 8 and 10) for their book recommendations and here are their suggestions.
Great gifts for kids #15 – Jenga
This is another classic game that can be played one on one or with multiple people. It is recommended for kids age 6+ but in my experience, it can also be good to teach fine motor control to younger children. The kids love the tension towards the end and the final big crash!
Click on the link below to purchase Jenga from Amazon:
Great gifts for kids #16 – Slime
Slime is a particular favourite for my daughter. She loves trying out various slime recipes off the internet but our best successes have always been with slime making kits. This kit is particularly good as it allows you to add glitter, beads and miniature fruit slices!
- Clear Crystal Slime Making Kit for Girls, Floam Slime for Kids, Slime Foam Beads, Glitter , Fruit Slices and Fishbowl Beads Included
Great gifts for kids #17 – Pets
I spoke about the benefits of owning a pet in a previous blog post. For many children getting a new puppy or kitten is a dream gift. I will never forget the look on my daughter’s face when she met our new kitten for the first time. It was a sheer delight! I have found that little kitten to be a great source of conversation in our family. The kids love telling me stories of his misadventures. Obviously, it is important to choose the right animal for your family but giving your child a pet can create a lot of joy.
Great gifts for kids #18 – Puzzles
Our family loves puzzles. It has become a regular tradition over the summer holidays for a jigsaw to be set up on the kitchen table. Anyone who walks in the door is welcome to contribute. I love watching the kids “get into the zone’ as they see it taking shape and it’s always a great family moment when the final piece is placed.
Great gifts for kids #19 – Radio-controlled aircraft
Flying radio controlled planes is an interest of mine. It’s a great hobby to share with your kids. You can start out flying toy helicopters or drones around the house and graduate to larger radio-controlled planes or gliders that need to be flown at the park.
I have very fond memories of building a glider with my Dad and taking it to the park to fly for the first time. From memory, it crashed (which most beginners do) but that was just another opportunity to get back into Dads workshop to try to fix it!
Great gifts for kids #20 – Camping gear
Camping is another activity that allows you to spend quality one on one time with your children. It can be adapted for all ages. Young children will enjoy setting up the tent in the back yard while older children often love the challenge of a multi-day hike in the mountains or forest. I am really grateful to my father who introduced me to camping when I was a child. I’m looking forward to sharing the experience of sleeping under the stars with my own children.
- HIGH PEAK South Col 4 Season Backpacking Tent 3 person 9.7 lbs
- Abco Tech Sleeping Bag
- Benuo Sleeping Bag
Wrapping it all up
Spending fun, quality time with your kids is one of the great joys of being a parent. I hope these gift ideas have inspired you to find fun new ways to connect with your kids.
I would love to hear about your gift ideas. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below.