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This year’s best Christmas gifts for kids 6-12

Child on Christmas


Zoe Romanowsky - published on 12/13/17

Still need a present for a child in your life? Check these unique ideas out!

There are just two weeks left ’til Christmas … is all your gift shopping done? If not and you’ve got elementary-aged children to still buy for, look no further. Here’s a list of terrific gift ideas for both boys and girls, most of which can be on your doorstep via Amazon Prime in no time. You’re welcome!

To build the brain and foster learning…

Star Wars Lego
Phploveme | Flickr CC by SA-2.0

Taking puzzles to another level, Ravensburger has come out with 3D puzzles of famous landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. They also have a cool 3D puzzle globe!

It’s hard to beat a Perplexes and there are various sizes and mazes now, but here’s the Perplexes Original to get you started.

Bring the world into your living room with the board game Ticket to Ride, a cross-country train adventure based on Victorian-era Englishman Phileas Fogg’s claim to  fellow members of a London gentleman’s club that he could circumnavigate the globe in a mere 80 days. The objective of the game is to see who can travel by rail to the most cities in North America in just seven days. And there are also editions where you can travel through Europe, Asia, India, and Africa.

Is there a child out there who doesn’t get excited about Lego sets these days? Since anything related to Star Wars is the top of many wish lists this year, here’s the Star Scavenger and a smaller X-Wing Fighter to choose from.

And how about a board game that builds the brain and teaches cooperation? Forbidden Island, a game for 2-4 and recommended for ages 10 and up, was awarded the Mensa Brainy Toy for kids winner in 2010.

To encourage outdoor exploration and adventure …

Child Swinging

For the nature-loving kid, consider putting together a kit with these Cometron binoculars, a compass, a magnifying glass, and a journal.

And something to help a kid be a scientist wherever he or she goes — an LED pocket telescope!

All kids love to swing from trees, right? Here’s the top-rated Blue Disk Swing Monkey.  And here’s a hanging kit to go with it.

Do you know what badminton without the net is called? Speedminton!

And what kid wouldn’t want to try a slackline like this one from Macaco?

To foster the imagination …

Child Reading
Misgoddess | Flickr CC by 2.0

This beautifully illustrated edition of The Odyssey by Gillian Cross and Neil Packer is perfect for read-alouds on winter evenings with kids.

Traveling over the holidays or in the coming year?  These audio books of The Magic Treehouse Books 1-8 will keep youngsters engaged for hours.

Many parents say that nothing beats an audio book narrated by Jim Weiss, so here’s his First Stories to Last a Lifetime and American Tall Tales.

And if the child you are buying for doesn’t have a set, they are sure to love a set of Magna-Tiles, Picasso Tiles, or Magformers.

To enhance creativity and love of the arts and music …

Puppet Show
Alexbrn | Flickr CC by ND-2.0

This 142-piece wood art set by Art 101 is a special gift for an aspiring artist.

National Geographic’s Kids Guide to Photography

A foldable puppet theatre!

The Story Orchestra’s The Nutcracker isn’t just any version of the famous Christmas-themed ballet — it’s a beautifully illustrated book with “buttons” to press to hear the accompanying music.

Beethoven’s Wig Singalong Symphonies is a terrific way to introduce children to classical music. And you can find it as an MP3 as well.

To grow in character …

Box of Coins

Idea Box has two sets that are fun for kids — one focusing on growing in kindness and empathy and another full of ideas for quiet indoor activities kids can enjoy.

365 Manners Kids Should Know: Games, Activities and Fun ways to Help Children and Teens Learn Etiquette

Loyola Press’ Book of Saints for kids, by Amy Wellborn

And just for fun …

Ice Cream Ball

Perhaps especially for the hard-to-buy-for child, there are lots of reasons to buy this indoor teepee tent.

Walkie-talkies with a 2 mile range.

Here’s a no-brainer: A globe ball you can kick around while it makes ice cream! Although this may be better for a big family so no one person gets too tired before dessert is ready.

And here’s an idea that’s not simply for fun — it’s for parental sanity: If your children constantly reach for new cups for every drink of water throughout the day, how about these stainless steel mugs? They don’t break and come engraved with the names of colors — up to 8 — so each child can have his or her own. And here are some magnetic hooks to go with them.

Read more:
5 Tips for taking great photos this holiday season (even with a smartphone!)

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