Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary gift for a child’s birthday? This list of solid winners built around enduring childhood passions is sure to be a hit with the birthday boy or girl. As a bonus, you might just have a little fun putting these gift ideas together, yourself.

  1. The Artist. Budding artists can let their imaginations soar with an assortment of markers, sketchpads, stickers, colored pencils and How to Draw books. Place them all in a swanky tote bag for easy, on-the-go creations.


  1. The Lego Lover. Get a fun Lego storage container, add a building set and include instructions for how to sign up at club.lego.com for a free subscription to the Lego magazine (Lego Club Jr. for children under 7). A bow on the side of the container is all this present needs to finish it off.


  1. The Bookworm. Books encourage reading and don’t take up a lot of space on the toy shelf. Purchase a few classics or find the latest new releases. Make a neat stack of wrapped books, and tie them all up with a classic length of twine.


  1. The Super-Active: Put together a basket of fun that develops large motor skills with essentials such as jump ropes, balls, Frisbees and kites. Consider tossing in the latest issue or a full subscription to Sports Illustrated Kids. Wrap the basket in colored cellophane and curling ribbon.


  1. The Foodie. Purchase a children’s cookbook or search online for printable recipe cards for kids. Then assemble a few kitchen supplies like measuring cups, spoons and an apron, and wrap them all up inside a big mixing bowl.


  1. The Little Crafter. Arts and crafts enthusiasts will appreciate a selection of stickers, yarn, glue, pipe cleaners, construction paper, children’s scissors, fabric scraps, rubber stamps and ink pads, all in a handled box for easy storage.


  1. The Great Pretender. For kids who like to spend time dressing up in dramatic play, assemble a wardrobe of clothes and accessories. Include a cape, scarves, play jewelry, sunglasses and hats. Wrap them up in a hat box.


  1. The Scientist. Chemistry sets and science kits are great for girls and boys who enjoy solving problems and performing experiments. Buy one or make your own with a simple online search for instructions, and include simple tools like funnels, droppers, cups and bowls. Place items in a plastic shoe box for wrapping.


  1. The Sensory Seeker. Kiddos who like to explore using all their senses need items like play dough, finger paints, cotton balls and popsicle sticks. Add a smock and a plastic tray to finish off the gift, and wrap it all in colored cellophane.


  1. The Writer. Give a burgeoning author his or her own journal, a pack of special pencils or pens and a children’s dictionary. Place them all in a neat tote bag or messenger bag and top it off with a bow.


  1. The Outdoor Enthusiast. Young wilderness explorers will appreciate a child-friendly basket containing a kids’ magnifying glass, sturdy binoculars, bug net, bug house and wildlife book. Wrap the basket in netting to give the gift a safari feel.


  1. The Musician. Assemble a collection of instruments for the sonically-savvy set. Include items like a xylophone, hand bells, rhythm sticks, triangle bell and tambourine. Place them in a clear tote bag that can be used later for storage.


  1. The Fixer-Upper. A handy helper needs child-size versions of tools like a hammer, screwdrivers, goggles, a measuring tape, pliers and a craftsman’s apron. Tuck them all into a handled tote box and add a bow.


  1. The Budding CEO. Little bosses need a planner with plenty of room to write, pens and pencils, post-it notes, erasable markers and a marker board. Stash them inside an inexpensive laptop case and tie on a ribbon.


  1. The Car Lover. Gift the avid matchbox collector with a snazzy storage case, display case, car set to add to the collection, and/or a play mat with town or racetrack scenery.


Rhonda Franz is a writer, educator, and home operations specialist. She lives with her husband and three young Lego lovers.

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