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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.