*This gift roundup contains affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage of sales, at no extra cost to you.  Thank you supporting GrowingSpang’s mission of encouraging moms and promoting family fun!*

Whether it’s birthdays or Christmas, I’m the one always looking for the unique gift for my daughter, friend’s kids, and little family members. Often, I make personalized gifts, but sometimes the occasion sneaks up on me. In those cases, I’m looking for something different, in an effort to not duplicate someone else, while also hopefully being a little memorable. If possible, I also like my purchased gifts to be educational (without them knowing it, of course!), and I like to get as much bang out of my buck as possible. If you’re not looking for cheap plastic, excessive batteries, or screen time, here you are!

Here are my top picks for toddlers through young elementary school this year (ages 3-7). Whether you’re shopping for a girly girl, the adventurer, the family action hero, or the budding scholar, here are gift ideas they’ll wish were on their list already, and won’t soon forget!  I actually wish it were appropriate for me to get some of them for myself…but I’ll settle for picking these up for our daughter and several nieces and nephews. 😉

They won’t have a clue that they’re learning, and you won’t break the bank.  I did put a couple of bigger gifts in there, for those looking for something amazing there, but most are under $25.

This is the age bracket that people learn at a very rapid rate, so it’s important to make learning fun for them.  This is also the time that many of their interests will come to life in their personalities – draw on them!

(Pin for later)

See also: The Easiest Way to Build an Afternoon of Meaningful Toddler or Elementary Child Activities ~or~ The Only Thing You Need to Do to Be a Good Mom



Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr Talking Microscope
Learning Resources Primary Science Activity Set
The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity – Challenge the World Around You!
Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit
Human Body Factivity Kit from Discovery Kids
Root-Vue Farm
Sick Science! Slick Tricks


Kids First Automobile Engineer Kit
Magformers Standard Set
Learning Resources Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run
Battat Take-A-Part Toy Airplane
Educational Insights Design & Drill Activity Center

Pretend Play

Learning Resources Pretend & Play Teaching Cash Register
Constructive Eating – Construction Combo with Utensil Set, Plate, and Placemat
Wood Eats! Slice & Share Picnic Basket by Imagination Generation
Melissa & Doug Wooden Castle and Kingdom Play Set
Melissa & Doug Wooden Scoop and Serve Ice Cream

Games & Puzzles

Code Master Programming Logic Game
Peaceable Kingdom Hoot Owl Hoot
SmartGames Little Red Riding Hood Deluxe
Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo
The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel
Coggy by Fat Brain Toys
Spot It! Sports family game
Wonder Workshop Dot Creativity Kit Robot
Bugs in the Kitchen

Arts, Crafts, and Music

Lewo Wooden Educational Toys Magnetic Letters Numbers Puzzles Games Large Drawing Board
Keyboard Playmat 71” by Play 22
ALEX Toys Craft Giant Art Jar (or make your own version!)
Kangaroo’s Paper Airplane Kit, 72 Paper Airplanes
Lulu Jr My Comic Book Making Kit, or Illustory Book Kit

Sports & Outdoor

My Fairy Garden – Lily Pond
RC Flying Ball, RC infrared Induction Helicopter Ball
Swinging Monkey Products: The Original Giant 40” Saucer Spinner Swing
RingStix Pro
Outdoor Set for Kids – Binoculars, Flashlight, Compass & Magnifying Glass – Back 2 Nature
Nature Bound Bug Catcher with Habitat Bucket and 7 Piece Nature Exploration Set
20 Large Kids Rock Climbing Holds

Cool Tech

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar
Zing Stikbot Studio Pro Toy Figure
Snap Circuits Jr SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe 100 piece set


These are AWESOME, because kids have something to keep looking forward to. My favorites are

ABCMouse (full online curriculum ages 2-8), Green Kid Crafts (STEM learning), Reading Eggs (literacy games), Kiwi Crate (science & creative), and Highfive / Highlights magazines.

Local experience passes

If you are not the parent, you will win BIG time with parents if you go this route. From a mom perspective, I can tell you that my child seriously needs no more stuff. Experiences last a lifetime, and especially for families that have to get creative with their funds and can’t afford to take their kids to special things, this is a fantastic route to go. Think of local museums, swimming pools, play areas, movie theaters, and plays (Disney on Ice, anyone?). Check into their local community ed classes, or pay for a few ballet or swim lessons.

Obviously, memberships are large gifts…but ask if they will do day passes, most do. A year-long zoo membership can be quite pricey, while paying part or all of day passes for the family can be pretty reasonable. If you’re a family member, consider offering to take the kids on the experience, giving the parents some time off (while you get to soak up the fun, win win!)

If you are in Minnesota like my family, consider places like the Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Science Museum, the Minnesota Zoo, Nickelodeon Universe passes, the Sea Life Aquarium or Crayola Experience in the Mall of America, Pinwheel Play in Chanhassen, The Works Museum, Bunker Beach, Minnesota State Park pass, Minnesota Transporation Museum, Eagles Nest, Como Town Amusement Park, Wishing Tree Cafe in White Bear Lake, Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park, Water Park of America, Big Thrill Factory, and the local YMCA. There are SO many options here!

Character books

Pick up books that star the child’s favorite characters. My toddler LOVES this. It’s a great and simple add-on too, if you’re looking for just a little extra something. Plus, there’s several companies who will personalize books with kid’s names, which is also an option. It’s such a great way to get and keep kids interested in reading…put their favorite TV characters into books!

I hope this helped you brainstorm some ideas for the littles in your life, no matter the gift’s occasion.  I had a lot of fun shopping and pulling the list together for my gift-giving list, and sharing with you!  I would love to hear your thoughts – what could make this list better?


Your turn: Does your family have unique gift traditions?  Is there anything you would recommend for making learning fun in this critical age?

If you would like to see more posts like this, feel free to subscribe over on the right-hand toolbar.  I send the latest posts and the occasional giveaway every other week, as well as first looks at any other goodies I’m working on. GrowingSpangs focuses on motherhood lifestyle – mental health, community, family fun, recipes, diy, and faith.  Thanks!

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