Gifts for Kids ~ 2012 Christmas Gift Guide {and a giveaway}

Baby Gift Guide Winner:  Congratulations to Riley (blinkin123@), winner of the Taggie Blankie from Amy’s Monkeys and diaper clutch and fabric flower headband from Little Sweet Pea, Inc.

Gifts for kids.  Seems I’ve got a few of those to buy this year.  😉  As much as the practical in me screams NO MORE STUFF at Christmastime, the sentimental wonder in me delights in giving my children a few things I know they’ll enjoy.  With 5 of our own children and 20 nieces and nephews, we’ve learned to balance cost, practicality, and fun.

Once again, I’m partnering with Jen from Saving & Giving as we share some of our favorite products for babies, kids, adults, and the home.  This has been a fun gift guide to put together, because Jen has one 7 year old daughter and I have a house FULL of 5 children, ages 9 to almost 3 months.  What works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for the other, but still… if Jen hasn’t used and loved it, I have, and if neither of us has, then one of us wants to give it a try!  We’ve also got another great giveaway for you today!

1.  Craft Kits for Kids

You know what I love most about craft kits for kids ?  They enjoy making their own creation, and then they can give it as a gift to someone else!  There is satisfaction in creating, and children delight in giving.  Win-win.  (And yes, mom delights in less stuff in the house!)  Win!

2.  Ariel’s Bath Time Playset

This toy has gotten some serious mileage at Jen’s house. There’s a slide, a vanity with a mirror, a pearl necklace, a swing… all the fun stuff that a mermaid needs. Emma has really enjoyed being a bathtub mermaid with this one.

3.  Green Toys Fire Truck

Aw, this one brings back memories.  When our oldest daughter was 18 months old, she was going to be a “frierfrighter” when she grew up.  😉  She got a fire truck that Christmas!  The Green Toys Fire Truck is made from recycled milk jugs and is recyclable.  Bonus… There weren’t any twist ties holding it in the box!

4. Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm

Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-ie-ooooooo is heard randomly throughout the day at our house.  (His favorite animal to sing is the turkey.) Fisher-Price Little People is a much trusted name around here.  Their Nativity Set has become a centerpiece for our Christmas play, and I’m watching for this sturdy barn (that he plays with constantly when he visits cousins) to go on sale so I can snag it with some Swagbucks.

5.  Child’s Print Pink Flower Beanbag Chair (available in other prints, too!)

We are in the process of cleaning up the girls’ room (again!), and I’d love to set up a little reading nook for them.  Jen’s Emma uses her beanbag chairnearly every day.  She loves to crash there and read books or listen to music. Plus it still looks great years later.

6.  Nickelodeon Dance for Wii or Xbox and Nickelodeon Fit

I’m not much of a video game fan, but we finally got a Wii two years ago (for my husband’s 40th birthday!) and even cranky old me has to admit that the games are fun and a great workout, especially during the winter months when we’re stuck inside. Wii games are also great for our scheduled “one on one” time with mom or dad!

7. Adventures in Odyssey ~ Imagination Station Books

We’re having a heckuva time keeping our older kids in books lately.  (What a great problem to have!)  They are voracious readers.  I know our first grader will enjoy reading the Imagination Stationseries.  These faith-filled books are action-packed and full of history. Kids can walk alongside people like Corrie ten Boom, Leif Eriksson, Miles Standish, and other famous people from the past. If your kids love the Adventures in Odyssey audio programs (or even if they’ve never heard them), they’ll love these awesome adventure books.

8.  Tangoes Junior

Being a teacher, I love a good educational game. This one gets the kids using tangrams to create specific pictures. There are two levels, one where the individual shapes are outlined and one where they have to figure out how the pieces fit together. Can’t wait to try Tangoes Junior myself!

9. Time for Kids Books

Bold colors, real photos, fascinating information.  When I taught sixth grade social science, we used Time for Kids magazines to study current events, and my own children now enjoy the Time for Kids Books.  When my daughter had her surgery last year, a friend brought one of the books to the hospital.  It was perfect for short snippets of reading between resting.  These books would also motivate and hold the attention of reluctant readers.

10.  Personalized Tees from Petite Lemon

What child wouldn’t want a t-shirt with his or her name on it?!  High quality, lots of designs, and so very cute, the personalized tees from Petite Lemon would be a fun splurge to find under the tree.  (And it’s not another toy.  Yay!)

11.  Folding Trampoline

See now, this is why I need a basement!  😉 Emma got this Folding Trampoline when she was 3. She used it with the safety bar then. She still uses it – DAILY – and will be able to up through 77 pounds. I would love to send my kids to the basement to bounce out some energy during the winter months.

12.  Vtech InnoTab 2 Learning App Tablet

If you have an iPad (I don’t), I’ll bet your kids are dying to get their hands on it. This is a great alternative. The Vtech InnoTab 2 Learning App Tablet has a built-in camera, ebook reader, MP3 player, and video player. This might be a good way to protect your iPad and help them learn at the same time.

Ready for a giveaway?  One of my readers will win the complete Imagination Station Series (books 1-9) and a personalized T-Shirt from Petite Lemon.  Yay!

To enter, simply leave a comment:  What’s the most sought after kid gift at your house this year?  (My children are getting older and learning that some of their requests are not.gonna.happen.  😉  )  Feel free to earn an extra entry or two by sharing this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter, just be sure to leave a separate comment that you did!

Giveaway ends Sunday, November 4, at 11:59 pm, CST.  Winner will be randomly chosen and emailed. 

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


  1. my oldest really wants a camera this year…but it isn’t going to happen. the my little ponies…that will happen (shh)

  2. Dreamlights for the younger one and Magic Tree House book sets for the older one. The Imagination Station books sound great!

  3. My little boy wants the Spiderman playset in the Target Christam Toy book the most… along with lots of other little things. 🙂

  4. We purchased the folding trampoline by Galt last year for Christmas for our almost 2 year old at the time…I completely agree, it gets used DAILY and is LOVED by any child who visits our house! So worth the money. I found it on for $49.99 with free shipping, VERY much worth it!

  5. Well, we are just now expecting our first (in Feb.). So I don’t think she wants anything yet. 🙂 But I’m excited to be able to shop for her next year!

  6. Annie doesn’t really ask for things. I am getting her dress up clothes for Christmas. 🙂

  7. My girls are asking for American Girl dolls. Would love to win the giveaway!

  8. Both of my boys have been asking for a camera this year. Haven’t decided if we will go that route or not.

  9. My 6 yo daughter wants a Nintendo DSI. She’s been asking for one since last year. My 1 yo daughter loves Blue Blue (Blue’s Clues).

  10. Littlest Pet Shops, Hot Wheel cars, and Elmo are the top wish list items on my 3 kids (6,4, and 2)

  11. I keep hearing about a “Digger Dactor” (tractor) from my little boy! Thanks for the chance to win the giveaway!

  12. Being that my children are young they don’t have sought after items unless it is right in front of them, otherwise out of sight out of mind for the most part. But, they love to learn and wouldn’t feel slighted with an item that was educational.

  13. I shared the giveaway on Facebook!

  14. My grandson, who is in kindergarten, loves Adventures in Odyssey! My grand daughter who is in first grade loves to read. They would love this set or the t shirt. They both want WII games for Christmas. They are just too expensive and I am going to get them clothes. They live with me so I love your website to keep on what is happening with children! I love the recipes and have made many of them. Thank you so much.

  15. American girl dolls and Dreamlights are the requests around my house.

  16. We’re in the Dora and princess stage, so everything on my daughter’s list has those on it.

  17. I have 4 boys, and my Christmas list has already started to get out of control. I usually do a really good job of sticking with my minimalist thinking throughout the holiday season, but it can be so tempting to get the kids everything they want. I love to see them happy on Christmas morning. (What parent doesn’t, right ?!)

    This year, Xbox games, Legos, Angry Birds merchandise, Hot Wheels cars, and the Harry Potter series of books are at the top of my boys’ lists.

  18. I’d have to agree Amy – as my kids get older, the requests are starting to sound like “cha-ching” more and more! For instance, this year my 15 year old wants his own COMPUTER! HA!!

  19. Games for Nintendo DS.

  20. My 3 year old fell in love with a My Size Barbie at a kids consignment sale. I told her she can ask Santa for one. Little did I know they don’t make them anymore! So I don’t know if I can make it happen or not!

  21. The name of the game this year for my 6yo is expectation management. Her list includes an ipad, ipod touch, and a puppy (Daddy is allergic). None of those are going to happen, so we are working on an alternate list. 🙂

  22. we love Odyssey! my 5 yr old is learning to read and would love them eventually! Both my girls are wanting ballerina stuff. 🙂

  23. Mine’s too little to ask for something specific, but he loves trains so I think a train set may be under the tree for him. 🙂

  24. My 6 YO wants another American Girl doll. She doesn’t care which one (she has one she got last year that I found used on Ebay) Lo and behold yesterday Zulily added a new brand of dolls and they look like AG, have their own stories , but are from different countries. Voila! She gets a brand new doll for less than I could have bought a nice used one for!

  25. My oldest wants a Cinderella vanity but we really don’t have room for it. I’m hoping to convince her of something else! Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. a “boy” puppy, we have a girl puppy already- one is enough!

  27. Hippie4ever says:

    Thomas train track and trains, Imaginext eagle talon castle and figures and Folkman tree puppet have 2 of the 3 😉

  28. Melanie Brownsberger says:

    Thomas the train and anything super hero are what my kids want. They may get 1 each but they are mostly getting things that do not go out of season like Lego’s and tinker toys ( I found an old set at a yard sale this summer that was in perfect shape! Score one for mommy! 🙂

  29. jerilyn vaught says:

    The vtech tablet

  30. Our 4 year old is into pirate stuff and our 2 year old loves her dolls.

  31. Myeshia U. says:

    My son is 14 months and he would love anything that makes noise.

  32. Sherry Clifton says:

    An mp3 player!

  33. Catherine says:


  34. My son wants an iPod touch

  35. My kids are requesting a dog… with baby #6 due in February that is not going to happen!!

  36. Abigail Gunter says:

    My girls just discovered American girl dolls this year. They might get a joint grandparent/uncle gift because they cost so much!

  37. Both kids want digital cameras?!! We’re scrounging for a deal on relatively simple cameras!

  38. A puppy… that will most likely never be acquired. 🙂

  39. my daughter wants a tv and my son keeps saying “i don’t really want anything” ..not sure what to do about that. 🙂

  40. My 4 year old keeps asking for a fire truck.

  41. My little boy asks for legos and anything having to do with super heros or cars

  42. emily waller says:

    So far we’ve been pretty lucky and the only request is a lego airplane. We’ll see if that holds out:)

  43. My kids (both 2) don’t really ask for specific things. I am going to enjoy this time as I am sure the “pickiness” will come soon enough. They love anything they get…but unfortunately, much of the time we have to have two… 🙁 (I took a look at those trampolines…we may have to put those on our “to save for” list. We do have a basement and they would love those!)

  44. With three preschool boys, it’s Legos, matchbox cars, and books. 🙂

  45. Laura Miller says:

    My daughters want a Disney Princess and Me doll.

  46. My daughter wants a brand new car because she will be 16 in june lol

  47. Mandy Blank says:

    My son wants everything and anything Hot Wheels!!

  48. We need to get my BIG 6yo a bike that fits him better. Hopefully, we can find a nice used one!

  49. At my house, Lego’s are on the list this year. Lots and lots of Lego sets.

  50. My 2 oldest want the Skylanders game for the wii. We got the wii a while back with my husband’s reward points at work since I sold our old one a year or so ago. (Great story there…I started listening to Dave Ramsey and he said I should sell stuff. 😉 So with my hubby’s permission I did! Then whenever someone would talk about a wii my boys would say, “We used to have one but don’t anymore because of Dave Ramsey!” 🙂

  51. My 5 year old wants a dream lights and I think the 3 year old will probably get one too or there will be hurt feelings.

  52. My little loves haven’t asked for anything yet. Around here all Little People toys get played with A LOT. They are sturdy and safe to have out even when a new baby comes along.

  53. We just have a 1 year old in the house and I would love to give him some Melissa & Doug toys that require manipulation of some sort. Just pushing buttons isn’t enough for him anymore.

    That trampoline sounds like a great idea for the future. He already loves to jump in his bed. =)

  54. My son (age 5) is totally into the Imaginext and Playmobil knights/castles/pirates!

  55. My almost 3 y/o would love anything Thomas the Train. He needs some new books too since we are moving past the board books now.

  56. My older kids are asking for things they won’t get too, such as an ipod, DSi, and the 5 year old asked for a car?!So, they’ll likely get legos. LOL.

  57. My girls are so into their dollies right now and would love anything associated 🙂

  58. Does pinning the giveaway count? I don’t use fb or twitter…

    • I’m (way) behind on comments, but yes! I always forget about pinning. I’ll include that next time. Thanks for the reminder!

  59. My 2 year old and 2 month are too little to ask for anything, but I am so excited to get my daughter the Little People Princess castle. She loves Little People toys, so I know she will love it. I’m looking forward to it too!!

  60. American Girl doll, anything Star Wars, and books

  61. More legos! There can never be too many.

  62. My youngest, and little artist, wants paint and scissors. They may be getting tangrams too!

  63. Let’s see… my 7yo wants a new camera to replace the one she dropped and shattered the screen on. My 3yo wants an American Girl doll (or a Target knock off like her older sisters have :P). My almost 5yo has a birthday this weekend so right now she’s focused on that, though she really wants another Trio blocks set. And my 8mo, only wants food right now. 😛 They will be getting all those thing from my parents. We have decided not to do tree gifts this year. They will get nice stockings (no cheap, junky stuff) and we will spend 2 nights at a Disney resort instead. 😀

  64. Our girls (6 and 4) are asking for dolls with clothes and beds. They’ll be getting Our Generation dolls from Target.

  65. My boys (7 and 5) love the Dino Legos.

  66. My daughter isn’t QUITE old enough to be begging for things for Christmas … I don’t think. She got a DreamLite for her birthday and that seems to have fulfilled her every hope and dream.

    She’d be all over that mermaid bath thing, though!

  67. It is a trampoline at my house this year. He will be so excited when he gets it too.

  68. Mine all want some version of a tablet!

  69. The most wanted kid gift at our house is a dollhouse for my daughter…but I’m the one who wants it! Since she’s only two I think I will wait another year or so. My oldest wants a camera…but he’s getting it for his birthday tomorrow! And my sweet middle child? I honestly have no idea what he’d like the most.

  70. My three girls ages 4, and 2 yr old twins love Strawberry Shortcake, so they will be getting the dolls and remote control car for Christmas.

  71. Rozalynn Frey says:

    Definitely legos, legos, and more legos.

  72. The girl wants an American girl doll, the boy wants monster trucks, and the baby isn’t asking for anything specific

  73. My little one isn’t quite 5 months old, so she wants diapers for Christmas! Less for Mom and Dad to buy 🙂 She’s already well dressed and has more toys than I think I knew existed thanks to loving family and friends who gift us with “oh, I just couldn’t pass this up” purchases as well as some hand-me-downs.

  74. The InnoTab2. Well maybe I want it for him more than he wants it for himself! Maybe he just doesn’t know he wants it yet!

  75. This year I’m hearing wishes for a portable Red-colored CD player with headphones for my tween, and Spiderman webshooter and Hero Factory Rocka XL from my 1st grader 🙂

  76. My oldest wants an Ipad (not going to happen), thinking about one of the kids tablets instead!

  77. My 5 yr old son is obsessed with the new bouncy Tigger, the dancing Mickey, and the LOL Elmo. Never going to happen as I don’t buy toys that expensive that I know won’t get much use beyond the first week or so. So perhaps the Little Tikes Big Adventures Action Fliers for him. My 6 yr old is getting handmade Barbie clothes & American Girl clothes for her gift from Grandma. My 16 yr old wants money for a laptop.

  78. Cheryl Armstrong says:

    I think my soon to be 9 year old would enjoy the Imagination Station books, I agree it is very hard to keep him in books that he enjoys.

  79. We are fortunate in that our boys don’t ask for too much. We may be getting them some Legos or more farm equipment (can’t ever have too many of those around here!).

  80. Nicole Taylor says:

    My almost 6 year old daughter wants a doctor kit for her stuff animals (like Doc McStuffins) and a tea set. My son is all about Thomas the train and anything with wheels. We all love the Leap Frog products. The videos are great teaching tools and they love their Explorer and LeapPad.

  81. My 10 year old says that he NEEDS a XBox….. we will see…..!

  82. iPad

  83. Mine just wants a “Francesco Bernoulli”. For all those non – Cars families – it’s just a toy car 🙂

  84. My son would love a rock polisher, but they are super expensive! My daughter would love a real live puppy (and I’m just a little hesitant about that!). Luckily my youngest has no idea that Christmas is coming and hasn’t asked for anything 🙂

  85. My 3 little ones want ds’s. My oldest wants the Wii u. The youngest is to small for a ds but he hears his sisters ask so he does. So we will ne getting him something ds like but better for his age.

  86. Anything spiderman for my 3 year old!

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