Gift Guide Part #2: Your Maniac Kids Who Make Cheesy Popcorn and Can Recite ‘Shrek’ By Heart (With Scottish Accents!)

13 gifts for kids

Sesame Street temporary tattoos, $15, with all their favorite little guys. (Look at Mr. Snuffleupagus!)

13 gifts for kids

One Thousand Things, $12, a beautiful graphic book about first words. (These are sweet, too.)

13 gifts for kids

Ferry boat with two cars, $20. Cue the bathtime adventures!

13 gifts for kids

Play-Doh in 36 colors, enough to make all the things. $12.

13 gifts for kids

13 gifts for kids

The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition, $10. Such a magical story.

13 gifts for kids

Kid’s apron, $49, for both real and pretend cooking.

13 gifts for kids

Perfection game, $24, because they shriek with laughter when the timer goes off (and it’s secretly fun for grown-ups, too).

13 gifts for kids

Jelly beans with disgusting flavors, like moldy cheese, canned dog food and stinky socks, to make their little heads explode. $4.

13 gifts for kids

Walkie talkies, $14.50, for top-secret spy missions.

13 gifts for kids

The sweetest shirt for your little bears, $26.

13 gifts for kids

Road tape to turn the whole house into a race track. $13.

13 gifts for kids

Animal slippers to keep their teeny feet warm. $38.

13 gifts for kids

A print for their bedroom wall, $20. Because they really are terrific.

P.S. Last year’s gift guide for kids, and 28 slamdunk birthday presents.

  1. The tats are such a great idea. Everytime I visit my girlfriend’s or see their fb feed, the kids are watching sesame street, or holding onto their elmo dolls! Such a great idea, i think i should get a bunch to have for emergency kiddie gifts. thanks!

  2. If I bought a walkie talkie from America (im Australian) would the channels and frequencies e.t.c. work here? (I want to get it to have a four way conversation with my friends while were at home).

  3. This wishlist for kids is AMAZING and I can’t thank you enough for all the great ideas. My 3 nephews seem to have EVERYTHING so it’s difficult to think of unique gift ideas that they will enjoy. This list solved all my gift-giving problems for the boys!

  4. Simone says...

    I just bought the One Thousand Things book last week for my little guy’s first birthday – so funny it popped up here! I love all the illustrations in it.

  5. Jessica says...

    OMG! Perfection! I loved that game! Just ordered it on Amazon for my daughter!

    Joanna, maybe a future post Motherhood Monday could be board games you play with your kids? Or played as a kid? I’m always looking for new ones for our family!

  6. Kaitlin says...

    PSA for Polar Express Lovers!

    I used to work at a (charming! Amazing! Lovely! Tiny! Independent!) book shop in high school and I stopped by this weekend to pick up a couple items and saw stacks of signed Polar Express books (Van Allsburg is a local!!) and picked one up for a friend’s child.

    If you’re so inclined, you can order a signed copy for delivery (it does cost the list price + shipping unless you’re local and want to pick it up, but it’s so worth it to support an independent).

    It’s called The Book Shop of Beverly Farms–here’s their web site:
    You can call them at: (978) 927-2122
    or email (don’t include your cc info in the email!)

    The women who run it are just… the best.

    Happy Holidays!

  7. SJ says...

    Now I’m making the comment where I wanted:

    I would like to know your opinions on kids wearing tattoos.
    I know they are supposed to be funny. But I never (not even as a child) liked them. What are they made out of? Are they safe? Can’t the ink permeate into the body?

    SJ –

    • Blair says...

      Those specific tattoos come from Tattly, whose tattoos are FDA compliant and made of vegetable based ink. I love them, and pretty much always have a little stack on hand for when I need a bit of whimsy.

    • SJ says...

      Ok. Thank you for your reply! Good to know!

  8. Marte says...

    Fantastic list! I love the apron set by OW. Gave one to my god daughter last year, and it was a huge hit. Actually looks even cuter now – worn in and washed a few times. Giving that together with a cookie-bake-date is a cute idea.
    And for the little brother/sister one of those amazing bibs. The prettiest ones I’ve ever seen.

  9. Laura C says...

    Ha! 24 pots of Play Doh were my daughter’s gift last Christmas!
    Have to say, there are still 6 pots hidden in my closet and as she wants more Play Doh this year, I think I’ll recycle them…
    Have to say also, she wants “Elsa’s Iced Dress” this year and it costs a LOT!!!

  10. Meredith says...

    Perfection! I totally forgot about Perfection! I had that as a kid….my brother and sister and I would race! So fun!

  11. Kali says...

    I just want to say thank you for an inspiring, affordable and unique list! I love them all and am grateful as I’m a little stumped for my 2 and 4-year old girls! Grazie!

  12. Funny, I just picked up that book for my 2.5 year old son. It’s so pretty.

    Also, we’ve been getting those Garnet Hill slippers for our kids for years. They’re so fun, and last forever.

  13. Kate says...

    What a fantastic list! I want most of those things for myself, though, especially the Sesame Street tattoos!!

  14. Lovely selection! I really like the animal slippers and apron. When we were children, my brothers and I played with walkie talkies.


  15. Is it too bad that being an adult and still wishing I could get some of these things on Christmas? :)

  16. Kim Smith says...

    Great list! Thanks! But you might have fun buying a big set of fancy gel food coloring and making your own play dough. It’s super easy, the colors are great, the making is a fun activity before you even get to the playing and when it gets gross you can just dump it in the compost (or trash) without having to throw away all those little jars.

  17. This is a wonderful list! We already got the assortment of play-doh, and a some Mo Williams pigeon books. We were also thinking a teepee of some sort.


  18. Rebecca says...

    Thank you! I so appreciate how you choose affordable, unique gifts every year. My kids are very close in age to yours, so this list is right on the money! Another idea: a set or book of easy magic tricks. My 5 year old is totally into tricking friends and family with his best (attempt at) slight of hand. ;) Thsnks again!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a cute idea!!!

  19. eleanor says...

    Walkie Talkies are on our list! (And I spy the Sandbox Village ferry boat—so nice to meet you this weekend!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!! you totally inspired that :) so great to meet you too. xoxo

    • Maggie says...

      Beware the road tape! It does not remove easily without a fight and serious scrubbing.

  20. My two would love everything on this list! I would add playdoh tools (rolling pins, cutters, etc) my kids will sit and play for at least an hour! We’re putting flash lights in each of their stockings too. What kid doesn’t love playing with flashlights?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!! thank you so much for that better link, changing now!

    • mary says...

      thank you Joanna! Much appreciated!

  21. Wow- What an amazing list! My favorite is that ferry boat! OH MY how cute!! Thanks for putting together such a great list!


  22. I am getting those walkie-talkies!!!!

  23. Would advise against the jelly beans. As an adult who tried these…ermahgerd…nearly got sick during the ‘game.’ If you google them, you’ll find a kid who actually did (on the first bean!) LOL

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m not surprised after reading about some of those flavors! yikes! although now i’m even more curious. :)

  24. At age 25, *I* wouldn’t mind receiving most of the items on this list! The One Thousand Things book is so beautiful. I am bookmarking this page for when I have little ones someday!!!

  25. Your gift guides are always so thoughtful and ‘out of the box’, Joanna! Love it!
    I never read The Polar Express as a child. Can you believe it?! I feel a bit sad about it.
    The apron is incredible. And whoever invented road tape is genius!
    As always, thanks for sharing!

  26. Those Jellybeans look awesomely disgusting. I might need to use those as a stocking stuffer!

  27. Melissa says...

    Hey Joanna – I always look forward to your gift guides! In this one, I particularly love the road tape so you can create tracks when the little one wants, without having to clog up space with actual pieces. Will have to get it for my niece!

    As you’re compiling your other lists, wanted to let you know about Letters From the Cape. The creators (who are near to my heart) take photographs around Cape Cod and Massachusetts that look like alphabet letters and then frame them in reclaimed barn wood. They have premade frames as well as the option to customize any word. Check them out on and :)

    Happy Holidays!

  28. Sarah D. says...

    Walkie talkies… what a GREAT idea! Definitely adding those to my shopping list for my 7-year-old niece! :)

  29. Alice Quin says...

    What a great find with those jelly bellies!!!!

  30. We bought One Thousand things for our 15 month old a couple of weeks ago and it’s awesome! She’s still too young for some of it (I think?!), but we love going over the parts of the face and things you find around your house and neighborhood. The graphics are so cool!

  31. Ooooh I just love that apron set!! My little one is a little TOO little, but that will be perfect in a year or so! Those little fox slippers might be perfect for our soon-to-be newborn! Great list, thank you from us Mama’s!