Gift Guide Part #1: Your Nutty Little Kids Who Are Masters at Negotiating Bedtime and Never Met a Dinosaur They Didn’t Love.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

Triceratops table lamp, aka the world’s coolest night light. $32.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

Gymnastics ribbon, $3, for some seriously awesome dancing around the house.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

A ukulele, which my kids have been obsessed with for the past two years. $29.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

These unisex wool leggings, the Norwegian secret to playing outside all winter. $69.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

Woodland nesting set, $23.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

A few great bedtime stories, like The Storm Whale, Harold’s Hungry Eyes and Rosie Revere, Engineer.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

Temporary tattoos that smell like real candy! $18 for eight.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

Peppa Pig classroom playset, $18.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

Glow-in-the-dark pajamas, $50. (Would be cute with this book!)

12 Best Gifts for Kids

Zingo, a kid-friendly bingo game that’s legitimately fun to play. $12. (Also, Don’t Break the Ice and Jenga.)

12 Best Gifts for Kids

Special Agent gear, $36, since every kid is a spy at heart.

12 Best Gifts for Kids

A $3 cricket lollipop… and a challenge.

P.S. A previous gift guide for kids, and slamdunk birthday presents.

(Photo of Anton at home by Alpha Smoot.)

  1. What a great selection! I love love love the Woodland Nesting Set! I always loved playing with those when I was younger. I also love the temporary tattoos! How fun! :D

  2. lpardee says...

    Wondering how old Anton is with the Ukulele? Its adorable!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      He was 2! :)

  3. Another book idea to match the pj’s – “Pete’s a Pizza” by William Steig! It’s a favorite of ours.

  4. Meghann says...

    We put our boys(4,6) the spy gear bomb thing last year…. not worth the money, has to be a better option otherwise fabricate one yourself which is what we did.

  5. I love the dinosaur lamp. As a child, I was obsessed with lizards and dinosaurs. I don’t know ask why, I wasn’t a girly girl at all. I would’ve DIED to have the lamp back in the day!

    – Charmaine

  6. Lauren says...

    Such cool ideas, and reasonably priced! Jo, I know you do a variety of lists each year, but I have a special request- would you have ideas for people who just recently started dating/aren’t super serious? Don’t want to spend too much, just something maybe funny/thoughtful. It is so challenging! I’ve looked to the dad/brother/husband guides at times! I can’t remember if you’ve ever done any type of host/hostess type lists before, either? Outside of the standard wine/alcohol gifts? Thanks so much!

  7. Noelle says...

    The triceratops lamps are awesome. I just ordered two for the little boys in our life! Thank you!

  8. Lauren says...

    Love this! Just ordered the dino lamp for my nephews- they’ll love it. I also found a great tetter popper thing on that Fat Brain website that I had to order as well. Thank you for the awesome recs!

  9. Emma says...

    The reviews for the Secret Pizza Party book are cracking me up. “I’m not appalled that this book is about a kleptomaniac pizza raccoon like some of these helicopter parents who are worried this book will lead to a life of crime. ” So good.

  10. Alex Chua says...

    Great list. Thanks!

  11. That picture of your soon playing the guitar is brilliant! So darn cute! These are some of the best games/toys that I’ve seen in a while!! I’ve opened the links for the Secret Agent gear and the Zingo game. I think I’m going to buy those for my kids this year!!!

  12. Emma Jones says...

    That picture of Anton! His little (big!) thighs!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg i know!!!! his butt basically goes down to his knees. SO SO SO CUTE!

  13. London says...

    Made Fried Egg Spaghetti last night for dinner while listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno. I was crying with laughter and my dinner was a huge hit! So easy, decadent, and cheap! Thanks for the great recommendations in the last few weeks.

  14. fantastic ideas!

  15. Laura says...

    Oh, man, I love your gift guides. I look forward to them all year. These are perfect! I can’t wait to see the rest.

  16. Monica says...

    Thanks for these cute ideas.. ALTHOUGH: I do not recommend Chrono Bomb. Our 7YO son got it as a birthday present this year and it is pretty much garbage. It’s a good idea but it’s super hard to set up, hard to find good places to attach the clamps, and the wires don’t stay in place. I literally spent more time setting it up than the kids did playing with it.

    I do recommend Jenga, Headbanz, and the classic version of Trouble (with the fun dice popper). I’m also getting the kids the new Simon Air game, which is pretty awesome.
    Happy holidays! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good to know, monica! thank you! you could also do it with twine and duct tape maybe?

  17. Jane says...

    My nephews love that Secret Pizza Party book and I know they would love those glow in the dark PJs! Love these lists – I always find something to get!

  18. shopgirl says...

    But that “Anton picture with ukulele” is just the best of everythig!!!
    Soo funny and cute!!

  19. Ruth says...

    A very thoughtful gift guide!!

  20. Laura C. says...

    My daughter wants Peppa Pig’s House this year, but I want to say:
    May I have the Special Agent gear??!? Why didn’t they sell that when I wad a little girl!?!?

  21. Colette says...

    Cup of Jo gift guide is one of my most favorite things about Christmas! Looking forward to all of them to come :)

  22. We love the Storm Whale. And definitely NEED that triceratops lamp!! xx

  23. Jessica says...

    This has to be the best gift list I’ve seen yet. I love the fun and creative ideas. I will say though, my son got the chrono bomb game at the bottom and it worked for all of two days before the electronics gave out. It was fun though.

  24. AR says...

    Yes on Jenga! :)
    The Special Agent gear looks fun, too!

  25. Nicole says...

    Oh, The Storm Whale…I could recite it from memory at this point. Such a dear, dear little story!

  26. Even with the crickets, those lollipops are so pretty! It made me laugh to see there’s a processing fee of $143.00 for the US Fish & Wildlife Services for international shipping.

  27. These are great! I may consider the ukulele for my daughter.

    Pro tip: A drop of lemon essential oil will safely remove those temporary tattoos when they are no longer lovely!

  28. Just curious, why do you have these posts filed under “Design?” It seems to me like they would fit better under “Relationships,” but I’m sure you have a reason why you used “Design,” so I just thought I would ask. Also, I look forward to your Gift Guides every year! Thank you so much for putting all of the research into them each year!

  29. Anna says...

    I love these gift choices. I’m really struggling at the moment. My kids – esp. my older son are pushing me to give them more time on the computer/tv/phone. Am pushing back against it as want them to continue to create, be imaginative and that it’s ok to be bored. I love how all your gift choices inspire creativity and imagination.

    My friend posted this on fb about simplfying childhood:

    “Normal personality quirks combined with the stress of ‘too much’ can propel children into the realm of disorder. A child who is systematic may be pushed into obsessive behaviours. A dreamy child may lose the ability to focus.”

    These gifts – and the way you parent Joanna inspire me – to keep pushing my kids to be outward thinking (eg. bake sale) creative and engaged. Thank you!

  30. Jessica says...

    Please, please find me those wool leggings in adult sizes! So cute!

    • Agreed!

    • Tilly says...

      Hear hear! I just had a look at the site and they’re only available for kids, but they are gorgeous!! I would love a pair for myself.

  31. Leah says...

    Zingo is awesome. I’m not sure how old my son was when we got it (little), but he’s 14 now and he broke it out at a sleepover this summer, I kid you not.

  32. Jessica says...

    We love Zingo!!!! Also Spot It is another great game that travels well!

  33. Oh my goodness, that triceratops light & special agent gear are going on my list right now! My kids will LOVE them!! Thanks a million for putting together such a fun well-curated guide; I can’t wait to see the rest of the posts!

    I just published my own gift guide on my blog (I have six kids so lots of favorite toys and books…reading everyone’s gift guides is seriously my favorite thing this time of year! So many great ideas and I love not having to schlep over to the mall.

  34. that picture of anton rocking out- so good! and those wool tights are a must for my little minnesota toddler!

    xo, brittany
    gift guide for your mama on my blog!

  35. Cynthia says...

    I noticed the leggings were only in children’s sizes. Too bad, as I teach at a campus style school, as they would be perfect.

  36. Cynthia says...

    I’m not a kid, but I’d like them all for myself. Obviously, the pajamas won’t fit. The dinosaur lamp is cool, and the Peppa Pig classroom is right up my alley, since I’m a teacher.

  37. Love this gift guide! I’ll have to bookmark it for future use since I’m only just finishing my baby registry :)

  38. Alice says...

    You always have the best guides!!!! Can’t wait to see what is up next.

  39. Ashley says...

    That picture of Anton is pretty much the best ever.

  40. Charlotte K says...

    Great list! And very reasonably priced.

  41. Those temporary tattoos i would have loved as a little girl! Although my mom would definitely blame my permanent tattoos now on them haha!

    Abigail Alice x

  42. Jessica says...

    ummmmmm, that magic cabin website (with the nesting dolls) is AMAZING. I love/hate you for introducing me to it.

  43. Oooh these are so adorable! Wishing I had someone small to get things for this holiday season, it’s so magical to see the season through their eyes!

    Alison –

  44. I’d like the woodland nesting set for myself. :) How cool is that Secret Agent Gear?!

  45. Great picks! My 7 year old daughter would definitely go for that cricket lollipop. Though I’m not entirely sure I’d want to listen to her crunching on it…

    • Anu says...

      Ha, yes, I was dared to eat one around that age by a family friend. I think she expected to get more mileage out of it – I just grabbed it and crunched it up.

    • Laura C. says...

      I think I would be able to eat a cricket just to save my girls’ life :D