Design

Gift Guide #5: Your Kids Who Have the Nuttiest Dance Moves and Can Recite Every Line of Parent Trap.

lewis alligator pajamas

Alligator pajamas, $48. (And maybe an extra set for the cousins.)

galaxy projector 360

Galaxy projector, $42, for celestial baths, bedtimes and dance parties.

Super Smalls clip on earrings for kids

Three sets of clip-on earrings, $27. Fancy and sparkly!!!

deadly animals bingo

Deadly animals bingo, $27, for a little spine tingling.

record player

A real record player, $50, that they can grow up playing — plus, a couple favorite records.

arts and crafts library kid made modern

Arts and crafts library, $40, for hours of quarantine fun. My kids are obsessed with this.

long sparklers

Long sparklers, $14, to light at night because nothing is more thrilling than holding a sparkler all by yourself.

beanie with a light

A beanie with a light (!) for exciting after-dinner walks. $15. (Here are more colors.)

strong brave kind t-shirt

T-shirt reminding them what’s truly important, $17. (Another color here.)

wild animals

Tube of wild animals or sea animals or horses or spiders, $11.

the girl and the wolf book

A smattering of cool new books, including The Girl and the Wolf, The Little Mermaid and Find Fergus, from $15. And some cuddle time to read together.

P.S. The 2018 kids gift guide, the 2019 kids gift guide and the 2020 gift guide so far.

(Sparkler photo by Ilya/Stocksy. Beatles photo from Sonic Editions.)

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

  1. Caitlin Van Dusen says...

    Now that the link for the galaxy globe has been changed to Amazon, would you mind sharing the original (fraudulent) link so I can see if that is where we ordered ours from? Ours hasn’t arrived either but I am not sure if we got it through the fraudulent website or another. Thank you for your trouble and the recommendation.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      It was called Solar Flame Torch xo

  2. MGR says...

    Jo – I’ve been a loyal reader for many years and know you’re well-intentioned, but a lot of your readers have been scammed by the projector company. I really wish you’d own and apologize for the error (not vetting a link that would reach a large reader base) instead of just saying “it’s tricky”. Again, I know how much you care for your readers and don’t want to attack.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m so glad you wrote! I really regret and apologize for linking to that site. I actually am going to personally reimburse everyone — I reached out to some people today via email and am also going to post a note on the site next week letting people know they can reach out to me for refunds. Thank you so much xo

  3. Lauren says...

    Yikes, Cup of Jo! The Galaxy light projectors I ordered a month ago never, ever came and the company never replied to my emails. I’m having to dispute the charge with my bank now.

    • Rachel says...

      I had the same experience! Disputing the charges now. Thanks for posting this

    • MGR says...

      I just came here to say the same thing. I’m frustrated with the company and with coj. This site definitely previously linked directly to this scamming business. I spent $100 over a month ago; the phone line is busy and they won’t return my emails.

    • Lauren P says...

      Same here! I’ve emailed 4 times and finally got a response saying to wait despite requesting a refund. 😞

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I would love to personally refund your payments — I’m so so sorry for my mistake of linking to the fraudulent site. Please email hello at cupofjo.com for a refund — just send your receipt. (I’ll be posting about this on the site too.) thank you and apologies! Xoxo

  4. Katie says...

    Ooh, I’d already ordered The Little Mermaid for my son (age 3), as well as Carson Ellis’s latest (Du Iz Tak and Home are favorites in our home, as well as The Shortest Day which she illustrated and is perfect for this time of year) and a slew of other beautiful picture books.

  5. Kasia says...

    Hi, has anyone actually had any success with the galaxy projector? Based on this guide I asked my father in law to get it for my kid, and he did, and immediately commented that the website seemed shady. I’ m worried that it is a scam…
    Cup of Jo, do you actually check these recommendations before posting here? I just trusted it blindly, and now I see that I should have done some research on it first….

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      This is tricky! We have the galaxy projector and love it. we got it from amazon but I know readers bump on amazon links so I linked elsewhere. Will switch to amazon now! Thank you!

    • Tamara says...

      I too placed an order for the galaxy projector from the original website linked in the gift guide, and have not received any updates since the initial email confirming my order (on November 28). Feeling scammy to me, too. Bummer.

    • Erin says...

      I came back to this post to comment about never receiving the item and see it is a common theme :( I ordered December 2nd and the USPS tracking has continued to say that the item is awaiting pick up from USPS from December 7th. I only get stock email replies when I email them for help. Really disappointed as my 6 and 4 year olds would have loved this!

  6. Sharon says...

    I also ordered the galaxy projector. I tried to contact them repeatedly by phone…line was perpetually busy. So, I sent an email and got a reply that they were busy and would get to my email. Four days pass and I get a message saying the item has shipped. When I looked at my email confirmation, there was a $3 tip included in the cost. Now, I don’t really mind the tip, but their customer service is ridiculous. Now, I’ll have to pay to shipping to return the item. When I look at their return policy it says that it might take quite some time for the charge to be credited back to your account.

  7. Sandy says...

    Hi All–

    INFORMATION ON GALAXY LIGHT: I ordered 2 on 11/24 and followed up today. I was told I would get a shipping notification in 2 to 4 weeks and then it would ship…so who even knows when it will arrive.

    On a nicer note I got the lighted beanies and they are perfect!

    • Sandy says...

      I ordered 2 of the galaxy projectors and have had a hell of a time getting any info from them. I finally got a confirmation for the Arizona shipment then it showed up in San Jose—so I got 1 finally. Bah. These people suck…maybe don’t post unless you actually have ordered from the place?

      Will just go to my credit card and get my money back. Not to mention the unrelenting spam my mailbox is now getting—but I can’t block them just yet. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m so so sorry for this hassle! I really apologize for my mistake in linking to this site, and I would like to refund readers for their payments. Please send your receipt to hello (at) cupofjo.com, and we will gladly cover the amount you paid. Thank you so much!

  8. That Maisonette tee is so good, I wish it came in grown-up sizes! And I’m very tempted to get that galaxy projector for our family. My space-loving husband will love it just as much as our toddler will!

  9. Erin says...

    My 4 1/2 year old nephew is getting really interested in space; that galaxy projector looks perfect for him! Before I buy it, I’m wondering if anyone here knows of one that includes constellations, and if anyone can suggest an age-appropriate book on space? My husband and I have been showing him pictures from an old text book (and we are discovering some of the text has since been proven inaccurate!) Thanks for your help.

  10. Anne Rüsing says...

    I so need a gift guide for teenagers (girl, 15, and boy, 13). Pretty please?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! Coming up in the hard to shop for guide!

    • Anne Rüsing says...

      Great, thanks. BTW my teenage son is very much into hats, so the beanie with a light is it. And the acupressure mat from a way back gift guide …

      My daughter has moved into the attic and is getting her very own electric water kettle plus various cups, teas and – most importantly – dishwashing equipment (her room has a sink) :-).

      My 20yr-old goddaughter gets an handwritten advent calendar with cocktail recipes (individual laminated postcards and a book to stick them into for the 24th). Advent calendars make me get my presents in early at less risk of being swamped by other gift-givers …

      My fitness-consciuous 80yr-old mother will get a very stylish black roll https://www.manufactum.ch/faszienrolle-rollholz-buche-a203359/ … (no affiliation of mine btw)

      More ideas are always welcome, though.
      thanks and enjoy the season
      a

  11. My little boy (8) has one of the hats with a light in it, courtesy of his dad who works in the hardware shop here on the Isle of Skye, North West Scotland. We went for a walk tonight down to the floating pier in the village and did some star gazing out across the loch. It was magical – and that hat lit the way in the dark. Because it gets very dark here in the Hebrides! And he LOVES wearing it.

  12. MB says...

    Thank you for another fantastic gift guide! My 4yo daughter is really into audio stories, and is glued to her Lunii storyteller which I highly recommend to everyone, as the kids can create their own stories and it keeps her engaged for ages.
    For the car she loves story CDs, but I’m soooooo tired of the ones we have. Any recommendations? Thanks!

    • Jean says...

      My kids love listening to story podcasts. Reading Bug Adventures and Circle Round are their favorites. Even my three year old is captivated!

  13. Jenna says...

    Gift guides are so fun. This was a great one.

    Would be cool to get some ideas on gifts that kids (or adults) could make for family members that are actually functional or aesthetically pleasing.

    • Christina says...

      When searching for craft ideas, I stumbled upon paper wreaths with poinsettia flowers, where both the leaves in the wreath and the flowers were made from sliced and painted toilet paper rolls! They were so beautiful!

    • Jenna says...

      I just googled the poinsettia wreaths – so surprisingly pretty. And toilet paper rolls are so fitting for 2020 :)

  14. Becca says...

    I am a 36 year-old single woman with no children and I have that exact galaxy projector, which I use as mood lighting when I’m taking a hot bath to relax or reading at night. It’s pure magic, even for an adult! Highly recommend

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Love that!!

    • Jasmine says...

      Ha I was about to comment the same! Plus the fact that these gift ideas seem so thoughtful and great, even tho I have no kids! :)

    • Krystal says...

      Becca, because of your comment, I JUST ordered it for my partner for his birthday. He was born on the winter solstice, and requested a star theme for his birthday this year. I’m very excited to run a hot bath for him with some added ambiance after a day of solo outdoor adventures.

    • Inga says...

      Thank you so much for this comment! This 33 year-old single woman with no kids has been lusting after one for ages!! Maybe it will be a gift to myself this year :)

  15. Christi says...

    I know Joanna (and lots of the other lovely people here) love ballet classes and I wanted to give a shout out to my local ballet studio. They are based in Vancouver, BC and have been really struggling to stay open during the pandemic (like many other small businesses). They now have amazing online classes with a really lovely, supportive community and great teachers. If anyone is interested in following them or taking a class, you can do so through http://www.balletlounge.com. :)

  16. hm says...

    We got our now-6-year-old a CD player at the beginning of quarantine, it’s been so fun to let her revisit our CD collections and see what she connects to, but ALSO, books on CD from the library (still open for curbside by us)! She voluntarily spends hours in her room every day, doing legos and listening to books. So far she’s loved Charlotte’s Web and Magic Tree House compilations.

    Also, we have that art kit, and just bear in mind that once you open it, the materials come bursting out and triple in size. There are easily 4000 sequins in there. It’s awesome, but it’s explosive.

  17. Sadie Spencer says...

    HAT LIGHTS! Perfect for reading under the covers, overnights in the woods (don’t forget how cold it gets on summer nights too!), finding escaped kitties or taking out the garbage. Perfect idea.

  18. A says...

    best gift guide ever, would love to be a kid again.

  19. Celestial baths!!! That is so brilliant! How have I not thought of this? I have one of these but never thought to take it outside of the bedroom into other rooms of the house. Thank you for the inspo, CoJ :D I’ll now be walking around with my celestial projector everywhere.

    • Rebecca says...

      My kids also love listening to records including the Chipmunks Christmas record all year long. It’s such a calming, screen free activity for the whole family.

    • J says...

      I thought the same thing! My son has a similar light for his nightlight. I think it would blow his mind to use it at bath time :)

  20. Lora says...

    I ended up giving my boys a record player right after Halloween, they are in charge of playing mood music each night! Bonus points for finding the Chipmunk Christmas album at our favorite thrift store.
    P.s. the lighted hat is awesome, the light is removable and charges like a usb.

  21. kash says...

    BEANIE WITH A LIGHT
    BEANIE WITH A LIGHT

    AUGH

  22. Annie says...

    I really need a toddler gift guide! Help me lol.

  23. deni says...

    Katherena Vermette! Lovely lovely writer from my adoptive city of Winnipeg. She’s a Metis writer, storyteller… cool lady all around. Her poems and books are delicate and often described as gritty, kinda like Winnipeg. I do not have kids, but I recommend her work for adults wholeheartedly. Support Indigenous artist!

  24. Agnès says...

    These are great for my son, and affordable! And my son s birthday is 10 Days before christmas !! Thanks for the great ideas.

  25. Leigh says...

    I adore that Strong Brave Kind shirt (and wish it were available for grown-ups, too). Sadly, sold out in every size!

  26. Lauren says...

    Wow! Your gift guides have been delightfully original but the link to BookShop was the most fantastic discovery – thank you! I am ordering all of my books from this website from now on.

  27. I LOVE that you’re linking to Bookshop for your book links! As a former indie bookstore employee (and now writer) it’s so exciting to see this website gain traction in bigger spaces like CoJ.

  28. a.n. says...

    ooooh, i love this one!!! my 5.5 year old son and my husband have gone on after-dinner walks for the past few weeks (while my 1 year old and i stay cozy inside cuddled in warmth, haha), and now that it’s late november, it is *dark* when they go. they’ve been taking flashlights, but my kiddo would flip for the beanie with the light on it. purchased!! thanks!

  29. Eloise says...

    Just ordered the beanie for my 40-something kid at heart husband!

  30. Angie says...

    Julie Flett is AMAZING!!!! And Canadian. Yay.

    And those Terra tubes of animals are the best. Ours have been in the garden, in the tub, on a birthday cake. When they get disgusting you just put them in the cutlery part of the dishwasher and they come out like new.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      pro tip! thank you, Angie!

    • Mira says...

      You can also make a game of having your kids scrub them with old toothbrush. Ten minutes of downtime for you, at least!

  31. Lynn says...

    Every single year I buy half your kid list for myself and others. Kids forever! Thank you!!

  32. Heather says...

    Love seeing Julie Flett’s work featured in your kids gift guide COJ team. Her art is so beautiful and she is one of my favourite authors/ illustrators. I’m a teacher and LOVE sharing her work in my classroom. Thank you for including the work an amazing Indigneous/Métis artist and the work of BIPOC creators on your blog!

  33. Anna says...

    That hat is such a clever idea, AND it doubles as a Minion costume!

  34. Rachel Allmen says...

    I like the minion vibe from the beanie!

  35. Edith says...

    I have a sister with cerebral palsy and I have no idea what to buy her this year. She’s 29 and loves to read, listen to Ivy League lectures on YouTube and watch Gilmore Girls.

    I don’t want to come right out and ask her what she wants, but I know I don’t want to buy her a book. And YouTube is free. And she has already seen all of ‘Gilmore Girls’.

    I thought maybe a weighted blanket? She loves her heated one. Thanks so much for any input. Google wasn’t much help.

    • Caitlin says...

      Edith,
      If you go on Etsy and search Gilmore Girls, there are some really fun things! From artwork to clothing (Stars Hollow Tshirt?) and all sorts of fun Gilmore Girls things. Good luck!

    • Angie says...

      There is some amazing Gilmore Girls stuff on Etsy. Maybe a Stars Hollow sweatshirt? There are also some excellent blanket options if you want to stick with that idea.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      a weighted blanket could be a great idea! or if she loves her heated blanket, maybe she’d like a hot water bottle? they’re SO cozy, my aunt always gives them to us to sleep with when we visit and it feels so good to cuddle up with something so warm.

      you could also get her a Gilmore Girls gift? for example this mug:
      https://society6.com/product/coffee-of-gilmore-girls113146_mug

      or this Guess Who game:
      https://www.etsy.com/listing/796877978/gilmore-girls-guess-who-game-cards

      xoxo

    • Lisa says...

      Hi Edith. If she loves Gilmore Girls maybe a related t shirt or special cup? They have a ton of stuff on ETSY. For a book lover I reccomend Book Of The Month Club. My mother in law gets me this every year and it’s lovely. It gives you a choice of books to choose from every month and if you aren’t interested you can skip a month.
      My sister in law loves Amazon gift cards (she also has CP so it’s hard for her to go to stores).
      Pottery Barn teen has some really cute fuzzy blankets that I plan on getting for my best friend.
      Have you seen the new hot chocolate bomb craze? We are getting some to enjoy for the whole family. Let me know if you want some other ideas!

    • Jess. says...

      Holographic fanny pack? Ken Burns National Parks? A projector, to watch YouTube videos, except bigger and on the wall? I know you said no books, but . . .not even the new Humans of New York book? ;) Not even Yrsa Daley-Ward poetry? If you’re crafty, maybe a flannel hot pack with rice (that you heat in the microwave). Maybe some little heart-shaped ones for hand/toe warmers? Awesome headphones? Waterproof/portable speaker? A “flight” of something (pickles, hot sauce, honey, macarons)? A Lisa Congdon art print? Rainbow maker?

  36. Lana says...

    We won’t see my dad on Christmas this year, so instead he told me to buy the kids gifts from him. I got each one of them a light up beanie and snow toys to match the beanie color (saucers for sledding and snowball makers), plus new snow bibs, wool socks with animal faces on them and snow boots. If we’re going to be stuck at home at least they can play outside and stay warm! Plus, what’s cooler than night games? My kids love to take flashlights outside and hunt for slugs! Here’s to warm heads! 😂

  37. Caitlin says...

    The hat is genius! The sparklers…what an amazing idea!!

  38. Janey says...

    I love all these suggestions and I second the record player. My boys are teens now but playing records, singing along to the Beatles, amongst others, and shopping for second hand records is one of the rare activities a 40+ woman and her sons can enjoy together (there’s only so much sports chat I can muster!) Get them into good music while they’re young and it’ll pay off later!
    Also thank you for all the time and effort that goes into these gift guides, they have made my locked-down November

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “a 40+ woman and her sons can enjoy together ” = yay! xoxo