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The Complete Holiday Gift Guide for Kids & Pre-Teens

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Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
December 03, 2016 · 3.9k Views

As the peak of holiday shopping season inches closer, you’ve probably noticed the names of a few youngsters peppered throughout your gift list. With so many toys, games, and gadgets on the market today, the search for something that is cool and age-appropriate can be long and tedious. Look no further, because we have you covered and put together a curated listed of the best holiday gift ideas for kids. Whether you are shopping for a 3-year old, tween, or teenager, there’s something for everyone. These gifts are sure to stir a little magical cheer once the wrapping paper comes off.

lightbulb iconCheck out our store pages for Toys R Us, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Macy's, Land of Nod, and Uncommon Goods to get all the goods below at amazing prices!


holiday gift guide for kids and preteens

  1. Paw Patrol Lookout Playset

    It’s near impossible to find a kid between the ages of 3 and 5 who isn’t obsessed with Paw Patrol. With the Paw Patrol Look Out Playset, the little ones are able to get in on the action and help their furry animated heroes carry out the mission. Available at Toysrus.com for $39.99.
  2. Betsey Johnson Striped Cat Key Chain

    Do you have an aspiring fashionista on your list? Then they probably already know the importance of good accessories and will love adding this cool and quirky cat key chain by Betsey Johnson to their collection. Available at Macys.com for $35.
  3. Celestron PowerSeeker 114AZ Telescope

    The perfect gift for the budding astronomer in your life. With this serious telescope, they will be able to explore the night sky like never before. Special features include a finderscope to help find and center objects in the sky, a coated glass mirror for bright, crisp views, and tripod for steady observation. Available at Amazon.com for $99.95.
  4. A Teepee To Call Your Own

    Kids love having a special place of their own. With this teepee, your youngster will have a little retreat to escape to whenever they like. Added bonus – parents will no longer have to worry about the sofa cushions being used to make a fort. Available at Landofnod.com for $99.
  5. Lincoln Logs 100th Anniversary Tin

    Celebrate Lincoln Logs’ 100th anniversary by giving it as a present this holiday season. With 111 wooden pieces, a child can imagine and build to their heart’s desire. Don’t be surprised when a wave of nostalgia for this classic toy hits and you request an invitation to playtime. Available at Target.com for $44.99.

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  6. Gummy Bear Lights

    These gummy bear lights will guarantee nothing but the sweetest of dreams for your little one. Available in selection of vibrant colors, the bears turn on with a gentle squeeze of the belly. How cute is that?! Available at Uncommongoods.com for $27.99.
  7. American Girl Doll

    These iconic dolls should be on the top of the list of any doll-lover in your family. Willa is a special WellieWisher doll who has a love for animals. Standing at 14.5" tall, she's ideal for younger children, and if you want to make this gift extra special, there are coordinating items your recipient can wear to match with Willa. Available at American Girl for $60.

    *American Girl also has a special partnership with Kohl's for the American Girl Lea Clark & WellieWishers dolls utnil 12/31/2016 or while supplies last (in store only).
  8. Mattel View-Master Virtual Reality 

    The classic Mattel View-Master has received a technological upgrade and now offers a 360-degree virtual reality experience! By downloading the app and sliding in your Smartphone, your kids can explore 3-D virtual worlds where imagination has no limits. Available at Amazon.com for $17.
  9. Personalized Animal Prints

    Do you have a friend who is in the process of decorating a nursery for their new baby? Personalized name art makes a great gift. We love these adorable animal prints inspired by vintage children’s books by Stacie Bloomfield. Available at Uncommongoods.com for $44.
  10. Magic Fairy Doll (Set of 3)

    In the company of these three fairies, playtime will always be full of magic. Designer Dana Sawatsky made each doll unique, embellishing them with whimsical accents and exquisite embroidery details. Available at Landofnod.com for $39.
  11. Playskool Friends Love 2 Learn Elmo

    You can never go wrong with Sesame Street and we love everything about this Elmo toy. Parents can customized the app to select learning topics and encourage daily routines like cleaning up and using the bathroom. Elmo can even be programmed to call a child by name. Learning has never been so engaging and fun! Available at Target.com for $44.99.
  12. Baby Hoodie

    As the temps start to dip, keeping the littlest ones warm and comfortable becomes especially important. Hoodies are great for layering and help keep the head warm. Made of organic cotton with a super cool pattern, this gender-neutral hoodie is both practical and stylish. Available at Baby Sprouts Co. for $44.99.
  13. Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 8 Instant Camera

    Take care of the tween on your list with this instant camera. Lightweight and cool-looking, it captures memories forever in photos that print on the spot. Your tween will cherish these mementos way more than their collection of phone camera selfies. Available at Amazon.com for $54.99.
  14. Flash Tattoos

    For those who have graduated from fake tattoos of superheroes and Disney princesses. The perfect stocking stuffer, these metallic and bohemian-inspired tattoos are long lasting and come in an array of beautiful designs. Available at Amazon.com for $8.59.
  15. Play-Doh Cupcake Celebration Playset

    Make your favorite little baker happy this holiday with the Play-Doh Cupcake Celebration Playset. Using molds, they can create pretend cupcakes and pop them on a wheel to decorate with frosting and other dazzling toppings. Available at Target.com for $11.79.
  16. Star Wars The Force Awakens RC BB-8

    Because this list would not be complete without something Star Wars. Using their favorite Droid, young Star Wars fans can reenact scenes from the blockbuster film while imagining new intergalactic adventures. Available at Walmart.com for $49.97.


One of the best things about holiday shopping for kids and that you get revisit your own childhood. Still, the abundance of options can be overwhelming. Make it easy on yourself and stick to this guide. Less stress means you can fully enjoy seeing the big smiles and gleeful eyes when the gift is opened.

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the complete holiday gift guide for mom


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Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.