Over the years we tried to purchase meaningful gifts for our children — useful gifts that would last longer than before the wrapping paper had been thrown in the trash!
Here are a few gifts our children have received over the years that have stood the test of time. Maybe this list will spark a few ideas for your own Christmas giving list. In no particular order:
Good-sized so the text is easy to see, and in relief for those who use their fingers to learn.
- Digital camera.
We started small on these and let them grow with the child.
- Plain Kindle.
You’ll often find these on sale for $10–$20 off after Christmas. Easy way to read all of those free eBooks!
- Art supplies.
In particular a Primacolor set that has become a favorite. (One caveat — they do tend to break more easily than a cheaper set.)
- Gardening tools.
- Apples to Apples game.
Great fun…still playing.
- Tool kit.
Pink for girls or red for boys.
- Musical instruments.
- Music stand.
Dad handcrafted a beautiful wooden stand, but there are many nice music stands out there.
- Pen tablet.
A must for the digital artist.
- OneNote (XP/Vista).
Must-have for the serious student. Now free for some platforms. (Or try the open source app EverNote.)
- Birdwatching guides.
- Book carrying case.
Again, Dad handcrafted a wooden holder with a handle for each of us, but it is a great idea for easily carrying much-used books from place to place.
- Electronic dictionary.
These were invaluable before Kindles, which have a dictionary built in, but still find a place today when reading a “real” book. Although somewhat pricey, the better models not only include the definitions, but also the etymology of the word. Most also come with a built-in thesaurus and other tools. (Be careful what you buy as some models only contain words that are already familiar to most adults. Look for the Concise Oxford Dictionary.)
- Graphing calculator.
If you want to just buy one get the TI-84. It comes in all kinds of varieties but will serve a student through college. A plugin keyboard is also available.
- Electronic circuit kits.
We’ve gone through several of these. Read our full reviews for more options.
- Bulletin board.
- Building plank set.
Boys gotta build!
- Wooden train set.
Big and chunky for the littlest fingers.
- Coupon books.
These really are among our family favorites. What would someone in the family love for someone else to do for them? A chore? Or perhaps a special treat? Really the gift is one of time! You’ll find ideas to get you started at DLTK.
- MP3 player.
Think books for the ears.
- Books, and books, and books, and books.
Books on a current interest, books from a favorite series, or classic favorites to build a library.
If you read between the lines, you’ll notice that most of the gifts our children received were aimed at fueling a current interest. You’ll find great kits, books, and other ideas for fueling the interests of your own children at Timberdoodle and Nature’s Workshop Plus