Editor Picks: Holiday Gifts We’re Excited to Give Our Own Kids in 2021

Need some gift ideas for the little ones in your life? Here’s what’s caught our eye this year—they’re so good, we’re wrapping them up for our own kids this holiday season.
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November 19, 2021
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The holiday season comes with many beloved traditions and family rituals. Chief among them? Gift-giving. Granted, shopping for the perfect present can be a chore (particularly for hard-to-please relatives!), but shopping for the children in your life can be positively delightful. Trust us, watching their little faces light up as they unwrap each gift will make all the late-night shopping worthwhile.

Stuck for ideas? The Bump editors are sharing the toys and must-have products we’re eyeing for our own kids, in case you want to follow suit. Here you’ll find holiday gift recommendations for babies, toddlers and big kids, so you’re sure to discover something magical for every age and occasion.

Lauren Kay, Executive Editor

Image: Courtesy Lauren Kay

I have a 6-year-old son who’s obsessed with architecture, board games and a desire to help in the kitchen (I’m so here for that!). I also have a fun loving 3- (going on 13) year-old daughter who loves dressing up and playing pretend. Our family celebrates Christmas all month long with advent calendars, matching family jammies and a service project to remind us all the reason for the season.

Image: Courtesy Opinel

What I’m Gifting My 6-Year-Old: Little Kitchen Helper Knife Set

George loves helping in the kitchen and is ready to move from stirring to more advanced sous chef duties. I love that this knife set is designed to safely teach kids proper techniques for slicing and dicing. The shorter, rounded tip chef’s knife is paired with a hand guard to model the tucked fingertip grip—huge! There’s even a finger ring on the vegetable peeler for an enhanced hold. Best of all the very grown-up looking set is made from sustainably managed French forest wood and no maintenance stainless steel. He is going to feel like a total boss.

Buy it: $49,

Other gift ideas:
Ticket to Ride Board Game

Image: Courtesy Super Smalls

What I’m Gifting My 3-and-a-Half-Year-Old: Super Smalls Everyday Royalty DIY Crown & Tiara Kit

What’s more fun than crafting your own dress-up accessories?! I know my daughter will love these pre-cut crowns, tiaras and stickers. Eleanor is a BIG fan of Super Smalls—she’s asking Santa for the nail kit and dress-up shoes. I love it too. In the month of December, for each DIY kit purchased, the company will donate a kit to a child facing difficult circumstances at children’s hospitals. How lovely is that?

Buy it: $31,

Ashlee Neuman, Content Director

Image: Courtesy Ashlee Neuman

I’m the proud mama of two giggly girls: a 3.5-year-old who loves arts and crafts, architecting and storytelling, and a newly minted one-year-old who’s about to take her first steps. Our family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas, but we limit our gift-giving to Christmas Day. This year I’m hunting down space-saving presents (there’s only so much room in a New York City apartment!) that’ll keep my kiddos working their minds and bodies.

Image: Courtesy Retrospec

What I’m Gifting My 1-Year-Old: Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike

My squirmy girl is so ready to be on the move, and this itty-bitty balance bike is just the thing to get her cruising without Mommy or Daddy’s help. “Surely a one-year-old isn’t developmentally ready for a balance bike!” you say? I know it seems to defy logic, but I promise you, we put her on one and she took off (okay, teetered off) all on her own—and that was on her first try. This beauty of a bike is designed for 12- to 24-month-olds and features soft, no-scratch wheels to keep your floors intact.

Buy it: $50,

Image: Courtesy Tonies

What I’m Gifting My 3-Year-Old: Tonies

The Tonie Box is a kid-friendly speaker that, when connected with a Tonie figurine, plays songs, stories and more. There’s a robust library of figurines to choose from—everything from your child’s favorite Sesame Street and Disney characters (hi, Elmo and Elsa!) to their favorite children’s stories (think: Guess How Much I Love You), songs, nature sounds and more. We already own a Tonie Box and I plan to buy my daughter a bunch more content figurines for the holidays. Yes, it’s expensive. But seriously, it’s been the best toy purchase of the past year. We limit screen time in our house but we’re totally down with audio books—and our daughter is too. It’s our go-to for long car rides, rest time and even bath nights when she’s reluctant to get in the tub. An investment that’s 100 percent worth it!

Buy it: $100,

Jen Hayes Lee, Head of Marketing

Image: Courtesy Jen Hayes Lee

It’s never a dull moment with three sons under 10 (ages 7, 4 and almost 2-year-old) and the holidays are no exception! On Christmas morning our guys receive two special presents from Santa and one gift from Mommy and Daddy. We try to focus on family time instead of a day-long marathon of gift-opening.

Image: Courtesy Crate&kids

What I’m Gifting My 2-Year-Old: Crate & Kids Fire Station Playhouse

All three of my sons went through a fireman phase. Right now, my youngest son is obsessed with anything rescue-related. This little fire station playhouse will give him his own space and allow his imagination to run wild!

Buy it: $199,

Lauren Barth, Senior Editor

Image: Courtesy Lauren Barth

My 9-year-old math whiz, soon-to-be 7-year-old glam girl and 2-and-a-half-year-old cuddle monster made the nice list again—or so I’m told. Shopping for three different kiddos with three different personalities is a trip, and it becomes more challenging (and more rewarding!) as they get older and their interests evolve. The early-morning hours of December 25th are my favorite; we try to keep things joyful but calm—before grandparents, aunts and uncles bring the “Christmas crazy” (a whole other level of merry). It’s the quiet before the festive storm, complete with bacon, cinnamon rolls and all the coffee—and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Image: Courtesy FAO Schwarz

What I’m Gifting My 9-Year-Old: FAO Schwarz Roller Coaster Building Set

I’m a huge proponent of gifting experiences, so this year we’re signing my big guy up for coding classes. He’s stoked for the extra screen time, and I’m excited to foster his love of learning. That said, Santa will still bring him something tangible to unwrap come Christmas morning—and this roller coaster-building kit is just the ticket. The miniature motorized model teaches the fundamentals of engineering and physics. Bonus: No screens involved!

Buy it: $40,

Other gift ideas
Lego Avengers Set

Image: Courtesy Teamson Kids

What I’m Gifting My 7-Year-Old: Teamson Kids Dreamland Castle Play Vanity Set

My princess has a holiday wish list as long as her yet-to-be-cut ponytail. Narrowing down the actual wants from her momentary whims can be challenging, but I’m confident she’ll be delighted with this regal pick: The Teamson Kids Dreamland Castle Play Vanity Set. She can primp to her heart’s content while her dolls enjoy the renaissance-inspired miniature bathtub, bed and throne. A real-life makeover and some royally fun pretend play—what more could a budding diva ask for?

Buy it: $116,

Image: Courtesy Guidecraft

What I’m Gifting My 2-and-a-Half-Year-Old: Guidecraft Kitchen Helper Tower

With two older siblings leading the charge, my littlest lady thinks she’s one of the big kids. She tries her best to keep up (and usually succeeds!), but her small size can sometimes stand in the way. While “brogey” and “sissy” help Mama make pancakes and stir cake batter, baby girl struggles to reach the counter (so frustrating!). This is why my most enthusiastic sous chef will be getting her very own kitchen tower, topped with a big red bow. The timing couldn’t be better—she can help me mold, shape and taste-test our family’s famous butter-spritz cookies on December 25th. No doubt, I benefit from this big-ticket item too—but aren’t all the best holiday kiddie presents self-serving? Don’t worry, she’ll have plenty of other wrapped goodies to rip into.

Buy it: $200,

Other gift ideas
Step2 Stop & Go Mobile Market

Kristin Gray, Lead Product Designer

Image: Courtesy Kristin Gray

My 6-year-old “bonus boy” is imaginative and loves to draw and create. He also loves his iPad. While we try to limit the time he spends on it, we also recognize that he can benefit from the educational aspect of a tablet without allowing it to hinder his social development.

Image: Courtesy Osmo

What I’m Gifting My 6-Year-Old: Osmo Creative Starter Kit for iPad

When I came across Osmo’s award-winning learning games for kids between the ages of 5 and 10, I was thrilled! Children interact with hand-held pieces linked to their iPad to develop problem-solving, visual and listening skills, spatial learning and fine motor skills. Osmo sees and reacts to every real-life move and is designed for beginner to expert levels. Plus, no WiFi is necessary for game play.

Buy it: $70,

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