10 Gift Ideas for Children on Your Holiday Shopping List

Posted by Cheryl Fleming on December 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM
Cheryl Fleming

sanford_school_holiday_giftsWhether your holiday gift giving includes preschoolers or high schoolers, consider looking for these ten gifts that will help ignite the joy of learning in the children who receive them. This list, developed by Sanford School faculty members, includes a diverse group of items to fit a broad array of budgets, ages, and interests.

1. Subscription To Little Passports

Co-founded by two mothers and best friends in 2009, Little Passports is a company committed to inspiring children to learn about the world. Each month, subscribers receive a box filled with fun and educational toys, activities, and souvenirs designed to spark children's curiosity while inspiring their imaginations. Their Early Explorers, World Edition, USA Edition, and Science Expeditions programs are designed for specific age groups. Whether your gift recipient is a STEM enthusiast, a nature lover, or passionate about other disciplines, Little Passports will bring discovery and adventure to their world.

2. iPad with pencil, iPad case, and Keyboard

These tablets offer a broad range of sizes, functionality, and capabilities. At Sanford, elementary through high school students and teachers use the iPad’s powerful creative tools, interactive textbooks, and a wide array of apps to support interactive learning in and out of the classroom. These devices and accessories can be pricey. If you already own an iPad or other Apple product and you plan to shop at an Apple Store, take your current product(s) with you and ask a salesperson if they have trade-in value that can be applied to your purchase.

3. Board Games

While the idea of playing board games may generate images of children sitting around and “just playing,” board games teach many great skills, support physical and emotional health, and help children develop social skills. Scholastic Parents, Parenting Science, and Logic Roots are resources you can check out to learn more about the benefits of board games. Some of our teachers’ favorites are Apples to Apples, Bananagrams, Battleship, Blokus, Forbidden Island, Frankenwords, Ghost, Guess Who, I Never Forget a Face!, Life, Monopoly, Pandemic, Settlers of Catan, Splendor, Ticket to Ride, and Word Pirates.

4. KiwiCo Subscription or Gift from Their Store

KiwiCo’s goal is to inspire kids to see themselves as scientists, artists, and makers. To that end, they make STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) accessible, engaging, and fun. Shoppers can purchase subscription crates, containing science and art projects for every age and interest, that will be delivered to gift recipients for the length of the subscription. KiwiCo’s store also sells gift cards and STEAM gifts which include chemistry sets and electronics and art projects. To make the gift more personal, KiwiCo will personalize the crate with the gift recipient’s name.

5. Puzzles

University of Chicago researchers have found that puzzle play helps boost learning of important math-related skills. Additional research, some of which has been shared on, indicates that puzzles help young children develop physical skills, cognitive skills, and emotional skills. Some of the “huge hits” in our classrooms are sliding puzzles, Perplexus, and Rubik’s Cubes.

6. FitBit

At Sanford, a key component of our 21st-century education program is helping children build physical literacy by developing fundamental movement skills such as running, hopping, throwing, catching, and jumping. Physical education classes and participation on athletic teams help our students build healthy bodies and healthy minds. Fitbits—electronic devices that track activity, exercise, food, weight, and sleep—can help students achieve their fitness, athletic, and competition goals. Fitbits are available in a variety of models, including the Fitbit Ace, which is designed for children 8 and older.

7. Magazine Subscriptions and Books

Sanford faculty members encourage students to be immersed in print as much as possible. Find recommended books from the American Library Association's Notable Children's Books of 2018. If you’re planning to buy some of the many of the wonderful novels written for children, also consider purchasing magazine subscriptions. Our teachers’ magazine recommendations include Sports Illustrated for Kids, Boys' Life, American Girl Doll, Time Magazine for Children, as well as the many choices for specific hobbies and interests.

8. A Kindle E-reader

These dedicated eBook readers, which help lighten backpack loads, can hold thousands of books. Kindle prices range from a low of about $80 to a high of approximately $250 depending on the model you choose. If you’re shopping for a young child, you may want to consider a  Kindle for Kids bundle, which includes the latest Kindle without sponsored screensavers, a free cover, and a two-year worry-free guarantee. Our teachers give a thumbs-up to Kindles that support Audible, which allows students to listen along while they read.

9. Flashlights and Tents

Whether indoors or outside, the sky is the limit with these tried-and-true gifts. Children can “camp out,” use their imaginations to determine how the flashlight and tent should be used, or enjoy a fun-filled, low-tech reading experience. Tents are available in department, sporting goods, and online stores. You can also find tents and other imaginative play toys and crafts at Magic Cabin.sanford_school_handson_math

10. Gift of a Valuable Education

One of the greatest gifts for children is the opportunity to learn in an environment where they are happy, accepted, known, and supported — for who they are, what they love, and what they want to achieve. At Sanford School, preschool through twelfth-grade students receive that gift every day.

Cheryl Fleming is the director of communications, marketing, and technology at Sanford School, a preschool-Grade 12 College Preparatory School in Hockessin, Delaware. A graduate of Salisbury University, Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications. She joined Sanford in 2005, following a 25-year career in broadcasting, corporate public relations, and freelance communications consulting. A recipient of local and national awards, Cheryl has been recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators, the Public Relations Society of America, the Delaware Press Association, and the National Federation of Press Women. The mother of two children, Cheryl's daughter Danielle is a 2011 graduate of Sanford and her son Justin is a member of the Class of 2014.

 See Also: Choosing a Computer or Electric Device For Your Child

Topics: Parenting Tips

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