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Post Series: Holiday Gift Guides
Little boy opening Christmas present

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One of the best parts of holiday gift-giving is having kids on your list to shop for. While adults politely exchange gifts that may or may not get returned once the season is over, kids live for holiday gifts. I remember spending many a sleepless night as a child, excitedly awake, fantasizing about what I might be getting for Christmas.

When you’re trying to live up to that level of excitement, it can sometimes be tricky to figure out what to get them. Luckily, there’s no shortage of fun toys, educational games and miscellaneous doohickeys you can get for the kids on your list this year. Here are some of our favorite items for every age group.

Ages 4 and Younger

For the really little ones, a stuffed animal like Flappy the Elephant, who plays peek-a-boo and sings, will provide endless giggles. For a little bit of developmental fun, a toy that lights up and plays music when kids press different buttons will keep them entertained while promoting their cognitive skills.

For toddlers, learning toys or objects that let them mimic the adults around them and play “house” (or in this case, “ice cream parlor”) are the way to go. Fisher-Price’s Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar, in particular, is a great learning toy to help curious kiddos develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

2018 Gift Guide for Kids - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

  1. Animated Flappy the Elephant Plush Toy $32
  2. Franky Beats Bat & Boogie $12
  3. Wooden Scoop and Serve Ice Cream Counter $41
  4. Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar $38
  5. Catch & Count Wooden Fishing Game $20

Ages 5 to 7

Tap into the child’s creative side with some crafting or coloring gifts.

Have you heard of kinetic sand? It’s a moldable sand that is super fun to play with. It’ll keep kids entertained for hours as they create their own sand sculptures without even having to go to the beach. Or give your little artist a sneaky geography lesson with a cool, colorable world map.

If you want to introduce them to tech in a way that is age-appropriate and constructive, a tablet for kids opens up a whole world of learning through educational apps, games, books, movies and TV shows.

If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a fun game they can play with their friends or siblings.

2018 Gift Guide for Kids - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

  1. Kinetic Sand Magic Molding Tower $14
  2. World Map Coloring Tablecloth $30
  3. Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet $70
  4. Shark Bite Game $15
  5. Claw Machine $50

Ages 8 to 10

Shopping for kids in this age range is a great opportunity to encourage their individual interests. For more STEM-minded kids, a kit that allows them to create their own science experiment will encourage their natural curiosity. A light-up moon for their room will let them study lunar phases as they lie in bed at night.

Active types will love having their own laser tag set. Youngsters who can’t stop sketching, doodling and drawing will appreciate a big art supplies box with endless opportunities for creativity.

2018 Gift Guide for Kids - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

  1. Magical Microbes MudWatt STEM Kit $28
  2. Soap Lab Kit $25
  3. Moon in my Room $20
  4. Laser Tag Blaster Gaming Set $36
  5. Art Supplies Tool Box $23

Ages 11 to 13

A crystal-growing kit will make for a pretty display that middle schoolers can be proud of because they created it themselves while learning about earth science. If they’re avid bakers, a cookbook filled with delicious recipes will inspire them.

Fun or funny board games will provide lots of laughs at their next birthday party or sleepover. Or, since so many kids are now getting their first smartphone around this age, show them the magic of the original instant selfie and gift them a Polaroid or other instant camera (in a fun color to boot).

Drones have been a wildly popular gift in recent years, and this one from Sharper Image is on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

2018 Gift Guide for Kids - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

  1. Magic Rocks Kit $13
  2. Kid Chef Bakes: The Kids Cookbook for Aspiring Bakers $13
  3. Watch Ya’ Mouth Game $10
  4. Instant Camera $56
  5. Rechargeable Stunt Drone $30

Ages 14 to 18

If you have avid gamers on your list, why not encourage them to get a little face-to-face time with their gaming buddies and gift them Monopoly: Fortnite Edition? Or perhaps the teen is a budding bookworm, in which case, a handy e-reader makes it easy to read whenever, wherever.

Got college students home on winter break? Send them back to campus with something you know they’ll use: a care package filled with a variety of their favorite snacks.

Tech-savvy teens will love Google’s AIY Vision Kit that allows them to build their own smart camera. And even the most hard-to-shop-for teens can’t turn up their nose at a good-quality speaker.

2018 Gift Guide for Kids - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

  1. Monopoly: Fortnite Edition Board Game $16
  2. Kindle Paperwhite $130
  3. Essential Hangry Kit Care Package $28
  4. Google Vision Kit AIY $90
  5. Square Portable Bluetooth Speaker $30

What are you getting the kiddos on your list this holiday season? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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