5 Unique Gifts for Kids

Kids are hardwired to explore their environment and discover new things—it’s an important and exciting part of growing up. At a young age, everything’s new; to an adult a stuffed toy is just one among millions, but to a child it’s magically unique.

As kids get older, of course, some things lose their newness, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t love getting unique, unusual, and imaginative gifts. Here’s five alternatives to yet another stuffed animal, video game, or plastic toy.

Handmade Capes and costumes

Dress up and “let’s pretend” stimulate a child’s imagination, which plays an important role in brain development. Encourage imagination with a set of homemade costumes, capes, or hats. If you don’t have the sewing skills to make your own, a quick search on websites like Etsy will reveal all kinds of amazing costumes, including beautiful fairy and bird wings.

Poi Balls

Juggling’s long been known to improve hand-eye coordination and even build new neural pathways in the brain, but children can quickly become frustrated trying to keep three balls moving through the air. Poi, a traditional New Zealand activity, uses two balls attached to rope to make elaborate patterns in the air.

Poi is easy to learn, and poi balls come in a wide variety of styles, including light-up LED balls. Kids love them, although young children should, of course, be supervised while playing with them.

Personalized Books

By the time a child is three or four, they’ve seen plenty of books, but when parents encourage reading from an early age the joy of starting a new story just doesn’t gets old. Add a little more excitement to story time with customized books which use the child’s name—and sometimes picture—to make your young reader the star of her own story.

Hand Puppets

Children act out elaborate stories with their stuffed animals, dolls, and toys. Let them take it one step further with hand puppets, which stimulate imagination, motor skills, and story-telling.

You can find hand puppets for almost any career, animal, or person imaginable. Two puppets are better than one, of course, because the child can have them interact and put on shows for the entire family.

Coloring Books and Posters

At first, a coloring book or poster doesn’t seem like a unique gift, but some are truly exceptional. You can find coloring posters that are several feet long, offering a real challenge to budding artists (and allowing the whole family to get involved completing the masterpiece). You can also surprise children with personalized coloring books, which proudly display the child’s name and likeness on every page.

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