Editors’ Top Picks: Gifts for Kids

Kids love presents, and gift-givers may very well love to channel their inner chef, artist, astronomer, or whatever else, as they shop for gifts this holiday season. That’s exactly what we editors here at Hayneedle did – OK, some of us really did have kids in mind instead of our inner channeling – as we shopped our sites to find top gift picks for kids. In the spirit of “brown paper packages tied up with strings,” these are a few of our favorite things …

I have never outgrown my love of play kitchens since my own childhood when I pined for one to call my own. In fact, I would still like to make Play-Doh cookies and cakes with beaded sprinkles just for fun sometimes! The KidKraft Espresso Toddler Play Kitchen with Metal Accessory Set looks as good as the real thing, from its sleek, dark wood and stainless steel appearance to the included metal cook set and all the appliances. I love that its modern details are gender neutral, inviting boys and girls to hone their culinary chops and get cooking. That is one of my favorite times in my real kitchen today – when my husband and I work together to whip up a delicious meal.


When I was growing up, my backyard was home to a true-blue stable. I spent Saturday afternoons brushing, bathing, and building boy-equine relationships, all with dreams of Jesse James-style notoriety dancing in my head. My parents quickly caught wind of my horsey obsession, and before I went full-on bandito, they put it to pasture with an icon of classic playtime much like the Charm Pinto Rocking Horse with Movement and Sounds. Blending Old-Western whimsy and modern interactivity, this twist on a tried-and-true playroom favorite complements its plush paint horse-inspired design with realistic movement and sounds. Perfect for toddling equestrians in training and rugrat outlaws alike.

– Braden

My babysitter had a play kitchen very similar to the KidKraft Deluxe Pastel Play Kitchen, and all of the kids – girls and boys – would crowd around it to play “house.” We made gourmet meals on the stove and even designated who had to wash the dishes! It didn’t have a phone, which we would’ve loved. I’m sure any child who gets this set will adore it as well!

– Chelsea 

Designed for fun and function, the Zhumell Bring ’em Near Pirate Spyglass Telescope is the perfect start to every kid’s imaginative explorations, be it sailing the seas and back or discovering new lands in full detail. I recall the day I received a refracting spyglass as a kid, and the adventures never ceased. I still enjoy stargazing today, and I’m certain my interest in astronomy stemmed from that very gift.

– Danny 

Whether your kids are playing a brand-new console or an old favorite, chances are your family time involves video games. The Wireless X Rocker Pro Series Video Rocker with Vibration offers a chance for players to dive even further into today’s immersive games, with a built-in sound system and subwoofer, vibrating action that coincides with what’s on the screen, and wireless connectivity. It’s compatible with everything – including handheld gaming systems – and comes with all the hookups you need.

They’re going to be playing anyway … you might as well make it rock.

– John 

Exploring comes naturally to curious-minded kids, whether young you learned from “The Wizard of Oz” that there were places beyond your own backyard, or you simply loved to spin a globe, close your eyes, place your finger upon the globe to make it stop, and then ask your parents about wherever it is your finger landed. I did both! Geography geek even back then? Yep. Loaded with kid-appealing features, from easy-to-access technology to vibrant-colored countries and oceans, the Oregon Scientific Interactive Smart Globe does that seemingly impossible trick of combining learning with fun. With the touch of a smart pen, you can take a digital tour of another country or learn about country capitals, language, weather, and more.  Why in the world wouldn’t you give the gift of world wisdom with this gem of a globe?

– Julie

Monet didn’t use the dining room table – just sayin’. Instill not only the value of and respect for creating art in a traditional manner, but also of doing so in a self-contained area. This Classic Playtime Deluxe Easel – Espresso includes a chalkboard, dry-erase board, and locking paper roll holder, all in one neat space. Makes a big difference when she learns about Pollock … imagine: no more tempera-dotted upholstered chairs. Merry merry!

– Leslie

My 4-year-old would go nuts over the KidKraft Petite Chateau Dollhouse. Knowing her, she’d be trying to fit herself into these rooms. Barbie can find her own place. It’s the little things like gingerbread trim, exterior shutters, and a spiral staircase that make this one special. And what little girl wouldn’t go bonkers for the third-floor balcony and … hello … an elevator? After all, have you seen Barbie’s arches? Stairs must be torture. This house is even furnished with darling pieces like a clawfoot tub, a romantic chandelier, and an antique cast iron stove. So much fun from top to bottom.

– Lisa

Discover the kinds of gifts you love to give! Find toys that bring joy and just the right gifts for kids!

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