30 gift ideas for kids who like to do stuff, make stuff and learn stuff

What kinds of gifts do you give to kids who have their own style, like to do stuff, like to read and love to make stuff? We have kids like this, so to save you from internet trawling, here are a few ideas from our research.

1. A voucher to design and print their own tee shirt. They can draw something they like, upload it and have their own original tee printed. Check out print poppa in Auckland for an easy DIY design tool.

2. A soap making or felting kit – making your own soap is educational, thrifty and makes great gifts for others. Felting is weirdly therapeutic and limitless in what you can create. There are some good kits available through Spotlight or trademe.

3. A native tree – trees that count have a native tree planting initiative that our kids would enjoy supporting. Www.treesthatcount.co.nz

4. A paper recycling kit – fun and useful! We found one in an op shop. Gifts don’t always have to be new!

5. Any steam kit – head to the local ‘stem’ section of any book store and find something sciencey and interesting. Whitcoulls had a surprisingly good selection when we visited them recently. Otherwise Mighty Ape is a great online option for educational toys.

6. An experience voucher – a friend of mine was given a lemur experience behind the scenes at Wellington zoo. That is cool, educational and memorable! Plus I want to do that too! We have purchased a family sailing trip – good for a holiday and for a family gift.

7. Ingredients for something to bake – fun presents don’t have to be expensive. Plus, making cookies one rainy day and having all the ingredients to diy the baking is a great idea.

8. Art supplies – anything to add to the collection is always good. A voucher for Gordon Harris to buy something ‘professional’ makes kids feel like their creativity is taken seriously too. We find that ‘pro pencils’ make them take their drawing a bit more seriously too. Plus we love to encourage art making.

9. A sketch book – for all the drawing. Or nice paper. Or canvas.

10. A diary or notebook – for all the writing and designing. We recently inherited a bunch of old promotional pads with lines on them and we have been surprised how often the kids have sniffled them.

11. An empty recipe book – why not? For the budding chef to record their recipe tweaks.

12. A fun board game – we like bananagrams and have got a lot of mileage out of Catan and Monopoly.

13. A card game – I’ve got my eye on Taco vs Burrito this year but haven’t played it yet.

14. A getting lost game in a tiny suitcase – these look epic. (NZ designed and a great idea for a family gift. Check out http://www.gettinglost.co.nz).

15. An audible subscription – as long as they have something to listen on and some headphones, this could be a gift that keeps on giving. Audio books are great for car trips too.

16. Books (of course). I recommend Books for less for great second hand options. We love giving books as gifts and don’t mind a few scuffs (especially when our kids devour books so quickly!). Www.booksforless.co.nz I’ve also found some great second books for myself too.

17. A kit to build something – something to do on a rainy day is always useful. Model making, miniature kits, sewing kits, sculpting kits – these always go down well.

19. An escape room experience. You can buy online ones too!

18. A subscription to national geographic kids or another kids’ magazine.

20. A Pindaloo. We got our kids this last year and it gets played with quite a bit (by adults too).

21. A yoga mat – check out cosmic kids’ yoga for yoga to do with them after. Its nice to nurture healthy habits.

22. An outdoor game – patonk anyone?

23. An arcade game card – charge it up in advance so that they can play without having to ask in advance one day.

24. Bowling tickets – fun for a Sunday one day?

25. Laser tag tickets – same as above. Why do we have to wait for birthdays to do these things?

26. Seeds -because growing things is cool.

27. Personalised pencils – my daughter wants to steal my ‘fucking brilliant’ pencil. I’m thinking she needs her own personalised pack that is a bit more age appropriate.

28. A terrarium. Plants as pets is a great idea.

29. Swimming centre vouchers.

30. A personalised tee shirt – looping back to number one – except you draw something for them so that they can celebrate amd wear their own quirky style.

What do you think? These are just a few ideas to start squirreling things away and keep them exploring, learning, making and creating. Anything there that takes your fancy?

We hate buying stuff for stuff’s sake.

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