If you’re anything like me, shopping for gifts is a nightmare. I never know what to get kids, whether they’re mine or someone else’s.
Behold, 25 awesome Amazon gift ideas for kids and pre-teens. I did the grueling work to take the headache out of the gift-giving process this year so you can sit back, relax, and take the well-deserved credit.
Many of these gifts were hand-selected by my own boys and my nieces (admittedly with some of my own finds thrown in for good measure), so the choices are legit. And trust me, these kids can be hard to please, so you know they are guaranteed to win over even the pickiest of recipients.
BONUS: Most of these selections are screen-free and many are even educational, so you can keep your kids entertained and/or out of your hair with something other than a tablet — and you can feel good about it.
These recommendations include affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!
Pop-It Fidget Toys
Hands down, these are the hottest trend among kids this year. Heck, they’re the hottest trend among everyone, whether they’re 8 or 88. Who doesn’t love popping, squishing, bending, and smooshing things to relieve a little stress or pent-up energy? These are all the rage in my house right now, and I’m not gonna lie — I might have snagged a few for myself. You’ll be their favorite gift-giver ever.
History’s Mysteries: National Geographic Kids
At a reading level appropriate for ages 8-12, this cool book lets kids flex their detective skills while learning a few things in the process. Covering “history’s heavy-hitting, head-scratching mysteries, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Bermuda Triangle, the Oak Island Money Pit, Stonehenge, the Sphinx, the disappearance of entire civilizations, the dancing plague, the Voynich manuscript, and so many more,” this gift filled with lots of cool facts and images will land you in both the kids’ and the teachers’ good graces.
Take Anywhere Table Tennis Set
Winter months got your kids stuck inside on screens? Get them up and moving with this take-anywhere table tennis set. Complete with a 6-foot retractable net, two paddles, three balls, and a storage bag, this gift fits almost any table and has family fun written all over it.
Deluxe Artist Studio Box Set
If you’re raising or know a future Picasso, this US Art Supply 82 piece box set is a must-have. It is perfect for both beginners and more sophisticated little artists and contains tools for whatever your kids dream up, including colored pencils, oil pastels, round watercolor pans with mixing palette trays, camel hair brushes, a plastic ruler, a pencil sharpener and an eraser. The world is their oyster — or rather, their canvas.
Wimpy Kid 10-Second Challenge Game
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is hugely popular among elementary and middle school kids alike and has been a staple of our household for years. This Wimpy Kid 10-Second Challenge Game accommodates up to 6 players and includes 90 game cards with exciting challenges, all of which feature illustrations by series author Jeff Kinney himself. Guaranteed to be a slam-dunk gift with your own little Wimpy Kids.
Electric Guitar Beginner Kit
Don’t kick me off the internet just yet. If you’ve got a budding rock star, this gift will kill (And by kill, I’m not referring to your eardrums. OK, maybe your eardrums. But it will also blow every other gift out of the water.) Little musicians who are serious about their craft (or are looking to foster a new hobby) will love this (trust me, I know; my kid won’t stop talking about it). Complete with guitar, amp, bag, and a boatload of accessories, this is all your aspiring artist needs for a rocking jam sesh. And hey, at least you’ll for sure get official credit on their first platinum album. Silver linings.
PlayMonster Spoons Card Game
Who doesn’t love playing a game of spoons?! This was by far one of our favorites when I was a kid, and the tradition continues with the next generation. The best part of this game? THE KIDS WON’T STEAL AND LOSE YOUR ACTUAL SPOONS. (Sorry, Mom.) Including a deck of playing cards, 5 spoons, and a carrying case, you’re looking at hours of screen-free fun.
Beginner Microscope Kit
Start them on the path to scientific success early with this AmScope beginner microscope kit. Featuring slides, an LED light, a carrying case, and The World of the Microscope book, this kit will satisfy their curiosity and give them a leg up in science class. Turn almost anything into scientific fun.
Poop – The Card Game
If you’re not a family of pearl-clutchers, you may like this as well as the kids do. This game, developed by a father and son duo, is a family-friendly party game sure to result in hours of entertainment and raucous laughter. Described as “the most enjoyable experience you’ll have outside of the bathroom” (makes me wonder what experiences go down in their bathroom), this game includes four stacks of cards, with the object being not to “clog the toilet.” The game title alone is sure to please.
Kano Computer Kit
If you’re looking to go big or go home, this Kano computer kit, dubbed “a computer anyone can make,” is the perfect choice. Made for techies age 6 and up, this kit comes with step-by-step instructions and all materials you need to build your very own computer. It even includes hundreds of creative challenges to help kids learn to code and allows users to make art, create games, and surf the ‘net. A perfect project for parents and kids to work on together.
The Storymatic – Card and Activities Game
Hone your budding author’s skills with this all-in-one card, activities, and story prompts game. Described as an “easy, fun, creative tool for writing groups, classes, and homeschool – as well as an easy, fun storytelling game for parties, improv, game nights, road trips, camping, and travel,” the possibilities are endless with this one. You could even borrow it for your own kid-free game night with friends (don’t mind if I do).
Harry Potter Crest Bookmark Collection
Got a Harry Potter fanatic on your hands? These bookmarks are sure to be a hit. The hand-enameled, die-cast metal crests come in a presentation box and are officially licensed merch. Whether your little reader prefers Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin, they’ll love this unique collector’s item.
Throw Throw Burrito Game
Created by Exploding Kittens, the maker of all kinds of fun party games, this first-of-its-kind dodgeball card game is for players age 7+ and will get kids up and moving, even when it’s cold and dreary outside. The object of the game is to collect matching sets of cards before getting blasted with a soft, squishy burrito. They even make an outdoor version if you want to stock up for summer. Just be sure to hide your breakables or designate a burrito-tossing safe space for play first.
Smart Touch Bedside Lamp
Enhance their vibe with this smart touch bedside lamp featuring white light plus six other colors, a bluetooth speaker compatible with most computers/cell phones, an AUX-IN jack for use with iPods or MP3 players, and 10 hours of rechargeable battery life. It makes a perfect nightlight or addition to the ambiance of their kid cave.
How to Draw Cool Stuff Guide
Jump-start your favorite sketcher’s artistic talents with this guidebook that walks them through “the basic principles of illustration by concentrating on easy-to-learn shapes that build into complex drawings.” With step-by-step instructions that show apprentices how to create even the most detailed drawings, your self-taught designer can wow all their friends with their creations.
LED Bike Wheel Lights
Whether you live in a warm climate or need to cram your outdoorsy adventures into a few short months, these LED bike wheel lights will definitely be a hit among kids. Featuring enough lights for both wheels and batteries with a 40-hour lifespan, these lights will both jazz up your kids’ style and provide additional layers of safety, making them even more visible to passersby. What’s more, the lights come with an instructional video for tool-free installation, so you won’t be stuck trying to figure out assembly when it comes time to deck out their rides.
Would You Rather?
This book containing over 160 questions intended to make kids think and giggle is tailored to grades 4-7 and is perfect for a family game night, road trip, or gathering with friends. A twist on the classic Would You Rather? game for adults, it’s sure to provide hours of non-stop laughter and fun and makes a perfect stocking stuffer.
Give your young couch potato or aspiring interior decorator their own cozy space with this inflatable lounger sofa. Perfect for kids’ bedrooms, game rooms, backyards, and travel destinations, this portable couch can spice up a reading nook, homework haven, or relaxation realm. It’s easily inflated, lightweight, and comfy.
Lego Dots Picture Frames
If you’ve got a kid who likes to build, Lego has got you covered. These Lego Dots picture frames come in a carrying case and include designs your kids can copy. The extra creative among them can build their own special designs. Ranging in sizes up to 4″ high x 2″ wide, the pieces are interchangeable and are guaranteed to provide hours of stimulating and creative fun.
What Do You Meme? Family Edition
Memes are all the rage, and now kids can create their own. This What Do You Meme? Family Edition game is a spinoff of the popular adult-themed game, just without all the naughty content. Perfect for kids age 8+, the game comes with caption and photo cards, with the object being to create the funniest memes out there. Kids will have a blast playing with the whole family, their friends, or even solo when cabin fever hits them hard.
Magnetic Dart Board
Turn their bedroom into a rec room with this magnetic dart board game. Equipped with 12 magnetic darts and a reversible, roll-up dart board, this game has all the fun without the stabbiness. The flat, magnetic darts instantly stick to the board, preventing slippage and holes in the walls (or eyeballs). A great way to release energy (or assuage boredom), this kid-appropriate dart board is sure to provide lots of entertainment during the winter slog.
Bake Up! Kids Cookbook
Finally get some help around the kitchen with this cookbook for kids in grades 4-6. Beginner bakers will learn all about the basics of baking, eventually graduating to pro status as they move from recipe to recipe. Complete with pictures for each delectable delight, this book includes 60 recipes that teach kids core baking skills and techniques so you can be the recipient rather than the maker of some yummy treats for once in your life.
Folding Lap Desk
Kids always leaving their school supplies and trinkets scattered everywhere, or worse, losing them? This foldable lap desk gives them the freedom of doing homework, drawing, or reading in any comfy space while also providing a place to store all their wares. Space-saving (it’s foldable) and easily storable (fits in closets or under beds), this lap desk is as versatile as it is convenient.
Loving stickers doesn’t end when kids near middle school. This sticker pack for tweens and teens is a great, inexpensive way to offer them the self-expression they so desperately crave. With 50 fun designs, kids can add these to water bottles, lunch boxes, laptops, phone cases, lockers, mirrors — the possibilities are endless.
Big Life Journal
Raise confident and resilient kids and flex their writing skills with this journal tailored to ages 7-10 (there’s one for ages 11+ as well!). With 176 pages full of growth mindset prompts and writing space on durable paper, this journal teaches kids self-confidence and tenacity in the face of challenge. Bonus: The Big Life Kids Podcast accompanies this journal and is free (available from multiple sources, including Spotify and iTunes).
That should get you started on the path to favorite status among the kids and pre-teens in your life. Here’s to a successful season of gift-giving!
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