If you’re still scratching your head over what to get your nieces, nephews, friends’ kids, or even your own child, let us help you. Culled from our expert-approved gift guides for ages 1 through 12 — as well as teenage boys and girls — here are 23 last-minute gifts and stockings stuffers for every age that will arrive just in time for Christmas.
This dancing, light-up musical robot is great for a 1-year-old who’s beginning to discover music. According to Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle, director of outreach and education at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences: “Young kids love to make music and noises and explore things, like, Can I make it softer? Can I make it louder?” Lytle says. “What happens when I hit it harder? Does that make it louder? That’s a really interesting learning process.”
According to George Sachs, a clinical child psychologist and founder of the Sachs Center in Manhattan, 4-year-olds are doing a lot of pretend play. “This picnic play set is wonderful, as is any kind of activity where they can pretend using different props,” he says.
Dr. Sachs also approves of this fort-building set for 5-year-olds. Not only is it instructive, it’s also really cool.
“I want children to love reading,” says Dr. Golinkoff. “I don’t want it to feel like a chore. And I don’t care about what kinds of books they read.” Her grandson Elio approves of the Calvin and Hobbes series. Although it might be a little advanced for a 7-year-old, its illustrations would be more than engaging.
This award-winning toy is a great opportunity to introduce your 8-year-old to the world of electronics.
At 8, literacy skills are increasing, according to child therapist Glenda Stoller, LCSW, co-founder of Village Parenting NYC. This set by childhood favorite Dahl includes Matilda and The BFG.
You can’t go wrong with a classic like Jenga, which is as fun for 9-year-olds as it is for their parents.
Graphic novels are great for kids who don’t necessarily love reading, according to Sachs. This book follows Pablo, the new kid in a New York City school who gets separated from his class during a field trip to the Empire State building.
Ten-year-olds are beginning to feel the pressures of school and social interactions, so encouraging their interests and increased autonomy is key, according to Stoller. For fifth graders interested science, try these geodes that contain real crystal formations.
Psychotherapist Alyson Cohen advises getting 11-year-olds board games that are trending, like this “Cards Against Humanity, but for kids” card game called Not Parent Approved.
Kids at 12 are straddling that line between teenhood and childhood. Don’t offend by getting them a toy that seems “babyish.” Instead, go straight to the source and ask them what they want. Often, that’s a gift card to their favorite store.
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