Take a look at this comprehensive list full of birthday gift ideas for every age group. You are sure to find something here just in time for the next birthday party, and if you want to add a few special birthday traditions, here are 24 memorable birthday traditions your kids will love!
21 Of The Most Amazing Birthday Gift Ideas (For Every Age)
Finding the perfect birthday can be very tough. You want to get something they’ll enjoy and actually play with but also be educational purposeful. Sometimes, it can be hard to hit all of those marks.
Over the years, along with our birthday traditions, I’ve found a few go-to birthday gift ideas I like to have on hand for every kind of birthday party that checks off everything on my list.
And, I want to share them with you!
Thoughtful Gift Ideas For Newborns And Infants
While birthday gifts start on the first birthday, a baby is always a great reason to buy a gift. I wanted to include some developmental toys and items that make great gifts that are fun but can still be educational and promote developmental skills.
Whether you are going to a baby shower or just wanting to spoil that little bouncing bundle of joy, here are a few gift ideas:
An activity gym is a great gift for babies that will grow with them through the first year. They are easy to assemble and many of the activity mats are machine washable, wooden and non-toxic too!
It encourages babies to develop their ability to track with their eyes, reach for toys, and even helps fussy babies do tummy time. It makes a great new baby gift!
Books are always a great gift for children.
Reading aloud to little ones introduces them to a larger vocabulary. Spending just 20 minutes a day reading to your child from birth results in 600 hours of read-aloud time by their 5th birthday!
That’s what makes board books such a great first birthday gift idea.
Some of my favorite books for babies are:
- Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boyton
- The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
- Baby Koala: Finger Puppet Book by Chronicle Books
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Black & White by Tana Hoban
- Peek a Who by Nina Laden
Although, you can never go wrong with any book by Sandra Boyton or Eric Carle.
Tip: Looking for a few more book ideas? Take a peek at this comprehensive list of the best reading books for kids of all ages! It’s never too early to start building out their library.
Did you know a crib mobile isn’t to put your baby to sleep? Nope, it’s to stimulate your baby’s brain!
It is great for babies’ eye development and ability to track movement. It might also help entertain your baby at night when you can’t get to them right away.
Stacking rings have been around since the 1960s and have made their home in millions of toy boxes since then. And, for good reason, as they support hand-eye coordination, sorting skills, fine motor skills, and also offer a sensory element.
They are great for babies 6 months through 2 years old, making a great first birthday gift and stacking ring sets come in a variety of wooden or soft rings which are also great for teething toddlers.
The Best Gift Ideas For Toddlers
Toddlers are a joy to buy gifts for. You know that no matter what you get a toddler, they are going to be absolutely thrilled!
Here are a few gifts I recommend taking a look at:
This is a great developmental toy from 6 months old through preschool, so it really grows with them. Pikler triangles offer gross motor skill development and a safe place for toddlers to practice their climbing skills.
There are so many options including rock climbing ramps, slides, and more to go with your Pikler triangle.
I’ve found that Etsy has a large selection!
Peg Dolls are almost a requisite toy for any Montessori playroom, but they are really great for all kids.
Made of simple bright colors and long-lasting natural materials, peg dolls allow for imaginative play and are some of my favorite small world toys for children.
They are made so that they are easy for children to grasp. The bigger peg dolls are better for younger toddlers, and smaller peg dolls are great for preschoolers to build small worlds with.
Toddlers love to pretend play. It’s really good for their development and helps toddlers to creatively navigate the world around them.
Quality pretend food can be a great addition to any make-believe shop, restaurant, or kitchen setup. I love the wooden play food sets that can velcro together to come apart and be put back together.
Another toy that builds your child’s gross motor skills is a wobble/balance board. This curved board not only fosters your child’s gross motor skills but helps them build a sense of spatial awareness and proprioception.
It’s also a great way to get rid of some energy on rainy days!
Whether they are magnetic or traditional wooden blocks, building with blocks helps children develop spatial awareness and intelligence. Children also gain more hand-eye coordination and creativity playing with blocks.
They really do make an ideal gift for toddlers.
Fun and Educational Gift Ideas For Elementary Aged Kids
Elementary-aged kids are at a great age for birthday parties. It’s easy to go overboard on these birthday parties, but you can have an awesome birthday party on a budget, enough to buy them an awesome present!
Here are some fun gift ideas for the birthday boy or girl:
The Lego brand is continuously expanding. Boys and girls alike love Lego and all the different sets. With more sets geared toward girls like Lego Friends, the amount of girls with sets on their birthday wishlist is skyrocketing.
Legos are a guilt-free gift because they’re a great STEM toy.
Magnatiles are plastic tiles with magnets that can be used as blocks to build with – and they are so addictive. Don’t blame me if you find yourself also wanting to play with these! We have a basket of them we’ve had for over 6 years and they’re still played with regularly.
They are so much fun and are a gift your birthday kid will be sure to love.
In elementary school, kids are unabashedly artistic. They make art just because they love to do it. A full art set like this one plus a couple of drawing notebooks or watercolor books will make them feel like a real artist.
If you have a little tinkerer, snap circuits are a fun way to explore how electricity works (without worrying about them taking apart your blender).
Snap circuits come in both junior and regular sets for kids of different ages and abilities. The Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 comes with 100 experiments that can be put away in something as small as a board game box.
Osmo Play Kits
Osmo is a fun interactive game that takes real-world objects and integrates with a tablet for an interactive game. This is a great educational gift for kids!
Most of the games focus on skills that kids would learn in school like spelling, reading, math, and fractions like this Osmo kit that’s for math, spelling and creativity together. But, some Osmo games are just for creativity.
These games work well from pre-k through 4th grade.
Unique Gift Ideas For Tweens
Tweens are the fun age between kids and teens. They are still holding on to playing with some toys while moving more and more into technology and social-type engagement.
Even so, I was able to rack up a few birthday gift ideas to include both sides:
Hexbugs are a cool tech toy and microrobot that are fun for tweens to build and play with.
Not only can you get the individual microrobot bugs, but you can get the habitats that can be built with obstacles to send the Hexbugs through.
A lot of fun for tech-minded tweens!
What is the coolest part of science class? Experiments!
If you have a little budding scientist on your hands, then science kits are fun and educational gifts for kids. Science Kits can range anywhere from digging up fossils to planting their own terrarium to mixing up a few “chemicals” in a tube to make some lava.
Tweens have reached a great age where playing board games is both fun for them and for adults. They understand rules and consequences well, so playing board games is a low-frustration, high-enjoyment activity.
Some of my favorite games for this age are:
If you are looking for a creative gift for your tween, a ukulele is a wonderful instrument for kids to learn to play.
It is easier to learn to play than a guitar and there are so many Youtube video tutorials, you won’t need to purchase expensive lessons.
It could be a great stepping stone if they want to learn to play the guitar!
Amazing Birthday Gift Ideas For Teens
Why does finding cool gifts for teens seem so difficult? We were all teens once, but finding the perfect gift just feels difficult.
I found some real winners that you can give your teen on their next birthday.
Weighted blankets feel like being wrapped in a hug, perfect for those stressful teen years and for the many teens that struggle with anxiety.
They come in so many colors and fabric choices that finding one that is just the right aesthetic for your teen should be pretty simple.
The benefits of a weighted blanket can be:
- Less anxiety
- Better sleep
- Daytime focus
- Less pain
- Improved mood
I’ve found that a weighted blanket is a great gift for an anxious teen!
This generation takes staying hydrated to a whole new level.
With custom water bottles, water bottle stickers, and other accessories, teens today drink more water than millennials and Gen X teens in their day. I’ve also found that teens don’t just want one water bottle; they want different water bottles for different settings.
When you are gifting a water bottle, don’t forget to stop by Etsy and pick up some fun stickers that will make your teen’s water bottle totally customized!
Adult Coloring Books
Just because they are almost grown-up doesn’t mean that they are done with coloring just yet. Even adults love to color!
Giving a gift of adult coloring books and artistic quality pencils like these Prismacolor Colored Pencils is a fun way to remind your teen to not worry about growing up too fast and enjoy things that make them happy.
Want bonus points? Hop over to Etsy to find coloring pages and books that are of their favorite band, TV show, or activity.
Buying gifts for kids can feel daunting sometimes because there are so many choices we get overwhelmed. But, it doesn’t have to be. Hopefully, with the help of this birthday list, you found some gift ideas that are unique, educational, and fun that will make your kid’s day.
More Birthday Resources from The Pragmatic Parent:
- 24 Unforgettable Birthday Traditions to Start With Your Kids at Any Age
- 15 Tips for Throwing a Birthday Party on a Budget
- 3 Reasons To NOT Open Gifts At A Kid’s Birthday Party
- The Modern Parent’s Etiquette Guide To Hosting Kid Birthday Parties
- 15 Birthday Breakfast Ideas Kids Will Go Crazy For
- 20 Ways To Make Birthdays Special (Nothing Crazy)