10 Fun and Unusual Holiday Gifts for Kids

by On December 16, 2013 in Childrens Books, Holidays

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We’re always on the lookout for cool and unusual kids holiday gifts, the kind that convey our fondness and knowledge of the recipient, as well as our desire for them to have fun with something truly unique and worthwhile. Looking for something that won’t already be under the tree? Check out these choices.

Pssst. Know a spy in training? They’d enjoy 4M’s Spy Science Secret Messages kit. Future cryptologists can learn how to send top-secret messages by writing on X-ray paper, using invisible markers, utilizing a cipher wheel, and more.

Insect Lore’s Giant Butterfly Garden lets kids (and adults) witness the wonder of the butterfly life cycle, from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. See-through mesh with zippered entry allows easy access for care and feeding, and keeps butterflies inside until you set them free.

The Perfumery Science Kit, from Scientific Explorer, allows kids to create, design and mix their own perfume, enjoying a science and art that dates back to 2000 B.C. The kit comes with instructions, vials of various scents, and ideas for experimentation, so that kids can become their own mini olfactory factories.

I don’t know many kids who wouldn’t want this Expresso Cafe and Playhouse from Serec Entertainment. The cute 7′ x 4′ playhouse easily fits eight kids. It features a front entrance with a swinging door and a roll-out patio for role playing, inside and out.

Seeking a fun, holiday themed gift? Learning Resources’ Smart Snacks Gingerbread House Shape Sorter features a sweet and brightly colored cottage with six holes that match six chunky candy shapes. In addition to being fun, shape sorting toys are great for teaching and enhancing early learning skills.

No need to stop the fun when bath time comes! Construction Squirters, from Alex, allow for fantasy, dramatic and water play. Alex also offers Squirter sets in Pirate, Piggy and Doggy themes, as well as lot of other toys for creative bath play, from toys that let you make music and art, to shapes that stick on the wall for storytelling.

Why be limited to run-of-the-mill superheros when you can make your own? Emce’s Comic Book Hero Action Figure Customizing Kit contains everything you need to create and customize your own superheros, including three articulated base bodies and various heads, hands, hair, masks, capes, paint and decals.

Since you’ve got to wear a helmet for bike and roller-sport safety, you might as well customize it. Wipeout’s Dry Erase Helmet lets you do just that. Helmets come in a variety of colors and include dry erase markers in assorted neon colors and a stencil kit with eight fun shapes.

The award-winning game SET (SET Enterprises, Inc.) is one of my family’s long-time favorites. It’s fun, challenging, and different each time you play. In addition to the original card game, SET now offers online daily challenges, as well as an iPad version.

And, we’d be remiss of we didn’t mention the opportunity to give the gift of reading. Bookboard gift cards allow you to give any recipient a full year of reading and a library of over 400 digital books that they can access anytime, with a beautiful, personalized gift card.

Enjoy your holidays!


Suz Lipman is Bookboard's Head Mom. She has been an enthusiastic reader since early childhood. Suz is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her blog, Slow Family Online . She writes for the New York Times ‎Motherlode blog and the Christian Science Monitor's Modern Parenthood blog and is an outspoken advocate for children's literature and literacy as part of a rich and well-rounded childhood.


  1. Emma Lesko

    December 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

    That secret message kit is awesome! I’ve never seen that before.

    • Suz

      December 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Hi Emma! I’m really glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Enjoy your holidays!

  2. Diana

    December 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    OMG, if my kid sees that Espresso Cafe it’s over, I’m going to have to add that to the already long list! Some really fun picks here!

    • Suz

      December 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks, Diana! Many of these are our family favorites. I felt the exact same way when I saw the Cafe and Playhouse – that my daughter would definitely want one of those. They’re perfect for reading inside, too! 🙂

  3. Paul Clarke

    December 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I would like to thank Bookboard for appreciating our Create Your Own
    Comic Book Hero kit – we are working on the sequel now, and I think
    the girls will like it too!

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