Author Topic: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids  (Read 3267 times)

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3356
I am hoping I can get my particular question answered, but also that this might become a nice list of successful gift ideas for others.  Perhaps just not buying our children gifts at all would be the most mustachian, but I personally am not going to go quite that far :)

Particular question:  My 9 year old boy knows academically that he doesn't want or need any new toys, but was heartily disappointed during his recent birthday when he basically got no toys!  We are only getting the kids each a Santa gift (our xmas break trip is our family gift) and DS definitely wants a toy.  He is getting the Harry Potter boxed set as the other part of his Santa gift.  Cost could range up to about 75$ for the toy part. 

Things he has and loves:
-Magnatiles
-Snap Circuits
-Some lego stuff but all he wants going forward is the Lego Robotics kit that runs 600$, and we don't think he is old enough to take care of it.
-His bike
-a drone

None of those are things that he needs more of.  He likes sciencey kinds of things, loves electricity in particular (thus he already owns every snap circuit kit ever made) but although he is plenty smart to do harder "older kid" science kits, he doesn't have the attention span or focus to sit down and work on a detail-oriented science project for several hours. 

The last thing I want is to buy a Thing just to buy it.  But come one, the kid needs ONE present under the tree, lol! 

So.   Ideas?
Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 786
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2016, 11:47:22 AM »
Following.

I'm contemplating getting my 3 kid's a Kiwi Crate subscription (there is a STEM oriented box for 8years+). 

If I order the subscription early enough I can wrap the first box and have it to open under the tree.  But what if the first box isn't particularly exciting?  (I know they'd love the subscription, but it might not be particularly satisfying the day of Christmas).  Plus this is a lot of money.

Basically I have no idea and I'm in the same boat.  My kiddos are 3,5,8.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2016, 11:51:01 AM »
Following.

I'm contemplating getting my 3 kid's a Kiwi Crate subscription (there is a STEM oriented box for 8years+). 

If I order the subscription early enough I can wrap the first box and have it to open under the tree.  But what if the first box isn't particularly exciting?  (I know they'd love the subscription, but it might not be particularly satisfying the day of Christmas).  Plus this is a lot of money.

Basically I have no idea and I'm in the same boat.  My kiddos are 3,5,8.

That is a good idea.  He loves mail.  I will look at the prices.  ETA:  About 20$ a month, plus 30% off coupons floating around.  This might be perfect!  I sent a link to DH for his opinion. 
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 11:55:49 AM by MayDay »
Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 786
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 01:01:52 PM »
There are some new colors of Magnatiles out this year.  I think I'm going to get a set of the clear (translucent but not color-tinged) ones as a group gift to add to our large stash.

aFrugalFather

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
    • Life/Finance Blog
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2016, 01:07:25 PM »
Why not buy experiences instead of stuff?  Still a gift. 

Beriberi

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2016, 01:07:47 PM »
I don't buy often from them, but I like Fat Brain Toys for their suggested gift lists.  We might get a slack line kit for the family - we've been a few places where someone has set one up, and it seems to be good for hours of entertainment.

bender

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 899
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2016, 01:22:12 PM »
9 years old might be old enough to get him a raspberry pi.  Based on other interests I bet he would enjoy that and learn a lot.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2016, 05:20:09 PM »
Why not buy experiences instead of stuff?  Still a gift.

That is basically what he is getting from Mom and Dad (trip we are leaving for on the 26th), as well as an Aunt (ziplining).  And grandparents get him money for college.  He is only 9, he wants SOMETHING to actually open and play with.
Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2016, 05:20:37 PM »
9 years old might be old enough to get him a raspberry pi.  Based on other interests I bet he would enjoy that and learn a lot.

H mentioned this as well.  We will look into it.  I do think he will like it. 
Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

gatortator

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2016, 08:45:08 PM »
 these Chibitronics Circuit Stickers look pretty cool...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OPSNR94/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AAHLJ7DEHE26&linkCode=sl1&tag=thkishseth-20&linkId=8bceb5bd235eb77c1bb19990c806a5f6

the Makey Makey also looks fun

http://www.makeymakey.com

he might also be ready for arduino based kits if he has exhausted snap circuit options.  (this will require coding and some patience , but is a lot of fun)

https://www.fractuslearning.com/2015/11/02/arduino-kits-young-programmers-makers/  lists several options for kids.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 09:23:11 PM by gatortator »

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4966
  • Location: BC
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2016, 11:42:29 AM »
He may be ready for a "build a robot" kit.  They have them for all skill levels.  I would get an easy one, plus one that you build with him, with soldering, that is mean for young teenagers.

shelivesthedream

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2495
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2016, 02:28:02 AM »
He is getting the Harry Potter boxed set as the other part of his Santa gift. 

...

The last thing I want is to buy a Thing just to buy it.  But come one, the kid needs ONE present under the tree, lol! 

Sounds like he is going to have one present under the tree. So do you mean the kid needs TWO presents under the tree?

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 786
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2016, 09:22:05 AM »
Following.

I'm contemplating getting my 3 kid's a Kiwi Crate subscription (there is a STEM oriented box for 8years+). 

If I order the subscription early enough I can wrap the first box and have it to open under the tree.  But what if the first box isn't particularly exciting?  (I know they'd love the subscription, but it might not be particularly satisfying the day of Christmas).  Plus this is a lot of money.

Basically I have no idea and I'm in the same boat.  My kiddos are 3,5,8.

That is a good idea.  He loves mail.  I will look at the prices.  ETA:  About 20$ a month, plus 30% off coupons floating around.  This might be perfect!  I sent a link to DH for his opinion.

Black Friday presale code "BFP60" gets the first box of any subscription for only $7.95.  Today only.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 786
  • Live Long and Prosper

Freckles

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2892
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: West Coast, USA
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2016, 10:45:46 AM »
Well, I don't know if I can talk you out of it.  Seems pretty cool for the right kind of kid.

And now my kids are getting a Kiwi Crate!

tonysemail

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 726
  • Location: San Jose, CA
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2016, 01:50:35 PM »
i'm considering buying my 8 year old a kid laptop.
i got my first computer in 4th grade, so it seems like it's about the right time.
I view it as a stepping stone towards a real laptop in a few years time.

Secretly Saving

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 405
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2016, 02:33:27 PM »
Following off the Kiwi crate... I plan to order this.  I've read several reviews now and think it will be a good fit.

https://www.mailordermystery.com


hunniebun

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 594
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2016, 02:48:46 PM »
My 7 year old like the gadgets etc from Vat19.com   There are some cool magnet toys, magnetic putty and other odd ball stuff.  Something else that could be cool is a mini drone...I have seen those some places on sale for like 30$ and are pretty cool with decent cameras.

tonysemail

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 726
  • Location: San Jose, CA
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2016, 11:55:54 AM »
My 7 year old like the gadgets etc from Vat19.com   There are some cool magnet toys, magnetic putty and other odd ball stuff.  Something else that could be cool is a mini drone...I have seen those some places on sale for like 30$ and are pretty cool with decent cameras.

the putty looks fun.  I'm gonna buy it for my niece.  thanks for the recommendation!

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2016, 06:12:12 AM »
He is getting the Harry Potter boxed set as the other part of his Santa gift. 
I
...

The last thing I want is to buy a Thing just to buy it.  But come one, the kid needs ONE present under the tree, lol! 

Sounds like he is going to have one present under the tree. So do you mean the kid needs TWO presents under the tree?

I meant one TOY.

He'll like the books, but isn't quite old enough to be thrilled with just books.
Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2016, 06:16:36 AM »
We ended up doing Kiwi Crate on black Friday, btw, but I'm saving all these ideas.

We were thinking laptop next year (small/cheap Chromebook maybe?) But our district just announced they are doing Chromebooks for all kids Middle school and up starting next year. So we'll have that coming. Still might be worth it as I imagine a 200$ laptop will be beat to heck by a kid in 3 years. He's in 3rd grade and already does a shocking amount of web based homework.

Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

gatortator

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2017, 12:25:58 PM »
We ended up doing Kiwi Crate on black Friday, btw, but I'm saving all these ideas.


bumping thread to see how kiwi crate worked for you.  would you recommend it? Thanks!

samusugiru

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2017, 03:23:07 AM »
How about a raspberry pi and an add on kit to diy robot such as this one? http://camjam.me/?page_id=1035 if you wanted something a little easier the mbot uses a similar coding system to scratch but I figured the cam jam kit might be easy enough since he's a snap circuits pro. A proper working microscope is also fun or something like a camping kit, sleeping bag, utensils etc. Plus side is he will probably have overnight school trips coming up so that's one less thing to buy. I think the robot would be a good idea though, he gets some coding practice and the raspberry pi opens up a whole world of possibilities for him. So many things he can make, could start off with his own PC and then go from there. You could buy him a book to begin with or just direct him to find something with Google. 

Meesh

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2017, 01:04:26 AM »
I bought a 6m subscription for Kiwi crate for my DS5's bithday and he loved it! Each box is a fun little afternoon to do and often he plays with them long after. He remembers them all and gets so excited when a new box comes in. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get another 6m worth for Christmas. It's the gift that keeps on coming, he learns something and it doesn't scream toy I'll donate soon. I'd definitely recommend it. Google discount codes, you can usually get it on sale 20-30% that way.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 01:06:57 AM by Meesh »

Chesleygirl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 578
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2017, 12:48:38 PM »
I don't know about science kits, but Jo Ann's craft store has lots of craft kits for kids, and I buy them with the Jo Ann's coupons I get in the mail.

I am going to buy an experience gift for my daughter this year and it will be  a restaurant gift card for her favorite restaurants. I'm not going to get more "stuff".

wonkette

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2017, 01:18:43 PM »
I have a nephew with similar interests and I was thinking of trying to make one of these homemade cardboard video games with him, it looks like the parts wouldn't be that expensive.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UNQKETHKjfU

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1565
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2017, 02:17:57 PM »
Why not upgrade him from snap-circuits to the real thing, if he shows an interest? https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13930

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


SEAK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2017, 06:36:04 PM »
My kids favorite present Iíve bought them in recent memory has to be this Calvin & Hobbes box set. I bought it several months ago and a day does not go by where one of them is not reading it. Kids are aged 10 and 8.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Calvin-Hobbes-Bill-Watterson/dp/1449433251


Chesleygirl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 578
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2017, 08:57:43 AM »
I'd like to get a graphic novel for my daughter but the Calvin Hobbes set starts at 75 for a used set.  And I'd rather just purchase one or two.

SEAK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2017, 11:11:04 AM »
I bought it new off Amazon for $61.67 this past March. Prices must have gone up!

Bought some of the Tin Tin books for the kids this year.

I'd like to get a graphic novel for my daughter but the Calvin Hobbes set starts at 75 for a used set.  And I'd rather just purchase one or two.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1067
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2017, 11:17:31 AM »
posting to follow

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3356
Re: Christmas (or insert holiday of your choice) gift buying for kids
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2017, 05:44:48 AM »
It has been a year!

I am the option from last year. We did get the kiwi crate and he liked it, but not enough to renew after 3 months.

We moved this summer and got rid of a ton of shit, and then I boxed up another tub a couple weeks ago, so clearly we don't need anything this year either!

We are doing a laptop as a group gift from the whole family this year.
Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.