You'll have more fun shopping if you search for truly unique gifts, and it's likely a child will enjoy your special gift more than something that could have been purchased anywhere. Get ideas for unusual gifts for kids from preschoolers through teens.
Preschool and Elementary Gift Ideas
Young children are typically easy to please, but their attention spans can be a bit short. What might seem like a wonderful gift at the moment may soon find its way into the bottom of a closet never to be resurrected again. The key to keeping children in these age groups interested is choosing a gift that offers some versatility and captures their imagination.
- Fairy Forest Lodge - A child who loves things that are mystical and magical might like one of these play sets. Each set comes with a different fairy, and the box it comes in unfolds to become a room. There's a pack of four sets that can be combined for hours of imaginative play.
- Mix-A-Million Puzzles - Puzzles are fun, but once a child puts one together a couple of times, it begins to get boring. Mix-A-Million puzzles are designed to be put together in more than one way. A child can use alternate pieces to create unique, fantasy animals from his or her imagination. Sets include puzzles for farm animals, wild animals, birds and pets.
- Constructive Eating Set - This is a fun gift for a very young child, and it may just make it easier to get him to finish his dinner. The set comes with an orange construction plate, a front loader spoon, a bulldozer pusher, and a forklift fork.
- Spy Kit - Send a happy little spy on a secret mission with this handy utility belt. It comes equipped with a disc shooter, a fingertip laser light, a motion detector that sounds an alarm and a black pen that writes messages in invisible ink.
- Crooked Swingset - If you're looking for a big gift that makes a statement, this crooked swingset might be exactly what you're looking for. It's full of lop-sided charm, but it's still sturdy. It comes with swings, a tire swing, a wavy slide, and a small playhouse at the top.
- Cupcake Hats - What child doesn't love cupcakes? One of these adorable hats could make a great gift, and it's a hat that none of your special child's friends are likely to have.
- Sock Monkey Slippers - Sock Monkeys are favorite toys from generations past that are enjoying a resurgence. These slippers are bound to delight any toddler.
- Personalized Story Book - There might not be anything unique about giving a book as a gift, but there is when the child becomes part of the story. Choose one of these books with your child's favorite character, and his or her name will be incorporated into the story. You can even include the names of some of your child's best friends.
- Personalized Rocker - Give your child a chair sized just for him or her. It comes with an ottoman, and you can have it personalized with your child's name.
Gift Ideas for Preteens and Teens
Gift-giving gets a little tougher as kids get older, so you really have to dig in and find unusual gifts that they'll appreciate. Here are some suggestions for items you may not have considered before.
- Sea Monkeys - Every kid ought to experience Sea Monkeys once in his or her life. These specially-developed brine shrimp hatch from eggs in a solution and container that comes with each kit. They can grow up to as much as 3/4 of an inch long and require very little care beyond feeding, so they are good for the preteen age group. Sea Monkeys may be tiny, but they are fascinating to watch.
- Betta Fish - Here's a relatively low care pet that most preteens and teens are responsible enough to care for. Bettas come in every color combination imaginable, and you can keep them in a bowl or a small tank. Bettas are very territorial, hence their common name of "fighting fish." So, you can only keep one to a container, but they are quite content to live on their own. Make sure you get care instructions from the shop from which you buy the fish.
- Hair Feathers - Steven Tyler is credited with starting this style trend, but girls everywhere are adding feather clips to their hair. Be sure to select cruelty-free synthetic feathers for a guilt-free gift.
Room Decor Enhancers
- Lava Lamp - These lamps are fascinating to watch. They're filled with wax in a special liquid, and when you turn on the light, it warms the wax which then begins to flow. Watch it bubble up from the bottom and take on weird shapes before is sinks to the bottom to do it all again. Choose the color combination of liquid and wax that your teen likes best.
- Star Theater Pro - Teens can project stars and planets on the ceiling and walls of their rooms as either a still or slowly rotating display. There's also a planetarium soundtrack, and 3-D glasses are included to make the display even more vivid. The projector can be run on batteries or plugged in, and it's small enough to transport just about anywhere.
- Koolatron Retro Coca-Cola Vending Machine - Give your teen his or her own bedroom Coke cooler. This mini vending machine is styled with the classic Coca-Cola red and white logo, and it will cool the soda cans to 32 degrees below the ambient room temperature. The unit holds up to ten, standard size soda cans.
The Search Is On
Even if you haven't found the perfect gift somewhere on these lists, hopefully you now have more ideas than ever before. Start your search early, and take your time before finally making that purchase. As long as you choose a gift that truly suits the child you're buying it for, you can't go wrong. Even though people say it's the thought that counts, putting some careful thought into your gift should result in a unique present your child will love.