If you've been shopping for kids gifts lately you may be overwhelmed by the choices available. There are rows and rows with shelves full of all sorts of toys, games, etc. Unless you have a specific item in mind, or a specific request, you may feel at a loss when you walk into the store.

It's usually best to give it a little thought before you head out to buy something. If you're not sure where to start here are five basic kids gift ideas that are both educational and fun, plus they have stood the test of time. One of these is sure to be a success if you choose based on the child's personality.

Active Toys

Active toys refers to anything that requires physical activity -- things like bicycles, tricycles, roller blades or pogo sticks. With child obesity rising and too many kids not getting enough exercise, active toys are a great idea. They provide a fun way to engage kids in more physical activity, stimulating both the mind and body. Plus I remember these being my favorite toys as a kid.


Games is a broad category as it can mean anything from board games, card games, video games or classics like jacks. Games are a great gift idea because they can be incredibly interactive and educational. Yes, even video games. Although they often get a bad rap there are a lot of video games or computer games that build and strengthen problem solving skills. This is true with many other kids games as well. Children's games also provide a great way for the family or even friends to spend time together.


Books can also make a great gift for kids. Children (and adults for that matter) are able get lost in the world created in a book. And popular book series, from the classic Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to the newer Harry Potter series, provide a great way for kids to get excited about reading. They can be a favorite topic of discussion with friends, plus they make an affordable gift that is easy for the kids to take anywhere with them.


Music makes a fun and affordable gift idea too. You can find cds or dvds of their favorite performer, or you can introduce them to other music you think they might enjoy like world music with lots of different drum beats. Certain movie soundtracks can be pretty popular; just find out what the latest hot soundtrack is for that age group.

Kids Watches

Another classic gift idea is childrens watches. I'll always remember my first one. Kids watches are educational for the younger kids as they learn how to tell time, and more of a fashion item as they get older. They provide a great way for kids to learn the concept of time, how long tasks take and the importance of being on time, but they also have fun functions that kids can play and have fun with, like a stopwatch or Indiglo light.