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December 3, 2022
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Best Gifts for Kids 2022 That Even Parents Will Appreciate

Best Gifts for Kids 2022 That Even Parents Will Appreciate

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‘Tis the season for holiday chaos! If you’re asking me, there is no better time of year than the month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, especially in New York City: chestnuts roasting on the street corner, the huge UNICEF snowflake hanging above Fifth Avenue. The day after Thanksgiving, I am dutifully out buying my Blue Spruce. But as soon as we’ve finished decorating it, my toddler is already eagerly demanding, “presents go under tree!?”

With kids, the holiday season is a time of joy and delight but also total pandemonium involving lots of hard-to-assemble toys, shards of wrapping paper in every corner of your home, and meltdowns when they’re not allowed to open all their gifts at once. So we’re here to help solve your toughest gift conundrums for all the tiny tots on your list—whether they are yours or someone else’s. It can be hard to nail down the best gifts for kids, not to mention the added complication that a gift for someone’s child is also a gift—or nightmare—for their parent, so pick wisely and do unto others as you would like to be treated.

For example, stay away from the 10-foot-tall Santa or singing dreidel, and consider a chic wooden toy that isn’t an eyesore or some elegant holiday ensembles that will have parents wishing they came in their size. Herewith, a breakdown of the best gifts for kids by type with some outside-the-cardboard-box ideas for kids of all ages and gifts of all sizes—from Santa’s main gift to stocking stuffers. For the kids on my list, I’ll be getting Little Sleepies bamboo family matching PJs, Meri Meri advent calendars, and La Coqueta knits.

For the Nutcracker Nut

Visions of sugarplum fairies dance in their head, and every morning, they wake up imagining the Christmas tree has doubled in size. This young one is an NYCB aficionado and not only loves their weekly ballet class but would take Tchaikovsky over Raffi any day of the week, crack their nut with this theater advent calendar,

Lake baby long-long set in nutcracker

Meri Meri nutcracker theater advent calendar

The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker

Janod wooden shapes and colors kids dog

Works of Ahhh nutcracker drummer wood paint kit

Mon Ami King Mouse christmas stocking

For the Mini Monet

Picasso said it takes a lifetime to learn to paint like a child, encourage young brushstrokes with these art-minded gifts and make sure they won’t be splashing tomato soup on Van Gogh’s sunflowers anytime soon.

The Ultimate Art Museum hardcover

Kule kids Riley in cream & navy

Go Go Studio Mondo Llama mixed media art set

Faber-Castell Museum series paint by numbers

For the Sondheim Superstar

They’re only allowed to watch the first half of Into the Woods, but they’re over the moon for it and can be heard trilling the score of Company at night in their toddler bed. Encourage this Broadway breakout with some gifts that bring them right Into the Woods.

Great Pretenders Woodland Storybook Little Red Riding Hood cape

Good Night Broadway (Good Night Our World)

Color Me Stephen Sondheim coloring book

Wonder & Wise theater playhouse with plush microphone

For the Doomsday Prepper

This young one has never really gotten over the toilet paper shortage of 2020 and has been prepping their upstate compound for the apocalypse ever since. Make sure they have everything they need, from astronaut ice cream to an emergency doctor’s backpack.

National Sporting Goods deluxe archery set

Small Foot cold and frozen wooden food playset

Flat River Group emergency backpack play set

Sakar Night Action 2-in-1 walkie talkies

Super Garden freeze dried chocolate ice cream set

For the Circus Freak

You’ve been a houseguest at this friend’s home and have never been so thrilled to use the phrase, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” A morning with three kids under six makes a three-ring circus seem like child’s play (another term that will never be the same to you). Treat these crazed cuties to some circus-themed delights and maybe even take them to the Big Apple Circus, which treats its animals with love and care!

Tender Leaf Toys circus stacker play set

Melissa & Doug deluxe magic set

Moulin Roty circus shadow puppets

Nils Wonderland Co. baby mobile circus

For Santa Baby, Literally

It’s baby’s first holiday season, make sure they’re decked as festively as the halls from elf booties to angel wings to tartans and knits.

Marie-Chantal velour gold angel wing sleepsuit

Martin Aranda tartan romper

Lacoqueta blue polka dot baby set

Smockingbird Dreaming of Dreidels Hanukkah zip up pajamas

For the Fledgling Fashionista

This sartorial sprite doesn’t believe in Coco Chanel’s adage to take one thing off before you leave the house, she hews more to the Iris Apfel ‘more is more’ approach and all of her stuffed animals are dressed to the nines.

The Quarto Group Little People, Big Dreams 5-piece book set

Super Smalls black tie mega jewelry set

Lacoqueta black polka dot Romina shirt

Bonpoint Beryl pleated skirt

Momma Osa cotton candy tie dye activity kit

For the Climate-Anxiety Kid

They love Greta Thunberg and loathe big oil…and they’re only four. Help relieve this tot’s climate anxiety with some eco- and weather-friendly gifts like these rain boots and coral reef stacking toy.

Patagonia baby reversible tribbles hoody

Tender Leaf Toys stacking coral reef toy

Tender Leaf Toys smart car set

For Fido’s Fan Club

You got a dog during the pandemic and the only one who doesn’t regret it is the tiniest member of the household–because they don’t have to worry about Spot’s on-leash aggression and grain-free diet. Train them to take more of a hand in canine caretaking with these pup-themed presents.

Meri Meri sausage dog medium crackers

Janod wooden shapes and colors kids dog

J.Crew boys’ dog fair isle sweater

Alphabet Legends dog wooden alphabet puzzle

Mr. Boddington’s Studio essentials school supply set

Holiday Hounds two-piece pajama set

For the Bunny Sloper

You’re visiting your friends at their condo in Deer Valley for holiday skiing, make sure to arrive with the best alpine-themed gifts for their kids who are already better skiers than you are.

Jellycat Merry Mouse skiing stuffed animal

Petite Plume Holiday at the Chalet pajama set

The Blueberry Hill ski goggles beanie

Northern Classics Whistler coat

Williams Sonoma 12 days of hot cocoa advent calendar

Hill House Home tiny teddy crewneck

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