Successful Christmas gifts are not always about getting the latest gadget or toy – there are a few more unusual, less obvious, gift ideas out there.
Many are about creating something personalised, something only your child will have. Others are about encouraging them to explore and create, about long-lasting fun and imagination.
We have done some digging and compiled a list of ideas to look beyond the Lamaze, Lego and LOLs to share some of our favourite tips for unusual Christmas gifts for kids…
And don’t forget to look at the best Christmas experience gifts that we have compiled here
1. Subscription box, £25, plus £12 per month
Age: 4-10 years
Subscription boxes make fantastic Christmas gifts, especially for kids who already have more toys than they can shake a stick at. We love subscriptions that are personalised, and there are quite a few out there.
This Geo Journey box, for example, starts with the Explorer Kit that includes a personalised letter, a wall map, travel journal, passport, activity book, stickers, and a travel ticket – all packed in a durable mini suitcase. It encourages kids to explore the world and keep a record when they do their own traveling.
Subsequent months focus on different countries and also include personalised letters, fact cards and ‘souvenirs’ such as a Boomerang from Australia.
Available from: Geo Journey
2. Adopt an Animal, from £3 a month
Age: any age, but probably from 5 years
Adopting an animal is personal and educational, and helps protect species, whether from the UK or further afield. This scheme from the WWF allows you to choose from a variety of endangered animals, such as the amur snow leopard, the giant panda or sea turtle.
From £3 a month, you get an optional soft toy, fact sheet and regular updates. This is effectively a regular charitable contribution, but it’s a great way for kids to engage with the wider world.
Available from: WWF
3. Micro Scooters Personalised Sprite, £119.95
Age: 5-12 years
We love the Micro Scooters brand – for its durability, superior design and style. Now you can personalise the brand’s 2-wheeler Sprite, by adding your kid’s name to the grip tape. You also have a great array of colours to choose from, which means a perfect, personalised present – with the added benefit that it won’t be mistaken for someone else’s in the school shed.
Available from: Micro Scooters
4. Little Mashers Kids DIY Stamp T-Shirt Kit, £44
Age: 3-4 to 1-12 years
This kit provides endless ways for children to personalise their own t-shirt. It is quite an expensive gift, but should provide lots of fun.
The kit comes with one t-shirt, but you can use the stamps on lots of different fabrics. Once the design is done, 2 minutes of ironing cures the inks and makes them washable (at 30 degrees).
The set includes 3 non-toxic inks, and all the alphabet letters and additional characters, as well as simple shapes and emojis.
Available from: Trouva and Little Mashers
5. My Search and Find World Trip personalised book, £19.99
This present is a personalised ‘Where’s Wally’-esque book. When you order it, it allows you to create a Wally version of your child (customised hair colour and length, skin and clothes colours), include your child’s name and compose a personalised message.
Your child can then explore the ‘World Trip’ pages, looking for themselves in each, as well as other interesting objects.
It’s great to have the personalised aspect, but the book itself is also very engaging and great for starting to learn about the world. There are 10 double-paged destinations in some wonderful illustrations.
Available from: Librio
6. My 1st Photos personalised photo album, from £25
Age: from birth
Photos always make a lovely Christmas present, and kids particularly love to handle their own pics of loved ones and friends. This squishy photo album is a perfect gift, particularly for younger kids.
It’s personalised, with photos printed directly onto the fabric. It’s hand-washable and is also safe for babies to grab and chew on. Older kids will love looking over photos from yesteryear.
Available from: My 1st Photo
7. Write to Santa, Royal Mail
Age: all ages
If your kid still believes in Santa – or their belief is on the wane – this is a fun pre-Christmas treat: write to Santa, and get a personalised letter back. A lovely service from the Royal Mail, such a simple idea that makes lots of kids very happy – and good for getting the Christmas spirit going.
Available from: Royal Mail
8. Frugi Adventure Appliqué Top, from £21
Age: 2-3 years – 9-10 years
The quality brand Frugi offers an array of customisable products, including this cool top. We love the fun, wintery appliqué, and you can add a name for £5.
Available from: Frugi
9. Personalised embroidered patches, £15
Badges are a wonderful way for kids to personalise their belongings and look unique, and these patches are extra special.
Handmade in the UK, they can include your child’s name – perfect for a little individualist or adventurer. They make fantastic little stocking fillers.
Available from: Not on the Highstreet
10. National Theatre Play in a Box, £12.99
Age: 6-10 years
This clever box from the National Theatre contains all you need for budding thespians. It includes ideas and inspirations, tickets and programmes to colour in, character and set cards and more.
Not strictly personalised, this little gift can nonetheless help kids let their imagination run wild – and put on a very special Christmas show in your living room.
Available from: Amazon, National Theatre and Blackwell’s
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11. Gift in a Tin: Make Your Own Insect House, £11
This kit is a great mini present for a nature lover. Presented in a robust tin, if has everything you need to make an enticing insect house or bug hotel – bamboo, glue, wooden parts and decorative lady birds to get it going.
Available from: Amazon and John Lewis
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12. Personalised Children’s Dominoes, £14
The dominoes in this set come printed with cute car designs and all fit into a wooden box (14cm x 8cm x 5cm), which comes personalised with your little one’s name on the side. A great keepsake as well as a fun and engaging game for younger kids.
Available from: Personalised Gift Shop