5 Practical Christmas Gifts for Kids

This year I'm vowing to only buy practical Christmas gifts for my kids. Here are five of the items that are on top of my shopping list.

Christmas is inching closer and closer with just a little over a month to go. If you haven’t started shopping by now you probably should. Wondering what to get your kids? How about some practical Christmas gifts they can use over and over this year.

Over the past few weeks I’ve spent too much money. This is a bad thing because I’ve got my eyes on a new financial goal and I need to be pinching pennies and earning more money.

I feel like I’ve got my impulse spending out of the way and I’m now ready to get down to business and start saving some serious money.

I’ve already began shopping for my kids Christmas gifts and my oldest daughter’s birthday, which is in December also, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

My kids are still pretty young and are easy to please. That’s why I want to concentrate on buying them practical gifts. After all, they get more enjoyment out of opening presents than they do actually using or playing with the presents.

Here are 5 practical Christmas gifts for kids.

Winter Gear

It’s starting to get pretty cold out here. We had our first snow a couple weeks ago which was then followed by a horrible thunderstorm and an accompanying tornado. Weird.

Since the snow will be moving in soon I need to get my girls some toddler snow boots and winter bibs. I’ve already picked them up new coats from a sale K-Mart had going on a couple weeks ago. I’ll keep looking for good deals on snow boots for toddlers.

The girls will love opening up winter boots, scarves, hats, and mittens on Christmas morning.

Educational Toys

When I shop for toys I shop for educational toys. Every now and again a Barbie or Disney Princess makes its way into the shopping cart but that’s rare. At three and almost five my kids are huge into learning and I like to encourage that as much as possible.

I’ve been considering getting each of them a V-Tech Innotab as their “big” present. I’ve seen these one sale all over the place at around $70 so this is a gift they would highly enjoy that wouldn’t bankrupt mom.


We are a reading family. My girls see me read all time and they want to imitate mommy at just about everything I do. We’ve gotten some great deals on books at thrift stores and Facebook Yard Sales.

I’d like to expand their book collection and add some bigger books with a better story line. I am hoping that sometime within the next few months I can get my oldest daughter interested in read aloud chapter books. We’ll see………..


My oldest daughter is growing out of her pants like crazy. She’s very thin so it’s hard to find pants that fit her right. I am lucky in the sense that my girls wear the same size shirts and the same size shoes. But pants? That’s a different story.

The youngest has plenty of pants. She could seriously wear a different outfit every day of the month. My oldest daughter’s pants now look like highwaters. I figure if I start looking now I can find some pants to fit her at a good price. I have no problem buying used either. As long as I can find something nice we’ll both be satisfied.

Art Supplies

I have two budding artists on my hands. My girls won’t play with a toy for more than five minutes yet they’ll color and draw for hours.

Needless to say keeping them entertained is high up on my priority lists. I’ve been thinking of purchasing them each a backpack. (There are tons of them on clearance for under $5 at K-Mart and I saw some great deals at TJ Max) Then I would fill the backpack with markers, stickers, crayons, coloring books, and dare I say – paint. They’ll feel totally cool having backpacks like all the big kids do.

My Not So Practical Gift

I am going to get them one really fun, not-so-practical gift.

They both love dressing up like princesses so I bought them each a cardboard trunk for like $10 at TJ Max and I’ve been picking up the clearance princess Halloween costumes to fill them up. They’ll absolutely love this gift.

What are your ideas for practical Christmas gifts for kids?


  1. says

    Despite not having kids, we have a number of kids we buy gifts for including my cousins, our friends kids, and the girl my wife nannies for. I’ve found books to be great practical books but clothes are the main thing we buy for them.

    • Alexa says

      Kids grow out of clothes so fast that clothes always make good gifts. Especially if you have kids like mine who absolutely love getting new clothes.

  2. says

    I’m so happy that our son loves books. We’ve been reading to him since he was born and now he’ll go into his room and “read” his books all by himself. It’s pretty awesome.

    • Alexa says

      My oldest daughter does that all the time. She’ll grab one of my big books and sit down and “read” a lot. It’s cute to hear some of her story ideas.

    • Alexa says

      Yes my kids love to make a mess too. I’ve actually got the kid scissors hidden and they very rarely get to use those. I get so sick of picking up little pieces of paper.

    • Alexa says

      That’s true it will definitely get played with. I’ve been buying up all those clearance Halloween costumes and my trunks are getting pretty full. It’ll end up being a pretty cheap gift that both of them will absolutely love!

  3. Alysia says

    My 5 yr old is super skinny too, and I have really good luck with Crazy 8 jeans….they have slim sizes. I bought her some of their skinny jeans for her and I didn’t even need to do slim because they were pretty slim already. They are always having sales and email coupons.

  4. says

    I have a toddler myself and I have to say these are excellent, well thought out gift ideas! And I agree with you, art stuff doesn’t cost a lot and keeps my kid occupied for hours! Funny how how much you pay for a gift has nothing to do with how much your kid will like it!

  5. Melanie says

    Love this post. I’m all about practical. My girls are older (7&10). They are each getting new insulated lunch boxes in tween colors/ styles that I found for super discounted. I buy used books on Abe.com for them (and myself). My dad gave me his old Nook months ago & it will go under the tree for the girls, loaded with ebooks. They will have to share, but that’s just fine. Nearly all my girls clothes are handmedowns from a good friend, but anything we are ‘short’ on, Iwill fill in. I’m jealous your girls wear jeans!! Mine *hate* jeans & won’t even consider wearing them.

  6. says

    It is really good when you are a reading family. It can make gift-giving process an easier thing to to. Give any of my kids a good book and they’d be delighted like crazy. It was fun reading your post because as another mom, I can only agree to everything you said.

  7. says

    Good ideas for gifts! Our little one will be almost 6 months old this Christmas, so he won’t really be able to feel the spirit or really enjoy the gifts, but we’ll surely do our best to buy some practical gifts and look towards the future.

  8. Janice Schuman says

    I remember waiting for Christmas because I would get something under the tree, even if it was a hand me down. So I figure that educational toys would be a great investment. I was thinking of buying DS a subscription to http://www.jumpstart.com because they are educational games that can be played online but also because there’s such a huge variety. I haven’t done something like that before though so I’m a bit nervous. What do you think? Such a great list though. I’m going to try gifting some of these ideas.

  9. Sprogs Inc says

    Thanks for sharing the article Alexa. Christmas is all about spreading joy and having lots of fun! Who doesn’t love Gifts specially when the internet has so much to offer these days mainly for kids. Toys are more than just fun and games for kids nowadays. Most of the toys provide at least some opportunity for children to learn.

  10. says

    I have two little ones myself and your list mirrors mine. We are a homeschooling family so educational toys are also #1 in our list and art supplies come in second. We borrow books from the library and I keep an eye for free or .01 books through Kindle. I love your idea of putting together a trunk with costumes for dress ups!


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