10 Practical Christmas Presents For Children

Practical Christmas Gifts For Kids

When buying gifts for children I am conscious of the usefulness and of the practicality of the gift. Toys are great and have a place in every child’s life, but most children I know (including my own) seem to have plenty already!

I have compiled a list of 10 practical Christmas presents we have either given to other children or that we have received from others. Additions to this list would be greatly appreciated and can be left in the comments.

A note to my northern hemisphere readers, as we are heading into summer and the end of a school year for Australians, the gifts listed are heavily biased towards these areas.

(1). Beach Towels
Very basic gift, but as children grow they need larger towels and there are so many fun designs available, that you can still make the gift interesting.

I particularly like the idea from Rosie Posie, where you can have the child’s name embroidered onto the towel.

(2). Lunch Box Sets
For the new kinder or school goer, why not give a brand new lunch box set to send them on their way? Long term Planning With Kids sponsor 4 My Earth has fantastic lunch boxes and re-useable wraps, in a range of cool fabrics kids will love.

(3). Popcorn Maker
My children received a popcorn maker a couple of years ago as a joint Christmas present from their Nana and Pop. It has been a fantastic gift. It pops 10 cups of fat free popcorn in just a few minutes and the kids still love to watch it go. These can be purchased for under $40.

(4). Donation Gift
I think the children need to be school age to really understand and appreciate this gift. Oxfam has a great set up where you can choose from things like “Save a River”, “Teach a class” or “Buy a pig”. A card gets sent to the receiver, outlining what has been donated in their name.

(5). Beanbag Chair
Something with a little more style and form than a traditional bean bag. Check out this range of bean bags here for kids, which can be used indoors and out and makes the perfect spot for reading their favourite book.

(6). Sunglasses
In Australian hot summers, sunglasses are not just for looks, but are important for eye protection of infants and children. The Baby Banz range are perfect for the 0 – 5 age group who have trouble keeping traditional sunglasses covering their eyes.

(7). Hats
Also an essential summer item. There are a number of surf brands that make funky hats for kids that will protect them adequately from the sun, for $20 – $30.

(8). Stationery
My children love new stationery. Smiggle has a fun range of pencil cases and pencils that you can combine together for a great gift.

(9). Storage Boxes
Children seem to have little collections of all sorts of bits and pieces. You can help them keep them all together with some cutely designed storage boxes. Kikki K has boxes starting from $15. Ikea also has a range of children’s storage boxes as well.

(10). Tickets to an event
This gift works two ways really, in that you treat the child to an event of their interest and you also spend time with them! Melbourne has plenty of events in in January that children would like, including:

What are you buying for the children in your life?


  1. says

    My Mum has gotten into a habit of buying our (now) 12 yo movie tickets. She’s done this for the past couple years. Then during the summer holidays she also takes our daughter to the flix when she has the time. That way it’s a double bonus as they get to spend some time together too.

    Raes last blog post..Time Marches on

  2. says

    oh some great ideas there… do you think it would be rude if I sent the ballet link out to all my inlaws and ask for a donation because my girls would LOVE to see that!
    When we finally have a decent kitchen with somewhere to store it my girls want an ice cream maker for Christmas, but a popcorn maker is an ace idea too.

    katefs last blog post..Organise ‘08 – Clothes Storage Dilema

  3. says

    I agree with you about toys being ubiquitous (they totally are in our household!)

    I always buy books for Christmases and birthdays, both for my own children and for the children of friends. I also tend to go with the “one big, a few small” concept – this year the 5-year-old is getting a scooter and the 3-year-old a bicycle as their big gifts. Clothes are always given – invariably bathers and whatever other summer clothes they need – by their two grandmothers (outfitting the girls for summer is their delight and privilege, and I haven’t paid for summer clothes in 2 years!)

    I really like the idea of event tickets and I think I will pinch your Wind in the Willows one, if I may ;-) And my 5-year-old is already getting a lunchbox set for starting school, although she doesn’t know it yet. Some great ideas you have!

    Kathys last blog post..Ending and going on

  4. Hungry Tribe says

    Hi PQ
    Milkshake maker continues to be as popular as our popcorn maker! Magazine subscriptions to those tricky teenagers, my nephew loves all things IT – so I renew his subscription to Australian PC each year. Niece loves Dolly – so the same for her. My cousins love National Geo!! My mum gives “family passes” to events or places each year – eg Healesville Sanctuary, Zoo, Puffing Billy and the like!

  5. says

    I love all the things on this list and I have already suggested a few to relatives.
    The monogrammed towels.
    I got my little boys Madagascar Tupperware lunch boxes and drink bottles for their stockings.
    I like the idea of the storage boxes too for their treasures and tickets for my teenager.
    I am giving to OXfam this year again too and the postcards to the kids *wink*
    The sunglasses are a great sun safe idea too.
    Thanks Nicole.

    Trishs last blog post..I … thank you

  6. says

    Thank you for the great article – I love these sort of lists as they can really help save time thinking of good gift ideas.

    Just yesterday I asked my daughter (6 yr old) what she was going to ask from Santa this year, and thought I would share her list with you – may give some other ideas or at least a smile perhaps?:
    – a watch (so she can practice telling the time)
    – an apple (Santa has got in the habit of leaving an apple each year and she gets a kick out of ‘Santa’s apples’ – and it is so simple)
    – pretty crystals and stones (to hold and look at)
    – a camera
    – an angel to keep the bad dreams away..
    Happy Christmas shopping everyone!