1. Parenting

Gifts for Kids of All Ages

Top Gift Ideas from Newborns to 20-Somethings

By

Buying gifts for kids can be stressful for parents. You've probably been excited about a present for your child, only to see your great gift abandoned in a toy pile shortly after it's opened. Discover the best toys for kids that will be used so often, they'll never be in danger of becoming dust magnets.

For more holiday ideas, please check out the creative tips and useful resources in our About Family Holiday Survival Guide.

Babies

A picture of a baby surrounded by gifts
Photo © snorp / Flickr
Welcome to the world of buying toys. Yes, even newborns need their toys and there are great toys for every stage of baby's first year. Stimulate baby with gifts that help her discover this new world she's living in and give toys that will grow as she does.

Toddlers

A toddler opens a large present
Photo © glenmcbethlaw / Flickr
You're past the baby toy stage. While that may seem sad to you, you're now in for a treat when it comes to giving your toddler toys. When buying for your toddler, look for gifts that are age-appropriate. Gifts for younger toddlers can vary greatly from gifts for older toddlers. But most can be used well into the preschool years. Challenging toys work those tiny brain cells as your kids reach new ages and stages. And as long as you get them toys that focus on fun, you won't hear any complaints, whines or tantrums out of your toddler.

Preschoolers

A boy opens a gift
Photo © Apryl Duncan
Your kids are at the age where they want to learn more and play more. The best toys for preschoolers help them do both. Think out of the box with this age group too. It's a great time to give creative gifts for preschoolers that include their first mini-piano or an art table set.

School-Age Kids

A picture of a school-age child opening a gift
Photo © nlnnet / Flickr
This age range is one of the most fun for parents and kids. You can get in there and play with the toys you've bought for your children! But buying for school-age kids can also be overwhelming because you have aisles and aisles of options at the toy store. Arm yourself with a kids' toy guide for ages 5-9 that helps you narrow your selections to a manageable list. This is also a great age to encourage creativity with gifts that will get them doodling, sculpting and crafting a variety of projects.

Tweens

A picture of a tween opening a present
Photo © Paul Schultz / Flickr
Your little boy or girl isn't so little anymore, if you ask them. Your arsenal of kid toys is changing as your tween is half interested in staying a kid and half interested in growing up. Buying gifts for tweens can be a challenge if you hit the store without any idea of what to buy. There are still great toys, books and games for tweens that can keep them playing like the kids they are, though. If you're absolutely stumped, go back to the basics to find tween gifts that rock. Novelty, retro and crafty gifts are always in style with tweens.

Teens

A picture of a teenage boy holding up an iTunes gift card
Photo © Randy Son of Robert / Flickr
Teens are at that awkward gift stage. They're too cool to admit they like a gift you give them, but not too cool to let you know when they hate something you've bought for them. There are surefire gifts for teens that will actually get them to acknowledge you exist and aren't as embarrassing as they make you think you are the other 364 days of the year. Break your list into gifts that are just for teen boys or just for teen girls. Or browse gift ideas for both.

Young Adults

A picture of a young adult holding up a present
Photo © mahfrot / Flickr
You've given them pretty much everything over the years, so it's hard to come up with new gift ideas for the young adult in your life. For $30 or less, gift them with goodies they can take to their dorm room. If you really want to spend some cash, the iPad, noise-cancelling headphones or a GPS are a few of the gifts on the over $30 list. Of course, you can work your way right back into their bellies if you're tired of hearing the whining about having to live off macaroni and cheese. Cookbooks for college kids and 20-somethings are geared toward would-be chefs who've mistaken their microwave as their best friend.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.