By Emma Thomas

The giving and receiving of gifts can be thrilling or stressful depending on your personality! We all have different love languages and while for some buying gifts comes more naturally, for others it can be quite challenging. 

There are many different approaches followed by families. You can choose to give simple gifts, homemade gifts, second hand gifts or extravagant gifts! Whatever works for your family and your budget. Many families follow the popular trend of ‘something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read’. 

These have been a few of my favourite gifts over the years. 


Babies don’t need much and don’t understand the concept of gift giving so keep it simple! Also remember that you are setting up the expectations for future Christmases. 

Think of things that they’ll need over the next few months and opt for practical gifts. A drink bottle, a new bag or togs and a towel are always helpful. 

Open ended toys like balls, stacking cups and large blocks are enjoyed for this age group. 


Toddlers love opening things! Try separating pieces before you wrap to extend the experience. A larger present like a scooter or a balance bike is great for this age group. Also toddlers don’t know the difference so second hand is great! 

Toddlers are also learning to imitate the world around them so kitchen toys, dress ups, cars and dolls are popular. 

Kindergarten Children

At this age children are expressing strong interests and preferences. They are also more able to understand the idea of gift vouchers or the gift of an experience. 

Magnetic tiles are my favourite toy for this age. Simple board games or craft supplies are also popular. Some children have developed the fine motor skills needed for Lego. 


Books are always on my Christmas list – I love looking at the inscriptions in the front from my childhood books as I’m now reading them to my kids. 

DIY Gifts

There is always a bit of extra love in a handmade gift. This year I have made a set of photo magnets for each family of cousins showing all the important people in their lives. 

For my daughters first Christmas I made her a song box – this was a box filled with song prompts (a plastic bus for ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, a star for ‘Twinkle Twinkle’) this is something she still plays with. 

Group Gifts 

For a few years we took my nieces and nephews to see a show at the theatre in January. This was a great experience and enjoyed by everyone. 

A trampoline, a swing set or a cubby house is also a great group present for siblings.