Desoto County News

Holiday Magic: Top Toy Gift Giving Ideas to make everyone smile

By Loretta McNary

Attention, Moms Dads, Grandparents Aunts and Uncles!

The quest for that perfect holiday gift for your precious little ones can tug at your heartstrings. We all yearn to light up their faces with joy, and at the same time, plant seeds of wisdom and growth. Worry no more, I have crafted a wonderful holiday gift guide to help you navigate this season of giving. These gifts ideas are more than just toys; they are treasures that promote laughter, ignite imagination, and cultivate young minds. If you are anything like me, choosing a gift for the dear children in my life is challenging. I want to choose a gift that brings them happiness but also helps them learn and grow. Here is my list of curated holiday gift giving ideas for children, organized by age group:

Loretta McNary

Ages 3 Months to 11 Months

  • Soft Activity Play Mat: A colorful, interactive play with different textures and activities for sensory development.
  • Musical Learning Toys: Instruments like soft drums or light up pianos that are easy for little hands to grasp and play.
  • Cuddly Plush Toys: Soft, huggable plush toys that are safe for babies, encouraging affection and comfort.
  • High-Contrast Baby Books: Board books with high-contrast images and simple stories to stimulate visual development and early language skills.
  • Soft Interactive Baby Books: Cloth books with activities like textures, crinkles, and mirrors.
  • Baby Gym: A play gym with hanging toys for reaching and kicking, aiding in motor skill development.
  • Multi-Texture Teething Toys: Safe. BPA-free teething toys with different textures to soothe gums.


  • Building Blocks: Large, easy-to-grip building blocks for enhancing fine motor skills and creativity.
  • Plush and Pull Toys: Toys that encourage walking and movement, like push cars or pull-along animals.
  • Interactive Storybooks: Books with buttons, flaps, and textures to make readings a more interactive experience.
  • Shape Sorter Toy: Enhances problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • Interactive Alphabet Wall Chart: A wall chart that makes sounds and lights up to teach letters and sounds.
  • Play Kitchens: Miniature kitchens for imaginative play, helping toddlers understand the world around them.

Ages 5 and Up

  • Beginner Science Kits: Simple science kits that introduce basic concepts through fun experiments.
  • Art and Craft Supplies: A set of crayons, markers, paint, and paper for creative expression.
  • Educational Board Games: Games that blend learning with fun, focusing on math, spelling, or problem-solving.
  • Outdoor Play Equipment: Items like jump ropes, hula hoops, or small sports kits to encourage physical activity.
  • Magnetic Building Tiles: For creative play and understanding basic geometry.
  • Nature Exploration Kit: Including binoculars, magnifying glass and bug catching tools for outdoor adventures. 

Ages 7 to 12

  • Advanced Building Set: LEGO sets or similar building toys with more complex designs to challenge their skills.
  • Astronomy Telescope Kit: To explore the night sky and spark an interest in astronomy.
  • Coding Robot Toy: Introduce basic coding concepts through play.
  • Storytelling Board Games: A game that encourages both creativity and narrative skills.
  • Electronic Learning Tools: Tablets with educational apps or handheld electronic games that make learning interactive and fun.
  • Musical Instruments: Basic instruments like ukulele, keyboard, drum set, or a beginner’s guitar set.
  • DIY Craft Set: Kits for making jewelry, pottery, or model building, encouraging both creativity and fine motor skills.

Ages 12 and UP

  • Tech Gadgets: Items like beginner drones, digital cameras, or smartwatches tailored for younger users.
  • Board Games and Puzzles: More sophisticated board games and puzzles that require strategic thinking and planning.
  • Sketching and Drawing Set: Complete with pencils, erasers, and a sketchbook for your budding artist.
  • Book Series: Popular book series that cater to young adult readers, sparking an interest and love for reading and imagining.
  • Outdoor Adventure Gear: Equipment for outdoor activities, like camping gear, bicycles, or skateboards to promote a love for the outdoors.
  • DIY Electronics Kit: This gift will help them build and understand basic electronic circuits.
  • Strategy-Based Board Games: These will challenge critical thinking and planning skills.
  • Fitness Activity Tracker: Fitness is very important at all ages; a fitness tracker can help encourage an active lifestyle and goal setting.

Loretta McNary is the Lifestyles contributor to the website and social media channels. You will be seeing her columns on a weekly basis here on the website and be sure to catch “The Loretta McNary Show” on her channels, including YouTube, Facebook, her website, and others.

Check out this segment from the Mornings with Loretta show with Jennifer Lynch about Toy Trends.

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