The best gift ideas for children by age
26 August 2019
You’re never short on opportunities to spoil your loved ones, and this is especially true when it comes to the children in your life. Godson or daughter, niece/nephew, or your own children, they all deserve our attention as many times as possible throughout the year. Surprise them on their birthday or during the holidays thanks to our 10 gift ideas sorted according to the age of the recipient!
Children love gifts… but adults don’t know what to give them to surprise them every year. While some gifts are must-haves, others can be more original… Let your imagination flow and when in doubt, travel back in your memories and ask yourself what gift would have left a mark during your childhood… The answer is within!
A scented stuffed toy for their first nights
An absolute must-have accessory for every day, a stuffed toy is the perfect gift to welcome a newborn into the world. The little stuffed toy, which usually takes the form of an adorable animal, should meet a few strict rules: be made out of safe materials (conform to CE standards), be soft, and be durable. Often times, we forget that scenting a precious object with mom or dad’s perfume or cologne is a crucial step to ensure that a baby will adopt the toy as their new travel buddy and take them with them wherever they go: their first nights staying with their grandparents, their first days of kindergarten, etc. We recommend choosing a high-end stuffed toy from a concept store dedicated to the world of children such as Boucle d’Or and Mini’on in Brussels or Smallable in Paris. Their products are extremely high quality and the service is excellent. For everything else – the size, the color, as well as the shape of the stuffed animal – that is completely up to you!
1 YEAR OLD
A pair of shoes for their first steps
Baby starts walking and the whole family starts running… To make sure that their first steps are easy, stores like Les Casse Pieds in Brussels and BabyBotte in Paris offer a selection of specially designed shoes, which are soft but structured at the same time. What better to offer baby than complete balance and optimal support. Sandals, boots, sneakers or canvas shoes, choose from a large selection of trendy, seasonal options! Don’t forget that inside, fully leather shoes are recommended so that your baby can feel the ground well, which is necessary when they are learning to walk. One last tip: measure baby’s foot with the help of a foot measurer before heading to the store. Another more entertaining option is to outline the baby’s foot on a piece of paper and compare the drawing to shoes that you love at the store. Here, you can find our article on the best summer sandals for young girls.
2 YEARS OLD
A neck pillow for their first trips
Now that baby can get around, parents shouldn’t hesitate to bring them with them to discover the world. Whether the family is traveling by plane, train or car, one travel accessory becomes absolutely necessary for children’s comfort: the neck pillow. Placed around baby’s neck, neck pillows from Babytolove give globetrotting babies’ parents everything they could ask for! Cooling, ergonomic, and comfortable, the little cushions in the shape of a lion, frog, or even a mouse support the head and the shoulders for maximum security.
BETWEEN 3 AND 5 YEARS OLD
A child suitcase for their first trips
Somewhere between utilitarian and toy, the four-wheel Samsonite DreamRider suitcase is one of the most original gifts you can offer an independent child who loves new adventures. Suitable for children older than 3 years old, the baggage, which is both a carrier, as well as a ride, has known worldwide success since it was first released. The DreamRider has a capacity of 25 liters and weighs only 1.9 kg, which means you can take it with you wherever baby goes: in the car trunk on your way to spend a weekend in the country with grandma and grandpa or in the overhead bins of an airplane on the way to a sunny weekend in Sicily. Its solid shell with a fun and colorful design will surely be popular with children as well as with their parents. Lucky recipients have the choice between characters like Mickey and Minnie, or popular animals like tigers, bumblebees, and zebras. Find our review and analysis of the Samsonite DreamRider suitcase in this article.
6 YEARS OLD
A comfortable backpack for their first day of school
The backpacks from Samsonite‘s Happy Sammies collection are known for their adorable Scandinavian design and their unmatched comfort. Light and spacious, they are specifically designed to fit the size and lifestyle of even the youngest students. Their 11-liter capacity is perfect for carrying all the necessary personal affects for their first day of school: lunch box, water bottle, notebooks, pencil pouches, and binder. The bags are designed to look like animals with childlike expressions. It’s impossible to not fall in love with the rabbit, fox, or hedgehog designs! The American brand does everything they can to please families by paying as much attention as possible to the smallest of details, for example, the backpack zippers that look like a rabbit’s carrot or a fox’s bushy tail. Small pencil pouches with matching designs are also available as accessories, a 100% cute way to store their first pens!
BETWEEN 7 AND 10 YEARS OLD
A giant buoy for their first pool parties
For all of the future Julys and Augusts that will be spent under the warm sun of Provence, kids will need to float on the most instagramable accessory of all time: giant floaties in the shape of… anything and everything. Among the more daring, we love the watermelon, the pink flamingo, the swan, bananas, the donut, the unicorn, the pelican, the dolphin, and the submarine. You can find numerous great options on the American site, Amazon. Large enough for friends and cousins to join in, these floaties allow even the youngest swimmers to enjoy the sun without getting wet before focusing on something more serious at the end of the night: the barbecue!
BETWEEN 10 AND 12 YEARS OLD
A ski suit for the first time they hit the slopes
Once winter vacation arrives, families never wait too long to reserve their ski trip. On the slopes of the Alps, preteens will love to put on their best ski suits. Waterproof and elegant, they all have polar linings with down filling. Stylishly dressed, children are protected from the cold for the entirety of their snowy vacation. You can find the best jackets and overalls on the skiing e-store Melijoe where you can find children’s collections from ready to wear lines such as Dolce & Gabbana, Stella Mc Cartney, and Moncler. If they already have a favorite outfit, you can offer them a new accessory: scarfs, gloves, socks, helmet, or masks. Everything is good when it comes to spoiling them!
BETWEEN 12 AND 15 YEARS OLD
A world map for when they start planning to travel abroad
After receiving one for my 11th birthday, I can assure you that this is an indispensable gift for a child that dreams of seeing the world. World maps are great as they give young travelers an overview of all the countries and oceans that are waiting to be discovered, both nearby and on the other side of the globe. They help give teenagers new ideas of new destinations they can discover on their next family vacation! The best maps are made by the German company Ravensburger, simply because they come as a puzzle. Geography buffs will love assembling the 540 piece puzzle, while younger children will enjoy the 180 pieces that depict the famous historic monuments and various animals on our blue planet. Once the puzzle is put together, a frame allows children to proudly display their creation on a bookshelf in their room.
BETWEEN 16 AND 18 YEARS OLD
Classes at auto-school and/or a scooter for their first drive
What better gift for your child than liberty, independence, and autonomy? Yes! In Belgium, minors older than 16 years old are old enough to pass their theoretical license and practice to earn their driver’s license. Suited up with their helmet, they can slowly take to the road by carefully driving their motorbikes to their favorite destinations. Numerous parents agree that there is no better reward to celebrate their academic efforts before they head off to their university of choice.
Sarah, 27 years old, Italian gastronomy and travel addict, from Brussels