At Radical Parenting we always want special occasions to be celebrated right. But sometimes it is so hard to find the right gift for the right age group. So, we have combed the web and stores and asked our teen interns to review the best gifts for the special person in your life.
We have chosen 5 gift ideas for each category.
Best Gifts for Teens
1. PlayStation Portable
This is hours of entertainment that you can hold in the palm of your hands. Teens can play games, listen to music, connect to the Internet, watch movies, and do more, all in a compact package that you can easily bring with you wherever you go. This is great for road trips or to have in the back of the car just in case there is traffic.
2. Subscription to The Week
If you want your teen to read about current events and stay up to date about what is going on in the world, than The Week will be a great investment. The Week is one of my favorite magazines and I look forward to getting it every Saturday. It is a magazine of all of the news from around the world that week. Teens need to be up on current events and what is happening in the world. This is a great way to stay up on news in a digestible format.
3. Desktop Basketball Game
Your teen will love this vintage style desktop basketball game which features variable basket height – 3 settings and automatic ball return. Whether your teen is heading off to college or just wants a cool (quiet) game in their room, this is a fun choice.
4. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure game. Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn.This game is surprisingly engaging and fun. It is a newer game but absolutely worth trying out–your family will soon be addicted! Teens also love playing this their friends as the strategy and take-overs of rail lines are similar to risk and monopoly combined.
Can we all work together to get kids reading more? A Nook is a cool way for kids to read, take notes and even surf the web. Get your teen a Nook and load it up with some of our favorite books before a vacation or on weekends for reading time.
Best Gifts for Tweens
1. NHL Stanley Cup Air Hockey Game:
This is an awesome game for tweens to play with friends, siblings or even as a family! We always wanted one of these in my house. If your kids like having friends over this is a great gift during sleep overs and after school.
2. Nintendo 3DS
This is a very popular gaming system for tweens right now. They can use it with siblings or on road trips. Be sure to set up some electronic guidelines so they don’t get too addicted, but a nice distraction device to have on hand for traffic or rainy days.
Monopoly is a great way for tweens to learn about money and real estate. Here at Radical Parenting we talk a lot about financial literacy and playing Monopoly is an easy way to talk to kids about saving, spending and getting good at math skills. Play it as a family to encourage discussion and friendly competition. Let your children be the banker to get used to handling the money.
4. Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle
Kids and parents alike are loving the Kinect because it gets kids and teens off the couch and doing interactive play. The bundles come with tons of games that the family can play including getting kids active and playing not just on the couch and playing.
I discovered Kubit2Me years ago and think this is a great game for getting groups of kids who don’t know each other talking and getting to know each other. It is also very portable and easy to pack and campers can do play this on the first night or during free time to bond, laugh and talk. Easy to understand rules and not many small pieces–perfect for camp!
Best Gifts for Kids
1. Rubik’s Twist:
It’s finally here–a newer version of the Rubik’s Cube, it is almost impossible to figure out. See how long it takes for your kid to stop obsessing over it. I bet not for days. This is a great brain stimulating game and can be in the back of a car or even played while waiting in a restaurant.
2. Chalkboard Wallies:
If your child has been begging you for a room makeover, this can hold them off a few more months…this sticker paint can be put on walls to create chalkboards. This can give them lots to do and make their room very cool. They can also put up to do lists and their friends can leave notes.
3. Dart Board: Soft-Tip Dart Game:
Notice the soft tips, darts can be a great thing for kids to do offline and the soft tips will not poke someone’s eye out. Do it as a family or encourage your kids to have friends over to play.
3. Ripstick G Caster Board:
Does your child want to try something new because their skateboard is kind of becoming boring? Well then the Ripstick G is a great gift. It combines skateboarding and snowboarding and resembles a traditional skateboard. It takes only minutes to master and moves with subtle movements.
5. Water-resistant USB Thumb Drive:
These are always useful for kids who are getting older and sharing the family computer or bringing papers to school to print out papers last minute. Kids often begin transferring files at school or in computer labs. Water resistant is important because—well, you know, kids spill everything.
Best Gifts for Toddlers
1. Classic Balance Bike
If you want to teach your child to ride a bike, then this balance bike is a perfect way to get them to learn naturally. It’s designed for children from two years old and up and allows children to learn the balance and motor skills necessary for biking, safely and naturally, without relying on training wheels. The two-wheel, pedal-free bike allows kids to run the bike along and eventually learn to coast with their feet up.
Children can stack, spin, balance these 6 multicolored layers. This is fun for toddlers and great for building skills and hand eye coordination. Not a bad conversation piece for your living room either!
3. Rock and Roll Alphabet
If your child is beginning to learn their letters, Rock and Roll Alphabet is a fun gift idea. Cool music and fun games build excitement about learning to read. It covers the most common sound that each letter makes.
4. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
Kids will giggle while playing this game. Kids collect acorns and have to practice being strategic to make sure their squirrel gets the most. Great for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.
5. Alex Twist and Drill
Little guys love this drill. Designed especially for little hands, these pint-size tools allow toddlers to practice hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills with variety of multicolored bolts, wheels, and practice holes. The tool set features a power drill with three interchangeable bits that can also be attached to a screwdriver handle.
Best Family Gifts
Family video gaming is one of the most popular of modern digital technologies, cutting across age, demographic and gender divides. Wii is designed to encourage integration into existing home entertainment systems so it is easy to implement. Wii can get a family playing together and off the couch to be more active.
2. Fit Deck Junior
FitDeck is a unique deck of Exercise Playing Cards that makes exercise more simple, convenient, and fun. If the family wants to get in shape and make it fun you can use the FitDeck junior deck which has exercises for kids that the family can do together. It never gets boring and it is always challenging. Also easy to bring in the car to the park or toss into a drawer. Not many exercise systems can be used like that!
Cranium is one of my family’s all time favorite games. This is played in teams and is wonderful because it is a combination of all the best games–drawing, humming, trivia and even sculpting! It has flexible play length, so whether you’re an artist, a singer, an actor, or a professional speller–there’s something for everyone in this classic board game.
4. Art of Appreciation Gift Basket
This is so cool and a surprise for everyone! The box is filled with an assortment of boredom-busting games and snacks. You can order this before a family vacation as a birthday treat, or care package.
5. Melissa and Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions
Need to get everyone talking at dinner time? The Melissa and Doug family dinner box of questions is a great thing to have around to get kids (and especially teens and tweens) talking, bonding and connecting.
Best Gifts for Moms
1. Mole skin notebook
This notebook is great to take notes in, jot down ideas, make lists or even journal. If your Mom is constantly trying to keep track of things, she will love this notebook. Start it off with a nice note to her on the first page then every time she opens it she will see something from you!
2. Thumper Massager
Mom will love this massager after a long day. It improves circulation of blood and lymph and gets energy deep into muscle tissue. If you really want to make Mom happy offer to do the dishes while she puts her feet up and massages her shoulders!
3. Bluetooth Keychain GPS w/ Live Search
Does your mom often get lost? This small wonder will go with you anywhere! This compact size bluetooth can even go on a keychain! Built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery for at least 10 hours of operation and your Mom will love this new gadget so she never gets lost again.
Mom’s are all about efficient use of time and space. The Uni-tool has five functions in one tool. With this one tool Mom has a slotted spoon, a turner, a solid spoon, a spatula and a cutting tool. It’s made from tough nylon and is heat resistant.
5. Foot Spa
There is nothing better after a long day then putting your feet in a warm bath and relaxing. This foot spa treatment massages your feet with waterfall, dual bubble action that can relax even the most tired. It also comes with 3 separate attachments including: pumice, brush and pin-point massage.
Best Gifts for Dad
Dad deserves some great gifts on his day. Try some of these gift ideas for Father’s Day:
Dad will love a new Kindle to read, take notes and have for business travel or to keep in the back of the car. Kindles can hold his favorite books as well as newspapers and periodicals he likes to read all in one place!
2. Executive Travel Putter with Telescoping Shaft and Simulated Hole
Whether Dad uses this at work or at home, he will love this golf set, which includes an adjustable putter with a telescoping handle and simulated golf hole and ball. It’s even small enough to travel with and throw in a duffel!
3. Mini Indoor Helicopter
This might drive Mom a little crazy, but it sure will make Dad happy! This mini Indoor Helicopter can be flown indoors or outdoors and flies in 6 different directions and can be flown up to 10 meters away.
4. Nike Fuel Band
If your Dad is trying to get in shape or just have an idea of what kind of energy he is burning, the Nike Fuel band is an awesome gift. Nike’s all day activity tracker is completely waterproof and displays real time progress towards your daily goals so you stay motivated to burn more calories, take more steps, and keep moving to accomplish your personal NikeFuel score.
5. Madden NFL 11 (XBOX 360):
Help Dad feel like the touchdown hero he really is with this down to the core guy game. With every noise and move, they’ll feel like they are playing in the actual team instead of moving their fingers. It’s no secret that guys love their video games, but when you mix that with sports, your athlete will have gotten a taste of heaven.
Best Gifts for Parents
1. Picnic Backpack
Encourage your family to do more outdoor activities together. The Picnic Backpack makes it so much easier to take food with you. It has an insulated cooler and is divided into two sections. The top mesh section, with it’s drawstring closure, is designed to hold clothing, towels, or other gear that needs to breathe. The bottom section features ThermoGuard insulation to keep food warm or cool for hours and a heat-sealed, water-resistant lining to guard against leaks. Perfect for day trips, hiking, the beach, sporting events, and fishing.
2. Digital Picture Frame of You!
If you want to get your parents something special, then get them this awesome digital photo frame and load it up with pictures of you and the family. Mom and Dad can put it in the house or Dad can bring it to his office.
3. Power Screwdriver with Magnetic Screw Holder
So, why would everyone love this tool? Dad will love this new power screwdriver with magnetic screw holder and Mom will love it because it will get things off of her honey-do list around the house. Everyone wins!
4. Coupon Book
You can make your own coupon book for your parents or you can get these ones, one for Dad and one for Mom. They will love all of the acts of love you can give them whenever they need you most.
5. Waffle Maker
Waffle Makers are fun for the whole family on Saturday or Sunday morning. This waffle maker makes 1-inch thick, 7-inch round gourmet quality waffles with extra deep pockets and 4 easy cut sections. Make chocolate chip, banana or blueberry waffles at home.
Best Graduation Gifts
1. Mushroom Green Zero Wall Travel Charger
Graduates will love this travel charger because they will be on the road back and forth from college or new jobs a lot. The GreenZero technology eliminates wasteful stand-by consumption energy because it automatically shuts off with zero idle power when device is fully charged. It also has a cool design in addition to being functional. Every graduate nowadays have tons of devices, so get them something they can juice up with!
A netbook is a smaller lighter laptop. Perfect for college students who want to take notes in class and haul their computer all over campus. This netbook is a great one because it is not too expensive (especially for a computer) in case it is spilled on or dropped but has all the functions a college student would need.
3. Subscription to The Week
This is what I got my sister for her High School graduation. The Week is one of my favorite magazines and I look forward to getting it every Saturday. It is a magazine of all of the news from around the world that week. Graduates need to be up on current events and what is happening in the world. This is a great way to stay up on news in a digestible format.
4. Cashflow Game!
This is one of the most amazing games I have ever played. Graduates are going to be on their own for the first time and they need to learn about finances, budgeting and how money works in the real world. The Cashflow Game was actually designed to teach financial literacy in a more fun way. It is played at business schools around the country. If you can give your child the gift of financial smarts, there is nothing better for them to have before starting life on their own.
If you are feeling really generous you can get your graduate an iPad which they can use to read, take notes on and even video chat with you from school! Students can now get their textbooks on the iPad and take notes on them right there. There also a number of academic apps students can use for vocab, library and testing–not to mention some of the fun ones like Netflix and Boggle.
Best Gifts for Kids Going Away to College / College Freshmen
We get addicted to playing boggle because of the twist and shake start. This boggle is compact and quieter than older versions. In 3 minutes you have to find the most words you can. Great for cramped dorms or road trips. Very little space needed!
2. Wireless Speakers:
Wireless speakers for a phone, ipod or MP3 are great for dorm rooms. This is great to play music while hanging out, getting ready or even during studying (nothing too distracting of course).
3. Table Topics College
This is a small game that is easy to pack and has a series of get to know you and thought provoking questions that new friends can ask each other. This is also a great activity for dorm meetings or for residential advisors to encourage their dorm mates to get to know each other.
4. Solar Computer Backpack:
Does your teen have a ton of electronics? This might help keep everything charged (I kinda want one) while they are away and walking around campus. I always used to forget to charge my phone or wouldn’t have time to charge my computer in between classes. This charging backpack would have saved me a lot of time.
Perhaps this is not a parent’s favorite game for their kids to bring to college, but it sure will be their teen’s favorite game! Twister is the fun and hilariously awkward really get to know each other game. Your college student will love playing this game in cramped dorms with new friends.
Gifts are a wonderful part of showing appreciation and celebrating with those you love. Remember this still means it is important to be grateful. Have kids clean out their room, closets, attic and garage and take old toys and electronics to Goodwill. This makes room for the new and teaches kids they have to give back as they receive. You can also volunteer at a soup kitchen or bring gifts to a local children’s hospital over break to get kids thinking about those who are less fortunate. Most importantly, enjoy these gifts together! Celebrate and play as a family and make sure your kids write thank you notes for all the great gifts they received.
Have you seen our other top picks?