You’ve heard it your whole life: "It’s the thought that counts." That’s why a gift card or another boring tie just doesn’t cut it in the gift department. Of course, finding the perfect gift is easier said than done, so we’re here to help. From booze and food to jewelry and cool stuff for kids, we’ve got you covered. Even better, almost everything on our list is available locally, so you can feel extra good about your holiday shopping this year.
A bin full of dress-up clothes and accessories like tutus, hats, masks, wings, wands, crazy shirts, and wigs lets kids use their imagination to dress for the scenario they’re playing. Opt for pieces that can outfit multiple roles rather than complete, branded character costumes (e.g. a red cape could accommodate a villain, vampire, super hero, princess, etc.). The collection could be new, thrift, or a mix; local sources for new items include Tree House on Elmwood, George & Company on Main Street, and Betsy Ross Costumes in Clarence. Also – peruse estate and yard sales for great, inexpensive finds!
Magazines for your mini
Monthly mail with their name on it, reading something that’s not on a screen, subject matter that supports what they’re into… If you think about it, some kids would love a magazine subscription for the same reasons adults do. There are so many options for all interests – Sports Illustrated Kids, Nat Geo Kids, Highlights, Ranger Rick, Puzzle Fun, Ask, Young Rider – there’s bound to be a publication that provides a year’s worth of entertainment (and quiet time).
Monthly science deliveries
Fun + learning = A+ gift. A new trend in toys is science kit subscriptions that send kids everything they need to conduct hands-on, safe, and fascinating science projects, along with support materials like bonus experiments, links to online videos, magazines, and more. Tinker Crate mails kids ages 9+ a creative STEM-based, hands-on project with 3-, 6-, and 12-month options ($60 covers three months). With Mel Chemistry, kids ages 7 to 14 will get four to six chemistry experiments with a "wow" factor for $49.90 per month for as long as you want.
Sometimes a keepsake that connects a kid to their heritage is priceless. Consider giving an age-appropriate, tangible piece of family history and the story that goes along with it – maybe a pocket knife their father carried as a kid, a jewelry box that belonged to an aunt known for her baubles, a tool used by an uncle as he learned his craft, the watch their grandfather got married in. Even an item with little monetary value, when paired with an exciting tale to pass down, can be worth the world to a child.
New experiences outlast "stuff" and always fit just right. Get them tickets to go do something fun, packaged with a small, related item to unwrap (because we all remember what a bummer it felt like to get gift certificates for stuff we couldn’t play with right away). It could be admission to the Buffalo Museum of Science with a magnifying glass, passes to the Buffalo Zoo with a plush polar bear, tickets to the Theatre of Youth with something fancy to wear, or an afternoon at the Sky High Adventure Park ropes course with their own carabiner.