Family gifts are often the most difficult. How can you please everyone at every age with just one? The kids are craving toys, the adults, something more practical. Boring board games and ugly sweaters are out! These unique gift ideas will work for a variety of ages and interests. None are expensive, all will bring joy and happiness to the entire family.
DIY a Robot!
If you think toys are just for kids, think again! The Amazing Tightrope Walking Gyrobot by Thames & Kosmosstays balanced using a gyroscope. My dad had one and it always fascinated me. However, this Stem Experiment Kit is more than just a gyroscope. You put the robot together with 43 pieces. Through eight experiments, you can explore the astonishing powers of the motorized gyroscope and understand the physics behind its amazing behaviors. The kit includes parts to build the robot and experimental setups, including a frame for the tightrope.
By constructing the robot and performing the experiments with the motorized gyroscope unit, young engineers can learn about the science of gyroscopic devices and the indispensable role they play in our lives. A full-color, 24-page, illustrated experiment manual provides step-by-step assembly instructions and scientific explanations. Your family and friends will spend hours getting the little robot to do tricks and even balance on the tip or your finger. Found it on amazon for $31.
Create a Cookie House for Chanukah:
Gingerbread houses delight young and old. However, for Jewish families, the Chanukah Holiday House (MSRP: (MSRP $12.99 – 15.99) is something special. It’s going to be the biggest hit of the season! The entire family can get in on the fun and build the Chanukah cookie house with this DIY cookie decorating kit. It will be a centerpiece for all 8 days if you can hold off eating it for that long! The set comes with: Icing pouch 4 icing colors; Cookie parts; blue & white Sprinkles and mini beads; Menorah and stars; Sanding sugar; yellow 6-point star; and an Edible setup board.
It’s too early for me to assemble my sample, but I’m sure it will be delicious, and everything you need is in the box. Also, when you buy or give this charming gift, you’re also giving the gift of books to children around the world, thanks to a partnership between Manischewitz and the PJ Library Hanukkah Hub with all sorts of family-friendly Chanukah resources, too. For more information visit the Manischewitz website.
Little Books Of Wisdom:
What do you need in your life right now? Author Jesse Sands has the “60 ways to experience Now Series” (St. Martins Essentials). The colorful $8 paperbacks offer quick ideas to enjoy Simplicity, Mindfulness and Happiness, and abundance. To be honest, most of the ideas are pretty obvious (don’t go into debt, pet your cat or dog, make gifts don’t buy them Etc.). However, if you’re blocked, they might remind you to do, say, think, or act in a different way. These make one size fits all gift ideas great for stuffing a stocking or for a Secret Santa. We found them on Amazon among other places.
Claire’s has SO many adorable holiday gift-ables. However, the Jingle Bell Cat Ears ($7) adds a purr-fect stocking stuffer or whimsical touch to a holiday party outfit. I’m a cat lover, so I’m bonding with my fur babies. The slim silver headband is covered in glitter fabric and the ears are festooned with silver, red and green jingle bells. If you love cat ears you’ll find a lot of them on the Claire’s Website but this feline accessory is a festive “find” (Style Number: 71186).
In the spirit of dogs love the holidays too, Claire’s offers an adorable 100% Cotton Holiday Dog and Cat Face Mask that’s sized for a child (Child Small (Ages: 3-6)). However, I’m modeling it for you. This super-cute mask is a non-surgical grade mask so good for casual, everyday use. If this doesn’t get the little ones to wear a mask, I’d be surprised! They will be comfy with elastic loops. For these holiday gift ideas and so many more, visit Claire’s Website or your favorite Claire’s store: claires.com
Perk Up Your Pancakes (and Waffles):
What’s for breakfast? Pancakes or waffles! That’s everyone’s favorite! Kick your waffles and pancakes up a notch with a Kickerfeast Pancake & Waffle Mix
Who doesn’t love pancakes and waffles? Kickerfeast offers a healthier and more colorful way to eat them. The kids will love the (natural) colors and you’ll love that the mixes have wholesome ingredients and great flavor. If your kids refuse to eat their veggies, just don’t tell them that they’re already in these mixes.
You don’t need to fuss with milk or other ingredients–all you need is water to make the mixes and put them on the griddle. Add toppings or classic maple syrup. I am loving the Blueberry but the carrot has such a fun color…actually, they are all delicious! The mixes are $7 individually or get the 4-pack for $24: Blueberry, Beet, Carrot, and Pumpkin. For more information visit the Kickerfeast website.
Fun Way To Keep On Track:
The TimeCube® looks like a big dice, and it’s fun to use. But there’s a serious purpose behind it. Whether timing dinner, or working at home, or hoping the kids do their homework or practice the piano, or you just need to keep on track, the Timecube can help. It’s easy to use. It takes 2 AAA batteries. You can just see the LED display and a low/high volume switch in the photo. Turn the cube to begin a countdown (5-15-30 or 60 minutes). The cube beeps when time is up. Turn the cube upright to stop.
Ours has 5-15-39 and 60 minutes presets. What I’ve found by using the TimeCube is that it helps you keep on track. If I tell myself I’ll spend 30 minutes answering emails and the timer alerts me that 30 minutes are up, I will stick to my schedule. This is a great gift for the person who is always late or always says “I’ll be there in five minutes: and an hour later s/he is still messing around with something non-essential. Great for kids who need to do homework or practice an instrument. For $30 it makes a great family gift. For more information visit the Datexx website
Sand on the Beach, but NOT in Your Towel:
Are you going on a beach vacation this Winter? Take along a sand-free towel from Tesalate Australia. Shake it out and the sand doesn’t stick, even if it’s wet. The towels also absorb twice their weight in water and yet they dry quickly. Patent-pending AbsorbLite™ fabric technology makes it happen. There are tons of colorful single styles and Towels for Two. My pick is the “Wild Ones” Towel for Two $99). However, if you have more than two little ones, they’ll all fit! The leopard print is on one side and a geometric design is on the other.
It’s definitely fun to share this one. The fabric feels silky, not rough like terry towels. When you’re done for the day it packs flat in its own black pouch (great for travel). Go to the beach and leave with happy memories, not the sand. Tesalate has 30,000+ five star reviews. I like this family gift idea for those who love the beach, pool, or picnics. For more information visit the Tesalate web site.
How Well Do You Know Your Cat?
The Basepaws DNA Kit for Cats came as a last-minute entry and missed being included in the advicesisters.com holiday pampered pet gift guide, However, it’s so interesting, the entire family will love it. We’re keeping this description brief, but Basepaws is the world’s only at-home cat DNA test kit . It’s sort of like ancestry or 23andMe for cats. With this kit, you can find out if your cat has a tiger, lion or cheetah relatives.
Basepaws offers two cat DNA testing products. One is focused on ancestry and health ($149). With this kit you’ll receive your cat’s detailed breed analysis and their status for 38 genetic health markers. Our sample is the more affordable test offering just offers ancestry insights ($99). This DNA Test includes a comparison to 4 main breed groups and 21 individual breeds, a chromosome map, and the wild cat index.
To get the results you have to swab your kitty’s mouth, then send the test kit back to the Basepaws laboratory. In 4-6 weeks, you will get a report with personalized updates throughout a pet’s lifetime. How cool is this?!! Visit https://basepaws.com/