Between the festive fun and time with family, kids have so much to look forward to during the holiday season. And of course, they sure do love presents! But between the batteries and sound effects on most toys and games, imagination and physical activity can be increasingly difficult to come by. This year, consider trying out toys for child development that help your little one learn, grow, and have fun, all at the same time. Whether it is encouraging them to get active outdoors, or practicing artistic endeavors, here are some of our top picks for healthy holiday gifts for kids!


One of the beautiful benefits of toys is their ability to spark imagination and play. To support your little one’s growing mind, try skipping gifts with batteries or other electronic features that do the heavy lifting of their imagination for them. Instead, try to find toys for child development that allow them to engage in social, emotional, and language skills. 

This year, consider a set of toys that offers roleplaying or problem solving opportunities. Wooden blocks, puzzles, or toys that require building allow kids to try new things and invent on their own. Alternatively, a tool kit or kitchen playset, bath toys, a play medical kit, or kids gardening tools can help kids express themselves, embrace independence, and spend time testing out big kid activities with their own toys that look just like their heroes’! 


For little ones that could use some additional time on their feet, or using their hands, consider gifts that get them moving! Toys for physical development can help kids work on both big movement “gross motor skills,” such as walking or crawling, and smaller movement “fine motor skills” such as buttoning, tying, or picking things up. Not to mention, coordination, balance, and endurance to boot! 

For large movements, think about gifting a jump rope, hula hoops, obstacle course, or a bouncy ball that they can sit on and jump around. For coordination, consider sports games with balls and targets such as a goal or hoop. Not to mention, a balance board, kids bike, or stepping stones can all be wonderful for learning balance. For smaller movements, try writing tools, threading beads, peg boards, or clay to play with. Want to get them outside? Perhaps they might like a kite to get outdoors, use their hands, and see something soar!


Boosting creativity and discovery in kids can have profound effects on all kinds of developmental processes such as self-expression, curiosity, and enjoying positive emotions. On top of that, it might even invoke a sense of earthly magic, or even help them develop a lifelong passion! For kids who love to sing and dance, help them amp up the fun with a musical instrument for kids such as a drum kit, flute, ukulele, or piano. For the little artist, consider crafting tools like colorful paper, kids scissors, or sidewalk chalk. These holiday gifts for kids can help them practice fine motor skills, flex their creative muscles, and embrace their inner Picasso! 

To promote critical thinking, consider science experiment games and toys that spark an excitement for the world around them! Think about your child’s interests and roll with them. Maybe a volcano kit, mini microscope, or model solar system will do the trick. For young kids, consider gifting a sensory playkit with interesting sounds, smells, texture, colors, or lights. Wondering about how to help your child work through emotions in creative ways? Plushies with different facial expressions can help kids work on their social skills and better understand how they are feeling too. 


At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we believe being a healthy kid can — and should — be entertained! Games or toys for child development can be the perfect way to provide holiday gifts for kids that are as beneficial as they are fun. For more recommendations, consult one of our passionate Coastal Kids pediatricians. To make an appointment visit us at