Kids in the early elementary grades are achieving mastery in reading, writing, and math skills, enjoy working independently and as a team through sports and other collaborative ventures, and are growing up fast but still need time to be kids. At this age they’re gaining independence but can revert to needing the hugs, kisses, and snuggles needed in their younger years. Great gifts for early elementary ages allow them to pursue developing interests, require them to be creative, allow them to engage in favorite activities with friends during play dates, and provide a balance between school, screen time, and time outside. Here are 18 gift ideas that are sure to delight a 5-8 year old in your life this holiday season and beyond!
Disney Infinity (Starter Packs start at $54.99 on Amazon, depending on the game system you have)— With tons of favorite Disney characters as collectibles for game play, this open ended virtual world provides endless possibilities. Disney Infinity incorporates real-world toy versions of favorite Disney characters onto a device called the Infinity Base to transport players into virtual game world of the characters, locations within the Disney Parks, as well as into a giant Toy Box. It takes the imagination and creativity of real world play that combines toys into the virtual space. The Infinity system also gets kids interested in video game creation thanks to the ability to design mini-games within customized environments that involve obstacle courses, sports games, or classic arcade games that can then be saved, uploaded to Disney, and reviewed for possible inclusion on the Infinity platform for others to play. Disney Infinity is available for Wii, WiiU, PS3, and Xbox. If your child is getting a starter pack and friends and relatives are wondering what to get them, you can’t go wrong with any of the individual figures or play set packs to add to their sets. Power Discs also make wonderful stocking stuffers.
Slack Line ($69.99 and up depending on the length and width)— If you’re looking for a family gift that everyone in the whole family can enjoy year-round, consider a Slack Line. Set up between trees, Slack Lines are wide pieces of webbing that for Slacklining, a sport involving balancing on a wide piece of webbing usually anchored between two trees. It’s a great activity that can be done outside throughout the year to help antsy kids get out the wiggles even during the cold winter months. To learn more about Slacklining, visit Gibbon Slacklines’ What is Slacklining for an explanation plus video. Image courtesy of Gibbon Slacklines.
Angry Birds Star Wars for Xbox 360 ($39.99)— Before your roll your eyes at yet another Angry Birds mention, let’s be honest—Kids LOVE Angry Birds and this newest game title for Xbox is pure fun for any fan especially since the Kinect technology actually allows you to position the birds with your hand before flinging them to release the pigs in Star Wars themed levels. And lest you think all the game play doesn’t teach your kids something, combine it with one of National Geographic’s Angry Birds titles to learn about the science behind the game and some real physics terms behind what’s happening. As a mom of a 7 year old who loves Angry Birds more than reading on his own, trust me when I say he was enthralled by Angry Birds Furious Forces! And if you’re still not convinced that Angry Birds is at all educational, read my post called 5 Things Angry Birds Can Teach Kids About Physics on Parents.com.
Spirograph ($15.54 from Amazon)— Spirograph is a throwback to one of my favorite toys as a kid. I remember being mesmerized with the different designs that were always different depending on which hole I put my pen in, the shape of the wheels that went inside the ring, and color of ink I was using. Spirograph is a completely affordable yet addictive gift that’s all kinds of crafty fun for kids.
ChalkBoard Tee ($26.99)— What kid doesn’t love to doodle to create their own custom artwork for their clothes? Less permanent than marker and far more fun, I discovered the ChalkBoard Tee during a trip to Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market in New York City and fell in love with them. These super cute shirts are made to order in the USA and feature a tiny pocket called a Chalk-It that’s just the right size to keep your chalk close by to change your drawing on a whim to show the world your creativity. Baby onesies all the way up to adult sizes are available but there’s a right age to give a kid these shirts since not all ages understand that you can’t just draw on any article of clothing with no consequence. And if you’re looking for a custom chalkboard shape on your T, just email the company!
Boom Boom Balloon ($19.99)— I was first introduced to this game during Time to Play’s game night at Type A Parent Conference in Atlanta and just watching as friends rolled the die and had to push in the sticks was anxiety producing as we waited for the balloon to blow. The idea is simple- roll the die and click/push in a stick for each number rolled. As you push in the sticks, the pressure builds inside the balloon and no one knows quite when it could blow! Play with as few as two people and even though the age on the box says 8+, it can certainly be for younger kids too.
BeyBlades BeyWarriors Shogun Steel Octagon Showdown Set ($39.99) or Samurai Cyclone Battle Set ($34.99)— One of the best sounds during playdates is the sound of BeyBlades rocketing off ripcords, dropping, and spinning around and I’m always impressed by how much time 7 year old Captain Computer and his buddies spend playing with them during playdates! With an endless ability to mix and match parts to determine the best configuration for your spinning BeyBlades, there’s no limit to the number of BeyBlades one can have. Different battle arenas change the game and if you’re looking for new tops, try the BeyWarriors Shogun Steel BeyBattle Tops that feature a five piece system for customizing tops (additional tops sold separately).
LeapReader Read & Write Series Writing Numbers Activity Set and Writing Workbook ($19.99 each)— Fine motor skills can be an issue for early elementary ages as they learn proper letter and number formation but this tedious task can be so much more interesting and engaging with the help of LeapFrog’s LeapReader ($34.99 and featured in my Preschool Gift Guide) and the Read & Write Series that feature numbers and letters through separate books. Fun math games help reinforce addition and subtraction skills while the Writing Workbook focuses on letter formation where kids can trace to learn proper formation. Both books feature special writing paper where letters and numbers magically appear.
B-Daman Crossfire Break Battlefield Arena ($29.99)— If Angry Birds involved real life action and marbles, it would be B-Daman. Engage in friendly battle as you and a friend aim to knock down targets in the middle. There’s also an online component but we prefer the IRL action and fun with a friend.
Blingles Glimmer Studio Kit ($24.99)— Make her stuff stand out from the rest thanks to 4 different colors of glitter, gems, and a glitter roller glimmer pen that bling out the stickers in the Blingles Glimmer Studio Kit that adhere to smooth surfaces. Never will her generic binder be mistaken for someone else’s!
Rainbow Loom ($19.95)— Speaking of crafty, if there’s a kid in your life who doesn’t have a Rainbow Loom yet and they’ve been wanting one, now’s the time to outfit them with a gajillion rubber bands for some cold weather fun. Come spring they’ll have plenty of Rainbow Loom bracelets in a ton of patterns to go all the way up to their elbows! For tips on Rainbow Loom purchases, Little Miss Techie can help! She wrote a post called Where to Get Rainbow Loom Supplies based on our experience combing craft stores to share which stores have the best prices on bands and boxes! And be forewarned, not all Rainbow Looms are the same! The one linked to above is the one we have and in our opinion, the best!
Club Penguin (free or as low as $5/month for membership)- I admit to not knowing much about Club Penguin until I visited the igloo in Kelowna, Canada last spring but have been a fan ever since. Club Penguin is the largest online site for kids that truly empowers them to be who they want through safe game experiences. It’s truly a site that I feel good about my kids visiting as they interact with others while tending to their flock/herd/gaggle of Puffles, customizing their igloos, playing fun games, and just plain waddling around! Read more about Club Penguin through my Introduction to Club Penguin and How Club Penguin Teaches Kids About Safe Social Networking posts.
Little Passports (prices as low as $10.95/month)— Travel the world with Sam and Sophia learning about geography in a fun way through this subscription service that takes you to a new destination every month. Choose from the World Edition (recommended for ages 5-10) or USA edition (7-12 years) Little Passports has been a favorite since my very first gift guides. Read a little bit more about it in my previous holiday gift guide writeup here.
American Girl Magazine— Any American Girl fan will love getting the magazine each month that’s full of crafty ideas, fun stories, and lots of other age appropriate content for early elementary ages. Come to think of it, my 4th grader’s subscription hasn’t run out yet and she’s still a fan!
Sports Years by MomAgenda ($28)— Every kid who is involved in sports loves seeing action shots, their team photo, and memorabilia chronicling their season. This year put them in charge of archiving favorite moments thanks to MomAgenda. Sports Years features a folder for each season with space for important information and space to hold stats, news clippings, and the team photo along with lines to record season highlights and names of teammates. Both of our kids have Sports Years and keep dive season sheets, memories of playing fall and spring soccer, and will add basketball team information when the season starts this winter! While you’re ordering from MomAgenda, pick up a couple other affordable gifts to keep on hand as hostess gifts throughout the season. I like the Notebook ($9.95) and the Live Love Laugh Journal ($12) as all purpose thoughtful gifts that won’t break the bank!
Books Series We Love for Early Elementary Ages:
- Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
- Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant (ages 4-6)
- Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park (ages 6-8)
- The Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne (ages 6-8)
- Encyclopedia Brown books (ages 7-9)
Samples were received for review purposes. Amazon Affiliate links contained in this post. All opinions are my own. Images courtesy of the companies whose items were featured in the guide. I was compensated for reviewing MomAgenda products through my involvement as a MomAgenda Council of Media Moms member.