Last-Minute Gifts For Kids

Cuddle Bug
A cozy knitted play set from Boden will never go out of style and will keep your favorite tot warm even during the coldest months. The best part? After countless spills and washing machine cycles, these clothes (available in sizes for children up to age three) will still look fresh enough to hand down to a new baby. $60

A cozy knitted play set from Boden
A cozy knitted play set from Boden


Plush Pup
Do you know a child who desperately misses a beloved pet while on long car trips or wants to sleep with the family cat in the top bunk even though it’s off-limits? Petsies will make a stuffed replica of any pet—even a horse—from just a photo, and the resemblance is uncanny. $249


Budding Hendrix
This expertly crafted electric guitar for kids comes with an app that gives music lessons via video. The Loog Pro Electric guitar is made of solid wood and is available in seven sleek colors, including pink. $199

The Loog Pro Electric guitar
The Loog Pro Electric guitar


Better Than Gloss
For the child who has recently discovered your makeup bag, these solid-milk-chocolate lipsticks offer a sweet alternative. $20

Solid-milk-chocolate lipsticks
Solid-milk-chocolate lipsticks

North Star
This outdoor adventure kit is guaranteed to give any iPad a run for its money, for what kid isn't an explorer at heart? The set includes binoculars,  a magnifying glass, a flashlight, and a compass—so little ones can find their way home, even when it's dark. $24

Outdoor adventure kit
Outdoor adventure kit


Lights On
A portable reading light will come in handy when a book is impossible to put down (see sidebar). It has three settings so your child can choose one that won’t disturb a roommate or younger sibling asleep in the next bed. $13

A portable reading light
A portable reading light


Book recommendations from our own kids 

For ages 3–7

Julius’s Candy Corn, by Kevin Henkes. A sweet, simple tale that incorporates basic counting.

Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson. A rhyming delight filled with all kinds of creatures—and lessons of grace, inclusion, and kindness.

Saturday Is Swimming Day, by Hyewon Yum. Learning to swim isn’t easy, but this delightful book eases the pain.

Yoda: The Story of a Cat and His Kittens, by Beth Stern. A cat no one wants is finally adopted and becomes a leader, caretaker, and inspiration. 

Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems. You can’t go wrong with any book by Mo Willems, but this three-volume series about a little girl growing up is surely his masterpiece. 

Llama Llama Mad at Mama, by Anna Dewdney. Llama is annoyed that he has to go to the store and get dragged around with Mama. A fantastic view into how frustrated a child feels just before throwing a tantrum. 

The Night Gardener, by Terry Fan and Eric Fan. This book has no words, but its detailed illustrations allow a child’s imagination to run wondrously wild.

For ages 8–14

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, by Rey Terciero. An extraordinary retelling of Little Women.

Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo. A little girl finds a dog at the grocery store—and the rest is history.

SmileDrama, and anything else by Raina Telgemeier. Not since Judy Blume has a young-adult writer shown such deep empathy for the heartbreak included in growing up.

Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbit. A young girl meets a family whose members are immortal and is confronted with conflicting emotions about the prospect of living forever.