Monday, November 20, 2017

Gift Guide 2017: The Best Gifts for Kids, Teens, and Family Fun

Tis the season for Christmas shopping! Because I hate crowds, I'll be doing most of my shopping online on or before Cyber Monday. Today and tomorrow I'll be sharing gift ideas for everyone on your list. Everything is something I own and/or tried, love, and want. If you click a link and make any purchase, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting My Creative Life!

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When shopping for kids' gifts, I look for the trifecta of fun, affordable, and educational. I don't always hit all three, but fun is non-negotiable. Below are some of my favorites, all of which are Trevor Approved. If you have a specific age in mind and would like more suggestions, just ask!

  • Snap Circuits Kits - a safe and fun way to learn about electricity and circuitry
  • Everything by ThinkFun - single-player, travel-friendly games, brainteasers, and more
  • Kanoodle - this comes with us during our travels and fits easily on a lap desk or tray table
  • Magformers - it's amazing what you can make with these - so much room for creativity!
  • Floor Map Puzzles - we've had US and world floor map puzzles for years and Trevor still loves them
  • 6-in-1 Solar Kit - no batteries required to operate these once you've built them!
  • Keva Plank Sets - such a simple concept with so many possibilities
  • K'nex Thrill Rides - what's not to love about building your own roller coasters?
  • Fold and Fly Paper Planes - one of Trevor's all-time favorites
  • LEGO Chain Reactions - use the LEGO bricks you already have to make chain reactions!
  • Little Passports - fun subscriptions for science- and geography-based learning BF40 - 40% off 12 months

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You can't go wrong giving teenagers money. I have tutorials for a bunch of creative ways to give money as a gift. Read on for more gift ideas for teens.


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Our family loves board games. I've never counted how many we have, but I'm positive it's more than 100 and we play them all regularly. Here are a few of our very favorites that are fun for the whole family.

  • Labyrinth - quite possibly my very favorite game and that's saying a lot
  • Fluxx - silly, ever-changing, and totally unique
  • Quirkle Cubes - the original Quirkle is fun, but Quirkle Cubes is even better
  • Tsuro - I usually lose and I don't even care
  • Indigo - I always lose this one and still don't care
  • Disney Apples to Apples - great with a big group, and it's still fun when it's just the three of us
  • Exploding Kittens - the perfect combination of skill, luck, and silliness $5 off!
  • Rummikub - loved it as a kid, love it just as much as an adult
  • Funglish - this game is difficult, but in a good way!
  • Ticket to Ride - hugely popular and for a good reason
  • Sleuth - my mom's favorite game - it's a lot like Clue, but better
  • Blokus - best for four people, but still fun with three
  • Tetris Link - like Tetris without the time pressure

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Tomorrow's post will have four more gift guides. Hopefully you'll find something for everyone on your list. And if not, just ask! I have a lot more suggestions that I'm happy to share. 

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