Kids & Baby

10 useful gifts for kids that aren’t boring

Buying gifts for kids is tough. Get the plastic, flashy thing they want and it’ll be broken in days. But choose something ‘educational’ and it risks getting thrown straight to the back of the closet.
But ‘useful’ gifts don’t have to be boring. We’ve pulled together ten gift ideas for kids they’ll love (and mom and dad will love you for too).

1. Audio books and ebooks

Where to get it: Google Play, Barnes & Noble
Budget: $10-$30

For gripping tales that keep their attention but cut down on screen time, why not treat them to an eBook or audiobook gift card – the perfect gift for kids. From the latest kids’ fantasy novels to amazing science and interesting history, they can choose from thousands of titles to keep them entertained.

A Google Play gift card is super versatile, with games, apps, movies, eBooks and audio books to choose from. They’ll just need to download the Google eBooks app to start downloading all their new stories, to read or listen to whenever they like. You might know Barnes & Noble for its stores, but it has a great line of eBooks and audiobooks too. With loads of titles available through their eReader service Nook – many under $5 – you can keep them busy for hours!

2. Spa experiences

Where to get it: Spafinder, Zeel
Budget: $30-$50

Just because they’re kids doesn’t mean they don’t need to chill out from time to time. And if you’re looking for a gift for kids who are a little older, a spa experience could be a really special treat. How about a mom and daughter day? Or an at-home spa experience for a grown-up birthday gathering? With a spa gift card, they can choose.

If they’re new to spas, Spafinder gives them the perfect introduction. With a Spafinder gift card, you can search a range of providers and treatments, from express mani-pedis to full-on spa days. Want to introduce them to spa treatments in the comfort of your own home? Zeel offers mobile therapists who bring the spa to you. Perfect for a pamper party or special parent-child chill out day.

3. Sweet treats

Where to get it: Sweet Frog, The Cheesecake Factory,
Budget: $20-$30

Know a child who loves hanging out at the mall with their friends? A gift card is the perfect way to fund their iced coffee or frozen yogurt habit. With a range of cards available for all their favorite outlets, you can treat them and teach them the value of money with their own card.

Want to treat them to something special for a birthday or ‘well done’ gift? Send them to dessert heaven with a gift card for The Cheesecake Factory. With cheesecakes, ice cream sundaes and desserts to choose from, they’re sure to get their sugar fix with this one!

4. Days out

Where to get it: Coney Island, Children’s Museum,
Budget: $50-$75

These days, kids have so much ‘stuff’ so it’s nice to buy them an experience instead. With gift cards available for loads of great attractions, there’s no excuse for cluttering up their rooms. Why not buy a card for yourself so you can go along with them?

With a waterpark, fun fair rides, arcades and food stands, Coney Island in Cincinnati is a fun day out for all the family. A gift card is valid for tickets, food and merchandise, so they can spend their cash on whatever they want. Know a budding Einstein or would-be Neil Armstrong? A day out at the Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh is the perfect gift for a little enquiring mind. With lots of interactive exhibits and hands-on experiments, it’s the ideal day out to inspire a lifelong love of learning.

5. Gaming

Where to get it: Xbox, GameStop
Budget: $20-$50

Know a kid who’s permanently chained to their Xbox? Help them keep up with the latest gaming trends with an Xbox gift card – the perfect gift for kids who love to game. Valid for game downloads and add-ons from $5 to brand new games for $50, it’s the perfect gift for the avid gamer.

If their happy place is browsing hundreds of games at the mall, a GameStop gift card is for them. With hundreds of new releases and old school classics for all kinds of consoles, they can pass many a happy hour searching for their next purchase, with bargain games starting at $15.

6. Gig/concert tickets

Where to get it: StubHub, Visa
Budget: $30-$50

If they’re just getting into live music, credit for gigs and concerts will help them get out there and find what they love. From up-and-coming bands to established stars, plus Broadway shows and classical concerts, getting them a gift card lets them pick the perfect performances for them.

With live music and concerts across the US, from K-Pop to Country, StubHub’s the place to go to get tickets for the biggest bands around. Load their gift card and help them see their favorite stars for real. The perfect gift for kids who’ve got dreams of becoming a rock star.

Not sure if the band they liked last year is still their favorite this year? Don’t risk booking the wrong thing – give them a Visa gift card so they can book their next concert for themselves. Valid anywhere that accepts Visa, just load the card and let them wait in line when the box office opens.

7. The ultimate night in

Where to get it: Netflix
Budget: $10+

No more arguing over what to watch. Let them find a show that’s just for them with their very own Netflix gift card.

With loads of great kids’ movies and original shows to choose from (plus individualized kids’ logins to manage what they watch), there’s sure to be something they’ll love. It’s not all cartoons and comedies – there’s loads of great entertaining, educational content too, so you don’t have to feel guilty about letting them have some screen time.

8. Apps, streaming and downloads

Where to get it: Apple, Google Play
Budget: $10-$30

Gone are the days when kids would be thrilled to unwrap the latest album from their favorite artist on CD – now it’s all about downloads and streaming. Plus, how are you supposed to keep up with what they’re into these days? Don’t risk buying the wrong thing – treat them to an eMusic gift card so they can get their new favorite tunes straight to their device.

For the Apple addict, an Apple gift card is the perfect choice. Whether they want to boost their iTunes collection with tracks from as little as $2, stream their favorite tunes, play games or watch their favorite shows, an Apple gift card gives them the freedom to access the entertainment they’re into right now.

If they’re more into Android, get them a versatile gift card from Google Play. With access to downloads, streaming, podcasts, movies and TV, they can pick and choose from the latest releases, whether that’s a single track or their favorite artist’s entire back catalog.

9. Makeup

Where to get it: Claire’s, Sephora
Budget: $10-$40

For little ones who love a bit of glitter or pre-teens who are growing up fast, makeup gift cards are a great gift for kids. Plus, with everything from lip gloss to full-on glam kits available, you can treat them to a little surprise or go all out.

Make up from Claire’s is a great starting place for kids finding their own style. With cute character palettes, shiny lip glosses and glittery gels from just a couple of dollars each, Claire’s kid-friendly makeup is perfect for little girls wanting to dress up for that next birthday party.

For pre-teens who know what they like, a gift card from Sephora is sure to be well-received. With brands like Dior, Clinique, Urban Decay and Benefit, they can indulge on something special they probably couldn’t afford themselves and be the envy of all their friends.

10. Shopping spree

Where to get it: Macy’s, Nordstrom,
Budget: $20-$50

Not sure what they’re into? Let them go wild with a catch-all gift card for a big-name store. From toys to clothes, makeup to sneakers, a gift card for a department store lets them splurge on the things that matter most to them right now.

One of the biggest names in department stores, Macy’s has something for everyone. A gift card lets them choose from dozens of big-name fashion brands, plus there are lots of toys and gifts to bring a smile to the little ones’ faces for as little as $15. No store near them? They can use their gift card online.

For older kids who love their name brands, a gift card from Nordstrom is sure to be a popular choice. With brands including Nike, Ugg, Topshop and Gucci, they’re sure to find something to suit their style.

With gift cards from the Kroger Family of Stores, you never have to struggle to find gift ideas for kids again. Browse our full gift card range online today to find gift ideas for kids who like to cook, kids who like to draw, kids who are never off their devices and kids who love fashion. There’s something for everyone.