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Best New Year Gifts for Kids of All Ages

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Whether you're shopping for your six-year-old nephew, your twelve-year-old cousin, or your sixteen-year-old daughter (or maybe even all three), finding the perfect New Year present for a child or teenager can feel impossible. Seemingly more impossible is finding a good gift—one that's interesting and unique, something beyond the clichéd celebrity calendar or a super-sized pack of patterned socks. If you need inspiration for New Year gift ideas for a child or teenager, look no further: these creative present ideas for kids of all ages will be the hit of any party.

Ages 5-10

  • Kiwi Crate: The name "Kiwi Crate" is fun enough on its own, but it's the contents themselves that are even better. Every box is full of kid-friendly, hands-on building materials, art projects, and books, all of which are designed to promote a child's budding creativity. You can get a monthly subscription to Kiwi Crates and get a new box every month, or use the site's "gift" option to buy a box for fixed one-, three-, six-, or twelve-month periods.
  • Indoor Play Tent: The possibilities for this gift are almost endless: the tent can be a child's imaginary castle, or the place where they "play house" with their friends, or even just a designated area for reading and playing. No matter what it's used for, an indoor play tent is perfect for any elementary school-aged kid.
  • Color-Your-Own-Mug Set: Skip the trip to Color Me Mine and buy your niece a color-your-own-mug set (such as this one). It's perfect for any kid who's interested in arts and crafts, and will certainly keep them entertained for a long time.
  • Cubebot: For kids who love hands-on activities or building with Legos or blocks, toys like this one are perfect: they're multi-functional, easy to use, and just plain old fun to play with. And the bonus? They're also durable and mess-free, perfect for parents who don't want to have to worry about cleaning up after their kids (and kids who don't want their parents bugging them about cleaning up).

Ages 10-15

  • Make-Your-Own Jewelry: Not only can you find a make-your-own jewelry kit in pretty much any store or website that sells toys, but you can also get a kit for almost any piece of jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, and even headbands (not jewelry, technically, but close)—perfect for the budding accessory enthusiast. These kits also tend to be more reasonably priced, minimizing the strain on your budget while still maximizing the creativity and fun.
  • Video Games: This gift idea may be more general, but it's also practically fail-proof: any kid with a video game system can never have too many games. You can't go wrong with classics like Minecraft, Super Smash Bros., and Zoo Tycoon, but more recent games like Skylanders Trap Team and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes are also sure to please any middle-grade child for New Year.
  • Rick Riordan Books: Although Rick Riordan published his first book, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, back in 2005, he's still writing—his most recent book, The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle, was just published this year. Riordan's mythological characters and laugh-out-loud dialogue make his books a must-have for any book-loving kid.

Ages 15+

  • DJI Phantom 4: Any teenage tech-enthusiast will be beyond thrilled with their very own flying drone. Despite it’s steep price, DJI Phantom 4 is top choice with amazing bang to performance ratio. If spending over 1000$ for a flying toy is out of the question, there’s Phantom 3 on sale for less than half that, making it ideal for any New Year gift shopper—and a must-have for a tech-loving teenager.
  • Polaroid Camera: Give your teenager a selfie stick for New Year, and they'll roll their eyes—but give them a Polaroid camera, and they won't be able to stop taking pictures. Polaroids are back in style, so inexpensive models are available from places like Amazon and Urban Outfitters. If you want to add some extra oomph to your Polaroid gift, you can even add items like extra film, a colorful camera case, and Polaroid-sized photo albums and frames.

Phone Case: Like video games, this is a gift idea that's broad, but also effective: what teenager doesn't have a cell phone? Plus, cell phone cases are inexpensive and easy to find: Amazon alone has millions (literally) of options for under ten dollars. If you want to spend a little more, stores like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie also have slightly more expensive cell phone cases that are also unique and cool. No matter what you choose, a phone case is guaranteed to please any teenager.

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