With much of the world still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we know many holiday plans and traditions have been altered or cancelled altogether. This means the gift-giving landscape has changed, too, with more people likely to be searching for the perfect gift online rather than in person. There are tons of great options for kids out there, but how to choose?
That’s where our team comes in. Our student success coaches and academic tutors have put together their top gifts this year. Including ideas for kindergarten to college-bound kids, this list features fun educational toys, unique experiences, and gifts that give back. We hope this list will spark ideas—and save you a little time—during this unusual holiday season.
Gift Student Success
A new semester is just around the corner. Give the gift of student success with Private Prep’s suite of academic services. We offer everything from subject-specific tutoring and executive functioning coaching to secondary school and college test prep. View our full offerings here. And, to aid your student’s future endeavors, especially as they continue the school year in a remote or hybrid setting, consider gifting a thoughtful planner or journal like Big Life Journal, Clever Fox Monthly Planner, or Passion Planner.
These days there are plenty of great subscription services to gift kids, but one of our favorites has to be the STEM-based crates from Kiwi Co. These enriching and inspiring boxes offer loads of fun, available by age or interest. Take the Tinker Crate: perfect for ages 9-16 and up, this crate features unique science and engineering challenges (like building a hydraulic claw or fiber optic stars). Other inspiring subscription-based gifts include: Little Passports, My Book Box, and Wonder Crate.
Give for Good
Giving back is always a good move, but with the hardships faced by so many this year, it’s more important than ever. Give good with UNICEF’s Inspired Gifts program, which allows you to donate gifts to those in need. You can gift everything from school supplies and warm clothing to soccer balls and vaccines. Our 2020 favorite is their “Protect a Health Care Worker” gift bundle, which sends essential care items to front-line health care workers around the world and includes a pair of booties, respiratory mask, surgical mask, pair of coveralls, and 50 pairs of disposable gloves.
Did you know learning to code builds problem solving skills, determination, and creativity? Give the gift of a growth mindset with virtual group classes or private lessons with The Coding Space. This coding education company offers self-paced learning with a unique 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio, ensuring personalized attention. Virtual group classes supplement coding instruction with hands-on games, screen-free activities, and coding challenges to push students’ skills even outside of class. With gift certificates offered in any amount, it’s never been easier to encourage the love of coding in your child.
While indoor and in-person activities may be off the table for the foreseeable future, there are still many ways to give while contributing to local businesses. Look for annual memberships or fun events at your local outdoor learning spaces, such as zoos or botanic gardens. Consider a fun night in with gift certificates to favorite restaurants for take-out. Many local theaters, performance art groups, and symphonies have gotten extra creative with “drive-in” experiences that allow attendees in cars to tune in through a radio while watching a performance. To make a picnic out of it, bring your own food and drinks.
Kids learn best when they’re having fun. Interactive games can help kids engage in their education, and our favorites have the added bonus of enticing adults to play, too. Rush Hour, an interactive log-jam game that helps kids develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, is a favorite of our founder, Steve Feldman, who loves to play it with his own kids! Other top picks include: Hoot Owl Hoot, Spot It!, and SET.
Go on a Literary Adventure
Good books never go out of style. Consider giving your child a set of the books you loved when you were a kid (anything from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter) and reading them together. Inspire aspiring novelists with a prompt-filled, hands-on guide like Write Your Own Book, or for older writers, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. For tech-savvy readers, try a Kindle reading bundle complete with a distraction-free device, year-long subscription, and cool carrying case. For age-specific reading recommendations, check out our team’s 2020 favorites here.
Whatever you gift this year, we hope you remember the spirit of the season. Happy Holidays from everyone at Private Prep!