Skip to main content

Gifts from the Heart: 7 Meaningful Gift Ideas for Kids

Mother and daughter laughing facing each other

There’s no doubt that you give your child A LOT. But for some children, special gifts from their very favorite person (you!) make them feel special and loved in return.  

In fact, bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman, identified “Receiving Gifts” as one of his so-called 5 Love Languages®. According to Chapman, there are five distinct categories that we all use to give and receive love. For some, receiving a gift is the equivalent of saying, “I love you.”

However, with this type of gift-giving, we’re not talking about the gigantic Lego® Friends set (or even a toy for that matter). We’re talking about the kind of meaningful gift ideas that truly come from the heart, the kind that show your child you’re thinking about them—all the time.

Some people are born gift-givers. They know exactly what book, necklace, or flower is going to be the right one, while others scratch their heads in wonder about what present will express their feelings of connection to the receiver. If that’s you, no worries. Here are seven gift ideas for children that truly come from a place of love:

1. Nothing Beats Homemade

Make your child something special. Even the most untalented crafters can paint a heart on a rock or shape cookie dough to spell out a name. Regardless of what you create, they’ll love it because they know you made it with only them in mind. 

2. Gather a Gift from the Great Outdoors

When you go on a walk (whether in the woods, at a park, or along a lake or beach), keep your eyes open for something your special guy or girl might appreciate, like a beautiful rock, a cool piece of driftwood, or another cool find from nature. A gift like this lets them know you’re thinking about them when you’re away, and it keeps them connected to you—even if the walk is a chance for you to take a little time for yourself.

Photo by Jeremy and Alicia Brown Photography / Stocksy / 870994
Photo by Jeremy and Alicia Brown Photography / Stocksy

3. Send a Love Note

Drop a note in their lunchbox or write a surprise message on the mirror while they’re taking a bath. Got a kiddo who hasn’t ventured into the world of words yet? Draw a simple heart on a piece of paper and tuck it in their pocket.  

You could even take it a step further, and mail your child a postcard or letter (even if you’re not going on a trip). Even in the digital age, children love getting a letter. It may seem like a small gesture, but this lets them know how much you care—they’ll love it all: the note you write, the picture on the postcard, and getting mail just like the grown-ups! 

4. Capture Memories in a Photo Book or a Frame

We’re all so used to swiping through pictures on our phones that we can forget the specialness an actual framed photo or a photo book holds. Plus, making a simple photo book is pretty easy nowadays. Is your child still talking about that awesome trip to the beach? Are they still over the moon about your family’s visit to the planetarium? No need to spend hours on this project: They’ll appreciate this even if it’s just a few snapshots that they can flip through in a book of their own. You’re literally making memories!

5. Keep a Supply of Little Gifts with Lots of Heart

Keep a supply of little trinkets on-hand to give your child as special treats. Did they clean up toys without being asked? Or maybe they just had a truly awful day. Give them something small, like stickers or cute erasers, as a way to praise your child or to lift their spirits!  

Better yet, wrap it up and get creative with your wrapping paper. Most kids love the added excitement of not knowing what’s underneath the wrapping paper, so take the time to wrap their gift in a beautiful (or super silly) way. They will feel super special that you did this all just for them. 

6.  Dress the Part

Go twinsies for the day and buy matching clothes. Candy bracelets (to be consumed later), crazy rainbow toe socks, faux pearl necklaces, or glittery, star-shaped sunglasses—you name it, they’ll be thrilled that you want to rock their new super-cool look, too!

7. Give the Gift of Song!

This one’s especially perfect if you have a long commute, or for kids who just can’t get enough music in their day. Create a playlist of your child’s favorite jams to listen to together in the car, and tell them you made it just for them.

Meet Kim and Ann.

Certified Parent Educators and Super Moms Kim DeMarchi and Ann DeWitt share a love for helping families create deeper connections, foster respect, and (of course) have a heckuva lot of fun. (Fun and laughter are key ingredients in family life, they’ll both tell you!) DeMarchi holds a Master of Education; DeWitt earned her Master in Clinical Psychology. They’ve been penning Positive Parenting articles for KinderCare’s wonderful families since 2015. Find them online at EmpoweredParenting.com and DeWittCounseling.com.


Read more articles by Kim and Ann.

Back to top