• Kirsten Smith

How to Find The Best Presents For Kids: Holiday Gift Ideas (4 Gift Challenge)



If you’re like me, then you struggle every year trying to think of Christmas gifts for your children. We decided to use the 4 gift rule about 3 years ago to help save money and get presents that had more meaning.


Really, many families end up overspending on presents that’ll be forgotten in a month or two. While kids will have a blast opening up a mountain of presents, spending this much money can get old fast; I can attest to this myself!


That’s why this year my family is sticking to the 4 gift challenge. With this challenge, you can keep your budget under control and make each present matter. As a parent, you’ll give gifts kids will actually enjoy and use, as they get something they want, something they need, something they wear, and something they read.


I’ll go over some ideas for this gift challenge and talk more about each of the four presents here. So, keep reading to find out how you can simplify Christmas this year!


4 Gift Challenge Present Ideas


For the 4 gift challenge, you’ll need to get your children four gifts that fit the themes of the challenge. Each person only gets four presents, so you have to make each present count.

I’ll talk about the best holiday gifts for kids for each of the categories to get you started.


1. Something You Want


When you’re planning out your presents for the 4 gift challenge, prepare to spend the most money on the something you want present. This is the big present your kids have been asking you for this holiday.


This could include the latest games, consoles, toys, and other trending items. Ask your kids what they want first. If they aren’t sure, go over my list below. Each kid is different and has different hobbies and interests. Think about what your children really enjoy doing, then find them something they’ll get excited about opening up on Christmas morning.


Ideas For Kids:

  • Popular video games: Here are some kid friendly games that your kids might want this Christmas.

  • Electronics: This could include headphones, tablets, the Nintendo Switch, smartwatches, and a few other great gadgets that are age appropriate.

  • Outdoor toys and gear: If you are trying to get your kids outside more, try buying some presents they could use outdoors. Bikes, trampolines, skateboards, and many other options are available for kids!

  • Popular toys: Finally, if you know that your kids love to play with toys try out some of these choices. You can use this gift guide to find the best toys for your kids according to their age.

2. Something You Need


For something you need, this gift should be more on the practical side. This could be anything from a college saving plan for your kids, to a big ticket item like a laptop for kids that are entering middle school, high school, or even college.


Ideas for kids:


Toiletries: You could get them a nice electric toothbrush, scented lotions and body wash, fancy face wash, and other practical presents.

  • New school gear: Maybe they need a new backpack, lunchbox, computer, or other supplies for school.

  • Stuff for their room: Pillows, blankets, artwork, and other decorations and items for their room could be something they need this holiday.

3. Something You Wear


For your something you wear gift, you can get a little more creative. You could just buy them new clothes for school and be practical. There are tons of things kids wear so you don’t have to limit it to school clothes.


Ideas for kids:


Makeup: If you have girls that are older you can give them makeup, body spray, and other beauty products.

  • Sports jerseys and apparel: Kids that love sports will really appreciate getting jerseys from their favorite sports stars. You can also get hats, sweatshirts, and other items with their sports team logo on them.

  • Clothes with some flare: Also try getting clothes that are more on the fun side. You could get rain jackets with fun prints, onesies, clothes with their favorite colors, and shirts with their favorite characters. I found this link for some great gift ideas here.

4. Something You Read


As your final gift, get something kids can read. This might seem like a boring gift to a lot of kids. It’s important to teach your kids to love learning and reading. Even if they aren’t big into books there are some really fun reading gifts you can give your kids.


Ideas for kids:


Get them a digital e-Reader: We’re living in a digital age where most people prefer to read words on screens. Why not teach your kids to get into reading with a kid friendly Kindle other reading tablets?

  • Popular kids books series: There are some great book series for kids. There are tons of fun reads for children of any age.

  • Interactive books: You can also buy educational books that are interactive. This is a great gift for younger kids!


Helpful Tips For 4 Gift Challenge


If you need some helpful tips for gift shopping, I’ll talk about some simple ways you can manage stress and plan out your gift challenge this year!


1. Have a Budget


You’ll be buying a lot less gifts this holiday if you are going by the 4 gift rule. This doesn’t mean that you can’t set a budget. Decide how much you want to spend on each kid, and what the price limit will be for your gifts. This way you can plan your finances responsibly this month.


2. Make a Schedule


I know holiday shopping can be stressful, especially when you want to buy the perfect gifts for your kids. Still, don’t leave your shopping to the last minute. It can be a lot more stressful scrambling to get presents last minute.


3. Look For Discounts


We can all agree that discounts make holiday shopping way more fun! I suggest looking online for sales and other shopping events. This way you don’t have to pay full price for gifts this year.


4. Be Thoughtful


Finally, be thoughtful when you pick presents. That’s been a big theme as I’ve talked about this gift challenge. Each of your four gifts should be well thought out. You want your kids to know that you put a lot of care and love into each present.


Final Thoughts on 4 Gift Challenge


Instead of spending your whole holiday budget on presents that will just pile up in your home, you can get something unique and special for your family this holiday season! Many of us think that Christmas and other gift-giving holidays are all about excess. The more the better, right?


By using the 4 gift rule my family and I have actually found more meaning and happiness when opening presents. My kids are less tired of opening up gifts they don’t need, and we’ve all learned how to be more grateful during the holiday season by opening up fewer presents. Definitely give the 4 gift challenge a try if you want to change how you celebrate the holidays.

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