Updated: Nov 28, 2020
Check out our Top 10 2020 holiday gift ideas for children who want to explore the world (without leaving home!)
Does your family love exploring the world together? Are you, like me, always planning your next trip? You may have noticed, like we have, how much world exploration actually happens in your own home, especially in this post-covid world. Through literature, art, crafts, language learning, and more, we love to build relationships with the places we will visit, making the actual visits richer, deeper, and more rewarding.
ALERT! Some of the items listed below have crazy good Black Friday deals that expire very soon! Get in on the action before it's too late!
So, without further ado, here’s We 5 Thrive’s Top Ten list (in random order) for children's gifts this holiday -- unlock these experiences and spoil those kids and grandkids!
Kids can explore the world all year long with these fabulous country-by-country-themed craft boxes, delivered monthly. Incorporating STEAM principles (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), this is an excellent way to learn through hands-on enrichment and play. While this particular series is geared for kids aged 6-11, there are several other series for age groups ranging from 0 to 104. Our kids loved the Kiwi Crates when they were younger. Be sure to use code MERRY through December 31, 2020 to get up to 4 months FREE!
Break up the boredom of routine with these fantastic educational boxes. Bonus points with the parents? The kids are learning geography on the down-low -- they think it’s just play!
Is your family, like ours, navigating the recent schooling-from-home scenario, while also trying to balance it with all Mom and Dad’s other responsibilities? Our family has really been enjoying the use of Amazon Audibles. While we love a good read-aloud, Mama has to get some work in throughout the day as well. Thanks to Amazon Audibles, the kids can listen without me for a half hour or so each day, while coloring or working on their knitting and other craft projects. They absolutely love it.
Do you have a slow reader, pre-reader, or audio learner in your house? Follow this tip from our homeschool mentor Jennifer Keithley, owner of Student Success Coaching: Allow children and teens to read along with the narration -- they’ll experience stronger retention while they still get to build their reading skills. It allows for a much more enjoyable, positive experience.
Need some good travel inspiration? Try classics like Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, or Astrid Lindgren’s The Children of Noisy Village -- all available through Amazon Audibles. Or choose from modern works like Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus or Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan.
This board game is a total classic, and fun for the whole family! With versions available for “train rides” through the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, and more, family game night was never so adventurous!
For younger audiences, try Ticket to Ride's First Journey series. It's a great introduction, through fun and play, to the concepts of geography and maps!
Language learning made fun! Do your kids constantly beg you for screen time? Here’s a “game” you can heartily agree to!
Your kids are most likely not going to learn a whole new language from any app, so keep in mind that mondlyKIDS is meant to be used as an additional learning aid, supplementing any language class in which they may be enrolled. Through mondlyKIDS, they learn a small set of new words each day, and navigate a game through which they learn them. Our tip: Have your kids say the words out loud as they hear them -- it gives their tongues, and not just their ears, a chance to become familiar with correct pronunciation.
Take advantage of Mondly’s Black Friday sale and receive lifetime access at 95% off! Hurry -- this sale ends on November 30th, 11:59pm.
But even their regular prices are pretty great: mondlyKIDS has subscriptions as low as $3.99 a month. A perfect little stocking stuffer!
Kindle has also been a lifesaver in our house this fall! Kindle Unlimited keeps your house stocked full of excellent books, without the uncertainty of local library closings and openings during COVID. Many of the international books listed in #9 above are available through your Kindle Unlimited subscription at NO EXTRA COST! Many of the Kindle versions include illustrations, so this is useful for the younger kids, too.
A 6-month Kindle Unlimited gift subscription will cost you only $47.86. Upload it to the kids’ devices and stock it up with books they will LOVE - a perfect surprise for Christmas morning!
Black Friday only! Up to 50% off site-wide, until the end of the day November 27, 2020. Use code EXTRA20 at checkout!
Those of you who have booked a trip to Disney in 2021, find your perfect stocking stuffer here! Our own family is shooting for a visit to Disney World in February (shhh…. It’s a secret!), fingers crossed, and we plan to announce it through a stocking stuffer. In past visits to Disneyland, we have stocked up on Disney deals beforehand, and then given them as special little treats during our actual visit. This way, we weren’t paying an arm and a leg for souvenirs in the parks.
Need help planning your Disney trip? Contact us here.
Orboot Globe and app takes your child on an augmented reality based journey around the world. The 10” globe comes with a pretend passport, stamps, country flag stickers, and a detailed help guide. And the app is free!
Kids can explore over 400 highlights and 1000 world facts across 6 categories - cultures, monuments, inventions, animals, maps and weather for various countries. Very cool use of technology that actually exercises brain cells!
We are so excited to gift this to our kids this Christmas! Any chance to sample snacks and candies from other countries is always a hit! Bokksu delivers to your door the experience of tasting authentic Japanese snacks, candies, and teas sourced directly from centuries-old family makers. Every box you purchase supports these family-run businesses in Japan and helps keep their traditions alive. Choose monthly subscriptions as low as $39.99, or opt for a do-it-yourself, one-time purchase (get 15% off when buying 12+ items!)
Also check out their adorable My Neighbor Totoro food boxes and Studio Ghibli chopsticks! Never heard of Totoro or Studio Ghibli? Ask your kids -- they are all the rage right now!
Don’t miss Bokksu’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale: get a free gift card with any purchase, until December 3, 2020, 11:59pm EDT.
2. Cubic Fun 3D puzzles
3D puzzles by Cubic Fun feature iconic world monuments like Notre Dame in Paris, the fairy tale-like Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (a definite bucket-list destination for our family!), the Roman Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal. We recommend these for older kids, perhaps ages 10 and above, or as a project for younger kids to enjoy with their parents. More great gift ideas on Amazon’s holiday toy list.
Art supplies are never a bad idea as children’s gifts! Blick Art Materials are our own family’s go-to source for all things arts and crafts. As an international art gift this holiday season, check out their Art Storybooks for Kids, featuring artists like Van Gogh (France) and Kusama (Japan). Or check out their Relevant Play Toki Dough Bento Box, based on Japanese kawaii (“cute”) design. Browse Blick’s “Gifts for Kids” section for even more ideas!
So there you have it! We 5 Thrive's ten favorite 2020 holiday gift Ideas for little travelers. Have we missed anything? We'd love to hear ideas from you!
Don't miss Black Friday / Cyber Monday Travel Deals!
Read more here.