The holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about what gifts are winners and which presents are epic failures. Don't worry, here at Lunchbox Dad I have you covered. After all, part of the mission of this blog is to bring you ideas and tools that make your life easier. I have sifted through many of the hottest products out there and brought to you all the greatest holiday offerings that are perfect for parents and kids. As always with my gift guides, I have not been paid by any of these companies and I have personally been hands on with every single gift listed here. So rest assured that I have already done the hard work for you. Your most difficult job will now be to choose which toy, tech, or book, snack, or suit is right for your family!
Toys that encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) learning are some of the hottest out there right now and Goldiblox is one of the originals. My daughter has loved their toys for awhile and I love that it encourages imagination and engineering by building a multitude of different objects and structures. They also regularly release new toys that are continually empowering young girls.
Star Wars Remote Controlled BB-8
You might have heard that there's a little movie coming out this month about a galaxy far, far, away. There's also a few toys being released. Ok there might be a ton of toys being released for Star Wars, but this Hasbro BB-8 droid is one of the coolest remote controlled toys I've ever played with. The head spins independently of the body and it is amazing how it moves. It's also much less expensive than the similar Sphero model.
Roominate is another engineering toy geared towards girls, but it uses different types of building blocks and also incorporates power. A mobile device can be hooked up to it to let children control lights, motors, etc using an rPower attachment. Roominate was also named toy of the year by a little publication named TIME Magazine.
Drones are constantly in the news and people are amazed by the photo and video shots that they can get. This isn't a pro level drone but it is perfect for letting you get outside with your kids, take a few pics, and it doesn't require investing a ton of money. The Sky Viper also has a stunt button which is great for impressing your kids with mid air acrobatics. A little tip, you will want to invest in a few extra rechargeable batteries.
Playmation Avengers Playset
My kids pretty much played with this everyday over Thanksgiving break. It looks like a video game, but most of the action is not in front of a screen and it requires active play from your kids. The basic idea is that you run around the room trying to defeat enemies and finish missions. I also appreciate that it includes Black Widow as an option, unlike most other Avengers toys. You will need a mobile device to update the Playmation set and most importantly, turn the volume down.
It's chocolate. That you can eat. Did I have you at chocolate? It dispenses from a pen (hence the name) and you can write and design with it. It's pretty simple to work but takes a little bit of practice to get the hang of. The nice thing is that it hardens in the freezer in minutes so you, I mean your kids, can eat their creations right away.
Netgear Unite 4G/LTE Wireless Hotspot
Sometimes your family is traveling and you need the internet. The problem is that it can be ridiculously expensive or you have to connect to a shady public network. I have used this Netgear Unite hotspot quite a bit now and I love it for connecting multiple devices at 4G speeds. It's prepaid and ultra portable. See my full review HERE.
Western Digital My Cloud Backup and Personal Cloud Storage
You know what's not great? Losing all of your pictures and videos that you have been stored on your phone or laptop since your kids were born. The My Cloud was easy to install and the app makes it simple to backup files from your devices. You can also view all of your files from anywhere you have a data connection, freeing up space on your phone. It took a little tinkering to get it setup, but once I did it worked like a charm.
I now divide my life with technology into two parts, before and after I discovered the Zolt charger. I know it's weird to get excited about a laptop charger but hear me out. The Zolt is small, it charges almost any laptop, plus it can power up tons of other portable devices. At one point recently I was charging my laptop, phone, and a drone all at the same time. This might be my favorite new tech item of the year.
If you have ever been traveling, but you and your family missed the game or your favorite show, then you need Slingbox. It lets you watch your actual home TV from your mobile device. So it doesn't matter if the show isn't on where you are physically located at, because you can just watch all of your home TV channels on your phone or tablet. It's easy to setup and is the perfect gift for the serious sports fan or someone who travels for their job.
HyperX Cloud 2 Gaming Headset
Do your kids need new gaming headphones? Maybe not, but would they be really fun to have? Absolutely. The reason is that they aren't just for video games, but they can be used for mobile devices as well. I was skeptical that they would stay on my five year old, but they fit his head like a glove. That is, if gloves actually fit on heads.
Moshi Kameleon Phone Case
This is truly a family friendly phone case. Not only does it look classy, but it also is very functional. It provides plenty of protection, but the kickstand also makes it easy for kids to prop up the phone to watch shows and give a few minutes of peace. I don't recommend kids spending a ton of time in front of a screen, but sometimes it is nice to have an actual adult conversation without being interrupted.
Harry Potter Special Illustrated Version
When you come across a special book that will create incredible memories for you and your kids, you must get it. I knew as soon as I saw this that this would be one of those books. The story is exactly the same but the book is filled with incredible illustrations that really add to the experience.
The Chronicles of Narnia
This is hands down one of my favorite book series of all time. C.S. Lewis is a master writer and poet who crafts a story that entertains kids and adults alike. If you have never read this series to your kids (or read it yourself) do it right now. Ok, you can wait until Christmas, but don't wait any longer than that.
Yummy Kawaii Bento Recipe Book
If you or someone you know are looking for a guide to help you make your kids' lunches more exciting, then this could be a great gift. The author Li Ming Lee not only gives recipe ideas, but explains techniques and gives lots of tips and tool ideas as well!
If the special person in your life is a foodie then Nature Box would make a great gift. You get to choose your plan and your snacks. When my box arrived, let's just say the snacks didn't sit around for very long. Everything was extremely tasty. The only sad part was looking at the empty bag that used to contain the wonderful snack food.
If your kids are a lover of all things geek, then you must think about this as a present. They will get a box every month with a certain theme. The boxes contain items like t-shirts, Funko Pop figures, collectibles, and more! It will be like Christmas all over again each month that they receive this box in the mail
Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty
This subscription box is every Star Wars fan's dream. It is brand new, and it only comes out every two months, but it includes Star Wars collectible merchandise that is exclusive to this box. There are even rare variants that a lucky few have the chance to receive. If Star Wars is your kid's thing, then this present will be legendary.
I first found out how great Lee's new line of jeans, pants, and shorts were about a year ago. They are now my go to brand and they fit my wife and kids' great as well. I recommend their Modern series of jeans for the clothes lover in your family!
I am a Christmas freak. I seriously love everything about Christmas so when I saw these awesome ugly Christmas suits, I knew I needed to have one. They come with pants, jacket, and matching tie all for a fairly reasonable price. I was actually surprised how well made it is for how much it costs. I recommend ordering a size larger than normal because the fit runs small. This gift will dazzle even the most hardened Scrooge during this holiday season.
Disclosure: Some of these items I received for review purposes and some of them I paid for myself. I received no compensation to include them in my gift guide.