I waited (almost) patiently this morning while my daughter carefully arranged her outfit this morning.
Animal print leggings.
Owl boots and ear muffs.
Polar bear mittens.
Animals from head to toe just in case it wasn’t already clear to me that she is obsessed. She threw on her panda bear backpack and was finally ready to go.
Like a lot of kids, she loves animals and I want to keep that in mind when I’m shopping for her Christmas gifts. If you are shopping for a kid who loves animals, this list is for you. It is a carefully curated list of ideas that your child will love all year long. Everything on the list is something we already have and love or something on the top of her wishlist.
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Top 10 Gift Ideas for Kids Who Love Animals
1. Zoo Membership
I believe firmly in the value of learning through adventure and experience. All the books and video clips and stuffed animals in the world could never compare to the value of seeing animals up close and personal. We have had a zoo membership in all 4 states in which we have lived and I have never once regretted it. If your child loves animals, add this to your list for year round fun.
If you live in NYC: Learn more about the WCS Membership to all 5 zoos + aquarium here.
2. Stuffed Animals
I often find my daughter’s stuffed animal collection overwhelming but they are her favorite things. You can find an adorable cuddly version of just about any animal. Make sure you invest in some sort of storage bin as well – we have tall baskets like this one.
3. Vet Set
A cute puppy or cat, a carrier, and simple animal care equipment, this vet set is a win for animal lovers. This was a birthday present this year for both of our twins and they have been their most played with toy for the past 6 months. These simple props helped to expand how our twins played with their animals.
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4. Miniature Play Animals
Another way to expand play about animals is to provide some small animals that work well with blocks, magnatiles, and loose parts. Our kids use this type of animal to build zoos, create elaborate play scenarios, and more. They also work well for counting and letter to object match learning games.
5. Picture Books about Animals
When my daughter isn’t playing with pretend animals or pretending to be an animal (we were deer fawns this morning) then she is usually curled up with a book about animals. Animals are a common theme in my picture books. No matter what your child’s favorite animal is you can find a book – if you can’t let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction. Our favorite animal book collections are listed below to help but this National Geographic for Kids series is also a wonderful starting point.
6. Animal Costumes
Costumes are not just for Halloween…at least not in our house. Post-Halloween is a great time to stock up on some sale Animal costumes but they can also make for a fun gift idea for birthdays or Christmas. You can find a huge range of animal costumes online. Masks are also a fun option if you want something less space filling.
7. How to Draw Animal Guides
If your animal lover enjoys art activities then a How to Draw guide might tickle their fancy. Drawing animals can be a fun way to explore their parts and details, as well as create stories about your favorite animals. There are a ton of options out there for various ability levels, but we love Ed Emberley’s books for young kids.
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8. Binoculars + Guide Book / Scavenger Hunts
It would hard to describe just how much my kids love their binoculars. We bring them on hikes and to places like the zoo. They would certainly work as a gift on their own, but for fun you could pair them with a guide book or a pack of printed scavenger hunts.
9. Animal Themed Board Game
There are so many inventive and games out there for kids now. We have quite the collection. For a kid that loves animals, there are also some animal themed board games that would make fun gifts for the whole family to use together.
10. Animal Scene Kits
Being avid travellers, we have to have ways to bring our animals on the road with us as well. Below are two of our most beloved travel toys. We have a bunch of the Melissa and doug sticker scenes, but the animal one is a favorite. My kids also love the animal magnets that we pack with a small cookie sheet. Both are fun for creating scenes and telling stories in the car or on an airplane.
Shopping for someone who isn’t an animal lover? Check out more carefully curated lists in the KBN Holiday Gift Guide.