Have a kid who loves to build, tinker, and create, but struggling for gift ideas? Don’t worry as we’ve got you covered with maker and DIYer gift ideas for kids in your life!
As avid DIYers and parents, we build and make a lot with our kid around. On most of our large DIY projects, he tends to help out in some capacity, and we love to encourage his curiosity and a love for making things. But sometimes kids need their own tools and age-appropriate projects.
Birthdays and holidays are the perfect time to gift items that are useful and experiential for kids to continue to develop STEM skills and creativity. Inspired by our own little maker, we have 10+ gift ideas for a young maker or DIYer in your life that we would recommend!
Maker Gift Resource List
- Kid’s Tool Kit
- Kid’s Wooden Tool Set
- Hand-crank Drill
- Small Battery-powered Drill
- Kid Workbench
- KiwiCo Activity Kit Subscription
- MakeBlock NextMaker STEM Kit
- Wood Toy Train DIY Plans
- Secondhand Legos
- Scrap Building Material Box
- Secondhand Tools
What Is the Importance of Making For Kids?
As an adult, we make and build for various reasons like accomplishing a task, more budget-friendly home solutions, reducing waste, etc. But kids tend to craft and make purely for the fun of it! We’ve found it’s truly important for kids to make, build, and craft at all ages because it provides a multitude of benefits.
Scholastic notes that, for preschoolers, crafting helps develop fine motor skills and boost math skills with counting and pattern recognition. While with older kids it encourages critical thinking, builds resilience and self-esteem, develops patience, and encourages a creative mindset. These life skills are so important for kids and they are why making, crafting, and building are important to encourage in their lives.
In our personal experience, we’ve watched our son’s motor skills jump in leaps and bounds as he works over and over again to screw together two boards of wood. It takes a while at first, but soon he’s doing things by himself perfectly and experimenting with new ways as well. The final product isn’t much usually, but the developmental benefits of the effort put into this play and learning are noticeable.
Also, we’ve seen the repetition of making things has led to more imaginative play that also invokes creative problem-solving. For example, when a tower of wood or block doesn’t stay up, he’ll look at it and literally say “oh, I need more supports” or “oh, the base isn’t big enough”. As a parent, kids amaze me daily with what they are aware of and recognize, especially when building and making things.
So we love encouraging making and building with our kid, and focus on giving gifts that lean into developing his tinkering skills. Now onto some of our favorite gift ideas for kids and young makers!
Gifts To Help Them Build Anything
Personal Kid-size Tool Kit
Adult tools may be too big for kids hands or you simply might not want them using your more expensive tools. So a kid-size tool kit or set is a great gift for a young maker and builder. With older kids, you can find actual tools that work but are scaled appropriately to a kid to make them easier to use. I’ll be honest, our four-year-old loves this tool kit with kid-sized tools he got as a gift and uses it every time we’re in our small workshop working on a DIY project.
With younger kids, you can get them great wooden play tools. Our little guy has this fun wood tool set, but there are also some great handmade tool options on Etsy that can even be personalized! It’s also a great eco-friendly alternative to purely plastic play tool kits where the plastic tends to get fragile over time and breaks.
Hand-crank Drill or Kid-size Battery-powered Drill
Maybe your kid is past the stage of wanting to play pretend with wooden tools, so it’s time to upgrade their tools. However, a full-sized battery-powered drill might have too much torque for many kids! We got a small 12-volt powered drill for our kid that fits his hands well and isn’t too powerful that it flies out of his hands.
If you’re worried about handing them a battery-powered drill, then try opting for a hand-crank drill. This little hand drill is manually powered by the kid with a simple crank mechanism. It’s a perfect in-between tool for kids (and/or parents) who are not quite ready for the power behind a battery drill.
Accessibility is key for a kid who likes to build and craft. But they aren’t going to necessarily be using a flipping workbench like we designed, so consider getting a designated smaller workbench for them. There are a ton of options out there, but I’m always for supporting other small shop makers on Etsy, and there are some awesome handmade kid workbenches for tiny makers.
Or if you want to build it with or for your kid, then there are also several DIY kid workbench plans on Etsy as well!
Ready-To-Go Activity & Maker Kits
KiwiCo Activity Kits & Subscription
If your kid hasn’t tried a KiwiCo kit, then you’re missing out! KiwiCo has amazing activity and maker kits for all ages, and the best part is it’s delivered to you with everything your child needs to complete the activity. You can get a one-time box or sign up for a monthly subscription and it becomes a gift that keeps giving.
We got our first Panda Crate when our little guy was only 5 or 6 months old. It has such fun activities to do with babies that are also focused on developmental milestones. Many of the kits are filled with eco-friendly wooden toys, which we loved as an eco-conscious family.
We’ve gifted several of the one-off boxes to older cousins like the Crystal Garden and Hydraulic Claw. There are also some really great older kid (9+ years old) subscription boxes focused on making, tinkering, and engineering that I cannot wait to try when our kid is older!
KiwiCo has monthly subscription boxes for less than $25 a month. You can do monthly ($23.95 per box) in 3-month increments up to 12 months ($18.50 per box), which allows you to save more. It’s a great affordable ready-to-go gift for any young maker!
Makeblock STEM Kits
If your little maker is interested in coding or technology, then I’d check out Makeblock’s kits and coding robots. Their products focus on helping teach computer science, robotics, arts & craft, and engineering. Makeblock has one-time kits as well as subscription STEM kits with DIY projects that utilize programmable electronics paired with building materials and online lessons.
If you’re looking for a more eco-conscious option, the NextMaker STEM Kits utilize some wooden building components. Many of the kits do still contain a lot of plastic, but most of the packaging and materials can be recycled. Also, the kits create usable objects like nightlights, speakers, and toys that will be used over and over again. Especially since you and your kid can reprogram them differently if they ever get bored!
We personally tested a few NextMaker kits out and really enjoyed the methodical, yet fun learning process for coding the robots, sounds, and lights. It’s honestly like a game! It does require a computer to complete the coding tasks, but is fairly straightforward and interactive with videos. It’d be a great option for homeschooling, classrooms, or anyone looking to teach coding skills in a fun easy way!
MakeBlock kits tend to be more expensive than other “boxes” out there, but they contain days of STEAM learning content and lessons with a mix of hardware and software to really engage a young maker and teach coding skills.
Items To Gift Without Buying More
We all love to gift items to others as it’s a great way to create connection and communicate our feelings towards that person. Kids also love tangible things. However, we personally try to consume less as our population tends to overconsume. So there are definitely gift options for the more eco-conscious or people on a tight budget.
Legos are one of those toys that live on forever and allow for boundless creativity and making of random ideas. They’re honestly a staple in almost every home, especially with kids that are creative!
What’s also cool is that Legos tend to get passed down from kid to kid and even generation to generation. Many of our child’s first legos were gifted to us from my oldest sibling whose kids didn’t use the large Duplo legos anymore. So ask around to friends and family or check your local Buy Nothing groups to see if you can snag some Legos to gift your young maker.
Eco- Tip: Once you’re done with Legos in your life, Lego has its Replay program which allows you to pass forward your much-loved LEGO bricks and share the power of play with kids in need. And don’t worry if the bricks aren’t in great shape as bricks that don’t meet their standards get ground down and molded into new items!
Kids Building Materials Box
If a kid has tools, then they need some materials to actually build with. Supplying them with a box of designated building materials is the perfect little gift, and a great way to use up some of the scrap wood or cardboard you might have lying around your workshop or garage at no extra cost. Seriously, kids love open-ended play options like a pile of scrap wood to create and build anything they can imagine.
You can package up all the supplies in a nice container that could be personalized with their name on it to make it feel more like a gift rather than giving them leftovers. Having designated building materials on hand for them is also a great way to divert attention from a DIY project you might be working on, but don’t want little hands helping you.
Scrap DIY Toy Plans
Maybe you have an older kid who would enjoy making something from scratch. If you have scrap wood and don’t want to buy a premade kit with all the pieces cut out, try gifting a set of DIY toy plans. There are a multitude of digital downloads nowadays for DIY projects and you can find digital toy plans for a lot of items. We personally have a simple wood toy train set of DIY plans that we designed based on a train my husband’s grandad made for him during childhood. It’s a simple design that could be made from scrap wood pieces and be a fun gift to create with a kid.
Secondhand Tools For Kids
Kids will inevitably break stuff or be a lot harder on tools/toys than an adult. So why buy something new for full price? Consider gifting tools or items secondhand from thrift stores, online secondhand shops like eBay, Facebook Marketplace finds, or even check out your local Buy Nothing groups.
With a quick search, you can even find our kid’s little tool kit on eBay in new condition! Buying secondhand is a great way to be a more eco-conscious consumer and reduce your family’s footprint on the environment.
Other Gift Ideas & DIY Projects
Gifting kids tools and activities is a great way to encourage creativity and learn building skills. If you’re like us, then there’s always something to make or build, so it’s great to be able to involve your kids. Check out more of our DIY projects articles for inspiration or some of our other gift guides!
- 23+ Gifts For DIY Lovers That They’ll Actually Use
- 15 Eco-friendly & Zero Waste Baby Shower Gift Ideas
- 5 DIY Bed Frame Projects You Can Make
- 15 Awesome DIY Projects At Home You Can Do
- 15 Amazing Woodworking & DIY Projects With Plans And How-To Instructions
Hopefully, you found a great option to gift your little builder! Let us know which is your favorite maker gift for kids in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.