When you’re looking for a cool birthday gift for a 6-year-old, it’s so much fun. First-graders are ready for more complex toys and games that stretch their imaginations and sometimes even their bodies. We love gifts that get them thinking, moving, and–most importantly–having fun. Here are just some of our (very many) favorite cool gifts for 6-year-olds that go beyond the expected.
($49.95 at Amazon)
Brilliantly combining the cool technology of an iPad with hands-on, tactical game play, the Osmo iPad game is such a fun learning tool for kids. They can even use it on their own or with friends at those myriad after-school playdates. What a smart way to reinvent screen time.
($89 on sale at Amazon for starter house)
Combining imagination, technology, and DIY, this is a fantastic gift from a cool Swedish company for boys and girls who want to play house–and light it up while they’re at it. Kids can even download wallpaper and printable decor from the site, making craft-time part of the fun. Just make sure you include the power supply and lights — and some furniture of course — which are sold separately.
($10.85 at Scissor Mill)
Personalizing gifts always makes them more special, and we’re so happy to have discovered this cool, very reasonably priced laser-engraved harmonica from a nifty California-based Etsy shop.
(Science Set of Temporary Tattoos, $15 at Tattly)
This is such an awesome age to get kids excited about STEM and the wonders of science — although they probably are already. We love these temporary tattoos which aren’t your usual hearts and butterflies. Even cooler, pop them in a birthday card that includes an annual membership card to their local science museum.
($25 at Pico)
One of our favorite indie artists is now making a small line of children’s jewelry, and we think these colorful resin LEGO-inspired blocks make a very special gift to make a very special girl feel grownup.
($34+ at Amazon)
Do not fear the pogo stick! If your 6-year-old is between 40 and 80 pounds, we found the perfect ones from Flybar that are lightweight, made with foam-covered metal, and get fabulous ratings even from nervous parents.
($10 each, Barnes & Noble)
Brad Meltzer’s critically acclaimed biography series for kids is so inspiring and fun — and we love that each book conveys the theme that anyone can be a hero. Each book brings to life stories of important figures from Rosa Parks to Albert Einstein in a way that will charm and engage kids. And they keep updating the series, with recent additions including Malala Yousafzai and Jim Henson. Get more than one title for a really thoughtful 6-year-old birthday gift.
($12.99 on sale at Sew Plain Jane)
Our sponsor Sew Plain Jane knows that there are all kinds of superheroes that our kids imagine themselves to be. So they’ve recently added this uber-popular Elsa-style glittery cape with a silver snowflake in back, draped in lace tulle. And wow, amazing price for a totally handmade costume piece. We know quite a few girls who will never ever let it go. (Ha, couldn’t resist.)
Special Offer: Save 10% on your order with code CoolMomPicks10 through 4/10/17.
($9 at MoMA Store, $8.10 for members)
Kids are obsessed with drawing on themselves, so why not give them a set of body crayons that come off easily at bathtime later? Sure beats Sharpies. As we can tell you from experience. Sigh.
******* About our sponsor
If you’re looking for a fun, wildly affordable birthday gift for a kid of any age, Sew Plain Jane is a wonderful mom-run business making handmade superhero capesour kids love. With basic capes starting at just $4 (yes, really!), they can be customized all kinds of ways to suit your super kid.
And don’t miss their brilliant DIY cape decorating kits that make for fantastic birthday party crafts that become the coolest take-home favors.
Special Offer:Cool Mom Picks readers save 10% on orders at Sew Plain Jane with code CoolMomPicks10 through 4/10/17.
($50 at atsuyo et akiko)
For a great birthday gift for 6-year-olds, try filling up their game collection all the classics. One way to do it is with this cool French-made case from toymaker Vilac that includes Checkers, Parcheesi, Snakes & Ladders, and Backgammon. Family Game Night is ready to get off the ground.
(Dolls for $19.95; accessory sets extra, at Lottie Dolls)
At a time when most “girl dolls” look nothing like any girls we know, it’s so refreshing to find Lottie Dolls, whose bodies better resemble the actual kids who play with them. (As in, their waists are not smaller than their feet.) These dolls offer lots of skin tones to choose from, plus age-appropriate outfits and accessories in aspirational themes like science fair, karate black belt, or the veddy British sounding Branksea Festival.
($19.95 at Amazon)
Future authors can become current authors with this cool make-your-own-book kit from Lulu Junior that allows them to write and illustrate their own 20+ page storybook that then can be sent to the company, and printed into an actual hardcover. Kids are such imaginative storytellers at 6, this is the perfect age to start preserving those gems.
($25 at Tree Hopper)
Whoa-Bots is a cool little indie design shop out of Chicago making oh…you know. Just ninjas. Part plaything and part clever building toy, they’re fierce enough to put up with some pretty heavy play and great to bring on road trips.
($129.99 at Micro Kickboard, and pair it with a helmet!)
Our long-time favorite kids’ scooter, the Maxi Micro Kickboard, is perfect for kids around 6 who may not be ready for a two-wheeler, but still want some big-kid fun. Steering is easy and smooth for tricks and fast turns, and kids love that the T-bar and joystick handles are interchangeable. Plus, it grows with your kids up to age 12. One of the best investment toys you can find.
($24.99+ at Candylab Toys)
These are as much play cars as cool collectors items that will look awesome decorating a shelf or nightstand. Oh okay…we want to play with them too. Check out the awesome mid-century designs from this very cool indie toymaker, that range from woodie station wagons and campers to taxi cabs and police cruisers.
($27 at Anji for Society 6)
Any kawaii-loving kid will love snuggling up with this super cute rainbow unicorn each night. Our own little unicorn fans would probably carry it around with them all day if they could!
($80 at Uncommon Goods)
As kids get a little older, they love having their private spaces for imaginative playtime. Especially if you’re in a smaller home or apartment without a playroom, a great 6-year-old birthday gift is the gift of a playspace, thanks to a cool playhouse like this awesome space pod. Inside, behold as they play Star Wars, Star Trek, or Guardians of the the Living Room.