19 meaningful gifts for kids, because we need more of that right now.


We’d like to think that any gift in our holiday gift guide is a meaningful gift — because it supports a small business, because it was lovingly handmade, because it gives back to a good cause, or simply because it allows you to convey your love to someone in your life with a gift you’ve put some thought into. 

When it comes to kids though, we really wanted to create a dedicated holiday gift category just for meaningful gifts for kids.

Whether these ideas support a charity or a person in need, provide kids with meaningful experiences, celebrate what makes them special, support their future, or connect them to family and friends, we hope you’ll find something perfect here for a lucky child on your list. 

19 meaningful gifts for kids, because we need more of that right now.

All picks have been editorially determined by our staff. There has been no compensation for inclusion in this guide. 

This guide contains affiliate links and some purchases help support our own small business at no additional costs to you.. 

All discount codes expired 2018

For more up-to-date discounts and gift ideas, please visit our 2019 holiday gift guide or 2020 small business holiday gift guide

Meaningful gifts for kids: Random Acts of Kindness kit by Boom Boom Cards

Random acts of kindness card kit

Because: Kids are born loving to do nice things for others.

$10-15, Uncommon Goods

Meaningful gifts for kids: Kind dolls from The Dollkind give back to kids in need

A handmade Kind Doll

Because: Each Kind Doll come with 10 “kindness tokens” to pay it forward, while donating one doll to a child in need
in an orphanage, hospital, or shelter.

$59, Kind Culture Co

Use code COOLMOM20 to save 20% off on all orders $29+ 

Meaningful gifts for kids: 529 fund donation toward college from Gift of College

A donation to a 529 fund

Because: College.

$25 and up, GiftofCollege.com; also available in Target stores

Meaningful gifts for kids: Equality shirt from Brave New World Designs supporting non-profits

Equality shirt for kids

Because: The message is a good one for any kid, and 25% is donated to the ACLU

$30 Brave  New World Designs

Click through above link for free shipping, sitewide

Meaningful gift ideas for kids: NYC Fire Museum Membership

Membership to the FDNY Museum

Because: We like supporting heroes. 
Even if you’re not in NY, you still support heroes — and get a nice discount at the shop

$25/individual, $40/family membership

Also see our collection of 11 thoughtful gifts that give back to first responders

Meaningful gifts for kids: Coloring Without Borders Coloring Book

Coloring Without Borders coloring book

Because: 80 artists donated their work so that 100% of the proceeds can support Families Belong Together.

$24.95, FamiliesBelongTogether.org

Meaningful gifts for kids: The Kidbox Dream Box of PJs gives back to kids in need

Limited edition Dreambox of pajamas

Because: Each one helps supports a child in need of cozy pajamas and bedtime stories, too

$88, KidBox in sizes 2-12

Meaningful gifts for kids: handmade custom Black ballerina ornament

Personalized Ballerina Ceramic Ornament

Because: You’re honoring her dreams

$18.95, DigiBuddha Home

Meaningful gifts for kids: Bundle of socks supporting the WWF

WWF sack of socks

Because: When we support conservation efforts, we know our kids’ favorite animals will be around when they grow up.

$55, WWF.org (your choice of 3)

Meaningful gifts for kids: Spanish-English handmade soft book from To the Market

Handmade Spanish-English soft book

Because: Learning languages create compassion and understanding, and these books
help support refugees and low-income communities in the West Bank.

$45, To the Market

Meaningful gifts for kids: Kidvelope Mission Adventure Game connects kids with far-away parents, grandparents, siblings and other adults

Kidvelope Mission Adventure Game

Because: It was designed specifically to connect kids with grandparents, deployed military parents, or any far-away relatives

$21.95 Kidvelope

Use code COOL for 25% all orders

Meaningful gifts for kids: Photo book filled witth their own artwork

A book or frame featuring a children’s own artwork

Because: Knowing you support their hard work is the real gift.

$15.99 and up, Shutterfly (you DIY, seen here)
$39 and up, Artkive (you send the artwork, they photograph professionally so you can make the book)
$75 and up, Plum Print (you send the box of artwork, they make the entire book)

Meaningful gifts for kids: Women hero button set from The Film Artist

Women heroes button set

Because: One day, your child may be the one featured on a button

$8, the film artist

Meaningful gifts for kids: Black Boy Joy shirt or daddy and me set

Black Boy Joy Shirt

Because: He should feel good about who he is, every day.

$20, youth and kid sizes or $36 as a daddy/me set, FabFlyFancy

Use code FAB4U for free shipping on all orders

Meaningful gifts for kids: A membership to a children's museum

A special day all to themselves with a special grandparent 

Because: Experience gifts make memories and lasting connections.

Prices vary; Here: $13.95/ticket to the Zoom Room at the Children’s Art Museum of Chicago 

Meaningful gifts for kids: Santa Ornament supporting St. Jude's Children's Hospital

A Santa ornament supporting St. Jude’s 

Because: Gifts that give back inspire gratitude, and this ornament was inspired by a pediatric patient’s drawing.

$10.50, Pottery Barn Kids with 50% donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

Meaningful gifts for kids: I Got the Christmas Spirit book

$12.14, Amazon or your local indie bookseller

Meaningful gifts for kids: Donor's Choose gift card to allow the child to help pick their own classroom project to support

A gift card to Donors Choose

Because: You’ll be amazed how much kids love browsing the categories, and finding just which classrooms in need
they’d like to support. (And the thank you notes from the classroom later on…it’s really something special.)

Price varies, Donors Choose

Tip: Browse the requests by “Matching Offers” and your donation will be matched sometimes 3X by generous donors.

Meaningful gifts for kids: Children of America Liberty print by Asia Draws

Children of America original artwork

Because: This is the world we want them to grow up in.

$6 and up, Asia Draws,
with 75% of profits donated to funds to help undocumented children and families. 

 Be sure to visit our 2020 Small Business Holiday Gift Guide
which helps support dozens of indie shops, makers and artists with the best gifts for everyone on your list.

See our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide here

And don't miss our guide to 50+ of the coolest gifts for kids under $50.