7 last-minute holiday gifts for kids

The holiday shopping clock is steadily ticking. Still need a few gift holes to fill? Here are our favorite, no-fail gifts for kids.

By GreatSchools Staff

Homemade gift certificates

Whip up a stack of coupons with treats for your children. These could range from the everyday to the extravagant — your imagination’s the limit. Let them get out of doing the dishes, try a heretofore forbidden food, make time for a family activity, have dinner at a favorite restaurant, or even take a trip.

"In eternal lines"

Younger kids might appreciate your attempts to immortalize them in poetry. Make your verse silly or serious — either way, you’ll give them a memorable and personalized gift. But please don’t try this with teens (unless you're prepared to endure endless eye-rolling).

Memorable mementos

Look around your house for family keepsakes. Anything that has some kind of sentimental value works well: old photos from a family album, a baby blanket, your grandmother’s ring, your grandfather’s military dog tag — you get the idea. Repair or restore them, frame them, or incorporate the items into a craft project and explain how you made it.

Jefferson gold coin

In mint condition

While you’re out doing errands, stop by the bank for a collectible coin or two. With the latest presidential dollar coins, you’ll have your pick of the Founding Fathers (George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson) and failures too (Zachary Taylor, anyone?). Other rarities like centennial coins or $2 bills are also good bets.

Adopt an Amur leopard

Fewer than 40 Russian Amur leopards are left in the wild, and for as little as $25, you can “adopt” one and help sustain a disappearing species. No doubt there’s a lot of good karma in a gift like this. Just print out a photo of the big cat as a stocking stuffer while you wait for the materials to arrive.

Send an iTune

Do your kids have a favorite song, band, book, or movie? Send them an iTune. As long as you’re not downloading music from the Insane Clown Posse, iTunes is instant and relatively painless. Or if you can't keep up with their changing tastes, send them a gift certificate for a set dollar amount.

Hot cocoa

Still desperate? Tempt them with favorite foods

Do your children have a hankering for foods beyond your budget or their balanced diet? Whether it’s Almond Roca or pistachios, mint-flavored hot cocoa or Asian mangoes, indulge your kids' taste buds by wrapping up a stash of their favorite rare treats.