The best kids' gift ideas for 2021
Whether you’re buying for a toddler or teenager, we’ve found the best food-themed toys, homeware and treats including personalised gifts for kids.
This page was updated in October 2020.
Browse our selection of gifts for children of all ages. Toddlers will enjoy squishy soft toys, fun play kitchens and wooden play food. For older kids and teenagers, see our favourite cookbooks, handy lunchboxes and tasty treats. Get your budding chef a pro apron or kids baking kit.
Once your amateur chef has all the equipment they need, keep them entertained with some easy recipes. Get cooking in the kitchen together with our kids’ meals and healthy snacks. Bake scrumptious treats together like cupcakes, brownies or biscuits.
Read on to find gift inspiration for birthdays and beyond. For over 200 buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section to find round-ups of everything from baking gifts, letterbox gifts and Christmas hampers. For the ultimate personalised gift, create a customised My BBC Good Food cookbook filled with fun, child-friendly recipes.
Kids foodie gifts
Get even the smallest foodies something special with these adorable taco booties. We absolutely love the clever design made to mimic the look of a real taco. Unlike most novelty gifts, these booties are well-made and one of a kind. They're handcrafted in small batches and made from natural wool, which is dyed, spun and felted, before being cut and stitched. As they are handmade, each pair will be unique making them an even more thoughtful gift.
Available from Uncommon Goods (£19.43)
Liewood bamboo tableware gift set
Kids will love sprucing up mealtime with this adorable tableware gift set. This set is natural, robust and toxin-free. It's made with 45% bamboo fibre, a more sustainable option than plastic. Plus it's lightweight for little ones to handle. This set of four comes with a generously-sized plate, bowl, cup and spoon – perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Available from Scandiborn (£28.95)
Rainbow sprinkles doughnut socks
What's better than unwrapping a comfy pair of socks? Teenagers will love these playful doughnut socks, complete with white icing and rainbow sprinkles. They even come rolled up and packaged in brown paper to mimic the real thing. These are better suited to older kids as one size fits women's UK 3-10, men's UK 5.5-10.5.
Jellycat amuseable lemon soft toy
What kid doesn't love a squishy plush toy to snuggle with? This cute soft toy brings citrus fruit to life with a cheerful smiley face. Jelly Cat creates a wide range of quirky little characters, all made with soft, high-quality materials. See more foodie plush toys like this friendly avocado, watermelon or even a pineapple.
Available from John Lewis (£22)
Kids baking sets
Lakeland children’s baking gift set
Get your little one everything they need for their favourite bakes with this gift set. This kids’ baking set contains a whisk, turner, spatula, ‘spoonula’ and basting brush made of light stainless steel, coated in soft-grip silicone for your child to be able to hold easily. They’re also heat resistant up to 220 degrees, so after use, simply throw them in the dishwasher. It's a great option for budding chefs looking to up their skills in the kitchen.
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Available from Lakeland (£11.99)
Bespoke Binny children’s apron
Get your little foodie started in the kitchen with this gorgeous children's apron. We love the striking African print and the vibrant colours. This durable apron is fully lined with thick cotton twill, ensuring it will last after countless washes. The generous front pocket is perfect for storing kitchen utensils while cooking your favourite recipe. There are sizes for a variety of age ranges including 2-4, 5-7 and 8-11.
Available from Bespoke Binny (starting from £16.99)
John Lewis & Partners nesting mixing bowls
A baking set isn't complete without some versatile mixing bowls. Treat older kids or teenagers to this beautiful set of four mixing nesting mixing bowls. Largely made of bamboo, they're lighter than most mixing bowls, making them easier to handle for smaller hands. The bamboo also ensures it's more sustainable than a plastic option. We love the classic fluted design and muted neutral colours. The nested design makes them compact and easy to store in the kitchen cupboard.
Available from John Lewis (£30)
Related review: kids’ baking set essentials
Teamson wooden Burlywood play kitchen
Budding chefs will love this wooden play kitchen to whip up their favourite imaginary meals. This traditional mid-size kitchen from Teamson comes in a mix of wood-look and bold colours and is a reliable, sturdy structure. It includes an oven with a see-through door that opens, plus a hob, microwave and shelves. It also has a speckled, granite-look countertop with a removable plastic sink and large cupboard to store plenty of kitchen kit.
Ikea Duktig play kitchen
Easily accessible and budget-friendly, this play kitchen is a fantastic option for a kids present. The Ikea Duktig kitchen is a great all-rounder and was recommended by many parents during our research. It’s a sturdy, no-frills kitchen with a minimalist Scandi design. The neutral colours are suitable for a variety of home decor styles. It has a microwave, hob with light-up rings, an oven, a removable sink with mixer tap, shelf and rail with hooks for hanging pans and utensils.
Chad Valley wooden kitchen with breakfast bar
Let your little ones’ imagination run wild with this play set, complete with all the bells and whistles. This realistic-looking play kitchen might end up putting your real kitchen to shame. It’s brimming with interactive features and has a tiled splashback and cute breakfast bar. Made with sustainably sourced materials, it comes in a neutral cream colour with wood-look worktop and wipe-clean fittings. This deluxe present is an amateur foodie's dream come true.
Harriet Bee Aviles play kitchen
This show-stopping kid's present is sure to delight. The Aviles play kitchen is a sizeable, retro-style kitchen with lots of modern features for the creative cook. It’s a complete kitchen with oven, dishwasher, fridge, freezer, microwave, hob, stainless steel sink with hot and cold mixer taps, adjustable clock and phone. The attractive play set comes in a few colour options to suit your style, including classic white, pastel pink and mint green. We loved the design and pastel colours that this kitchen comes in. It would look lovely in any part of the home.
Available from Wayfair (£149.99)
Jojo Maman Bébé wooden tabletop play kitchen
Looking for a kids present that suit smaller spaces? This compact tabletop kitchen packs away into a cute miniature carry case, making it perfect for holidays, travelling, day trips or for limited spaces in the home. Accessories include a frying pan, lidded saucepan, hanging clock and set of three utensils. We love how portable this is and that everything can be packed away after play. It’s great for toddlers and older kids keen to get cooking on the move.
Available from Jojo Maman Bébé (£35)
Related review: best toy kitchens for kids
Wooden play food
Wooden tea set
For a more thoughtful gift, consider this beautiful handmade wooden tea set. The minimal design can be customised with a variety of colours from muted neutrals, soft pastels and rich metallics. The set includes a wooden tray, two teacups, two saucers, two plates, two teaspoons, a tea pot with lid, sugar pot and two spoons. It's made from sustainably sourced linden wood and birch plywood, plus the paint and varnish are non-toxic.
John Lewis & Partners wooden toaster
Wooden play food makes for a long-lasting children's present with hours of play time. We love this simple wooden toaster set, complete with eveything you need for a morning treat. The number of accessories included with this toaster make it excellent value for money. Find the mandatory bread, butter, plate and knife, plus a bonus egg and pots of peanut butter and jam. John Lewis also sells pots, pans, tea sets and cake stands for reasonable prices if your child is keen on increasing their kitchen range.
Available from John Lewis (£12.50)
Le Toy Van Honeybee wooden market stall
If your child spends a considerable amount of time playing chef, you might consider a market stall set-up to provide an anchor for their play. Le Toy Van is one of the higher-end toy brands which is reflected in the price, but accessories including a fruit tray are included with this two-tier stall with striped canopy. We love that this gift can be used with your child's existing toy collection. This top-notch play set makes for a show-stopping kids present.
Melissa & Doug food groups set
Melissa & Doug are market leaders in wooden play food. The US brand is teamed with the American Academy of Pediatrics to place education at the heart of their incredibly broad range of play-pretend toys. We like this beginner’s set of core ingredients featuring four crates including fruit & veg, grains, meat & fish and dairy. It’s recommended for children aged 3+.
Available from Amazon (£14.99)
Bigjigs sandwich making set
This multi-material set has a wooden board, bread and utensils but the filling options are made from felt. Kids can set up their own sandwich bar and fill the ciabatta roll with egg, cheese and salad, meaning it’s ideal for kids who like to ‘make’ and serve food to others. Bigjigs is another reliable brand in the world of wooden educational toys with a broad range of play pretend toys.
Available from Bigjigs (£24.99)
Related review: best wooden play food sets and toys for kids
Monbento kids lunchbox
Lunchboxes make a great practical gift your little one will get a lot of use out of. Brilliantly designed, this bento box has one main compartment that’s ideal for a sandwich or main dish, a separating tray on top, and two smaller containers – great for snacks such as fruit, nuts or crisps. They all slot neatly on top of each other and seal tightly inside an efficiently sized tub that locks on both sides. The minimal design suits kids of all ages. Or take it up a notch with this fun cosmic lunchbox or this cheerful unicorn design.
Rex London Sydney the Sloth lunch bag
Try a simple lunch bag for a budget-friendly children's present. This foil-lined lunch bag will be fought over and is insulated to help keep its contents cool until lunchtime. The recycled material used in this lunchbag is equivalent to one average size plastic bottle which is a nice eco credential. It will appeal to all ages, but in case your child is an exception to this statement, lots of other designs are available from the Rex London brand.
Available from Rex London (£3.95)
A Little Lovely Company space kids’ lunchbox
This lunchbox is the perfect present for kids obsessed with all things cosmic. Made from BPA-free plastic, this lunchbox is not only lightweight but also pretty robust. You’ll fit a standard sandwich in here without any problems, along with a handful of snacks like carrot and cucumber sticks and a small yogurt. An elasticated strap secures the lid to its bottom half which could quite easily get lost, but the lid is snug fitting so if that does happen, it's not the end of the world.
Available from A Little Find (£7.50)
Fabelab lunch bag - icy grey bunny
Treat your little one to this adorable bunny lunchbag. The sweet bunny design is made even better after tying up the bag, as the top portion becomes the floppy ears. We love the neutral ice grey colour which will compliment a variety of styles. The sustainable material is made from 100% organic cotton (GOTS certified). Gift this bag on its own or fill with treats like sweets and small gifts to make it extra special.
Related review: best kids’ lunchboxes and lunch bags
The Mermaid Cookbook
Take a dip under the sea and get inspired by all things mermaids with this cookbook. Discover magical recipes like sandcastle cake, turtle waffles and concoct jam clams. These mesmerising recipes are filled with plenty of shimmer, pearls and sparkles. For more mythical creatures see The Unicorn Cookbook, filled with pancakes, cakes and more treats. Or brighten up the kitchen with The Tropical Cookbook featuring cupcakes, milkshakes and more. Alix Carey's books are fantastic for little ones with a big imagination.
The World in My Kitchen: Global Recipes for Kids to Discover and Cook
Cookbooks make fantastic gifts for a variety of age ranges. They're a great educational tool as well as a practical way to learn cooking techniques. Expand your little ones understanding of cultural traditions with food from around the globe. Written by the co-divisors of CBeebies’ I Can Cook, this collection of recipes from around the world is designed to tickle your senses of culinary adventure. Discover bold flavours like chilli with spicy Mexican salsa, satisfyingly squidgy Chinese noodles or sweet potato volcano pie.
Angellica Bell’s Fantastic Eats!
Inspire your little one with this selection of playful recipes to try in the kitchen. The face of Angellica Bell might be a familiar one to you from her years as a children’s TV presenter or as the 2017 winner of Celebrity MasterChef. Fantastic Eats! is a collection of her favourite sweet treats and family favourites, along with step-by-step instructions and photographs. The recipes are suitable for a variety of skill sets. They include both sweet and savoury options like hamburgers, butternut squash and sweet potato fritters, Jamaican rock buns and icy watermelon lollies.
Available from Waterstones (£15)
Let’s Make Ramen!: A Comic Book Cookbook
Older kids will love the graphics in this unique cookbook. Ramen, one of Japan’s most popular dishes, is as versatile as it is delicious. Writers Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan bring us a comic book-inspired cookbook for kids featuring 40 ramen recipes with step-by-step illustrations. Added words of culinary insight are included from the likes of Ivan Orkin and Brian MacDuckston of Ramen Adventures. Expand your teenagers food knowledge with these scrumptious recipes.
Available Waterstones (£14.99)
Foraging with Kids: 52 Wild and Free Edibles to Enjoy with Your Children
A foraging guide would be a great present for budding gardeners. Foraging with Kids calls for families everywhere to get exploring outdoors, engaging with what’s growing and getting hands-on in using it. There are 52 foraging-inspired projects to connect adventure with play and help you get outside with your little helpers. With everyone spending more time at home than ever, try a new way of spending time together.
Related review: best cookbooks for kids
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This review was last updated in May 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
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