28 Cozy Gifts For Kids That Celebrate & Reflect Who They Are
These gift ideas lean into comfort, learning, and special time with loved ones.
For this year’s Antiracist Parenting Gift Guide, to help us shift a bit away from the excessive consumerism that marks December, I’m leaning into comfort, learning, and special time with loved ones. Dive in for a few of the books that made my favorites list this year, some great museums (all free) that can teach your kids a lesson or two, and some items that they can lean on when they need a little comfort in these trying times. It’s about connection, be it through hair time, adventures at museums, reading together, or cuddling moments.
This year’s picks include a book about grandmas and policing, a graphic novel about a Black superhero, and some inspiration for young sports fans — and I might have snuck in a little treat for us Black mamas. Check out the top 24 gifts that made my gift guide this year.
Best field trip for the kid who loves music
If you’re in D.C. or planning a trip, and your kid appreciates music, center the African American experience by taking them to
The National Museum of African American History’s music exhibit. Visitors can pick from a wide assortment of music by Black artists to create a playlist that fills the room. Bonus: Relax on a bench and watch your child discover past and present music that’s bound to keep them entertained long enough for you to rest your legs. Timed tickets to the museum are free; reserve them ahead of time to make sure you get a spot.
You can also support the museum with a
$25 membership, which gives you free admission to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, among other perks. Best puzzle for the future explorer
Frustrated by the lack of diversity in kids’ puzzles, Matthew and Marnel Goins (parents of three kids under 7) created
Puzzle Huddle. This viral puzzle company offers items for kids that feature space explorers, scientists, and more, all reflecting identity for kids of color. Best book for the kid who treasures the Earth
New York Times bestselling author Carole Lindstrom, this beautiful kids’ book tells the story of young Autumn Peltier, the chief water commissioner of the Anishinabek Nation and a water-rights advocate and environmental activist who grew to worldwide prominence for her advocacy of water protection. Best baby beanie to warm tiny heads
Every kid needs a warm beanie to get them through the cold months and the Black-owned company Miles and Milan makes the cutest one imaginable. Get this for your little one and they’ll be channeling NYC style all the way to day care.
Best graphic novel for the kid who loves superheros
My 8-year-old son devours graphic novels and he recommends this book wholeheartedly. Written by the prolific Justin A. Reynolds,
Miles Morales Shock Waves features all the action your little one can desire while starring a Black kid protagonist. Best class for the kid that loves languages
“Language has the power to create relationships and bring people closer together,” states the
Culture Tree, an education company that centers South Asian culture. “Bi-lingual children are confident and proud of their roots and heritage.” The goal of these classes is to help kids develop a love for heritage languages and South Asian culture while having multi-sensory fun and meeting new friends. Think art, music, movement, and stories. Prices start at $50 for one session; class packages are also available, and lessons are offered on Zoom. Best book to inspire little artists
Nikkolas Smith is one of our family’s favorite artists. Not only does his art marry whimsy with bold colors, but he also isn’t afraid to be a bold voice for change, advocating for people whose voices may not have the microphone in the room. His latest book,
The Artivist, invites the reader into his journey of melding art and activism. Perfect for any young artist, this book is sure to inspire and invigorate. Best cozy blanket for the kid who loves pink
You may have read about my journey
helping my daughter move past Frozen , but shifting away from white princesses doesn’t mean she can’t still enjoy pink and purple. Pardon My Fro’s fluffy blanket with this iconic piece of artwork of a little Black girl with pink flowers in her fro is for the little girl who loves pink but also loves a fro moment. It’s also for the cuddlers among us who love to get comfy with a blanket and some hot chocolate. Best book for kids with a big imagination
delightful book written by an Afro Latino leans into the fantastical as it tells the story of a little Afro Latino boy who tries to warn his grandma about the dangers of trying to make pulpo guisado without following the right instructions. Add in a huge octopus and a bubbling pot, and you’ll have a wild ride of a story that’s sure to amaze your little one. Best skin care for Black and Brown babies
Proudly, a company by
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, is dedicated to babies with melanin who need a little extra TLC for their skin. At Proudly, a dermatologist of Color studied and selected ingredients that work best to nourish melanated skin and co-designed this line with Union and Wade just for our babies. I’m a huge fan of the All Over Balm because it works wonders for my daughter’s dry skin. Best diaper bag for Black mamas
Here’s the thing about diaper bags. They’re, well, diaper bags. For us mamas who also want to carry a stylish tote, it becomes a bit of a conundrum with the multiple shoulder straps. Enter Pardon My Fro’s stunningly roomy and stylish pocketbook that can fit a laptop, a diaper, wipes, a water bottle, your wallet, and more. Featuring dreamy line drawings of Black hairstyles on the outside, this bag is for us Black moms who want to be cute and make a statement for the people but also need to be prepared in case our kid has to go!
Best book for the kid with family far away
If your kids have loved ones in other countries and cultures, they’ll find insight and solace in Hyewon Yum’s tale that echoes her childhood of visiting her grandparents in South Korea every summer. Differing cultures within one family can lead to eye-opening and expansive experiences for everyone, and this story shows just that.
Best crayon set to introduce kids to the vast beauty of diverse identities
We’ve used this crayon set to talk to kids about skin color, colorism, and racism because there is a very wide range of particularly darker skin tone crayons. The pigmentation of these crayons is also very rich and deep, which means they last longer. If you’re watching your pennies but you still want to talk to your kids about these topics, these crayons are a great starting point. A beginning exercise is to simply ask your little one which color crayon matches their skin and follow the conversation from there.
Best book for kids to learn about Palestinian culture
This visually beautiful book compiles so much that kids can learn about Palestine from a cultural perspective. From cultural symbols like the thobe to cuisine like knafeh, parents and kids alike are in for a treat with bold imagery and compelling storytelling.
Best pajama set for cuddling
For my kids, a big part of finding comfort is cuddling with me. Add cozy pajamas and a movie and you’ve got a perfect winter evening indoors. This
gift set comes with two tins of Browndages bandages to match darker skin tones. Best book for the sports fan
Traci Sorell masterfully weaves the story of two Native baseball players who face each other in one epic World Series. Charles Bender, who grew up on the White Earth Reservation in Northwestern Minnesota, and John Meyers, who was raised on the Cahuilla reservation in Southern California, respected each other’s talents and their shared dedication to Native representation in baseball even as the media tried to pit them against each other.
Best cozy bedding for babies I visited Ghana in 2022 and fell deeply in love with the people, the art, the vibrancy. Alfreda Abena wanted to share her Ghanaian roots and culture with her son, Noah Kofi, so she created this line of stunningly beautiful products inspired by Ghanaian culture and artistry. The Mali Sheet is my absolute favorite because it gets softer with each wash. Best book for little gymnasts Simone Biles, one of the best athletes of our generation, went through great trials and struggles to realize her dream of being a top gymnast. Kekla Magoon and Chelsea Clinton’s elegant telling of Biles’ life story is sure to inspire little gymnasts the world over, as well as any other child with big dreams. Best companion for the little kid with curls
Here’s the real story about this detangler and refresher spray. In the midst of working with my daughter on her
Frozen obsession, when she wanted long blonde hair like Elsa, we started using this for her curls. One morning, she pointed to the little girl on the bottle and said, “I want my hair like that.” The power of my little girl seeing a girl with brown skin and curly hair like hers on a bottle cannot be understated. This detangler is more than a magical curl whisperer. It also teaches little children with coils, curls, and waves that they are special enough for some things to be made just for them. Best field trip for the kid who visits NYC
talked to our kids about land acknowledgments. If you have, too, it’s time to go a step further. After we acknowledge that the land we live on is stolen from Indigenous people, many of whom still live in the United States, we need to make those lessons come to life. A trip to the Native American Museum in NYC is an ideal activity to learn about Indigenous culture firsthand. Best book for any kid that envisions a different way of life Teaching restorative justice through the lens of some cuddly, loving grannies? Yes, please! Though I wish we could do away with the idea of policing altogether (give the people community supports and resources, instead), this prolific book takes the reader on a beautifully imaginative journey as we envision what it would look like if love and care and compassion centered our pursuit of justice. A must-read for all, kids and adults alike. Best doll for all kids
This irresistible doll is sure to delight the kid in your life who is into dolls. With an afro that is unmatched, this toy is about to become your kid’s companion, teaching lessons of self-love and hair love.
Best book for kids dealing with loss
In some ways, so many of us are grappling with loss during this time, be it the loss of close ones or the multiple losses we witness in the world. This book, which is part of the
First Conversations series by educators Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, metaphorically takes your kid’s hand and guides them through loss with a spirit of acknowledgment, truth, and grounding that helps us parents maneuver these difficult convos with just a little more ease. Best hair protector for kids’ crowns
If you’re struggling with tangles and knots for your little one, this
Black-woman-owned company is reading your mind. Enter their satin-lined turbans that promise to protect your baby’s hair from frizz, knots, and breakage, issues that have plagued my Black multiracial kids’ locks for so long. Bonus? This style is adjustable with a drawstring to make it smaller or larger! Best book for the family grappling with patriotism
This beautiful story follows a little Black kid in conversation with his grandfather about the significance of the flag and what it means to many people in the Black community. A riveting but direct lesson in patriotism in the Black community, this book is an invitation for reflection for the whole family.
Best companion tool for the kid with an incarcerated parent
Though this book will resonate deeply with kids who have a parent or parents who are incarcerated, it’s really the type of writing that all of us need to delve into. This book helps shed light on families who experience incarceration and focuses on the fact that centering the humanity in all of us is one of the tools for addressing the crisis of mass incarceration.
Best book to teach the principles of Black Lives Matter
If you’re wondering how to teach your kids about the history of the Black Lives Matter movement, look no further than this concise and informative kids book. Garcia’s book delves into its core principles like empathy, globalism, transgender affirmation, and restorative justice in kid-appropriate, child-friendly language. We chatted with our 8-year-old about one of these topics each night so that he had space to ask questions and so we could delve deeper into each topic. With vivid imagery, this book is both a vision for the future and a guide for the present.
Best calendar for the kid who loves schedules
OK, so maybe you’re buying this calendar for your kid who loves art and schedules, but it’s also a huge bonus for you because you get to see 12 original pieces of stunning Nikkolas Smith art each month that all center social justice in some way. If your little one needs visual reminders of upcoming dates and events, this calendar is about to be their go-to.