A very gigantic age-appropriate gift guide for the adult and child geek(s) in your life

December 6 2011 | offbeatbride
Photo by stoic, used under Creative Commons license.

Here are three things I really, really love: holidays, geeky stuff, and gifts. I love giving gifts and receiving gifts and in general just having an awesome time with gifts — especially if they're remotely geeky in general. Here are some of my favorite things I've found online — I felt like I couldn't possibly pass up the chance to share them with ya! Some are kid-specific, and some are for adults, and some are just… for whoever loves them the most.

Of course: you don't have to buy ANYTHING for the holidays — but if you want to, here are a few suggestions. We'll be running another post soon about free and low-cash gift ideas and options!

Newborns and Toddlers (birth-2)

I remember just wanting tons of onesies and diapers, and every so often something amusing or cute. You know where to get onesies and diapers (um… pretty much every convenience store), so here's the amusing and cute:

This vintage orange dress (3T/4T) from Potato Cake Vintage is impossibly sweet.
Aahhh geeky baby clothing rocks my world.
CHOMP.

Preschoolers (2-4)

AH, the exploration age! Or that's how it is for my two-and-a-half-year-old. Dig it:

My son love love loves this camera.
  • Kidizoom Camera: holy SHIT, I am so incredibly glad I bought this for my 2 1/2 year old (you can see some of his photos here for reference). The quality isn't anything like a professional camera, but getting this glimpse into the world of someone that size and age is priceless.

  • For some reason, a lot kids this age that I've met really love helping out with activities and chores (IF you let them think it was their idea). This Toysmith Kid's Big Tool Set is perfect — they get two rakes, a shovel, and a hoe — perfect for the young gardening enthusiast in your life!

Kidlets (5-8)

The things I most remember from this age involve Lisa Frank. UNFORTUNATELY, I couldn't find a whole lot of Lisa Frank stuff on the sites I was at (though you can visit the official site here) so here's what I DID find:

  • I saw these guitar shirts the other day in real life and was totally tripping out: it's like a built-in electric guitar on your chest… because it IS a built-in electric guitar on your chest. AIR GUITARING BE DAMNED. Note: so far, I can't find them in adult sizes… but that doesn't mean YOU can't try! Also, the photo shows a boy, but there's definitely no reason why a boy OR girl couldn't rock this.

  • LOOK AT THIS: Doodle Track. You draw a line and the car follows. Every. Single. Time.

  • Listen: I have the TaunTaun sleeping bag in the five-to-eight group, but I've been wanting one FOREVER. The Star Wars fan in your life will love this.

Tweens (9 – 12)

The way I see it, tweens are like kidlets… but a little more grown up. So they're into similar things, but they need them presented in a more "adult" fashion. Hence this list:

  • Your tween has STUFF! And he or she needs somewhere to PUT THAT STUFF! So this electronic guitar bag, which is very similar to the aforementioned guitar t-shirt, is perfect for all that stuff that he or she just HAS TO HAVE ALL THE TIME OH MY GAH. (Being a tween is hard.)

  • The kid in the Flitter Fairies photo is a little young, but c'mon: I know I would have loved to have a fairy that flies around when I wave a wand when I was a tween… mostly because I'd still love to have one now. Perfect for fairy-lovers of ALL AGES.

Teens and beyond

Ok so, here's how it's gonna go from here on out: I have this classified as "teens" but everything below is pretty much appropriate for anyone who's thirteen or older — so get ready to love it:

  • My Instax camera is one of my absolute favorite possessions. It's basically a modern-day Polaroid — the photos are super cute and the quality is awesome (here's an example of one of my shots). The one downside is it's a bit awkward in size… which is where the Instax Mini comes into play! PS: Instax film is basically $1 a shot, and you buy it in a box with two packs of 10 photos… so you're looking at a $20 minimum whenever you need more film. It's definitely wise to pace yourself when using one of these!

  • Working side-by-side with a friend, spouse, co-worker, whoever? Have kids who like to squabble over the music player? Whatever your need for it may be, the Splitterbot, a headphone sharing robot, is BRILLIANT.

  • When I read the name, I was all, "What on Earth are hand tattoos?" AND THEN.. I saw the photo, and all was revealed.

Miscellaneous Geekery

  • I barely have an i-ANYTHING (I just got my first iPod the other day!), but I'd almost buy an iPad… just so I could get this Etch A Sketch case for it. (and YES: there's also one for iPhones!)

  • My favorite part of the Linux fish is in the description where it says "the fin suggests Linux is streamlined." Am I the only one who LOLed?

  • I don't want to give anything away, but if you haven't seen Soylent Green yet (you can for under $3 on Amazon Instant Video), you'll need to before purchasing these. IF YOU HAVE: are you going to eat them?

Indulgent Cosmetic Goodness

These aren't necessarily geek, but I'd never shopped at Lush until all of you started raving about it, and now.. I'm kinda hooked. These are two of my favorite treats for when I need them:

  • The After 8:30 Massage Bar smells like chocolate, looks like chocolate.. but isn't really chocolate. It'll melt at body temperature, so it's perfect for as a massage oil OR after a shower. Perfect as in you're going to wonder why you never used it before because it's so sinfully delightful.

  • Gingerman Bath Bombs are on this list because they're little gingermen that you put in the bathtub. I mean.. WHAT (in a good way). They're packed full of ylang ylang and jasmine.. which means you could be prepping yourself (and maybe your partner) for an awfully good night in. If you know what I mean.

  1. Me & the S.O got plush microbes off of thinkgeek for every single person in my family. I AM SO EXCITED.

    (and I am using a sneaky username because I have family who also go on Offbeat sites!)

  2. Thanks for this list Stephanie! I love seeing what tech stuff they have for kids these days. Also, I just bought some LUSH products online as a gift for my sister-in-law and it came with free samples which I considered a "finder's fee" and kept for myself. Yeah, a little addicted now.

  3. So many awesome gifts!
    Lush is one of my fave places to buy gifts (and I love getting goodies from there too!). I will say that the gingerman bath bomb is really strongly scented (or at least it was when I bought one). Like I couldn't use it and had it in my closet under a bunch of things because it was overpowering. So just be aware. But it still smelled pretty.
    I love the gifts to create things. If I hadn't had a book list already made for the two kiddos I buy gifts for, one of them would be getting something to make like a tea set to decorate or doll to make or something. I also love the sciencey stuff like prospecting kits or archaeology digs. And Lego ANYTHING is awesome. Expensive, but awesome.

    • I was also a Lush fan, because they minimize plastic packaging, and take back their plastic for recycling (and free face masks). But for those who care, they use parabens and sodium laurel sulfate in a lot of their products, so they're risky especially for kids and anyone with a family history of cancer or hormonal issues.

  4. I got my teenager the Instax camera a couple years ago for Christmas and it's still one of her favorite things! It's also great for continuous gifts. I get her lots of film for her birthday or Christmas. It's not cheap, so it makes a great every once in a while gift.

  5. As always, whenever Lush comes up, I feel like its only fair to warn people that it's not a very ethical company when it comes to customer interactions.

    There was an incident awhile ago where the Lush UK (aka the main lush hub) staff took the address of a banned forum member, and used it to post a google maps photo of their house during an online chat party. They asked the question, "which former forum member lives here" , and a product prize was awarded for he first correct answer. I wasn't on the forums when the person was banned, so I don't know exactly what happened there, but I can't think of anything that would warrant this breach of privacy.

    Now, I know this doesn't affect the products they make, nor do I blame anyone who works in their retail stores. However, the actions I take exception to were made by the higher ups in the company's headquarters, so I choose not to spend my money with them. I can't prove what went on since all evidence was erased shortly after the incident, but I feel I should put the warning out anyway.

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