The Top 5 Presents Santa Brought This Year

I know the holidays are over. I know the crazy shopping and holiday sales are gone. It amazes how much work goes into planning and prepping for Christmas morning, and then shortly after all the presents are unwrapped you realize how quickly it is gone. Or maybe how fast new presents get pushed aside maybe or forgotten? I just thought it would be fun to share the list of the 5 presents that Santa brought, that still have lots of play left in them, and are winner-winners, chicken-dinners in the eyes of my daughter.

Each year brings a new challenge and a different level to gift giving as your child grows up. Am I right? The older they get, the gifts can get more sophisticated – and more expensive. Number 1 on the list, goes back to what could be considered “old school”, but hands down, this gift is still a favorite.

1. How to Draw Books and Sketchbook

tween drawing with books

As an artist at heart, I love that my daughter and niece both enjoy drawing and being creative. I gave each of them Manga for Beginners – Chibis by Christopher Hart. A “Chibi” is a japanese slang term for small child or character. Both girls have been really into reading anime and manga lately, so I thought learning how to draw them would be perfect. The tagline of the books reads: “Everything You Need to Start Drawing the Super-Cute Characters of Japanese Comics”, and I have to tell you, this book and sketchbook kept them both occupied and happy for hours. It came along on car trips, or anytime we were going somewhere for a long period of time. This gift was pure, non-electronic, fun!


2. Crayola Digi-tools for iPad

Crayola digi tools

As you may have guessed creative activities are a hit in our household. My tween loves to draw pencil to paper, but she is also loves her technology. Santa brought her Crayola’s new product that works with an iPad called DigiTools. The Deluxe version comes with a crayon tool (stylus disguised as a crayon), airbrush tool, stamper tool, and 3D tool plus 3D glasses, but you can buy each of them separately. The iPad apps are free to download, and can be activated if you have the tools. We downloaded 3 apps in all for her set to work with. Her favorite one is the airbrush tool and app.


3. LEGO building sets

R2D2 Lego set

She still loves building things with LEGOs. She loves building both the vehicle or building sets, as well as the LEGO Friends sets. Usually the fun is in the actual building of each set, and then she puts them on display in her room. She puts them together so fast, her dad decided to try and stump her with one that was rated ages 16+. He got her the Star Wars R2D2 set.

Let me just tell you, it was sitting in the living room in different stages as she took every minute she could to put it together for days. We had to clean it up when houseguests arrived, but she is probably 2/3 of the way done with putting it together. If you haven’t purchased a LEGO set before, each set comes with numbered bags and booklets of instructions based on how complicated the set it. This one is definitely the most complicated that she has tried to put together.

Lego at breakfast

This is mid-build. I took this shot shortly after she went to school to show how involved she had made the process. We had to relinquish the living room for a little bit as she focused on building, and sometimes while eating breakfast.

Lego at breakfast 2

Pancakes are gone, but she is still deep into this LEGO set. For her, it isn’t so much what she is building. She has never seen the Star Wars movies, but it is more about the challenge of putting it together.


4. Skateboard and Penny Board

tween with skateboard

I don’t what it is about this year, but it all of sudden seems like her friends and the kids in the neighborhood have been obsessed with skateboarding. I didn’t even realize her love of skateboarding until she has been trying one out at a friends house. And have you ever heard of a Penny Board? This is a shorter version of a traditional skateboard, that comes in a variety of cool colors.

tween on penny board

Santa brought her the Penny Board, while mom and dad brought her the traditional skateboard along with the complete gear, skateboard sweatshirt and all. She loves both of them for different reasons. And when she has a friend over, they can both enjoy skating in the neighborhood.


5. Wits and Wagers game

Wits and wagers

This one Santa brought to the whole family. This was such a fun family game to play over the holidays, especially with all of the house guests we had. It is kind of like Trivial Pursuit, but wagering on the correct answer. I remember as a kid when Trivial Pursuit was the hottest family game around, but to answer the questions you definitely had to be a bit older. What I love about this game is that it truly is for the whole family including the tweens. Every player takes a turn asking a question printed on one of the quiz cards without looking at the answer. Then each player guesses an answer and writes it on the mini dry erase cards. The answers are always a number. Even if you don’t know the answer, you can always guess a random number. Answering the question correctly isn’t how you win though. All the guesses are then placed on the gameboard and each player can bet on which one is the correct answer. You win by betting on the right answer and receiving the most chips back from your bet.

wits and wagers cards

The questions range from the interesting to the silly. After everyone bets, the winning number is revealed the the bets are paid out each round. Each game is 7 rounds, so it can go pretty quickly, and you can learn some pretty interesting facts at the same time. Do you know how tall Tom Cruise is in feet and inches? Hint: it is shorter than you think. = )


One final gift that was a huge hit this year were gift cards. We did some after Christmas shopping, and my girl loved being able to go to the register and pay for her purchases herself. It was fun seeing her negotiate in her head whether something was within her gift card budget, and what things didn’t make the cut.

Let me know say, these were NOT in her budget:

shopping for shoes

I would love to know which gifts were real winners over the holidays. Which were your kid’s favorites? Before the holidays, there are so many lists of what the hot gifts are for the season. What I want to know is, which ones stuck for you?

Leave your comments below. = )

As always, happy crafting!


 If you liked this post, and want more, you can subscribe to be on our mailing list here.


Pauline Molinari

I'm the crafty maven, and I'm on a mission to spread craftiness. With a fine arts degree, over 15 years experience in children's publishing, and a savvy, stylish, sassy tween daughter, I come armed with perspective and passion to inspire tween girls and their mothers to be crafty together. 

If you liked this post and want more, you can subscribe to be on our mailing list and make sure to get your free Cupcake Toppers Printables for Every Occasion.

  4 comments for “The Top 5 Presents Santa Brought This Year

  1. Kerri
    January 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    My tween’s must have gift was sequined moccasins. The more bling the better.

    • January 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      Fabulous! I have a tween just like that. Bling is the bomb! = )

  2. January 10, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Some of the old school gifts were hits with my tween, as well. She got a stuffed animal dog, Boo, just like the real dog of the same name that has 6 million Facebook friends. We couldn’t swing a live pet (which was at the top of her list), but this alternative went over better than expected, as she can check out his adventures online (on my account). A surprising hit was the logic game Chocolate Fix. Totally doing a blog on how this would make a great Valentine gift. A bank in the shape of the Eiffel Tower was also a surprising hit!

    • January 10, 2013 at 9:27 am

      I will have to check out the game Chocolate Fix. We are huge chocolate lovers, and love to play games. Sounds like a great combo. Thanks for the great comment!

Comments are closed.