Great Kid Gift!: Easy-to-Assemble Imaginative Play Kits


One of my favorite gifts to give to kids is a handmade (well, hand-assembled) imaginative play kit. I'm excited to share a fun story that I developed for Parents Magazine about this very topic in the March issue (on newsstands right now) with gorgeous photos by Zoe Berkovic!


These kits are great if you want a special gift that feels handmade but is more...semi-handmade. Personalize the container (as in the chalkboard-painted tote bag for the teacher kit, top) and add easy-to-find items. The story features ideas for contents and containers for the following kits:

  • Doctor Kit
  • Restaurant Kit (above)
  • Explorer Kit
  • Secret Agent Kit
  • School Kit (top)

The inspiration for this story came from a gift that I made for my boys. When they were little, their favorite toy was their cash register and everything was turned into a I made them a "business box"! I packaged it in a cardboard suitcase (similar to this one) or in a little metal lunchbox as we did for our little friend Felix and filled it with everything a young entrepreneur might need!


Most of the items I included in the business boxes can be purchased at an office supply store: 

  • blank business cards
  • receipt pads
  • guest checks (for playing restaurant) 
  • price stickers and price tags
  • will return" and "open/closed" signs
  • "while you were out" pads
  • toy paper money
  • tickets

Above is an image of the Explorer Kit from the Parents story, packaged in a personalized canvas backpack.
Check out the March issue of Parents or for more ideas for these fun birthday/holiday/any day kids gifts that encourage open-ended creative play!