Image by Steven Depolo licensed under Creative Commons.

At the end of the day, cities are all about people, and we raise pro-city humanists when we show generosity and empathy— like through giving! Just in time for Hannukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, I’ve put together some gift ideas for the little ones in your life.


Placemaking begins with small steps, like this set of wooden window and door blocks.

Image by S3CreationsIL.

Get more eyes on the street with a hefty supply of sidewalk chalk. You can use sidewalk chalk to release the inner Banksy or create games like hopscotch, making this a fantastic gift for kids in a wide age range.

The latest recommendations on how to teach a kid to ride a bike have changed a bit since I was a kid. Pedal-less balance bikes, also known as striders, are the new first step, instead of training wheels.

Train sets can be incredibly expensive, but Ikea now has wooden tracks, trains, and even a bridge.

Ikea's wooden train set. Image by Ikea.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s shop is a curated roundup of many of these ideas, and is particularly worth checking out for their coloring books.


Ride the bus with CJ and get some lessons from Nana about living in the city in this multi-award winning book from 2015.

When you explore the city with a kid, everything is new again. Take a trip to Tokyo and practice presence and mindfulness with Yoshio in this great picture book.

Teach the rural-to-urban transect with this New Urbanist hardcover, which is on its way to becoming a (certain type of blog reader’s) collector’s item.

Budding young urbanists? With the right books in their hands, they could be! Image by ThomasLife licensed under Creative Commons.

Need more book ideas? GGWash commenters previously rounded up kids’ book suggestions in 2014.

Tagged: fun, gifts

Tracy Hadden Loh loves cities, infrastructure, and long walks on the beach looking for shark teeth. She holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from UNC-Chapel Hill. By day, she is a data scientist at the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University. By night, she is an activist, a law enforcement spouse, and the mother of a toddler. She served two years representing Ward 1 on the Mount Rainier City Council in Prince George's County, MD.