I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

Charlie-Approved Gifts for Preschooler Boys


Is there anything sweeter than Christmas with a preschooler? Last year was the first Christmas when Charlie really seemed to keep up with what was going on, and as a result, it was one of my favorite Christmases ever. This age has plenty of hard thing about it, but when it comes to Christmas magic, preschoolers soak up every bit of it! As lights have started going up in our neighborhood and friends have started decorating, Charlie has shown so much interest in and excitement for all of the festivities to come. I can’t wait to experience the season through his sweet little heart and curious mind.

Seeing as how he has spent the last month poring over the Amazon and Target toy catalogs, painstakingly trying to narrow down his top gift picks, you know he took it seriously when I told him we had to help other moms find the best presents for their preschooler boys! ;) Here are his (and my) current favorites.

Gift guide for preschooler boys

1. 3,2,1 Blast Off book: We’ve read our fair share of astronaut books with our space-loving boy, but this one is a family favorite. I love the beautiful illustrations and the diversity of the astronauts, while Charlie loves the fun facts and lift-the-flaps.

2. Smallbirds sneakers: We love our Allbirds in this house! Charlie looks adorable in their kid-sized “Smallbirds.” I like that he can wear them without socks to take that step out of our morning routine. They hold up really well, even for rough-and-tumble little kids, and can be thrown in the washing machine.

3. Hanna Andersson pajamas: There is nothing Charlie loves more than crawling around the floor with his matchbox cars, and nothing he HATES more than holes in his pants. His Hanna pjs are the only ones that have made it through hours upon hours of early morning playtime without even the tiniest bit of fading at the knees. They are now the only pajamas we buy for him! Their Christmas prints are practically iconic, but I recommend gifting a classic striped set for all-year wear.

4. Lego classic set: I was a little wary about Charlie being ready for Legos at 3 1/2 (which is when he got them), but he quickly got the hang of them and now spends hours making little Lego creations. They are so good for his creativity and fine motor skills. We keep them in his room so that Azelie can’t go near them, and they’re his go-to quiet time toy.

5. Balance bike: We got Charlie this balance bike for Christmas last year. It took him a few weeks to get the hang of it, but ever since, zipping around the neighborhood on it is one of his absolute favorite activities. I love the retro-inspired design, great quality, and the fact that Azelie will be able to use it in a few years too. Such a sweet, classic surprise to find under the tree!

6. Helmet: To go with the aforementioned bike, of course, we got Charlie this cute, minimalist helmet. It’s adjustable for an extra-comfy and safe fit.

7. Yeti water bottle: Charlie loves having a Yeti just like mom and dad. They’re pricey for a kids’ water bottle, but if your little one isn’t prone to losing things, this is a super-durable, sweatproof option that keeps water cool all day long.

8. Snail Crossing book: My brother, who works at an iconic bookstore in Austin, gave this book to Charlie as a birthday present and absolutely nailed it. It is the most adorable, fun-to-read story and has great messages about determination and friendship.

9. Mack truck from Cars: I’ve yet to meet a preschooler boy who wasn’t enamored by the Cars movies and Charlie is no exception. This Mack truck (which opens up) has inspired hours and hours of independent play!

10. Squigz bath toys: We’re always on the lookout for bath toys that will really entertain Charlie. These have been our biggest success yet! He loves sticking them to the wall and to each other to make all different 3D shapes.

11. Color Wonder coloring kits: We have been using these kits (with markers that ONLY draw on the special paper–totally genius) for about two years and the appeal has not worn off. What began as a way to keep surfaces in our house safe has now become an especially fun way for Charlie to color, since different designs and details appear as you go.

More 2020 gift guides:
Lisa-Approved Gifts for Women
Dave-Approved Gifts for Men
Friday: Azelie-Approved Gifts for Baby Girls
Saturday: 2020 Catholic Gift Guide






  1. Dana says:

    So glad 3, 2, 1 blast off made the list!

  2. Kristen says:

    Smallbirds are so cuuuute

  3. Em says:

    That Mack truck is a big hit at our house, too! And a relative has already let me know that Shep will be receiving Squigz for Christmas – glad to know they are Charlie-approved :)

    • Lisa says:

      Mack was going to be a potty training success prize at one point last year…but then Charlie went behind our backs and asked my parents for it at Target one day, haha! The Squigz are really fun! :)

  4. Mary says:

    Love those Smallbirds! I am so bummed that they are too small for James and Gigi. Can you believe the sneakers I got her last are 11’s?? 🤣


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