When some of us were kids, our moms and dads would buy and wrap our presents and put them under the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving dinner was fully digested.

Overachievers, our parents.

Fast-forward to today.

Even though we’re parents who grew up with moms and dads setting good examples for us regarding the holidays, maybe we’ve only acquired a super-small percentage of the gifts we intend to give our children, and have yet to wrap any of them.

Maybe you’re judging us right now.

Or. Just maybe. You’re totally the same, and would appreciate cool gift ideas for your kids or others you know.

In either case, every idea below is better than another set of winter gloves and a hat from your great Aunt Dolores.

It’s true.

12 Holiday Gift Ideas For Kids Who Love Cars


1) Mechanic’s Car Engine Play Set


Somewhere here at OnAllCylinders lives another gift guide for kids, and this engine play set is totally on it. And that’s because a few years ago this product was featured in a national publication, garnered intense attention, and has been the most popular auto-oriented kids’ toy we’ve ever seen or heard of since.

It’s awesome. See for yourself.

2) Stuffed Plush Toys

The stuffed toy is the bedrock of pretty much every youngster’s gift list. And if your kid prefers turbos to teddy bears, then you’re in luck—because there are plenty of automotive-themed plush toys for you to choose from here.

3) Engine Overhaul Set

The argument for this is the same as the first engine play set above, except more motorcycle-y.

4) 1963 Corvette 12V Ride-On


If you’re anything like us, you love the 1963 Chevy Corvette split-window but can’t really afford one right now because you spend all of your money on your precious children who are always so grateful for your sacrifices, and reward you with unwavering respect and expressions of gratitude.

We might have made some of that up. But not the part about loving the ’63 ‘Vette. It’s rad.

And your kids will think so too, even if they don’t say “Thank you” as much as you’d like.

5) Turbospoke, The Bicycle Exhaust System


It makes bicycles sound like motorcycles.

Hopefully, it’s obvious why that’s awesome.

6) Pedal Cars


Your little ones running on leg power will appreciate the fun of tearing around the neighborhood in a classic pedal car.

7) Rat Fink-Opoly Board Game

Breathe life into your next family game night with a healthy dose of the ‘Fink.

We used to fight over who got to be the car or the top hat before our childhood Monopoly games. Now, we can fight over who gets to be the connecting rod or the tire.

8) Slot Car Sets

Tired of having random toy cars and trucks rolling around your kitchen floor? Tell your kids to “take it to the track!”

The slot car track, that is.

A time-tested kid favorite, you’ve got several slot car sets to choose from, and each one offers its own mix of fun and challenges.

9) John Deere Battery-Powered Gator Ride-On

This battery-operated John Deere Gator ride-on has realistic lights and sounds, and lets you plug in your own Mp3 player so your child can jam while they’re out and about.

Fun, even for city kids.

10) Die-Cast Collectable Toy Cars & Trucks

(Image/Summit Racing)

From super-realistic 1:18 scale reproductions of vintage classics to small toy cars that’ll race around the kitchen floor, toy cars and trucks are still the gold standard for kid’s birthday and holiday presents.

And that’s doubly true for tiny toy monster trucks, of course.

11) Bubble Lights


Our grandparents had this star which sat atop the Christmas tree, and when you plugged it in, a softball-sized globe in the center lit up. Once heated, it would spin some type of internal color wheel which would cast a small amount of colored light off the wall and ceiling and mesmerize us children.

Everything about the holidays felt magical as kids. And this arbitrary tree-topper was a part of that.

Enter Bubble Lights. They heat up, and make your tree alive with color and motion and Christmas-light glory.

Maybe your kids will always hold onto the memories of seeing them.

Or maybe they’re too busy staring at their iPods.

12) Silver Streak Ride-On Scooter


Don’t let the name fool you. This thing doesn’t go very fast at all (unless you send it down a steep hill which we don’t advise). It’s for young children in the 1-3 range and serves as a viable first car for the future car, truck, and performance enthusiasts still waiting to discover automotive and holiday magic themselves.

Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.