Last minute gifts for girls

Searching for a last-minute gift for the girls in your life?  Here are some ideas to empower and inspire your favorite female!


Books are one of my favorite gifts to give and get.  I always have a long wish list.  It’s never too early to encourage a love of reading.  Here are some books that will encourage your young feminist to reach for the stars.

The Little Feminist board book set

Four board books introducing children to famous female artists, activists, leaders, and pioneers.  Recommended for ages birth – 5 years.

Strong Girls Gift Set

A set of four books exploring the impact Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall, and Sacagawea had on the world. For ages 5-8 years.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

A brief biography of the infamous RBG exploring her achievements and the importance of dissent in our society.  Recommended for ages 4-8 years.

Dear Girl

An inspiring book encouraging girls to embrace their uniqueness and remember that they are powerful and valuable. Recommended for ages 4-8 years.

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed Our World

A beautifully illustrated books including short essays on a hundred activists, authors, abolitionists, leaders, and scientists who altered our world.  Best for teens and adults.

Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women

An exploration of girls who impacted our world before they turned 20.  Recommended for tweens and teens.


Toys provide an opportunity to nurture your child’s natural curiosity and creativity.  Here are some hands-on, creative toys perfect for your future scientist, artist, or coder.

Little Tykes Stem Lab

An interactive STEM lab for preschoolers with fun experiments and activities to inspire little scientists.

Melissa and Doug Tabletop Easel

This includes markers, chalk, magnets, and a super-long roll of paper for aspiring artists.

Gravity Maze

Combines logic puzzles and games to challenge kids 8 and up.  Named a Toy of the Year Award Winner.

80 Piece Deluxe Art Kit

Includes colored pencils, oil pastels, drawing pencils, erasers, and other supplies for beginning and intermediate artists.  Recommended for ages 8-15 years.

Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit

With this fun kit, you learn to code while programming a wand to respond to your movements. Perfect for Harry Potter fans ages 6 and up.


Want to avoid adding to the clutter of the holidays by encouraging your daughter, niece, granddaughter, or friend to try something new?  Would you like a chance to spend more time with her after the holidays?  There are so many fun options!

Art Lessons

Everyone can nurture their inner Georgia O’Keefe by taking part in a painting class.  Community painting classes have popped up in many storefronts in cities across the U.S.  Get a gift certificate to take your favorite artist.  They are relaxing and fun and almost everyone goes home with a painting they are proud of under the tutelage of the art teachers there to guide the instruction.  You might also invest in an online photography course to help your teen perfect her Instagram-worthy pictures.

A membership or tickets to a museum, aquarium, or planetarium 

Perhaps you want to encourage an interest they have already developed or expose them to something new.  Tickets to an art or science museum or other local place of interest are great options for kids and teens. 

A cooking classes

Everyone benefits from learning some basic life skills.  Find a cooking class for your young foodie.  Generally, classes are available for beginners through advanced chefs, so you should be able to find the perfect option!

Sports Lessons

If you know the young woman in your life is interested in sports or getting more physically active, consider paying for a session of yoga or golf, tennis, or soccer lessons.  If she’s already involved in a sport, funding a session of private instruction can give her an edge on competition in the sport.  You might also consider paying for her to attend a sports camp in the summer to help her refine her skills.

Concert or Play Tickets

The best part of a gift is showing someone you took the time to consider their interests.  Concert and play tickets can be unforgettable experiences for kids, tweens, and teens.  Your youngest girls might prefer tickets to Paw Patrol Live or Disney on Ice, while older kids might be more into a musical concert or coveted Hamilton tickets.  It’s sure to be an experience they won’t forget.

Regardless of what you ultimately choose to give, the best gift is always the gift of time.  Spend time with her.  Play with the toys; read the books so you can discuss them with her; and/or participate in the lessons to the extent you can.  Your favorite girl needs to feel your love and encouragement – gifts are just things, but your involvement in her life is golden!

Happy Holidays!

About Joanna Durham-Barnes

Joanna Durham-Barnes is mom to a fierce and feisty 2-year-old and stepmom to a strong and sassy young millennial. Joanna is a former elementary school teacher and college professor. She earned her master’s degree in International Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from Indiana University. She focused her career on issues of social justice in teacher education before becoming a stay-at-home mom (who never stays at home). When not spending way too much time on social media, Joanna loves to spend time with her family, travel, read, and watch live theater.

View all posts by Joanna Durham-Barnes