It Starts with Fun: 11 Fun and Functional Gifts

Despite an avalanche of shopping options, it seems giving a gift that is truly fun and functional—something the recipient will actually use and enjoy—is harder than ever. Here are 11 stand-out functional gifts we think folks will appreciate, and that will make you a gift-giving superstar.

For grown-ups

A cocktail with a lemon wheel is seen illuminated by glowing drink ice cubes from Glo Drinks

Take your drinks to the next level

A can’t-miss gift that will make any party the talk of the town is Glo Drinks Light Up Cubes. The light-up cubes are engineered to glow when they touch liquid, then turn off when the glass is empty. They change to nine different colors and last up to eight hours.

Flower tea blooms in a tisane from the Flower Pot Tea Company next to 2 canisters of blooming tea flowers

Tea with an artsy twist

If you’ve got a tea lover in your life, this cool household gift will endear you to them forever. A Blooming Tea Flowers & Teapot Set from
Flower Pot Tea Company makes tea time extra special, as blooming tea flowers take shape inside a glass pot that delivers delicious flavor.

Three Pyro Pet hidden skeleton candles are seen burning on a table

A candle with a hidden surprise

If you’re looking for gifts that leave a lasting impression, a candle is usually at the bottom of the list. However, this one melts away to leave something “wicked” and memorable behind. The PyroPet Animal Skeleton Candle straddles the line between cute and twisted. As a candle burns, the animal melts away to reveal its skeleton, which can be kept on display.

A person is seen wearing a multicolored geometric printed Tyvek paper watch from I Like Paper, the time reads 12:11

Eco-friendly and fun

Watches are often too expensive or too cheap-looking to gift. I Like Paper’s Tyvek® Printed Watch is fun, functional, affordable, eco-friendly and made of water-resistant and surprisingly durable paper. Artist and illustrator-designed patterns pack each one with personality and charm, making it something the wearer will want to show off.

For the kiddos

Marshmallows are tossed into hot chocolate like a free throw with the basketball sports mug from Maxi's Creations

Dunk more than just cookies

All kids want to play with their food, and this mug allows them to do just that. The oversized Sport Mug from Maxi’s Creations brings game time to meal and snack time. Originally designed by an 8 year-old to hold hot chocolate and mini marshmallows, it can be used for berries and cereal, oyster crackers and soup, or anything else your child can think of.

Blueberries, beans, veggie couscous and pineapple are seen on an orange Constructive Eating construction plate set

Teach them to eat constructively

Adding to the “mealtime can be playtime” theme is Constructive Eating’s Mealset and Placemat, which creates a mealtime worksite that features a plate with food ramps and utensils like a forklift fork, front loader spoon, and bulldozer pusher. Kids will run to the table to get on the job and devour their dinner.

An Oreo is seen being dipped into a glass of milk using a Dipr cookie spoon

The smarter way to dunk

Kids love to dip cookies in milk, but too often the cookie ends up at being fished out of the bottom of the cup. The Dipr Cookie Spoon is the ultimate utensil that allows your child (or, let’s face it, you) to dip a cookie in milk without the mess and stress of dropping it.

3 pairs of knitted cupcake socks from Sukeno Socks sit next to a muffin tin

Fashionably delicious

Socks can be considered a “borderline” gift, but hear us out on this one. Sukeno Socks have realistic-looking designs and come folded as cupcakes, sushi rolls, sashimi, popsicles, and doughnuts. They’re created on state-of-the-art Japanese knitting machines that helps the designs stay crisp even after washing.

A young boy is seen sleeping in bed covered with a Snurk Living duvet set made to look like a soccer player in a blue jersey

Dream big

Dinner time might sometimes be a struggle for parents, but bedtime is consistently tough. With Snurk Living’s Whimsical Character Duvet Set kids get to play dress up as they get tucked in and have some fun at bedtime. Kids can be mermaids, astronauts, or ballerinas just by snuggling up under the covers.

Close up of a child holding a penguin My Audio Pet digital bluetooth speaker

Palm-sized pet, room-sized sound

There’s no better gift than the gift of music, and this fun and functional speaker will allow your kids to listen all the time. My Audio Pet’s Bluetooth Speaker looks like a tiny animal but plays music. It has a wireless selfie remote shutter, a built-in mic for phone calls and pairs via Bluetooth to any phone or music device. On second thought, this gift works for both kids AND adults.

For the pets

A Chihuahua is seen sniffing an iFetch automatic ball launcher

An unexpected fetch partner

OK, technically a pet will never be disappointed with any gift you give it, but this one will be a true home run for both of you. The iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher is an interactive, on-demand ball launching toy designed to let your dog or cat play fetch without you. When your pet drops the ball into the hopper, the iFetch shoots it out for a game of chase.

When you thoughtfully balances thoughtfulness and usefulness, it’s a gifting win. If you give any one of these fun and functional gifts to him, her, the kids, or your pet, it’s sure to be a memorable one they reach for year after year.

Interested in more clever & functional gifts for pets? Here are some of the best stocking stuffers for pets this year.


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