To go with the vest, Ashton and I put together a rock collection box for him:
and filled it with special rocks from Scholar's Choice, as well as a magnifying glass:
He has a rock collection already which he can add to this. If I remember correctly, the rocks are (clockwise) assorted treasure rocks, an obsidian arrowhead, a geode which he can break open, agate, peacock ore, and pyrite (fool's gold) As you can see most of these came with little slips of paper describing them. Educational AND fun!
For the 3 year old (who is singing happy birthday around the Christmas tree and trying to blow out the lights - poor girl!) I sewed up a dress using Burda #9740 and some funky Ikea fabric. I've been hesitant to try out any of their fabric since it seems so heavy, but once washed it's like a lightweight denim.
And since no 3-year-old gets all that excited about clothes, I whipped up a little crocheted bunny to go with it (using this pattern)
I think I have more fun coming up with and making their gifts than they have receiving them!