Gift Ideas for Kids

by Andrea Boley
(Tampa, FL)

Buying gifts that will be enjoyed and appreciated for children when you don’t have any children yourself can be challenging. I remember those awful gifts of knitted booties and records by obscure bands that great aunt Ruth or cousin Jimmy gave me as a kid. I also remember the stern looks my mother gave me if I didn’t respond as if the gift was the thing I wanted most in life. None of us want to be a great aunt Ruth. However, how do you choose the right gifts for the right age child? Here are a few tips:


Research
In this age of almost unlimited information available on the Internet, it’s easy to look for kid gift ideas. Search major Web retailers and mommy sites like cafemom.com for ideas as well as toy manufacturer sites, like Mattel.com. A quick call to the child’s mother (or aunt or grandmother) can also yield some good suggestions.

Proven Child Kid Ideas
Below are some general ideas to get you thinking about appropriate gifts by age group:

•Babies (under one year) - Baby presents are really geared as much for the parents as for the child. Clothes are a good idea for a first baby. Little ones enjoy soft toys as well as cloth books, activity quilts and mobiles and other visually stimulating toys.

•Gifts for children 1-2 years - Gender isn’t very important at this stage. Look for toys that are engaging, like building blocks or activity sets. Be careful about small parts. Toddlers have a tendency to put objects in their mouths and you don’t want a choking hazard. Bouncing balls, books with sounds and toys that encourage crawling or walking a great options.

•Gifts for children 3-5 - By age three, children are becoming creative and interacting with other children more. Activities, games that aren’t too complicated (look at the ages on the box) and puzzles are good choices. So, too, are books for their parents to read to them. Painting and drawing materials are a good idea as are bikes and scooters.

•Gifts for children 6-10 - By school age, kids enjoy learning and creative toys. By this time, gender differences are more pronounced. For example, many girls enjoy dolls and many boys like sports and outdoor items. Age appropriate craft kits are good for both sexes as are games and learning toys like chemistry sets, telescopes and beginning art sets.

•Gifts for children 11-15 - Tweens like to think they are adults (even though they are usually far from it.) Grown-up gifts like MP3 players, video cameras (these aren’t nearly as expensive as they used to be), video games and books are good choices. So are gift cards to their favorite mall store or video arcade.

From age 16 and older, money is always a safe bet. Teenagers always need money for gas in the car, dates, school activities and things to wear.

Whatever you decide to gift, realize that any child enjoys getting presents. Do your best to pick a good gift, but don’t obsess over it. Just receiving the gift and unwrapping it is fun for most kids.

Andrea Boley is a writer and blogger with Storkie.com. She has been writing articles and blogging for over 10 years and is always happy to share her passion for life and experiences through her work. Her educational backgrounds in psychology and journalism have given her a solid foundation from which to draw experience and expertise in an array of topics.

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