When it comes to picking the perfect gift, it is usually harder choosing for kids than for adults. Grown-ups have already settled their patterns and tastes and are easier to please. Kids, on the other hand, are fickle and unpredictable—today’s favorite toy may be cast aside and forgotten tomorrow. Choosing their gift requires careful planning and a lot of consideration. Here are some pointers to picking out the best kids’ gifts.
- Choose something age–appropriate. There are different toys for different age groups. Is the child a toddler, a preteen or a teenager? This is a simple tip to follow, since most toys come with suggested age groups on their packaging. It is important to choose age-appropriate toys because of their inherent safety risk: toddlers and infants might swallow or choke on the smaller toy parts intended for older children. Safety should be your top concern particularly when picking out toys for very young kids. When buying books, you can consult with the saleslady to provide helpful choices for their age group. If you opt to buy clothes or shoes, it is advisable to buy sizes larger than their current size, because at a child’s accelerated growth rate, clothes will no longer fit after a year.
- Pick something they’d like. Have at least baseline knowledge of the child’s tastes and personality. Factor in his age, sex, temperament and hobbies when choosing a gift. This will be infinitely helpful in making sure your gift is appreciated. Use subtle hints and questions to find out what his secret wish is, or ask their friends if he has been mentioning anything in particular. It’s up to you to play the detective and figure out his heart’s desire. It is also important to find out whether or not the toys will cause any conflict among siblings. Kids are notoriously possessive and may fight over toy privileges. It is up to you to decide whether to give a common gift for sharing, or buy each of them the same present, but personalized for each child.
- Go for something useful. It is always tempting to go with the crowd and buy the most popular toy of the season. However, the novelty of these toys usually fades quickly, and these are discarded soon after. The best toys should foster learning of mental, social and physical skills, in a fun and wholesome manner the kids will appreciate. Choose gifts that enhance development, with classic gifts such as bicycles, board games and coloring books. These will provide endless hours of fun with the imaginative and creative play of your kids.
The best gift will not be the most expensive gift, but the one the kids can play with the most. You will find it helpful to ask their friends’ parents what they gave, to get an idea of what gifts are useful and which gifts are ignored.
It is important to remember that childhood is the stage of rapid development and character formation. Giving gifts should not only be for fun, but also should nurture and develop a child’s skills for his future. You should always give kids an opportunity to have the same fun you had with your own childhood toys.