More often than not, people consider gift-giving to be an ordeal. Right? First you have to leave the house, then choose the right place to buy your present, then go in, browse for hours on end only to narrow it down to a couple of presents (which you will spend an additional few hours choosing from), buying them, wrapping them up when you get home, and then, finally, hoping they will like them.
And, if you’re buying your gift online, it’s basically the same thing – minus all the walking around. You still have to visit site after site or product after product to find something you (and they) might like. Aside from the fact that you will ultimately feel satisfaction after purchasing a gift, as well as seeing the glee and happiness on the face of the person you’re gifting it to, it is a nuisance, a harrowing ritual, a barbaric test of your nerves and constitution.
So, in order to help you out (as we always do!) we decided to put together a short list on how to choose a gift. Also, we’ve introduced age recommendations on every gift and explained why it is that some children like certain gifts.
So here it is:
First of all, do bear in mind that children under the age of, well, 28, won’t really appreciate flowers or cheese and wine hampers as gifts. A funny card, sure. However, if you really want to make a child happy, a toy is something you want to go for. A toy + a card = ideal combination!
- Age: 2-92. LEGOs. A toy for everyone, a timeless art, a brilliant tool for developing intelligence, imagination and motor skills – you can never go wrong with a LEGO. It is not only a toy for children; on the contrary, everyone can and should play with them. If you want to score some points with the kid you’re buying gifts for, here’s a foolproof plan: buy them a LEGO (research what kind they like beforehand), get them a funny card, and bathe in the glory of the best gift-giver at the party. Guaranteed.
- Age: 2-10. A Personal Computer (PC) or a tablet. We’ve entered a new era. Children today learn to touch screens before they learn to talk. This is why we have to adjust our gifts accordingly. Of course, a PC or a tablet are expensive gifts – but if you’re buying them for your niece/nephew/family, you will be better off getting them a cool piece of electronics that might actually prove to be educational for them than an unplanned, random gift. Also, this will immediately put you in the “cool aunt/uncle/whatever” category.
- Age: 2-7. A children’s encyclopaedia. You want to turn the little one into a powerhouse of knowledge right from the start – that’s why a brightly coloured, informative encyclopaedia is the perfect gift. All this info can be found online, but books like this still interest, intrigue and facilitate an interest in reading.
- Age: 2-92. A bike, a football, baseball catcher’s mitt, etc. If you want to teach your child/a child/any child the great benefits of physical exercise and not turn them into a couch potato from a young age, go with one of these. Visit any local sports shop and take your pick. Ultimately, everyone will be thankful – you will teach them to value physical exercise and spending time outdoors from the youngest age. Good for you!
- Age: none. (DISCLAIMER: The two following pieces of advice don’t reflect the views of our entire staff, just the author of this article) Anything to do with Instagram, Facebook, Netflix or Nickolodeon. Don’t do it. In the end, there is no one right way to raise a child, right? But please, don’t be the one to set up Instagram or Facebook accounts for them, or purchase them a Netflix subscription. Even worse, and here I got up from the computer and bowed down and begged, no Nickolodeon. Granted, if you’re going to use, say, Netflix or Nickolodeon as language learning mediums for children from foreign countries – by all means <choking sounds still>, go ahead.
- Age: none. Brands. No Nike shoes, no Adidas caps, nothing branded whatsoever. Think about it – you’re spending all that money on something they will outgrow very soon, just to, what… show someone else that you can afford a pair of Nikes for the kid? The author of this article always found branded items of clothing to be, well, kind of morbid on little children. And while this is only a piece of advice from an individual you don’t know, do think about it.
- Age: 2-92. A trip. Expose them from an earliest age to other cultures, teach them how to form bonds with other people, socialize, etc. There are various organizations that organize sports camps, gatherings or tours for kids. These are great gifts, and will definitely prove useful and beneficial to the child’s emotional and social growth one day.
If you want to make sure that a child receives and learns a set of values you hold dear, gift accordingly. Don’t buy them expendable things, things that have no educational or entertainment (the latter warrants a post of its own, for it is quite difficult to gauge what kind of entertainment a child should be receiving) value, or things that are too expensive. They are kids, they grow up, they will outgrow the pair of Nikes that you think look cute now.
We’ve come to the end of this list, and we hope we’ve given you some great ideas on what to buy and what not to buy for a child.
Here’s to great gifts and a great day!
Author: Sarah Marsalle
Sarah Marsalle is a dedicated gifting expert since 2016. She helps people to do, say and give in more gracious and loving way. She is a guru in gift traditions and has thousands of ideas for any and all important events in life.