2) Do you personally know the child and where they are intellectually? If there aren’t any safety concerns (ie – younger children) and you see a gift that you think a kid will love, you can buy it regardless of the age range on the package. Cullen is 3 and has tons of toys that are for 5+. They are some of his favorites. The age ranges listed on packages are really general guidelines to cover an range of appropriateness for safety and interest, but that doesn’t mean they are accurate for every child. I’ve purchased scrapbooking kits for a 4 year old before. While the kit was clearly intended for an older child, I knew this child and knew that not only was she completely capable of doing the scrapbook as a project (her mom scrapbooks) but that she would love it. It worked out great.
3) If you don’t know the child, don’t be afraid to reach out to the parents and ask what kind of things their child likes. This is definitely something you’ll encounter, if you haven’t already, especially when your child starts to make friends outside of your social circle and you’re attending birthday parties for children you may not know. Gift cards, though not always as fun for the child, are a great option here too. Still, it’s good to find out if there is a particular store that the child would appreciate a gift card to.
4) Receipts – Always give a gift receipt. There’s little more frustrating than having your child get something they can’t use and not being able to return it because you either don’t know where it came from or the store has a return policy that doesn’t allow returns without a receipt. Even Wal-Mart has started to get hard core about returns.
5) Think about the parents… Just because you don’t mind playdoh and glitter doesn’t mean the gift getter’s parents will appreciate the joy in their child’s eyes when they see the 15 color glitter, sequin and glue craft you picked up for little Suzy. Fear and horror are more indicative of what I would feel. Sure, my kid would love (like giant pink puffy heart love) it, but I might want to do you bodily harm.
The holidays, ready for them or not, are just around the corner. My sister reminds me frequently. I’ve got lists to make and I know my girl will have friends she’ll want to buy for too (I’d like to thank Target for their $1 section). I know these things will be on my mind when I’m shopping.
As a parent, are their gifts that make you cringe? Share them with me, and any other tips that you think are important when buying gifts for children, and I will share them throughout the week.