Grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.,
Are you looking for the perfect gift for the children in your life? Here are some thoughts to guide you in your search.
1. Something that doesn't make noise. I'm assuming you want the children to be allowed to play with the gift. If it annoys the parents, they will hide it and maybe even exact some kind of revenge on you. I'm currently looking for a cheap set of bagpipes for my brother's daughter because he gets loud toys for my kids on purpose.
2. Something that doesn't make a mess. Do you want everyone to hate you? Then get them Play-Doh, slime, something with a million pieces, etc. May I suggest a nice stuffed animal? Think about the carpet in your love ones' home.
3. Books. Believe it or not, lots of kids really like books and don't require expensive video games. It's easier to choose them when they're younger. If the child is older, there are lots of great sites for recommendations. No, don't get them a book that makes noise! (See #1)
4. Experiences. It's great for kids to receive gift cards for movie tickets, visits to science centers, zoos, etc. They might not have the opportunity often to do such things. Our family was thrilled when we were given tickets to The Seattle Aquarium. We combined that with the cash we were given from my in-laws and made a whole day of it.
5. Underwear. It makes the kids more grateful for their other gifts. Socks are also good.
6. Something homemade. What child doesn't love a blanket made by Grandma? An ungrateful one, that's who. But you should give it to them anyway along with some underwear.
7. A coupon for a date. My kids love a promise from Grandma to be taken out shopping, for lunch, etc. They will remember the time with you more than they remember the things you gave them.
8. Music. A gift card for tunes for their MP3 player is great, especially since they have headphones. (See #1 again)
9. Puzzles. This is an especially good gift if you do them together. I have stayed up as late as 3am with my son as we watched movies and did a puzzle together. This was because I had a toddler that would destroy it in the morning if we didn't finish it that night. Just make sure the number of pieces won't overwhelm them.
10. Something that encourages them to develop their talents. A new violin book? Maybe a catcher's mitt, ballet attire, etc.
I hope you find the perfect gifts that won't add to the pile of unused and abused toys. What are you buying your family for Christmas? What are the worst gifts your children have ever received?
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