By Guest Blogger Sydney D. Richardson, Ph. D.
It’s that time of year again. If you’re anything like me, you promised yourself that you would collect gift ideas throughout the year to avoid having to think of last-minute gifts. However, that didn’t happen in the past, and this year is no exception. Maybe next year will be better. I have an 8-year old and a 6-year old whose likes and dislikes are all over the place. So, when I think of gift-giving, I try to find a mix of things such as: things that they hone in on the most, new things that have sparked an interest, and gifts and experiences that I think they might like to try in the future. Most importantly, I look for affordable gifts.
This year, especially during the pandemic, my spouse and I have decided to focus on gifts that provide an experience for our children, and to focus on gifts that also allow us to get involved with the kids (when they want us). So after thinking of those aspects, plus talking to other parents, I came up with the following ideas for gift-giving.
Subscription boxes have become more creative, even to the point where I want one! If you have a child who longs to see the world, Little Passports is great for the wanna be traveler. Children can learn of new places and have their own ‘play’ passport. For the chef, KidStir Cooking Kit is great for the creative child who enjoys cooking. My third grader loves to help me in the kitchen and this cooking kit is something that she can have all to herself (without messing up my kitchen gadgets). For the booklover, Literati Book Subscription and Just Like Me! Box are wonderful choices. Both subscriptions are for children of various ages and have a wide variety of literature. Literati has books for all school ages (including adults) and Just Like Me! focuses on diverse characters within books.
Learning and Exploration
For the science inspired exploratory child, there are many choices for presents, but these are just a few. The STEM Master 176 Piece STEM Learning Educational Construction Building is affordable and perfect for the child who likes to build. If you have a constant explorer who also loves the outdoors, the Adventure Kids Outdoor Exploration Kit is a great option. This is a gift that can be used year-round and teaches children how to discover new wonders. Now, if your children are like mine, they’re always trying to examine whatever they find. The AmScope 120 X-1200X Microscope for kids is perfect. These gifts also allow the entire family to take part in activities as well. If that doesn’t work, there’s always board games.
Regardless of age, family game night is a classic! My family has played Uno Flip, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry, Charades, and Candyland. However, other games such as Monopoly for kids is also a new way to introduce this timeless game. There are multiple versions of this game for kids such as Star Wars, Fornite, the electronic version, and even Cats vs. Dogs. You can also try physical games. My family loved watching The Floor is Lava, so we were just as excited when we found the game. This game experience is truly for the family, even though it’s disguised as just for children. For more board game ideas, visit THIS BLOG from the TMoM archives!
There are plenty of options for the tech-savvy child aside from Nintendo Switch and gaming consoles. If your child loves playing games on tablet, but you’d like to get yours back, consider the Fire Tablet for Kids. There’s also the Smartwatch for Kids with gaming features and calling features. For the photographer, a rechargeable digital camera is the perfect gift idea.
Of course, I can’t list gift items without including experiences. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, one can’t beat giving children a fun and enlightening encounter. For this, consider memberships to different places in order to save money. Local hands-on museums offers learning adventures. Trampoline parks and indoor climbing/jungle gym centers allow children to release energy, while parents can rest. For more ideas, visit these blogs below from TMoM (NOTE: Due to Covid restrictions, not all of these “experiences” may be open right now. Be sure to purchase a gift card with no expiration date, or at least with a one year expiration date):
Gift giving does not have to expensive and unimaginative. With ideas like the items listed above, there are plenty of options for all elementary age groups that even the rest of the family will love. If you have more ideas to share, please add them as comments below!