Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gift Guidelines: Kids

Some tips for buying gifts for the under fives

Disclaimer: be respectful of the parents of children you are purchasing for... it is not your responsibility to enforce or break traditional gender roles in a child.  If the little girl likes trucks, buy trucks.  If the boy likes dolls, then buy a doll.  When in doubt have a chat to the parent/s.

Babies (0-1)
Bunny rugs and clothes are the fall back for babies, but if you want to get them something to play with or keep for the future look for toys that have at least one or more of the following characteristics:
  • Soft toys are always nice
  • Bright colours
  • Noisy (e.g. rattle or jingle)
  • Tactile: ie as the child touches it (and grows in strength) the toy will provide stimulation to the senses, like soft, hard, rough, bumpy, smooth, rattle, jingle. 
  • big, but not too big: i.e not small enough to fit in their mouth, but not so big that it scares them.
  • no small or attached parts: seamless is perfect but not always possible (basically ensure it is not a health hazard).
Girls 1-3
Again clothing is a great gift here.  Dresses and hair accessories are also practical and pretty.
  • soft toys (always nice)
  • bright colours and noise is good
  • tactile gifts are still good here such as soft/ bumpy variance
  • baby dolls are a winner with the 2-3 year olds
  • teething is still a big part of this developmental stage so ensure gifts are not going to be swallowed if they end up in the mouth.
Boys 1-3
  • soft toys are always nice!
  • bright colours and noisey toys... especially noisy toys
  • tactile gifts
  • teething issues (as above)
  • cars, trains and trucks are a winner with the 2-3 yo but make sure they are big!
Girls 3-5
  • soft toys are always nice
  • bright colours and noisy toys
  • fairy and princess themes are a favourite
  • super heroes are great too
  • relax the "no small pieces rule"
  • dress ups and role playing are important at this age so "grown up" items (old phones, old clothes, clipboards, toy stethoscopes etc)
Boys 3-5
  • soft toys are always nice!
  • bright colours and noisy toys
  • role play toys such as doctor kits etc
  • transport toys (cars, trucks, planes etc)
  • relax the "small pieces rule"
  • super heroes are also popular
Once a child turns 6, they are at school and you should be having conversations with them on a regular basis. Kids are honest folk, it is not hard to work out what they do and don't like.  Definitely DON'T buy clothes... uness you pair it with a toy.  I think it is rather easy at this stage to work out what to buy, but if all else fails... ask them what they want. 

:) M