Christmas is just round the corner. For me it’s fun to prepare for it. It’s like taking into account the likes and interests of the recipients and getting a gift that will be meaningful for that individual. For kids, it’s even more fun because they have such creativity and imagination that anything can be a present. You have to strip away all the consumerist culture and bring yourself to the pure joy of perhaps looking a a bunch of coloured feathers and enjoying the feel of brushing the lightness of the feather on your skin. This I know for sure, because B says feathers are beautiful and while her Berries classmates are exchanging their homework points for pencils and sharpeners, she is has been collecting feathers of every colour available. She is right, they are beautiful and lovely on the skin.
So what are some points to take note of when getting presents for the young ones?
It’s not about the cost
Children don’t care how much the present costs. It’s the adults who teach them and place value on present based on the costs. A child will be just as happy to receive a fighting fish in a jam jar tied with a ribbon. So I personally wouldn’t start a tradition of trying to give the coolest present ever based on the hottest product on the market. It will not only drive you up the wall as the years go by but more damagingly, it will teach your child that love can be measured in $$.
A present doesn’t need to be physical. It can be in the form of an outing or an activity with a favourite cousin or friend. Come up with a voucher, wrapped up for a lovely surprise. If you have been busy with work, what better present than to promise to spend a day one-one-one to do whatever she wants? If you are a much loved Aunt who hasn’t found time for her young niece/nephew – now is the best time to cement that bond – while they are still interested in spending time with you. Wrap up a little fishing net in and add a little tag to it saying “Voucher is valid for a morning of longkang fishing!”
Getting safe toys
Gifts for younger children between the age 1 to 5 should serve to stimulate their senses. Children at this age like to touch, feel and tinker around with their toys. This also means that the toys should be able to withstand being thrown around, pulled and for the younger ones – drooled on. The best gifts that parents love getting are safe and yet promote learning and fine motor skills. This is the reason Quiet Books and Busy Books are popular. They are engaging and stimulating.
Respect what the parents want
If you are getting a present for a child, the present has to respect the views and beliefs of the parents. This means that if the parents are concerned with BPA or lead in metal then make sure the present that you get is certified safe or free of health hazards. Honestly, when B was younger, I absolutely refused to let her play with those dubious play dough/clay that came in an array of luminous colour and as if to prove me right, these play dough would “leak” oil after awhile. The other thing to take note of is if the parents do not want the child exposed to guns and violence at a young age, not every parent thinks that toy nerf guns are cool presents.
With one more month to go for Christmas, now is a great time to start your Christmas shopping – stress free!
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