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If you’re a parent or relative to young children, then you’ve a birthday or two to attend some time soon. For me, it’s almost every weekend these days! Finding the appropriate gift can be time-consuming, and a bit stressful- whether it’s coming directly from you or from your child to their pal.
I’m the worst at getting birthday gifts, not because I’m cheap or I want to get out of it, but I just always feel like I’m not going to get the person what they really want, even when they flat out tell me what it is that they want me to purchase!!!
Never fear! I’ve gathered a gift guide so you can focus on enjoying time with loved ones (and getting on with your day!) rather than hemming and hawing at all of the options. And while Summer birthdays have been top of my mind, the gift guide is appropriate for any time of year so you can bookmark this page as your gift that keeps on giving.
A few years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about the anatomy of the perfect birthday gift guide. Now that I’m a blogger and now that I’m a mom of school age children it’s become more important to be organized when it comes to gift giving. My perfect gift guide starts first with the age of the child you’re looking for, then I try to consider the interests of the little one in question, and finally should consider the educational value of the toy.
Ageism isn’t something that I normally encourage except for when it comes to children. From diaper sizes to car seat configurations, the age of a child is a huge determining factor in how each child is approached. One huge reason to consider age when thinking of the anatomy of the perfect birthday gift guide is safety. If a toy is made for an older child the pieces will be too small for a toddler to play with due to choking hazards. While I want to make sure that I include a large variety of toys when I consider gifts there is no way to ignore age when making my purchases.
Toys are a great way to expand your child’s interests in the world. It’s amazing how much of the world a child can see from the array of toys they have in their own toy box. That being said considering their interests in the long run will save you money. If you go and buy a monster from a scary movie for a five year old, unless you know that’s one of their favorite things on the planet, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have it end up in a closet or at the bottom of the toy box. Save yourself some money by getting to know the interests of each child you purchase something for. You may be saving yourself from making an expensive mistake.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m the daughter of an educator, but I try my hardest to make at least a few toys in our collection of toys educational ones. It’s the perfect opportunity to fit in some learning into your child’s day. Toddlers and almost-school aged children can get a lot of knowledge fit into their day by being exposed to educational products, probably more than you know.
So there you have it! The anatomy of the perfect birthday gift guide! By considering age, interest and educational value, I’m sure to bring you a perfect birthday gift guide!
Just so this isn’t a tease, below is a great gift guide from Educents. The gifts are organized by age group from toddler to teen, and all of them are under $40.
ages 3 to 5
Tegu Blocks combine fun colors, geometric shapes, and a magnetic snap to create a playtime experience that’s fitting for the living room or the classroom. Parents (and littles!) love this toy because its production has positive environmental and social impact.
This game helps children grow memory skills with adorable dinosaur chips! The beautiful design is a treat for parents and kids alike. Perfect for picnics, play dates, and rainy games, this game is small enough to carry in your pocket and hip enough for the coolest of pre-k birthday parties.
For giftees ages 6 to 8
Get kids on their feet and brimming with ideas! This high-quality wooden game is a perfect gift for outgoing children and to create an atmosphere of fun and creativity.
This board game is cleverly disguised. Kids will be having so much fun that they won’t even know that they were learning math from an award-winning program.
The Slimy Squishy Polymer Bucket is the perfect gift for budding scientists who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty in the name of…scientific learning! But they’ll too be busy having fun to realize they’re learning the basics of chemistry.
One great idea for a gift is coloring books. These garden flower coloring books are perfect for child and parent, and can make a great group activity.
For giftees 9 to 10
Food Fighter is a board game that has two children face off in a kitchen-themed battle. Children will have fun while developing higher-order thinking skills, mathematics, literacy, and executive functioning skills.
Building dreamcatchers is a classic crafting activity – this colorful kit has everything kids need to make something unique and beautiful!
I love these experiments – little parental oversight is required, and they’re so easy to do right at home! Girls and boys, readers and scientists, alike will love this colorful kit. Not to mention parents!
Gifts for Ages 11 to 13
Whether or not they love this pun as much as some of us, this game gets kids flexing vocabulary muscles while having fun with a little challenge and competition. Players build pairs of connecting words in matching patterns, like Scrabble 2.0. Best of all it’s portable – a perfect gift and activity to bring along on sleepovers or for parties. For a little more “pearity,” pair with two more pears!
Budding scientists and tweens who like hands-on fun will love this all-in-one Rainforest Biome – they get to start a whole ecosystem right at home! The biome includes cacao beans (a favorite), clay, an apple snail shell, and more to create a full-on biofeedback loop. Super cool!
Who doesn’t love to solve a mystery?! The One Minute Mystery series takes a simple concept and turns it into an awesome book. Kids will read mysteries, then use their powers of deduction and knowledge of math and science to find the solution. Each is as satisfying as the next!
What’s your favorite gift to give? Comment and let me know!