Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Christmas Gift Ideas You Won't See on TV

We have two sets of grandparents interested in gift ideas, and are looking for things for our own children, so I came up with my top list of Christmas gift ideas that you won't see advertised on TV (based on my kids ages and interests, of course).

Almost 3-year old boy -
  1. STEM - educational toy - Bambino-LUK Starter Pack (approximately $25). 
  2. Music - VTech Record and Learn KidiStudio 
  3. Art - high quality paintbrushes, canvases, and paints. Preschool kids can use adult art supplies with supervision. The Crayola 5-count art and craft brush set is also a good quality "kids" set.
  4. Books - purchase quality children's literature such as The Story about Ping, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, or true classics like Winnie the Pooh.
  5. Active play - Balance ball for kids (they can "sit" while listening to a story, "play" with it, or exercise with it).
Young Elementary School Age
  1. STEM - educational toy - 
  2. Outdoor play - Anything for your child's favorite sport - baseball, football, frisbee, golf. Just keep in mind that for younger kids it will get destroyed.
  3. Music - kids this age can learn to use real instruments (our 5-year old loves his "real" guitar). Again, instruments will end up destroyed, so buy wisely.
  4. Books - our 5 year old has just started enjoying reading classic chapter books like The Boxcar Children and Encyclopedia Brown as family read alouds. His favorite books to read himself are books by Dr. Suess and Mo Willems. Of course, he loves the Pete the Cat books too.
  5. Quiet play - my 5 year old doesn't quite have the attention span yet for Lego's, but he likes the idea of playing with them. I thought the Plus Plus system looked like a great alternative to Lego's for kids who may want to start with just 2-dimensional figures before moving on to more complex creations.
Overall, buying Christmas gifts is a complex and thoughtful process. It's easy to just walk into a store and buy the first shiny object that catches your (or their) eye, but in the long-run, a little thought and effort can make a good Christmas, into a great Christmas.

*** Links posted are Amazon affiliate referral links. However, I have not received or been paid for my opinion on these products. Many of them I have not tried and I'm relying on the reviews and descriptions already posted on Amazon.
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