Still have little bundles of children for whom you need to purchase gifts? Wanting to avoid any and all toy stores like the plague? I have a few ideas for you.
Regardless of what you buy, keep the child in mind. If you want your gift to be the one the kids want to open first, purchase a gift that goes with his/her personality. Don't just get generic toys for a certain age group.
Here are some ideas that parents will love for their lack of plastic, battery requirement, and noise. Kids will like them, because they are just plain fun. And cool.
I love a good theme.
1. Arts and crafts: Buy a small tote box or other container with a lid and fill it up with crafty things. Keep the parents in mind when choosing the items. Glitter is bad. I just gave these to a few nieces, and their boxes included:
box of 64 crayons
glue - both stick and liquid
glitter glue - you get the sparkle without the mess
make your own greeting card pack
colorful index cards
fun Post-It notes
2. Garden - When my brother and his family moved to a farm, I gave a garden kit to my niece. I put the following in a basket:
garden apron with pockets
3. Baker: A different niece who likes to cook with her mom was given this present. It included:
children's cook book
4. Farmer: My nephew received this gift this year. He is a child who rises on his own bright and early every day and immediately heads out to do things around the farm. He loves farm life, so I went to Tractor Supply to buy:
a book titled "Raising Chickens for Fun or Profit"
a face mask type hat for the coming cold weather
a T-shirt that says "I do more by 7:00am than most people do all day."
5. Entrepreneur: This will work for any child who likes to pretend play. I got it for my nephew in Hawaii who was baking mango bread and other delights to sell on the beach. I went to Office Supply and purchased things like:
fancy paper for fliers
order tickets (like waitresses use)
6. Carpenter: Star has always loved to get in and help Hubby build things (on the rare occasion that he builds) One year we got him started on his own tool set. Bonus on this one, he actually uses it to help around the farm. I can't tell you how many tree limbs he has cut for us, and had a smile on his face doing it. His starter set included:
a tool box
8. All dolled up: Girls of any age like this, as long as the girl is a "girly" girl. Don't get this for a girl who clearly leans toward the tomboy personality. Some options:
a variety of nail polishes - colorful, glittery, crackled
stickers for nails
nail polish remover
toe separator slippers
pretty head bands and clips
fun chapsticks/lip gloss
9. Books: I give a whole lot of books as gifts. Each niece, nephew, and child of mine gets at least two each year. I get a lot of them from Scholastic Book orders the kids bring home from school. I also go to the local resale book store. Of course, sometimes I do go to Barnes and Noble. Paperback books are very reasonably priced. Some you might consider:
I have yet to meet a boy who doesn't like the trivia books. Be they about gross things, world records, or animal things, boys like a good trivia book.
They also enjoy comic books. Favorites are Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes.
Junie B Jones, A to Z Mysteries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Geronimo Stilton are good series.
On my sidebar are a few of our favorite picture books. You can't go wrong with a funny picture book.
As always, think of the child and his or her interests. A book on dinosaurs for the dinosaur fanatic would be good.
I have also just gone out on a limb and gotten books I think the kids will like. Every once in a while it flops, but sometimes I get a child started on a desire to read each and every book in the series or on that topic. I love it when that happens.
10. Clothes: You need to be careful when purchasing clothes for kids/teens. Some kids, like two of my nieces, love to get cute clothes as gifts. Any cute clothes will do. However, not all kids are thrilled with a gift of clothes, so you have to put more thought and effort into it. You can purchase clothes for any youngster, but make sure it is something that would be interesting or fun or "cool" to him/her. My farmer brother's family had just gotten a wiener dog, and I found a T-shirt with a blingy wiener dog on it. My niece loved it. For boys, T-shirts with funny sayings or favorite characters are a good choice. Perhaps a hat or shirt with a favorite sports team logo. Star and Phoenix have been thrilled to receive pairs of the "cool" brand of basketball socks.
Have fun purchasing and giving gifts to kids. Be creative and think outside the plastic, battery-powered box. The kids will certainly appreciate it.
Have a lovely day!