Christmas is coming and it is time to start thinking about all of the gifts you need to buy. Most of have a few kids on our shopping list to buy for and toys are the usual gift.
This year is no no different than the past few years. There are always a few hot toys out that it seems every kids want. But there are also some toys that stand the test of time and continue to be popular as they are introduced to the newest batch of kids.
In many ways shopping for kids is pretty easy as there is such a large selection of toys to choose from every year. On the flip side, it can sometimes be difficult to know what toy a particular child will like or even whether they already own it (assuming it’s not your child).
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying for kids:
1. Get age appropriate gifts
When shopping for a child during the Christmas season, or anytime for that matter, it is best to take in to consideration the age of the child and then shop from there. There are many toys and such that can be purchased all over that are suitable for all age groups.
For example, if shopping for a toddler some toys that are age-appropriate include things such as larger toys like play trucks or a kickball. Another example would be for teen boys who enjoy sports or science-oriented hobbies. Such gifts might include a baseball glove or a beginners science kit. Simply put, when coming up with great Christmas gift ideas for kids, selecting for the right age is key.
This is especially important for young kids. You don’t want to buy a 2 year old a gift that is rated dangerous for children under three. And paying attention to age ranges can also give you an idea of whether an older child is going to like a gift or find it “too babyish”.
If you are unsure about appropriate toys for kids depending on their age, check the box. Recommended ages are almost always listed on kid’s products nowadays.
2. Look for the popular toys
If you look through the Sunday circulars, most retailers will have the hottest toys of the year listed. They usually know what is popular by what is selling well so take their lead if you are short on ideas. While every child is different and there are some kids who like the less popular items, the hottest toys of the year tend to have mass appeal.
Looking online for lists of the year’s most popular toys can also give you some good ideas. Just go to Google and type in searches like “Top 10 Most Popular Kid’s Toys for 2015” or “Bestselling Kid’s Toys for Christmas”. Also, major retailers like Walmart of ToysRUs often have list of the best rated toys and games for the holidays.
3. Play to Their Likes
Another important thing to remember when getting gifts for kids during the Christmas season is to consider what types of toys they usually play with, and along with that, what their typical likes are. It is not traditionally conventional to get any kind of gift that will not be enthusiastically received nor frowned upon because it is not what the person wanted nor even likes.
As a result, think creatively but also along the lines of what is common to the child’s environment. If a child likes a certain sports team, for example, getting a shirt from their favorite team would be perfect. Furthermore, another example of something a child might like might be a toy car.
4. Be kind to parents
It is well known that when buying a gift for anybody that it is the thought that counts. However, when getting a gift for a child it is advised that the child’s parents should be aware of the gift ideas and that their permission is given to get a specific gift before going and purchasing it.
This is not only a sign of respect, even if they are family or close friends, but it is also a good idea to talk to the parents to get any ideas of what the child is currently into and what the child likes. This will make the shopping trip a whole lot easier then shopping without parental consent.
I know it can be amusing, but be careful about buying loud toys with regards to the parents. A mini drum set may seem like a cool gift but check with the parents first. If you plan to have kids someday, don’t forget about payback. Trust me, we parents will remember!
5. Buy batteries
If you are getting a toy that requires batteries, buy a small pack to go with your gift. Seriously, there is nothing worse than a child opening a toy on Christmas morning that needs “C” batteries (really, who keeps those around?). Kids always want to play with their new toys right away so having the batteries with the gift is a huge bonus.
And here is a handy fact. Most Dollar Stores sell cheap batteries along with inexpensive cards and gift bags. So pick up a pack of batteries for $1 and be the hero.
6. Get gift receipts
Many stores nowadays give out gift receipts at Christmas. If not, ask for one and give the gift receipt to the parents. That way if the child already has the toy or gets another one from someone else, they can return the toy and pick out something else.
With all of the information online and the push of retailers to assist with shopping, it really is easy to find lots of cool gift ideas for kids at Christmas. When in doubt you can always go for gift cards to major retailers also. Older kids especially appreciate gift cards. But younger kids like opening presents so I would probably try to leave gift cards as an option for ages 10 and up.