Christmas Gift Guide Part 3: Popular Gifts for Kids

| Sunday December 7, 20083 comments

Whether you're a Mom, an auntie or buying presents for your friend's tots, it's easy to stress about finding the perfect gift for the kids. It's probably safe to say no one needs another teddy bear, so here are a few gift ideas to help get you started.

The Tiny People (birth-24 months)

Babies aren't particularly discriminating. Heck, they spend most of their days sucking on their toes and eating the Cheerios you missed on your last sweep through with the vacuum cleaner. Your best bet is to buy something practical for Mom and Dad.

The No-Brainer: Clothes - buy at least 2 sizes ahead, which has the added advantage of end-of-season sales. When in doubt, a gift certificate for a quality store always works.

Something Different: Next-Stage Car Seat - the little ones will
transition through 3 different car seats until they hit 4-ft 9-in (145
cm). This convertible Cosco seat is perfect for babies graduating from
the backward-facing model and older. We love the cup holder!

Cosco High Back Booster, Amazon $52.73

The Preschool Set (ages 2-4)

Tots will play with anything, as many a nervous father watching his son play dress-up can attest. They are as happy with the uber-marketed toys as with the imagination-stimulating basics. One thing you should stay away from is clothes (unless you're looking to score points with your sister-in-law); this is an age where a new jacket is only interesting if it's covered in Nascar paraphernalia.

The No-Brainer: we wish it weren't so, but Elmo is still popular. Home center sets (ie. dishes, food) and workshop tools never fail to disappoint.

Something Different: Tots learn through play and art. Get the best of both with an art easel plus supplies. This model has a blackboard on the backside for extra play.

Melissa & Doug Standing Easel, Amazon $38.99

The Big Kids (age 5+)

Suddenly those easily satisfied kids have very specific ideas of what they like. Short of nabbing a photocopy of their letter to Santa, it can get tricky finding just the right thing. The good news is that the peer influence newly gained from socializing at school will ensure that really popular toys will universally satisfy.

The No-Brainer: my daughter has over 20 WebKinz. She'd still like more. My son will gladly take any superhero action figures, thank you very much.

Collectible Holiday Barbie is new every year. Amazon, $34.99

Something Different: sneak in a little educational value with a fancy Lego set or a chemistry kit (for the older kids). Include spending time with them as your gift; take them to the movies or Disney on Ice.

For the new parents and parents-to-be on your list, nothing goes over better than free babysitting and gift certificates to their favorite restaurant. Together Time is a rare commodity and might pave the way for further family additions ;) - that suggestion goes out to all the grandparents in the audience.

Have a unique gift idea for the kids? Share them here!

by Claire Rahn
More on Gift Guide

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on December 10, 2008  Ali de Bold  STAFF said:

That is so interesting, Bb! As someone who doesn't have kids I'd never
think of any of that. Thanks for sharing that really interesting info!

on December 08, 2008  MizzRobin  13,713 said:

Great tips! I don't have any children myself but this definitely helps when it comes to buying gifts for my friends children etc! :o)

on December 08, 2008  Bubblybunny  4,651 said:

Great suggestions, Claire!!

For my little one this year, I am guilty of buying baby stuff that I actually really really want but can't justify to buy on a whim. :P Hahah...

In general, I can't stress enough how important it is to give gifts with a gift receipt, especially for babies. Here are a couple of my examples:

Clothes are great because babies grow so quickly. However, my baby is 3 mo. old and he's already fitting really well into the 6 mo. clothes. Also, I have a lot of sleepers but not very many onsies and would love to have some extras. So if someone gave him a 6 mo. sleeper, I'd probably like to bring that back to the store and exchange for onsies or bigger size clothings. Oh, and now that he's started drooling, I can't seem to have enough bibs - another item I'd love to get for X'mas.

Also, I don't like receiving things like baby lotion, soap, diaper cream, etc. They are very practicaly gifts but I'm also very particular about what I put on my baby. My baby doesn't need everything organic but I do my research on all baby products and make sure the product is as good as it claims to be. Just because they are baby products, it doesn't mean they are good for the baby. I'm also very particular about washclothes and chew toys.

I think the best baby gift I can get this X'mas is diapers. Boxes and boxes of it! :D But once again, if you are thinking this is a great idea, remember to get a gift receipt. :D I don't particularly care which brand of diapers we use, but I know some mom would only use 1 brand of diapers on their baby. :)

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