Whether you’re starting to shop around for Christmas gifts this year or have upcoming birthdays to buy for, gifting presents to kids requires plenty of thought and planning.
You want to avoid making mistakes in your choices as there can be repercussions if you do, such as safety risks, disappointed children, unhappy parents (if you’re buying for the youngsters of others), and money wasted. It helps, though, to follow a few tips to purchase appropriately for those under 18.
Consider the Age of the Child
Start by thinking about the child’s age and what will be appropriate based on this number. For example, many gifts have warnings on the packaging about not being appropriate for children under the age of three years due to pieces that could be swallowed and choke a little one, or for other reasons.
Some items won’t be suitable for a child to wear or use until they’re old enough, such as cute roller skates, more challenging puzzles, games that require good dexterity, and so on. It’s best to put off buying such goods until the recipient is old enough and can truly enjoy them.
On the other hand, you don’t want to buy anything that’s too young for a kid and that they will be disappointed with and simply not use. For instance, don’t buy an older child clothing that features characters from TV shows or films that are only popular with toddlers or a trampoline for a teenager who doesn’t spend much time away from their smartphone or laptop.
Ask Parents or Caregivers for Tips
If you’re buying for babies or toddlers, it’s worth asking the child’s parent(s) or caregiver(s) if there’s anything in particular they need for their little one or anything they already have too much of. For example, many new parents get inundated with newborn-sized clothing when they have a baby but then end up with too many small items and not enough pieces in larger sizes.
Some parents may also have limited funds themselves and appreciate if their friends and family members buy gifts for their youngsters which saves them from having to outlay the funds on such pieces. If, on the other hand, you’re buying for older children and teenagers, their parents can also give you insights into what the kids may be into right now (this can change a lot over time) or give tips about which books in a series, games, toys, and so on that children already own to avoid double ups.
Ask Children What They Would Like
You can also go straight to the source and ask the youngsters you need to buy for what they’d like. Most kids have a decent idea of things they wish their parents would purchase for them or items they’d buy if they had more pocket money or funds from their casual after-school job.
Kids can indicate not just the type of presents they’d be keen to receive but also specifics about the brand, size, style, or other features that set an item apart. Remember, though, that young children, in particular, can change their interests and preferences quickly, so it’s best not to ask kids what they’d like as a gift too long before the occasion you’re buying for. Similarly, if buying clothing or other specific-sized items, remember that kids can grow quickly, so their size may change in turn.
Keep Cultural, Religious, and Other Beliefs and Traditions in Mind
Next, don’t buy presents for kids without first considering if there are any cultural, religious, or other traditions or beliefs that you need to keep in mind. For example, you may want to purchase gifts for a brown or black-skinned child that provide positive representations of non-Caucasians.
If a child comes from a vegan family or chooses to eat vegetarian, you should avoid presents that are tested on animals or contain animals products, while a family who focuses on using natural and sustainable goods won’t be so keen on mass-products items that are likely to have a high carbon footprint or contain lots of chemicals.
Other things to keep top of mind when browsing for and buying gifts for kids include not overdoing it, lest you make other parents or caregivers feel embarrassed, and consider the size of gifts (items might be hard to store) and if they’re noisy or have an off-switch. It’s also worth buying batteries for gifts that need this power source so children can play with toys and other items immediately. Furthermore, consider how solid, reliable, long-lasting, and safe goods are likely to be and if they’re messy or require a lot of adult supervision.
Take all of these factors into consideration when you shop, and you should find that buying gifts for young ones is quicker and easier, and you feel better about your purchasing decisions later on.