A Guide to Buying Appropriate Gifts

With the holiday season upon us, caregivers are thinking about presents and ways to bring smiles to their children’s faces. Buying gifts can be a tedious task and we often ask a lot of questions. What will the child like? Is this a safe choice? Is he/she too old/young for this? This quick guide will point you in the right directions.

The first thing to consider is the child’s age and ability. A toy for a 6 month old should look very different from that for a 2 year old. Developmental psychologists, as well as other child specialists, work with major toy companies to ensure their products are age-appropriate. Most products state the intended age group on the packaging. The same goes for movies and video games. Before you hit the stores, you can check out toy manufacturers’ and retailers’ websites for ideas on toys and games appropriate to your child’s age.

Toys R Us Shopping Guide by age (Birth-15+ years)
Fisher Price toys by age (Birth-5+ years)
Amazon.com toys and games by age range (Birth-Young adult)

Also important is the safety of the presents under the tree. Every year, children are hurt by gifts they’ve received during the holiday season. Additionally, toy companies have ongoing recalls of products. It is important that caregivers be mindful and keep their children safe.

How can I be sure I am buying toys that are safe for my child? (e.g. Electric toys should be “UL Approved” and Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air)
US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Toy Hazard Recall list

Reading is an important topic here at Child Space. Don’t leave books off your shopping list. Even if your child prefers toys to books, it is important that you strike a balance. Remember, toys are more likely to be broken or abandoned. Perhaps you can purchase one toy and one book, instead of several toys. It may be challenging to determine what would make a good book for the child you are shopping for, but the following sites can help.

Finding the Right Read
Best Children’s Books By Age (Babies-Tweens)
Amazon.com Gift Ideas in Books for Kids and Teens

Remember to not go overboard. Every year, caregivers break the bank in attempts to make their children happy. Quality should reign over quantity. If you are so inclined, remind your children of the reasons your family celebrates the holiday season. You can also follow these simple ways to Make the Holidays Less Materialistic

Happy shopping!

Image: maple / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Traci S. Williams-Nurse

Dr. Traci Williams-Nurse is a licensed psychologist who specialized in child, adolescent and family psychology. Her interests include child development, family functioning, video games and food. She was born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
This entry was posted in Holidays, Reading, Toys and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Guide to Buying Appropriate Gifts

  1. Richard Jobity says:

    Golden Compass trilogy!

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