As you all know, my role as an auntie is one of the most important things in my life. I spend a lot of time planning out what I want to give them for birthdays and Christmas – what do you get for the kids who have everything? Christmas is coming up pretty rapidly in less than two months, so it’s that time of year when we’re all thinking about it! To help you out, here are some of my tried and tested gift buying practical tips.
Pick Toys That Encourage Creativity
Look out for toys that encourage children to use their imaginations. Not only will they get hours and hours of fun out of them, but you’ll be able to give yourself a smug pat on the back at the knowledge that you’re contributing to their creative education. Look out for doll houses, tea sets, and toy garages that will encourage children to make up their own stories. If you want to go more directly towards creative play, pick out art supplies like poster paints, play dough, craft supplies and sketchbooks. You’ll probably get some handcrafted artwork in a month’s time in return!
Make Sure Your Gift Is Appropriate For Their Age Group
It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying a present for a one year old that won’t be suitable until he or she is eighteen months old, in the safe knowledge that they’ll grow into it. But try to steer away from doing that! Parents will get frustrated and the little tot will be upset that they can’t play with their shiny new toy yet. Make sure you check the labels and look at the gift to ensure there aren’t any small parts that can be swallowed or choked on. If you’re buying for a baby, check out sites with well-known brands directly aimed at them – for example Bubbalove stock Babyboo, Beaba & more, meaning that when you buy from them you can also get a gift for the parents and stock up on presents for the next big celebration too.
Books Are Always Welcome!
One big exception to the age-appropriate rule is books – these are always a great gift even if your niece or nephew can’t read yet. Flicking through the pages of their favourite storybooks helps kids to get into the habit of reading, which will benefit them later in life. A wide book collection also encourages parents to read to their children at bedtime – this is a great part of their night time routine as it helps calm the child down to go to sleep and also aids parent/child bonding.
Choose Gifts That Encourage Social Interaction
If, like me, you’re buying gifts for a set of siblings, you can pick out presents that they can all use together, like board games, sets of Lego or Duplo, and toys that can be used outside, like a set of badminton racquets and a net or a football goal for the back garden. It’s important for children to understand how to play independently, but there’s nothing better for parents to see than groups of siblings and friends hanging out and enjoying spending their time together. And, of course, that means that next time you go over, you can point the kids towards the board game you got them for Christmas, and sneak off with their parents for a leisurely glass of wine and catch-up chat!