KidsPrimary School

Buying age appropriate gifts for children

Choosing gifts for other children can be difficult! This is especially true if you don’t know the child personally. Here are our top tips!

Finding the perfect gift for a child’s birthday party can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure of what toys they already have. This guide to age-appropriate gifts for children of all ages will help you avoid the last-minute dash when shopping for a birthday. Most toys are labeled as age-appropriate (12- 24 months; for ages 3+) and should be used as a guide when buying fun toys and educational activities for young children.

Newborns & toddlers

Essential items such as clothes, nappies, or a high chair are perfectly suitable as gifts for a baby. Colorful toys a baby will enjoy include stuffed animals, bath toys, cloth books, and activity quilts. Soothing musical toys and flashcards are also great baby gift ideas. Babies are generally more active towards the 1-year milestone, so any active play toys like meal and project mats, stacking cups, and pull toys will engage a toddler between 1-3 years. Look for activities that encourage exploration.

For children that are a little older between the ages of 3 and 5, seek toys that provide mental stimulation like big floor puzzles, moulding play dough, and eraser boards for doodling as children from this age are typically imaginative and creative. Toys that can be shared with friends such as dumping trucks and see-saws are also appropriate at this stage as pre-school interaction, group play and communication becomes a focus point at this level.

Age-appropriate gifts for in-betweeners

Interactive games and toys encourage coordination between the ages of 6-8 and activities involving sports, music, and art are ideal. Look for crafts kits with watercolours, blunt scissors, and non-toxic glue. A build-a-bear certificate will encourage creativity and be a constructive use of playtime.

Children in the 9-11 age groups develop more complex social interactions and gifts need to reflect such awareness. Board and card games, children’s recipe books, diaries, and books make suitable gifts as do video or computer games, art supplies, MP3 players, and CDs or DVDs.

Age-appropriate gifts for preteens & teenagers

Consider that from age 11-14, teens and preteens are on the same level in terms of defining appearance, individuality, and interests. Any technical gadgets are a must-have, so go for cameras, cell phones, iPods, and portable video game players if you’re happy to splurge on a close family member’s child.

If you’re buying a gift for someone with tailored interests in skateboarding or music or movies, then movie tickets, DVD collections, DVD players, and collector’s items make for great gifts. The same applies to CDs and concert tickets, but you’d have to run those by the parents first for permission!

If you’re totally clueless, your best bet would be to ask a parent what the child would like and double-check with them whether a gift idea is appropriate or not.

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