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Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
Member Name: supersonic75
Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
Date: 24/11/12, updated on 24/11/12 (77 review reads)
Advantages: Don't stress
Disadvantages: Don't stress!
I've always loved Christmas so when my two sons came along it really reignited my Christmas passion and I plan for the big event for most of the year. We don't have a lot of spare money, nor do many people these days, so planning all year round is not only fun but an essential task for budgeting reasons alone.
My children are generally very good at mentally noting all the potential toys they would like from seeing them repeatedly advertised in between their favourite programmes, so from early on in the year I start compiling a list of realistic presents they may find under the tree come Christmas morning.
I find looking through the toy sections in catalogues starts to give me some solid ideas from around midway through the year and whilst I still have accounts with both Littlewoods and Studio I tend to only use them if need be as the costs are generally higher than from a store or online. They do offer a wide range of toys and gifts and as Studio in particular starts sending out their Christmas catalogue around July each year this often gives me a head start with presents and I get my children to look through too pointing out things that interest them.
My boys will be 8 and 9 in the next coming weeks and whilst they have gone through fads and fazes over the years I've found that Lego has been a constant in their lives since they first discovered it. Every year I buy them some kind of large lego set as a main present and the good thing about Lego is it adapts as the child grows older with different ranges and sets for certain age categories. Last year my sons were mad on the Pirates of the Caribbean theme and were over the moon to discover I'd bought them a few sets from that particular range. This year when I asked if they wanted lego I was asked if there was a chance I could get something they'd seen from the Ninjago range - my eyes watered when I typed it in to a search engine and saw the RRP was £112! Luckily I found it online and ordered from Amazon saving almost half of the RRP and costing me very little in cash as I'd been good and saved up amazon vouchers from survey and review sites with the moral of the tale here being shop around!
Boys can go through different fads of toys but there are some that you know you are 'safe' to buy even without asking. As well as Lego I always try and get a few toy cars such as Hot Wheels to pop in their stockings and as both of my children still love art and crafts I know a new set of colouring pens and paints never fail to disappoint. As long as children understand they can't always have *everything* that's on their list then that's the main thing. My sons don't go without but they know we aren't rich and are happy with presents to open regardless of what's in them as it's the thrill of seeing that santa has paid a visit the night before.
Buying for children can be tricky at times, especially if they are not your own, but as a guide you can't go wrong with the following:
Mechano (or similar)
Art and craft supplies
Make your own sets (perfume, soap etc)
Disney Princess range
I struggle when buying for my best friend's 7 year old daughter only having boys myself and the fact my friend will say 'Oh she is into allsorts' doesn't really help so I find lists online to be most helpful. I find the likes of Amazon to be a must when buying for anyone let alone children and often peruse similar sites to give me ideas.
**Keeping children entertained in the run up to Christmas**
Christmas for us officially starts on the 30th November which is my elder son Kieran's birthday. It's turned into a tradition that the tree goes up on his birthday for some unknown reason and it's one that we've stuck with. The following day is of course the start of the advent calender month and last year was the first year I decided to also purchase a lego advent calender along with the more traditional chocolate window versions finding it went down a treat. As soon as the boys break up from school for the Christmas holidays the festive season really kicks in and we have a 'party' that night with party food and some festive themed games followed by a Christmas film.
Over the next few days we make home made crackers, bake Christmas buns and cookies with the main attraction being on Christmas eve morning in the form of a treasure hunt. As Christmas eve is an excitable day in itself with children's excitement levels dangerously hitting high I try to keep them as occupied as possible by setting out a treasure hunt in the house and if weather permits in our garden. This normally includes a map each with clues and chocolate santa figures to be found with one small present each at the end. It doesn't cost much but the boys really look forward to the challenge each year and it keeps them occupied for an hour or so so is really worth the time and effort of setting it up.
**Don't get stressed**
The main thing with children at Christmas is the fact they have something to open and most will be so glad if there are presents under the tree that they wont actually be bothered about what's in them at the time (maybe when the wrapping paper is off though!). At the end of the day it really is the thought that counts but if stuck for ideas you can't go wrong with the staples for each sex as they will appreciate them and if they don't then tell them they are on the naughty list for next year!
Summary: If in doubt stick to basics and you can't go wrong