Picking out gifts for your children can be a real task, but picking out gifts for someone else’s children can be downright tricky. How do you know what they already have? What they like? This can be an especially daunting task if you rarely see the child’s parents or feel uncomfortable asking what you should buy.
In this situation it is important that you choose toys that are suitable for children in multiple age groups and that are fairly generalized and timeless. For example, most children love coloring books but your may fair better picking one without any popular cartoon characters or toys as the main focal point. Instead, choose something generic like an animal theme.
Books and art supplies are great options for children of almost any age. If you are unsure about the child’s exact age or skill level, choose plain drawing paper and crayons or markers instead of a coloring book. You can also go for modeling clay sets, paint sets, easels, and other art supplies.
When picking out books, be sure to choose a general topic that most kids love, such as animals or fables. Although religious themed stories are great for many families, if you don’t know the child’s particular spiritual beliefs it’s best to ere on the side of caution and go with something secular rather than spiritual.
Board games, puzzles, and small games like dominoes are also great options for kids in various age groups. Assuming you know the general age group of the child, you can choose puzzles and games based on the average skill level of a child that age. If you don’t know the age, such as a gift you may be buying for the child of a relative’s new significant other, it’s better to choose something the child can grow into rather than something he’s already outgrown.
Videos are also a popular option for children in almost any age group. Choose educational items where available to offer added benefits to the child and win extra points with the mother or father. Just be sure to pick something within the appropriate age group or as close as possible.
If you are buying for a family with multiple children and have a limited budget, it is generally a good idea to buy one gift the entire family can share. Depending on your financial situation and the ages of the children, this could be anything from a sand or water table to a simple board or memory game that the children can play together.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not the amount of money you put into the gift, but the thought you put into it. By choosing gifts that are not only fun but educational, you show both children and parents that you care.