As the holidays approach, so does inevitable gift exchange. It's a blast to see the kids' excitement, but everything else gift-related is not so fun for me.
We can all try to stay within a reasonable budget for the sake of our time and money. Right? That may help us maximize the joy of the season.
When in doubt, consider this checklist...
(1) Give gifts that help children grow. Gender neutral gifts that introduce both girls and boys to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are a bonus. Depending on the age of children, blocks for girls and boys teach them. Lego toys engage and challenge toddlers. Books such as Pigeon Pete and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late teach helpful lessons. Toddlers should learn about helping others. They can give gifts around the holidays to others in need.
2) Buy a gift kids want within reason. My friends with girls try to limit princess gifts. They coordinate with family members to avoid unlimited princess gear. Since my sister-in-law asked, I told her our boys love super hero clothes. Marshall's and Tj Max carry lots. If kids want a pet, that is not a reasonable gift for a family.
3) Keep gifts simple. Don't break the bank. Don't give gifts that are hard to assemble for parents. Keep noise and lights to a minimum. That means nothing that requires batteries. Most kids already have plenty of screen time. Little ones create the best play with their imagination. An empty cardboard box can equal hours of entertaiment.
(4) Gifts can be helpful. Kids grow out of clothes and may wear them out. Reasonably priced clothes for kids to play are always needed. Kids need a nice outfit or two for special occassions. Thanks to all our family who confirm sizes. Toddlers need lots of socks, underwear and pajamas. Kid holiday gifts that help with bath and bedtime are awesome.
(5) Is it necessary? Little toys and random stuff is not necessary. So many families have more stuffed animals and toys than they want. My wise Mom says kids jut need love. We appreciate all the savings bonds from my brother-in-law's family to help our boys save for their education. Most kids and parents can use money.
Last, but not least - kids and parents should accept and give gifts with grace. My Mom's friends have especially given our boys treasures from all over the world. We are very grateful for their thoughtfulness and generosity.
Props to anyone who loves holiday gift exchange. What would you add to my checklist of holiday gifts for toddlers?
I'm not starting my holiday shopping, yet. In the meantime, best wishes for a safe, simple and playful holiday full of joy.
From the Internet: Super 2015 STEM gifts