Buying the perfect gift – or even just a decent gift – can be incredibly tough, even when you know the recipient very well. Yet gift giving is a whole different story when you’re buying a gift for someone you barely know. Especially when that someone is a child.
The gift ideas below work well for pretty much all kids, whether it’s a niece or nephew, grandchild or godchild, or another child in your life. There is something on our list perfect for kids of all ages and stages.
A Great Book
You can’t go wrong giving a great book to a child as a gift. As long as you know their age, there are plenty of tools available to find books that are well suited for them. Head down to your local bookstore and ask for age-friendly recommendations.
Even better than buying a single book is investing in the entire series. Children of all ages love book series like the Harry Potter books and The Chronicle of Narnia.
A Fun Game
A fun game is another great present for a child you barely know, especially if you offer to play it with them for the first time. Though there is nothing wrong with classics like Connect 4, Clue Jr, and Twister, new games are popping up all the time. Just be sure to buy one that is age appropriate for the child you’re giving it to.
Almost all children love art. So give the gift of creativity with a set of crayons and a coloring book. Instead of buying the cheapest set, invest a little money into something of quality. A 120-pack of crayons definitely beats out an 8-pack of crayons. Same with a quality coloring book with a lot of pages rather than the most basic one you can find.
An easy-bake oven provides endless amounts of fun for just about any child. Though this gift is more expensive than others on this list, there’s no denying it will be a popular present. Best of all, an easy-bake oven is the perfect gift to give to siblings rather than a single child. It’s easy enough to share.
Buying a child you barely know an age appropriate toy is always a good bet. It’s one of the classic go-to children’s gifts. There are great toys for children of all ages.
Young infants require simple toys. Rattles, rings, and balls are good ideas. Anything they can actively engage with – via sucking, shaking, or rattling – will be enjoyed.
Older infants need something a little more complex. Because they’re usually able to sit and scoot, the best toys are those they’re able to use in multiple places. Balls, push and pull toys, and nesting toys are good examples. Toys like dolls, puppets, and plastic vehicles will likewise be appreciated.
Toddlers require toys that are a little more engaging. This is also the age they start to really appreciate books with simple illustrations. Like older infants, toddlers also like to play pretend.
Buying toys for preschoolers and kindergarteners is slightly more difficult. This is the age where they often begin to develop their own personal interests. However, you can’t go wrong with toys that they can experiment with and share with their friends. Problem solving puzzles, toys meant for building, and basic sports equipment are solid choices.
A personalized gift like those offered by Makaboo is always sure to be a crowd pleaser. This is also one of the easiest children’s gifts you can give. Even something as simple as a blanket or a pillow with the child’s name makes a good gift.
Outing with You
Perhaps the best gift of all is an outing. Treat the child and their parent on a fun trip to the zoo, the park, the movies, or to lunch. If the child is a family member, you can even offer to take them on a one-on-one outing. This will make them feel like a grownup – something all kids love!
Gift cards aren’t exactly exciting. But they make a decent gift when you’re in a pinch, especially for older children and teenagers. Rather than beat yourself up about selecting the perfect gift, pick up a gift card and let them pick out something for themselves.
Buying a present for a child you barely know is difficult. Luckily, the tips and suggestions above can help point you in the right direction. No matter the age or stage of the child in question, one of the gifts below is sure to make them smile.
Guest Post by: Jodie Austin comes from a huge family. With 4 kids of her own, she is also a twin and has 3 elder brothers plus numerous cousins who all have kids of their own. Holidays can become manic, but Jodie shares the things she’s learnt over the years from gift giving to feeding the five hundred!