Finding the Perfect Gift for Your Kids this Holiday Season
By Trishia Van Orden
It really is “the most wonderful time of the year!” There is always so much to see, do, and GIVE! If you are like me, you spend most of your time trying to find the best gift for each member of your family. Sometimes this can be easy;other times this can be extremely difficult, especially when it comes to children. We want to get them what they want, but we also want to keep them safe and help them grow.
Is it possible to do both at the same time? The answer is yes!
Technology Gift Considerations
Most children will have some type of electronic on their wish list this year, be it cell phones, iPods, tablets, or gaming devices. With all of the fun, new gadgets coming out, it is important to remember some basic safety steps.
- Set Up Parental Controls on your child’s new device before they have free reign.
- Keep all electronic devices in public areas of the house so everyone can be supervised easily.
- Consider setting a time limit! The American Academy of Pediatrics (Middlebrook, 2016)recommended time limits are:
- 0 hours for children under 18 months
- 1 hour for children 2-5 years old
- No more than 2 hours of entertainment screen time for children ages 6 and up.
- Teach your child the importance of being responsible with digital devices. Bad things can happen when a person uses their devices incorrectly or immaturely. This is why it is important to learn about and discuss how we can use electronics to better the world. You can learn more about this here.
- Have online safety rules, and post them in the main areas of your house so you and your children have a reminder of what is expected while using a digital device. Include your children in the creation of these rules.
- Be the example. Don’t do anything with a device that you do not want your children doing. Little eyes are always watching.
Non-Tech Gift Ideas
It is important to remember that just because your child wants that new iPhone doesn’t mean you have to get it for them. The key to getting your child a great gift is knowing what your child excels at and enjoys. There are many great “unplugged” gifts your child will love. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
- A science experiment gift basket, which can include a book of fun, age-appropriate science experiments, ingredients and materials needed to conduct the experiments, and a note saying you would love to do science experiments with them.
- An art gift basket is a great opportunity to show your kids that you value creativity. You could include coloring books, crayons/markers/colored pencils, craft supplies, drawing books, and a nice set of drawing pencils, paints, and paint brushes. Be sure to engage with your child and create art with them after the holidays. This is the best part of the gift and will build lasting memories.
- A yoga gift basket, which contains a yoga mat, water bottle, yoga book or video, yoga block, and a note offering to do yoga with them. Teaching our kids to meditate and be mindful is so important in our busy, distracted culture.
- A math and puzzle gift basket, which can include mind teaser puzzles, a Rubik’s Cube, math puzzle books, pattern blocks, a Blokus game, and some math supplies.
- Building and construction gift baskets can have awesome toys like LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Erector sets, or K’Nex building sets. These can be given to and enjoyed by boys and girls. They are not only fun, but they also help build hand-eye coordination, improve spacial awareness, and help develop fine motor skills.
The Best Gift of All
The key to any great gift is knowing what a person needs and wants. For a child, it is you! You are the best gift you can give your child. Take some time out of your shopping and business this holiday season to create fun and meaningful memories. Time spent together is far better than any gift you can wrap.
Looking for a great book gift for your family? Try our new children’s books, Noah’s New Phone: A Story About Using Technology for Good or Messages About Me: A Journey to Healthy Body Image.
For more advice on keeping children safe while using technology, check out Child Safety Management Apps and Spying Apps.
Trishia is a wife and mother of three wonderful little girls. She received her bachelor’s from Brigham Young University-Idaho in Marriage and Family Studies. She has a love for psychology and one day wishes to open her own Family Life Education Center where she lives. She also dreams of getting her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Trishia loves to be outdoors and spend time with her husband and little girls.
Middlebrook, H. (2016, October 21). New screen time rules for kids, by doctors. Retrieved November 23, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/21/health/screen-time-media-rules-children-aap/index.html