Do you know what this year’s must-have toy is? The thing that all children are talking about? The thing that anyone who’s anyone has got stowed away in their school bag? No? Of course you don’t. It changes by the minute. Nobody can keep up. In years gone by, one toy would dominate the gift buying scene for entire seasons, but nowadays there is so much choice that no two kids are ever likely to be entertained by the same Furby or Tamagotchi or Pokemon card.
Do your research online to see what’s new (see this website for ideas). And then, you may wish to consider an alternative gift for your child … something that’s going to make them feel a little more grown up and will give them interesting things to talk about.
When I was a child, I had a magazine subscription to a music magazine for kids. It was called something like Superstarz, or Rock Kidz, or something else with a Z in it to make it more edgy and appealing to young and impressionable readers. It came out on a Tuesday but it didn’t get delivered until Wednesday. That didn’t stop me asking my mother every Tuesday after school if my magazine had arrived. It never had. And I always faked concern that it wasn’t going to come. This is my thing. It made me different. I had mail with my name on it, and inside the envelope was a colorful magazine filled with things that adults wouldn’t understand.
Although a magazine subscription may sound very grown up, that’s sorta the point. Children love being seen as older than their years, they’re in a hurry to grow up and prove they’re not a little child any more. Something like mail with their name on it is a gift that ticks boxes, regardless of which children’s magazine you choose.
Carrying on the theme of feeling grown up, computer software can ignite their imagination and lead to simply a hobby or even a career. There are many options out there, so do try to match your choice to your child’s interests. For example, if they show a particular desire to make videos, video editing software may be the very gift that would entertain them for hours on end. Music editing software is another niche gift that may suit. More broadly, programs such as Photoshop or Microsoft Word packages could inspire budding artists and writers to put together whole collections of work – and it doesn’t hurt to get children started on developing their practical IT skills at any age (technology isn’t going away – they will need IT skills both at school and in any future career).
Thankfully though, if these gifts aren’t suited to your kids, you always have online toy stores to fall back on.