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Holiday shopping and the kids
Shop wisely for children

by Shirley Kok . Special to Q-Notes
With so many people on your gift-buying list this year, it may be a challenging task for you to find the perfect present for everyone, especially for children. The holidays are a fun time for kids because they are expecting to unwrap a lot of surprises in this big celebration. Every child has her own dream about the kind of gift she wants. If you are thinking of buying gifts for children, you should spend a little more time and effort to get the best gift.

The process of Christmas shopping for children would be easier if you talk to their parents before making actual purchases. By talking to their parents, you can get to know the kind of toys that excite and amaze the children. You may get helpful information about the specific range of toys the kids have been expecting. Several suggestions from parents will go a long way in making your shopping much easier and hassle-free.

Certainly, talk to the children or you can go to their room and look at what they have already for an idea on what they might want most. If possible, ask kids to write a gift wish list using a catalog you give them. Later you can choose what best fits your budget.

Selecting the most appropriate and safest toys for children might not be as easy as it seems. There are many factors to be taken into consideration before you make a purchase decision.
Safety risk and age appropriateness

Specific concerns for children’s toys include an accurate review of the safety risk and age appropriateness of toys. Check out the safety precautions and risks usually printed on a product’s packaging before you buy. Some toys containing small, removable or loose parts may pose a choking hazard to the younger kids. Some toys might be toxic, too. Make sure the product isn’t already listed on one of those massive recall lists issued earlier this year. If you are going to buy an educational toy, take into consideration the age appropriateness. The level of complexity embodied in the toys or games should appropriately correspond to a child’s age group and mental capacity. Complex toys and games may frustrate younger kids because they are too complicated to manage and play, whereas older kids may find simpler toys boring and uninteresting.

Storage of the toys
When you choose a toy for children other than your kids, you should consider their living environment, including the adequacy of storage for toys. You should evaluate if the outdoor or indoor items appropriate for their child and in line with the size of their living room, yard or location of the residence. An item that is too large or involves many people to play will need larger space. Also, some toys produce loud noises that may irritate both the parents and their neighbors. Your gift will become useless and unappreciated if it cannot be used.
Acceptability of the toy by the parents

You should expect that some toys will be seen as objectionable or offensive by some parents. Some parents could see some toys, like some video games, as promoting violence. There are also many parents who might see some gifts as going against their ethical, moral or religious convictions of the parents. If you aren’t aware of these parental factors, try buying a gift that is the least likely to provoke dissent. A good example: If you know your friends are conservative and deeply religious, perhaps buying their children the new “Harry Potter” movie or book isn’t the brightest idea.

It is always a good idea to put thought into what you will be buying for the special children in your life. Whether they are your own children, nieces and nephews or neighbors, you want your gift to be the one they’ll play with and remember for years to come. Taking the time to understand what kids will like the best and understanding other factors like parents’ considerations and living environment will put you one step closer to buying that perfect children’s gift this holiday season.

info: Shirley Kok is the founder of GiftGuideForBuddy.com. She strives to bring smiles to everyone and provide the best gift ideas and recommendations to people who care about others. For more ideas about toys for children, visit www.GiftGuideForBuddy.com/toys/.

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