Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Top 10 Gifts for Kids

You will not be surprised to hear me say that "Book" should be listed next to every line from 1 to 10 on the Top 10 Gifts for Kids. But even the most fervent book-giver understands that kids do indeed enjoy other gifts from time to time.

There are lots of lists out there proclaiming to reveal the Top 10 Gifts for Kids. Many of them highlight the latest toys to hit the market, usually backed by a tremendous amount of advertising. Just put your kids in front of the television for a few minutes, and you will soon hear them chiming “I want that” after every commercial.

After awhile you question whether you have a spoiled brat in the making, some brilliant advertisers, or maybe a bit of both.

Here is a list of the Top 10 Gifts for Kids compiled by one mom’s observations of the things that provide lasting value:

(1) Nintendo DS: Let’s just get this one out of the way first. If you have a little boy 6 years old or older, a DS is all the rage. You will have to put severe restrictions on its use, however, because boys can get sucked in for hours, barely emerging for mealtime or anything else without firm prodding.

(2) Leapster: Talk to any parent about the Leapster, and they will agree that this is one toy that provides consistent entertainment. It is also a portable game system, but with an educational nature. It’s great for children as young as four, but I also find my seven-year-old sneaking in a couple of games in lieu of his DS.

(3) Legos: For boys, Legos are a universal and timeless gift that can be easily incorporated into an existing collection. Following the instructions for the model is enormously educational, but the real beauty of this toy is that the pieces can then be used to create alternative structures and ships. You’ll be amazed by what children can build when left to their own devices.

(4) American Girl: If you have not heard of American Girl, it’s time to get with the program. These dolls are based on pre-teen girl characters from different points in history. Their enormous popularity has spurred successful doll clothing lines, an American Girl Place in New York (complete with a cafĂ©, a photo studio, a salon, and store).

(5) A Box of Costumes: Boys and girls love to dress up and immerse themselves into the various roles they find in a box of costumes. You can find bargains right after Halloween. Also, be on the lookout for fun accessories throughout the year, like scarves, aprons, hats, sunglasses, and costume jewelry to add to the mix.

(6) Art Supplies:
Crayons, markers, stickers, glue sticks, chalk, etc…Find a good teacher supply store for some unique craft supplies to jazz things up. Put it all in a fun container with a bow on top. Kids go through supplies like crazy and it’s always good to have a stock on hand for rainy days.

(7) Umbrellas, Backpacks, Tents and Sleeping Bags: These items are always much better received by children than you would expect, especially when they are decorated with a favorite character.

(8) A Bulletin Board: A plain old brown bulletin board and some push pins make a great gift for kids of all ages. They can make a decorative mark on their bedrooms by showcasing favorite art projects and special photos.

(9) Tickets: To the movies, to a museum, to a play, to a sporting event. You will never have to worry about giving a duplicate, and the experience will be remembered long after most toys have lost their appeal.

(10) Books, Books, and More Books:
Enough said! This list of the Top 10 Gifts for Kids applies to boys and girls across various age groups. Spend your money wisely next time by seeking out a gift with lasting entertainment and educational value to boot. Send a gift of books from The Lollipop Book Club!

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