Last-Minute, Age-Appropriate Christmas Gifts for Kids
We are down to the wire for Christmas shopping; and roads, parking lots, and stores are packed with last-minute shoppers. There’s still time to get some great gifts, but it’s important to make sure those gifts are safe and age-appropriate for the child you give them to. Here are some great tips to make sure you are choosing gifts that will be enjoyed and treasured.
Gifts for Infants
Children under the age of 1 need toys that won’t poke or scratch them and don’t present a choking hazard. Most toys are labeled with the age they are appropriate for, so make sure you read all labels. Soft blankets, stuffed animals with securely attached eyes and small parts, and rattles with soft edges are appropriate at this age. So is clothing (buy a size up so they can enjoy it for a few months before growing out of it). Check out Babies “R” Us on 245 E. Bell Road in Phoenix for ideas.
Gifts for Ages 1-2
Want to find a keepsake toy they’ll treasure? Go for wooden cars that are easy for small hands to grip, chunky wooden puzzles with knobs to hold, hand-knit clothing, teething necklaces, and teething toys. Again, watch for anything that presents a choking hazard. You don’t want toys that will break, shatter, or chip. Shop for eco-friendly toys and books at Zoolikins on 7118 E. 5th Ave. in Scottsdale.
Gifts for Toddlers
Building and art toys are great gifts ideas at this age. Finger paints (with parent supervision) teach colors, texture, and design. Building blocks help children learn to balance, stack, and build. Starter books with big words, bright pictures, and even touch-and-feel features are also a great gift idea. Puppets help children use their imagination and storytelling skills. Check out Beaus and Belles at 5025 N. 44th St. in Phoenix for great gift ideas.
Start incorporating science and electronics into gifts, such as walkie-talkies, remote-controlled cars, science kits, butterfly gardens, insect houses, ant farms, and baking sets. Kids at this age also love to dress up, so costumes are a thoughtful and appreciated gift. Legos are a great way to teach coordination, building, and concentration skills; and sports items like bikes, rollers skates, and pogo sticks are also fun. If you purchase sports items, make sure to get a helmet and other safety accessories that fit and add them to the gift.
At this point in their development, most children are beginning to show a preference toward certain activities. It’s best to ask parents what their children enjoy and choose gifts accordingly. For example, gift certificates to a favorite sports store or theater are a thoughtful gift. Journals, backpacks, and art and science sets are also appreciated gifts. Avoid video games and movies, as many parents have different house rules as to what their kids can and can’t watch. Inviting children out to an activity is also a wonderful gift; think about tickets to a ballet, taking them to a sports game, or painting or sculpting with them at an art studio.