Finding cool and unique gifts for kids or grandkids can be overwhelming, especially out of fear that you might get it wrong. You need to have a serious amount of time and patience to buy something they will love … and who’s got either one, not me!
Even if you do have all the time in the world and the patience of a saint, it’s never easy to stray from the ‘sure thing’ movie-branded kids gifts. You know they’ll love it until it breaks within 24 hours.
With thousands of companies out there claiming that they make the best kids gifts ever, how do you cut through the noise? Either you get lucky or you read the rest of this post.
What I’ve done for you is create a simple checklist on how to find super-cool gifts fast for all the special kiddos in your life. I even give you a few of my favorite kids gifts!
Now this doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find every single present right here and right now. What it does mean, however, is that this checklist will put you on a faster path for finding gifts that kids get really excited about.
There is something very special about giving a gift to a child that is thoughtful and meaningful. Above all, it shows you care. So let’s streamline your search process.
The best way to start your search is by knowing the recipient’s unique interests. Here are a few easy questions to consider:
- What is their favorite activity?
- Are they an indoor or outdoor kid?
- Do they play sports: soccer, baseball, karate, gymnastics, dance?
- Who is their hero? And, why?
Getting answers to these simple questions will greatly help you tailor gift ideas to match their personality and save you time on your search. By adding personal touch to your present, you ensure that your gift reflects your relationship, making it that much more meaningful.
Real Play Matters
I know what you’re saying. With a plethora of electronic devices and more apps than you can shake a stick at, who cares about real play value anymore? Well, you should!
From infancy all the way through adolescent, real play matters. I’m talking about meaningful engagement, where a child’s attention is held for longer than five minutes because their is an emotional or physical connection to the product.
In the latest issue of My Child Magazine, there’s a great article on the subject called Why Real Play for Children is Important. In it, clinical psychologist and physical therapist Fiona Sandoval is quoted as saying, “The brain grows up to 90 percent of its adult size from birth up to five years old. It is important that all the different senses get stimulated in activities like play during this period so that the neurons and brain connections are formed better. If this is achieved, there will be more synapses and connections, which can optimize the brain development.”
I’ve also written on the importance of physical play in a recent blog post called Hey Helicopter Parent, You're Running Out of Fuel. Check it out.
My recommendation is not to go for the latest cool, techy gadget kids gift. Rather, give a gift that taps into a child's senses, gets them moving, triggers an emotion, stimulates imagination. The recipient’s parents will love you more for it.
Did you know that if every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made products, it would create almost 10,000 new jobs. And, if every builder used just 5 percent more U.S.-made products, it would create 220,000 jobs.
The bottom line is Americans spending their hard-earned money on goods made in American equals more jobs for Americans. Job creation is the foundation of a thriving economy. It’s that simple.
Then, there’s the issue of quality. Are products manufactured in the USA better than those made in say, China? As a small business owner who manufactures in the USA, I believe we are better able to manage the quality of our toy products because we make them here and are in control of the entire process.
Cost is certainly a factor. Generally speaking, the only products that can be US-manufactured and profitable are high-end products. Why? There’s not much demand for high-quality low-end products. Besides, USA companies aren’t able to make good quality low end products because of the unnecessary extra costs that come with it. After all, low-end does come with an expectation of low price.
So when it comes to your search for cool and unique kids gifts, buy American-made. It’s better all the way around.
Now for my top three kids gift recommendations. Drum roll, please ...
A quilt made out of old t-shirts sewn together here in the U.S. The quilt is really more of a lightweight blanket. Brilliant.
Customers go to the Project Repat website, pick out the size that they want and choose a fleece color for the backing. Talk about a way to snuggle up to your memories. What kid doesn’t have a mini-mountain of tees? Turn a cottony treasure trove into the coolest blanket ever.
Your kiddos will love you more for it.
For the sports loving boy or girl, ages of 5 and 12, who enjoys the game more than life itself …
Fathead, create your own life-size wall decal, is the way to go. The product is high-quality, USA-made, super-fun and celebrates the little athlete on your list. I absolutely love the way they position this product. "Own the moments that made you sweat. That made you cheer. That inspired you. That you remember."
This product rocks.
Custom ice cream and gelato gifts in personalized cartons. Yum.
Whether ordered online or imagined in-store (Dundee, NE), each and every flavor is created in a small batch process, then hand packed and labeled with love. It’s the perfect reward for any kid after an action-packed day of fun and play. And, I love being able to personalize the product carton. This is a cool kids gift.
Who doesn’t remember playing with a bop bag? Nostalgic. Now, it’s fully customizable!
Bonk Yourself was born out of our human need for play. At any age, play opens your mind and gets the juices flowing. So go ahead, turn an inflatable bop bag into you, your best friend, little gymnast, sports superstar, hero, ultimate inspiration -- anyone or anything -- all we need is your favorite photo or custom image. We make giving better than receiving.
How do you bonk?
When it comes to finding the perfect kids gift, if you want to do it right, you need search smarter not harder.
The best thing you can do is to approach each gift search by understanding the child’s unique interests, focusing on real play value, and supporting American-Made to ensure quality and support job growth, and you’ve got the best chance for success.
Would you add anything to this checklist? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.