Monday, December 12, 2011

Advice to Those Buying for Children this Christmas

Many people who buy presents for children fail to realize how important the gifts can be to the child's development. Often people who are buying for children who aren't their own tend to buy gifts they know the child will be excited about. When buying children's gifts this year, and every subsequent year, consider the following before making a decision, whether you're a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, or friend.

Video games and electronics can be fun gifts, and they are even valuable to a point. Video games can improve hand-eye coordination and promote strategic thinking. But what do they do for the development of a child's imagination? Not a whole lot. Toys like remote control cars and action figures are also fun and allow for a little more use of the child's imagination, but they still dictate to an extent how the child must play with them.

Why not consider gifts that are more malleable to the child's wishes and imagination? So many toys can only be played with a certain way and don't allow for much real learning to take place. Even a generic set of Legos can be an awesome imagination builder. The possibilities are endless. The child can build whatever he or she wants to build. Musical instruments are spectacular gifts. All children should become interested in music at an early age. It has been proven that children who play a musical instrument make better grades in school and are less likely to experiment with drugs and other crimes. Sketch pads, paint sets, and other art supplies are fabulous. Children who have every opportunity to creatively express themselves are less likely to experience stress and anxiety. Book are obviously always a good investment, but buying books for a child can be tricky. The subject of the books or just books in general have to be of interest to the child or they will go unopened. You likely wouldn't be able to interest a thirteen year old who never puts his Xbox controller down in a book about horses. Young children should be introduced to books so that they become a normal part of their lives early. However, sparking a child's interest in books requires the active participation of an adult. You can't buy a book for a three year old and let that be the end of it. Someone has to read the books, explain the books, and discuss the child's views on the books. Thought-provoking conversation is very important to stimulate a child 's intellectual development.

Remember when you were younger and played outside, made some of your own toys and pretended half the time? Most of your time playing was spent outside and not glued in front of a television or computer screen. Now think about how disgusted you sometimes get with a younger generation because they don't appreciate the same things that were so important to you when you were their age. Newer, high-tech toys are cool, but what do they actually teach our children about life? Is it all you want them to learn, or would you prefer to help create a well-rounded, intelligent adult that is equipped with healthy hobbies and knowledge of creative expression and an interest in information? Just stop and think about all that the next time you're buying a gift for a child.

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