I made an AMAZON wish list – for an imaginary child. Before you call my doctor or mom to make sure I haven’t lost my mind, let me explain. I am asked practical gift advice on a regular basis. I LOVE giving gift advice. I want to save people the aggravation of buying terrible gifts. Yes, I know, “It’s the thought that counts”, but anyone who is bothering to ask for help, already has the thought. They are simply looking to find a GOOD gift that is needed and/or wanted, and good quality.
I have four children that are REALLY good at testing the quality and durability of toys. In the last 20 years this is what I learned.
The BEST toys are:
- Open-ended (can be used in a lots of creative ways)
- Multipurpose (can take the place of numerous toys)
- Gender neutral
- Child powered (I only included one electronic in this entire list – zero batteries necessary)
- Made of natural materials (i.e. wood instead of plastic)
- Have longevity (kids will outgrow toys – but many of these will be loved for over a decade first)
- Sturdy (need I say more?)
What is missing:
- There aren’t any tools on this list because we give our children small sized, real tools as they become physically able.
- There aren’t any dress-up clothes on the list because most of my kids dress up clothes are thrift store items, old costumes, and of course the silks that are on the list.
- Sports equipment is not included, not only because of the limitless number of choices but also because these are amazingly easy to get second hand for this age group.
- Handcrafts are not on the list for the same reason as the tools.
- Board games are missing because I just didn’t have the energy to go there (perhaps on another blog).
These kids gifts were chosen by me and my VERY helpful kids because we either have experience with the type of item, brand that makes them, or in some cases the exact item. Some items have different options for different skill levels of children (i.e. puzzles, books) or as an add on, to update a previously purchased item (i.e. blocks). My children insisted on choosing and adding the furniture and bedding because that was important to them (and I think they were absolutely correct).
A few last notes. Although I do purchase from AMAZON (more than I like to admit) there are other places to get these items. PLEASE support your local commerce by buying handmaid or locally produced products whenever possible. Ask family and friends for hand-me-downs and check your local resale shops. Some of these exact items (especially the IKEA ones) are much cheaper when bought directly from the producer. AMAZON offers this easy to navigate and widely offered platform and that’s why I chose to list these items here. I am hoping these ideas are just that – ideas! If you do decide to make a purchase from this list, go ahead! The item will not be removed from the list and I receive no compensation for these purchases.
Here it is – The last link you need to shop for the special kids in your life.
The AMAZINGLY SIMPLE way to finish your Christmas shopping!