Choose Wisely – A Guide to buying gifts
Choosing an appropriate gift can be a difficult task. With so many choices, a trip to the local toy store is likely to make you dizzy. Here are some guidelines to help you make great choices – gifts that go beyond the latest craze and provide years of value and entertainment.
Play together: Look for games that require family participation. Among the best are ones that combine fun and learning. Card and board games, dominoes, marbles, checkers, chess, and word and spelling games, are a few good examples. Family playtime is good for everyone, even if it’s just a game of “Go Fish”.
Promote independent play: As important as family time is, children should be able to entertain themselves, too. Make sure your child has toys and activities he or she can enjoy alone, such as Legos, building blocks, stuffed animals, puzzles, and craft kits.
Make something happen: Look for products that promote creativity. Providing art supplies, tools, or gardening equipment are easy ways to stimulate a students’s imagination. Inventing and creating should be a part of every student’s free time.
Ready, action: students need physical exercise, A ball, bat, and glove, junior golf clubs, a tennis racquet, in-line or ice skates, a jump rope, hula hoop, Frisbee, or a badminton set are great ways to promote physical fitness. Doing these activities as a family gives you more family playtime and helps keep everyone fit.
Something to show for it: Students love to produce things. Think about
buying an inexpensive or disposable camera and photo album, a paint set and some paper, a sketch book and colored pencils, mosaics, sewing or weaving kits, beading materials, origami paper, or a cookbook and cooking utensils.
Lesson learned: If students show interest in a particular sport, activity, or art project, (or if you think they’d like it), sign them up for a few lessons or an introductory class. Many communities and school districts offer beginner classes in activities like karate, ballet and tap dancing, guitar, gymnastics, piano, tennis, sewing, basketball and painting you might ignite a lifelong passion.
Make reading a gift: Give a subscription to an age-appropriate magazine. Ask the school librarian for suggestions on appropriate books or magazines for your child.
Avoid the screens: Video games remain popular gifts. If you decide to purchase video games, buy only age and content-appropriate games and limit the amount of time your student spend playing them. (Check the Entertainment Software Rating Board rating). Visit www.esrb.org for more information.