Ten Days Til Christmas...
What are the top ten Christmas presents for kids?
there are only 10 days until Christmas...
This has me wondering... What are the top ten Christmas presents for kids?
At a moments' thought a few things come to mind; iTouch; Canon G10 camera, and a 29 inch wheel full suspension mountain bike in an XL frame.
Then I realize that this is not the list for the children... but rather the list for myself. I already have the dream squishy bike... but I lack the camera and the music player plus.Okay... I have multiple cameras and various music playing devices... but not the technology of the hour!
this list is for the kids...
not necessarily what we are getting for our kids
1. A Bicycle- predictable? yes, not so much that the gift would be under the tree but that a person who keeps a bicycle blog would consider a bicycle to be the NUMBER ONE CHRISTMAS GIFT that a person can give a child for Christmas. The bicycle is a great gift. Every child should have a bicycle and every kid should have a bicycle that not only fits them but works. If a child has a box store bike (ie. a bike from Sports Authority-Walmart-Home Depot-or Target) it is time to step up to the BIKE SHOP BIKE!
This year we are going to get our younger son a bike shop bike for Christmas. I shamefully purchased my older son a box store bike and feel guilty about it. Not only did I buy him this bike... but in my fatherly haste I bought him a bike that was too large for him and rather than return it after I assembled it I bought the correct size. Those bikes were ridden and then passed down to our younger son. Where I spray painted the second bike a color of my son's choice to make the "hand me down" process less painful. Now it is time to get him a bike shop bike! We have our eye on a Trek 20 from The Bike Lane in Reston. http://thebikelane.com/
2. A Puppy- This listing of the top ten Christmas presents for kids is not necessarily in any order. Because a puppy could very well be at the top of the list. But unlike the bicycle there is no justification for getting your kids a puppy each and every year. Unlike a bicycle you can not outgrown and need another puppy each and every year.... we hope. Our family has considered the puppy for Christmas. We are currently a one dog family and would love to return to being a two dog family and what would be more magical than a dog under the Christmas Tree? so.... to the right family the right dog could possibly be the best Christmas Gift of all time!
Pet Finder Dot Com
3. Train Set- There is something about kids and trains... or at least boys and trains. There is a weird synergy. Part of the magic of the kid and a train is it is a toy that can be passed down from generation to generation. This does not need to be new gift. Grandpa can give his grandson the Lionel train that he had in his house when his kids were children. We have a Lionel train that only comes out at Christmas. There is some magic to it. It is a little bothersome that I can buy a remote control helicopter for 25 bucks and fly it around the room and I need to trouble shoot a 200 dollar train set that does an oval around the floor... but that is the Lionel reality. There may be a better electric train option. Thomas the tank engine and other Brio style wooden trains and wooden tracks are also great options. We have both in our house. The Lionel train which is a fairly new starter kit was purchased as part of a Christmas tradition for my kids/my family.
4. A Family Present- When I was growing up I remember getting excited about getting a ping pong table... it was not for me... it was not for my brother... it was for the family. In this day and age ping pong may be a tad out of vogue... so the Nintendo Wii may be a good option. We are currently still satisfied with the Nintendo 64 which gets connected for an afternoon every couple of months then gets put away until the next rainy day. But I foresee the Nintendo Wii entering our house within the next few years. An advantage to the video game console is that they do not take up as much room as the pool table, the air hockey table, or the ping pong table. These large "table games" do not always give the proper ratio of play time to space occupied. It is also nice to get a "family gift" to break some of the "ME" possessiveness that we develop in this country. We need to OWN IT! The puppy qualifies as the ultimate family present... but there are some things that could finish a close second. Wii Fit Looks SUPER COOL!
5. What your child has asked for... Christmas can be a good opportunity for a parent to nurture their child's interest. Somehow/Someway our older son has developed an interest in geology... okay... it is rocks... but no matter how he looks at it... his interest is still Geology. So we are giving him something that he wants. A Rock Tumbler! This is a case ssimilar to the bicycle where there are many confusing model options. A hobby shop purchase makes more sense than a breakable toy purchase. Just as the bike shop bike cost more than the box store bike... there is a hobby verison of the rock tumbler that cost more than the toy version... sadly... the more expensive version is the superior version. Nurture your children's interest. There may be more value in nurturing their interests than imposing your own interests upon them. So... just because you are into cooking does not mean your kid is into cooking... AND IGNORE PRESENT NUMBER ONE! The bicycle should be part of every child's life... it is not because I love bicycles now that my children get bicycles... it is because they are children and all children should have the bicycle as part of their life.
Rock Tumbler from Amazon (this is just a rock tumbler... not neccesarily the one lisa bought for dean)
6. CADOO- Cranium for Kids- If you have young kids... buy them Cadoo. If you do not have kids... buy yourself Cranium. It is a mixture of Charades-Pictionary- Pictionary With Clay-Trivial Pursuit-etc. The game is not about winning. The game is about laughing and interacting. This game is best played with an adult to guide the fun. Again fitting in the family fun night notion. It would also be a great game to play with guests in town or when the kids have a sleep over.
Cadoo CHECK IT OUT!
7. Remote Control Helicopter! Last year this was the toy for the boys! Definitely a great toy for the adult boys as well... I know that I got one for myself in addition to the Helicopters I got for my sons. I am not sure what the evolution has been over the last year... it looks like they came out with some RC cars that make the slot cars of my ear look like a pet rock (hold on... people loved that those little pieces of gravel with wiggly eyes) if your kids did not get in on the RC Helicopters of last year... there is no issue in getting them that toy this year.
Air Hogs Helicopters- not sure if they are the best... but that is the product that I focused my RC Helicopter purchases on last year
or Blade Star may be cool... but I have not seen any more than this
8.NERF GUNS! Last year for Dean's 7th Birthday Party I bought 10 2 packs of Nerf guns. These two packs came with two guns, two goggles, and two target vests. All the kids got to take a Nerf Gun kit home with them... let me tell you that they were SHOCKED AND STOKED. The Nerf Guns are a toy that make me think that there should be an online store that only sells toys that work. This is a toy that works. If used properly it will take use and abuse. Darts will be lost... but replacement magazines can be purchased. This is another toy that works for kids young and old. In our house we have a rule; NO GOGGLES-NO GUN! we have many rules... but that is a rule of safety for the Nerf Gun... just as the rule for the bike is NO HELMET-NO BIKE.
hmmm... where to go... where to go...
this is a great gift... but Carmen is not included
9. Something to inspire active play... A new baseball glove, lacrosse stick, or football could be a great gift. These are different times. When I grew up not all kids owned their own football. We knew who owned a football and we gathered around that person for our game of pick up. These days the children's toy closet it overflowing with an expression of the new world economy... or at least the pre-2008 World Economy. A small gift like walkie talkies or a pedometer can not only add to the spy fantasy of the child but this gift can get the child outside and exploring. The same goes for a hydration pack or binoculars. Kids love gear as much as adults. We all love an excuse for this gear. My kids are too young... but a leatherman or a Swiss army knife make a great gift for a young boy. Yes... there is a risk that they may cut themselves... but there is also a risk that I will cut myself when trying to widdle that stick as well... these are the risks of life... live at your own risk.
so.... sports equipment... and adventure toys...
10. Board Games- the classic board games still have their staying power. Monopoly-Chutes and Ladders-Candy Land- Memory- Connect Four- Battle Ship etc... etc... etc....
The old classics are still viable now. Checkers, Chess, and Backgammon are classics for all time and will remain classics for all time. One of the great benefits of these classics is the rules to not need to be explained to Grandparents and Aunts or Uncles from different generations. Which allows for some cross generational interaction. My boys are very enthusiastic about chess. Personally I find this to be a great game for the kids not only because of its mental calisthenics but also because they are forced to slow things down and offer the game some respect. A chess game is useless without all of its pieces. So my boys are taught to put all the pieces away when done and to play with the game differently than they would play with plastic army men. There have been times when the board and its pieces spill out. Even then I have them do a head count by setting up the board before putting things away. Then that lost pawn is pulled from under the couch and put back in the set so the game can be played again another day. So... do not be shy about buying any of these games. A unique or ornate chess set can be a present that a child can carry with themselves for a lifetime. I recommend from staying away from pieces that are too abstract. We have several chess sets and I expect the boys will be getting a chess set from their grandfather by my request. His travels to southeast Asia offer some unique options that will fit nicely into our children's world.
well... that is a quick list off the top of my head
honesly my wife Lisa is the Santa in our house... I am consulted and that is about it