Picking out the perfect birthday gift requires considering not only the child’s interests, but the parents preferences. When you’re shopping, stick to toys with proven track records that will encourage kids in developing their interests. Of course, you want them to have some fun with these gifts, too!
1. Nintendo DSi: By the time they reach elementary school, many kids start requesting their first video game console. This system is the perfect one for handheld gaming, and it also doubles as a camera, which is an added perk. They can play all sorts of games on the console, including those in the LEGO series, Let’s Draw, and classics like Super Mario Brothers. If you would rather the child not have a personal game console, another option is the family-friendly Nintendo Wii.
2. Blokus: Any child who enjoys board games will appreciate Blokus, which is a simple strategy board game that hones logic skills and spatial perception. It’s won all sorts of awards, including the Mensa Select, which means it’s definitely a game that is worth having in the game cabinet. With game rules for anywhere from two to four players, it’s perfect for the child to play with friends, siblings, or parents.
3. Barbie Girls MP3 Player: A girl who loves music and fashion will enjoy the Barbie Girls mp3 player, which is designed to look like a doll and has customizable outfits. As far as the tech goes, it has 512 MB of memory and can be expanded to up to 2 GB and is compatible with Windows operating systems. She can use the mp3 player to unlock special features on BarbieGirls.com, too.
4. Air Hogs Havoc Heli: Rather than getting a boy a remote controlled car, go one step farther and get the Air Hogs Havoc Heli. This small infrared remote-control helicopter is designed for indoor use, or outdoor flying if there’s no wind. The foam body and propellers keep household items safe, and the high-tech controls on the remote allow for easy maneuverability.
5. Darice Deluxe Art Set: Artistic kids will love getting their very own art set to keep their favorite supplies organized and close at hand. These art sets come with convenient carrying cases stocked with markers, crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, and watercolor paints. That’s all a kid needs for hours of creating art, and parents will thank you for keeping their kids occupied for so long!
6. Slip ‘N Slide: Especially for spring and early summer birthdays, this is the perfect gift for hours of backyard fun. Kids will have an easier time getting all the way down to the end on flat surfaces if you choose one that has inflatable boogie boards to ride on. Other similar gift ideas include sprinkler heads and squirt guns.
When picking from these gifts, remember that the perfect gift for one child may be one that would end up in the discard pile of another child. Think about the activities you’ve seen the child enjoy in the past, and choose a similar type of gift. If you’re really stumped, don’t be afraid to ask the parent what the child has been wanting these days!