(September – October 2018 ParentEdge)
With the festive season around the corner, there will be plenty of opportunities to visit friends and family and chances to gift children in these families. We notice that there are two kinds of people when it comes to gifting: those who settle for the regular options, such as gift cards, chocolates or money; or those who take the effort to think outside the box and ensure that their gift is memorable. If you belong to the latter set, this article will hopefully give you a few ideas to work with.
A subscription to ‘Child Friendly News’
CFN is a fortnightly newspaper that is published in an eight-page tabloid form. Children should be wellinformed and would do better when they unplug from the digital world and connect to the real world. Mainstream newspapers, with excessive coverage of negative news, are obviously not suitable for children. What’s more, they lack the context relevant to growing minds. CFN presents the news and current affairs in a format tuned to children, helping them be up-to-date with what is happening in the world around them.
Price: Rs. 750 annually
Suitable for children of ages: 7-13 years
Homemade gift certificates that can be redeemed for rewards
This gift can be given by parents to their children as a reward for completing chores at home, or for performing well in a certain. The certificates can be redeemed by the children for different types of rewards – to watch one hour of television or to buy ice cream, for example. This gift has the potential to motivate kids to do work around the house.
Price: Free of cost (only requires time and patience)
Availability: Certificates can be made by hand or downloaded online.
Suitable for children of ages: 3-10 years
Help yourself cookbooks for kids (Author: Ruby Roth, Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing)
The best and easiest way to teach children healthy eating habits is to make them feel involved in the process. The ‘Help yourself’ cookbook consists of 60 recipes that children would like to make, including ‘fun-to-munch’ snacks like ‘Life Boats’ and fruit-flavored drinks such as ‘Tickled Pink’. The book is very easy to read, with numerous images to keep the kids engrossed.
Price: Rs. 1042
Availability: Online – Amazon.
Suitable for children of ages: 6-12 years
Summer jobs or internships
This gift idea will not cost you money but will certainly demand investment of your time and effort. If there are teenagers that you want to gift, you could consider finding them internships based on their interests. These could be at the place where you or your friends work. Internships can give the teenager a peek into the real-world experience of working in a professional environment. A small set up is recommended so that they can get more attention from their employers and not get lost in a large ‘corporate style’ organisation.
Suitable for children of ages: 14-18 years
Gardening provides many advantages for children, including the chance to develop patience as the seeds grow and responsibility by taking care of the plants. The ‘Kids Gardening Jumbo Pack’ is a thoughtfully designed kit that includes all the essentials for children to get started on their gardening adventures.
Price: Rs. 450
Availability: Online at the Kraft Seeds website and on Amazon
Suitable for children of ages: 5-10 years
Gift cards for crowdfunding organisations
Crowdfunding organisations enable an individual to donate to various initiatives such as charities or fundraisers. Gift cards to these organisations will help the child become oriented to investing in fundraisers or get engaged with charitable organisations, allowing them to explore and assess different options before choosing the best one.
Price: Contributions can start from Rs. 2000
Suitable for children of ages: 12-18 years
These gifts are not the type that instantly bring joy to children, unlike chocolates, for example. Instead, they are meant to help them develop certain skills which will benefit them in the future. This list will hopefully assist you in thinking in a more creative manner, allowing you to come up with several more unusual gifting ideas.