Great Christmas Presents for Kids

How much is too much?

If your children are very young, you might consider giving them three presents.  Kathie Lee Gifford mentioned on her show last month that if three presents were good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for her children.  Not a bad argument.  Teach your children to ask for only three toys or gifts from Santa.  If a child gets one large or expensive gift, such as a bike, he or she might expect the remaining two to be small gifts.  You could add a small gift from the parents, such as costume jewelry bracelet or wallet, and of course, there is also the Christmas stocking.  With the other gifts children are likely to receive from relatives, isn’t that plenty of presents?

Five Christmas Present Ideas

The best present is the gift of time with you. I am not a fan of coupon books offering the promise of special times together.  I just feel no one really follows through on them.  When you give the gift of time, make it concrete.  But buying a child who loves dance or theater tickets to a ballet or show, or booking arrangements for a special trip for the two (or three) of you, or a craft class you take together, shortly after the holidays would be a wonderful gift.

Flip cameras run about $125.

Digital cameras let them capture their life experiences. Teaching a child how to take and upload digital images (photographs) gives them a form of creative expression that is easy and relevant to their lives.  It puts the child in control of how he/she chooses to record her personal experiences.  I particularly like the digital cameras that also have video capability.  My favorite is my Canon Elph.   Flip video cameras are fun and easy for kids, but the video quality of video on digital cameras is often better.  Still you can’t beat Flips for simplicity.  When you give a child a present like this, making time for special opportunities to take pictures, even if it’s just filming winter birds in the back yard, will make the present meaningful for the child.

Snow tubes are available in Target stores and online.

Presents that get children moving outdoors. We’re talking big, over-sized exercise balls, ice skates, jump ropes, inner tube sleds, basket balls,  roller blades, tennis racquets, skateboards, bicycles (with appropriate safety gear, included).  One favorite toy we have (you can get these at Target in the toy section) is an inflatable inner tube designed to sled on snow. They are GREAT for sledding.
Gifts that help them learn. Doodlehopper toy store in Falls Church, VA has lots of science kits from Ein-o-Science. I recommend them!  Consider the $15 telescope set, as well as prisms, globes, tiny skeletons, and other kits from this fun manufacturer.

This Emerson Telescope is $14.99 at CVS

Show them the stars for Christmas with a telescope or set of binoculars. What could be better than looking at the stars?  And the Christmas story associated with stars makes a telescope a perfect Christmas gift.   There are very inexpensive telescopes at CVS for $15 right now (in-store only).  I haven’t tested it yet, but that is a good price, and I got one and just put it together.   It looks just like this photo.

You could supplement it with one of the many affordable children’s books about stars available right now at Borders bookstore (check the bargain section).

You can also find lots of good deals on binoculars and field glasses right now, some among the boxed gifts that you’ll find in the men’s section of department stores, like JCPenney.

For a better view of “stars” on the stage…what a bargain on opera glasses ($5)  that would be nice stocking stuffer for a child (or adult) who goes to plays, concerts, or dance programs.  You can find it at the Kennedy Center gift shop (lower level shop).

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