Toys and other Christmas gifts for kids are considered a significant part of the holiday tradition. Parents go all out for their children, making the extra effort to buy them something really special according to what they think that the child wishes, desires, or longs for.
It may be a regular toy, for example a particular type of a doll, a fancy dollhouse, or something bigger like a bike, train set, or motorized vehicle. The fun of getting a toy for Christmas begins earlier for children as they start preparing their wish list for Santa, and anticipate getting one or more of what they desire.
What gifts do kids like to get for Christmas these days?
According to parents, the generation of kids born in the 21st century dreams mainly of getting electronic equipment for Christmas, and then, toys. Naturally, a 3- or 4-year-old child will prefer toys, while the older children, 12 to 14 years of age, are more in favor of electronic gadgets.
On the girl’s wish list, dolls are consistently ranked highest, and they are followed by activity toys and animal figurines, while boys by far prefer building block sets and toy vehicles.
A turning point, where children's needs and interests start shifting towards electronics, takes place at around 7 or 8 years of age.
Do parents know their child's Christmas wishes?
Most parents say they know their kids' wishes for a gift and they are planning to make them come true at Christmas, considering them to be feasible.
Today, children’s dreams, expectations, and desires have changed from those of what their parents had in the past when they were children themselves. To put it in a nutshell, kids over the past 20 years no longer have the same interests their parents had.
Let’s remember that one of the parents' tasks is to shape their children's needs, and thus their dreams. And we can influence what our children want. However these days, when buying Christmas gifts, parents should not be guided by emotions remembered from the past.
Despite the fact that most adults remember the wishes from their own childhood, their children's wishes are equally very important.
Have today's children become materialistic?
Parents unanimously agree that in their childhood they used to receive fewer gifts for Christmas than what their children do today. They also admit that they were able to enjoy them more. Gifts were more practical and useful at that time, for example, clothes or sports equipment. Also, limited access to toys made children more creative in organizing their games and playtime and creating "toys" from almost nothing.
At the same time, most parents are convinced that in those days, childhood was more carefree, despite the greater number of household chores assigned to children. However, despite these differences in the perception of their own and their kids’ childhood, parents believe that their children are just as happy as they once were.
In the past, people most often dreamt of material gifts, such as toys. Dolls were the most wanted toys among the little girls, while little boys desired various types of toy model vehicles, usually cars and trains.
In addition, children in the 70s and 80s dreamt of sports equipment, as well as electronic equipment that was slowly entering the market.
Rarely did their dreams relate to the non-material sphere, which today has an important place on the child's wish list.
These days, dreams of intangible gifts are new and sometimes, original. They might include a new furry pet friend, or even time spent with parents while traveling.
What should you look for when buying toys for Christmas?
While toy shopping is great fun, there are some rules that can't be overlooked when purchasing Christmas gifts for kids.
A few particular things to take into account include selecting toys that are:
∽ appropriate for the child's age
∽ not too noisy or too big for the child’s housing conditions
∽ ones that the child does not already own
∽ ones that parents consider to be useful or essential for the child's health and development
∽ ones that activate the child’s skills (e.g. musical instruments)
∽ ones that will force the child to be creative (e.g. railway tracks, or doctor kit play set for kids)
∽ ones that will let them show off (e.g. Lego blocks, or puzzles)
∽ good quality products so to avoid the child's disappointment in case of breaking down quickly
∽ ones that (most importantly) the child will enjoy playing with
This can make Christmas shopping for toys a little more complicated but does not mean that it's any less fun.
Selecting age-appropriate toys is probably most important when gift shopping for kids. This is due to a couple of reasons. First of all, toys that are designed for older children might be potentially dangerous for the little ones, for example they might pose a choking hazard.
Additionally, toys that are designed for an older child, or even a younger child, may not be as much fun for the child as they would be made specifically for children of a certain age. If the child is too young for the toy, they may become easily frustrated because they don't know how to use the toy properly, up to their ability. On the other hand, a child who is too old for a particular toy may become quickly bored with the toy.
For teenagers, the most wanted toy may not be a "toy" in the real meaning of the word. Particularly, buying Christmas gifts for teenage boys can be quite tough. You know they are probably into gadgets and gizmos, but you’re not sure exactly which ones! A toy, in a contemporary and broad meaning, can be a favorite gadget such as an ultra-stylish cell phone, an iPod, an electronic organizer, a tablet, or a drone. These days, teens are also obsessed with shoes, especially those that are colorful, glittery, or ones with wheels or lights.
If you need a helping hand in choosing the most suitable gift item for a teenage boy, check also our page on Christmas electronics gifts. The best way to ensure that his gift is actually one he will really like is to always secretly ask for advice people this boy plays games with, like his best friend or possibly a male sibling. That way, you can’t get it wrong!
Toys have evolved beyond dolls, trains, and cars to be also very interactive and educational. Two solutions, the popularity of educational toys and the presence of advanced technology, have combined to produce many toys that are highly computerized.
Seeing the sparkle of joy in kid's eyes when they receive a toy or other present on Christmas Day certainly confirms that the gift-giving Christmas tradition is mainly for children.
Receiving a toy as a gift at Christmas can really play a key role in creating a lasting memory. When a child receives the right toy that was highly desired, or is surprised seeing a beautiful toy, he or she will remember the feeling it brought for a lifetime and recall it whenever there's talk of their favorite Christmas. This also helps to create a tradition. When the child becomes an adult, they will want to recapture a similar feeling by trying to do the same for his or her own child.
What difficulties do you encounter when shopping for a Christmas gift for a child?
For some adults, shopping for children's Christmas gifts is possibly a much more exciting activity than any other gift shopping during the holiday season. However, toys these days are often not the most affordable.
For kids, receiving presents is one of the key attractions of Christmas. As a parent, Christmas may be giving you a headache because you need to be on top of what the most popular Christmas gifts and toys this year are.
Some manufacturers and sellers of toys wait until the official start of the season to introduce new products into stores. The strategy in doing this is to build anticipation for a new item that they hope will be the "must-have" toy for the season.
Consequently, they try to create buzz about the product and have a specific release date, all with the hope that parents and other consumers will clamor for the item, and even make it sold-out or hard to find as the season progresses. Such driving demand can easily justify a spike in the price of the product.
We have simplified your Christmas toy shopping process by presenting a wide variety of Christmas gifts for children of all ages.