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# 4 steps to finding best age appropriate gifts for kids

It is birthday of your child/grand child. Are you left stranded thinking what to gift them? What could be a gift that they would like and also find useful? Should it be one more toy, video game CD, that cricket bat, a book .... what? Finding the right age appropriate gifts for kids is often nothing less than an achievement. You have a lot to think.

• Is it right for their age?
• Will the gift go beyond just the latest fad and help them develop some skill or hobby that they will cherish for life?
• Very important, will they like it?

Here, I will outline a 4 step process that will help you find just the right great gift for the kids.

#### 1. Understand the profile of kids in the age group

Children are very aware of their age, more than we would like to give them credit for. Give something complex to a young child and he/she will abandon it saying its for older kids. Give something too simple and you will quickly get a retort that this is for babies. Its not so easy, is it. So the first step is to understand the generic profile of kids in your target age and explore questions like

• what is the level of their physical development and dexterity. Can they lift a big ball? Can they solve a complex puzzle?
• what is the level of their mental awareness.
• what are the latest trends and fads for kids in this age group.

#### 2. Understand what a 'great' gift should do

Ask yourself the question - what should a great gift do for the child. The reason is, I want you to move away from the easy way out of finding the latest cartoon character or animation figure. I want the gift to hold some real value. So ask the question and think about some answers. Examples are
• Help the child develop muscles
• Help the child move out and play in the open
• Help develop better hand-eye coordination
• Help instigate curiosity and support learning
• Help foster creativity
• etc ...

#### 3. Think about safety

Whatever we buy for children, safety needs to be at the top of our minds. Is the toy safe? Can the child swallow it? What will happen if he/she tries to eat it? Are there harmful chemicals that are used to make it? Does it have sharp corners / edges etc.

#### 4. Focus on specific needs of your child and finalize

What do they really like to do? What are their hobbies and interests? Do they like outdoors or indoors? What are the toys and gifts that they already have? What have they been wanting the most since the past few days?

A useful and constructive gift does not mean that it has to be boring. It can be fun, engrossing and value adding all at the same time. Also, this does not mean that they need to get rid of their video games or Archie comics. As with most things in life, its the right mix that we are all looking for! Choose the above 4 steps to find the gifts that are fun and value adding at the same time. Happy gifting!

ps: Next, I am going to write about age specific gift ideas for kids. Namely

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