We all adore our kids but sometimes we can end up scratching our heads when trying to decide what gifts to get for them. Candy? Another noisy battery operated toy? Well-meaning gifts might often have undesirable consequences. I’m sure many parents, relatives, grandparents and loved ones will appreciate this list, just in time for Christmas gifting!
12+ Great Gifts for Kids
1. Tickets to Singapore Zoo or Jurong Bird Park
Fun excursions make for wonderful memories. How about tickets to our local attractions like Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park to see the wildlife in action? Animals are an undeniable attraction to the young. Getting out to explore means more opportunities to learn and marvel at wildlife. Everyone can enjoy bonding time plus fun adventures – what a great combination!
What’s more, Singapore Zoo and River Safari are running two for one deals as well as a Disney Explorers’ trail this December!
EXPECTING SOON?: Read This as You Prepare for Baby's Arrival
2. Classic book sets
Good books last generations. We definitely want to raise competent readers who enjoy reading quality literature. Purchase one of the classic book sets for the kids – from Roald Dahl, classics like Treasure Island, Black Beauty or Dr Seuss for the younger ones can help them develop a love for reading.
For books in Chinese, my children really enjoyed these with adorable visuals and engaging storylines. Grandparents can also read these with their grandchildren and enjoy stories together.
3. Quality toys that encourage exploration
We like these handy and durable magnifiers from Little Yellow Brick! The magnifying bug box allows little explorers to collect, store and observe favourite finds from outdoor adventures. It features seven compartments with built-in magnifying lenses. Parents who love the great outdoors or want to relive childhood hobbies like catching spiders will have a swell time teaching their children the very same pastimes they enjoyed!
4. Art and Craft kits
Get little hands busy with art and craft kits. Washable crayons are a staple for the little ones, while water colours and acrylic paint can be exploratory mediums for older children. We would recommend punch needle kits or loom kits so adult and child can craft together or even a DIY glider to practise nifty aviation skills. If activities surrounding familiar characters are preferred, try these!
5. Language learning tools
Time with gramps can be fruitful too, especially if they know dialects or mother tongue, they can provide plenty of language learning opportunities. I recall fondly growing up watching Cantonese TVB serials with my grandparents which was a great gift as I still can understand some Cantonese today. Or, how about sponsoring classes like these dialect ones? Classes are pitched at different levels too.
Apart from dialects, one reading robot that could be a wonderful companion in conversing and reading in mandarin is Luka the reading robot. Check out our deal here. Luka even has a miniature version now too.
6. Science and STEAM kit subscription
Subscribing to monthly kits that get children really excited about science plus hands-on experiments would make parents thrilled. Yes we all love good presents that don’t end up in the bin after a short time. Preschoolmarket has a tinkering kit subscription for 4 to 8 year olds with 6 months worth of activities. This means months of engaging learning and working on those tinkering skills.
7. Music instruments EXCEPT the recorder
Music is a great way to encourage expression and creativity. Parents can certainly help by providing some instruments to add to the repertoire (rather than noise). From simple handmade instruments like beans in a sealed box to a kalimba, children love anything that creates sounds. They can shake along with the rhythm or even attempt to compose their own original tunes.
And yes we do not recommend getting instruments emitting high-pitched sounds like the recorder.
8. Board Games and other game sets
Games, along with books, keep for a long time. They are perfect as gifts and bonding amongst family and friends. From chess sets, board games to classic games like Mastermind or Connect 4, they encourage cognitive growth while provide a fun way of bonding in the family. Plus game sets can be kept for a long time, which means great value!
9. Gardening packs with seed, soil, pots
Nurture little gardeners with green fingers with seed packs and the whole works like soil and pots. Parents and grandparents can even guide the little ones on growing their own plants or herbs. Hardier plants like Mint, Butterfly pea, Aloe Vera, Pandan can be easy choices for beginners.
10. Classes like Ice-skating or Woodworking
Instead of presents like toys, how about purchasing classes for children? Unique classes like ice-skating, outdoor skills, wood-working engage children and teach them important motor skills. The skills are not easily “discarded” since they are educational with transferrable skills such as balance, attention to detail, perseverance and courage.
11. Set of Kitchen tools for aspiring Chefs
To raise children who appreciate food, you could get them ready as kitchen helpers. Give them their own set of kitchen tools as well as recipe books for children. Arm them with the knowledge and equipment to be enthusiastic kitchen elves, that would be best gifts for a lifetime learning how to cook and being competent help!
12. Annual Passes to Favourite Themed Parks
Annual passes can be very worthwhile especially for themed parks that the family visits frequently. Getting one might be a wise purchase not just for the child but for families. Our favourites include Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Universal Studios Singapore, Sentosa Islander and SEA Aquarium. Who wouldn’t love unlimited access to themed parks all year round?
13. Sports equipment
If we haven’t emphasised how screentime should be decreased, outdoor time and sports time could increase by leaps and bounds! Not only does that decrease the chances of myopia, sports outdoors also helps develop fundamental skills that help in the holistic growth of young children. Getting balls, rackets, inline skates, bicycles would be wonderful gifts that encourage more playtime.
14. Making memories together
This may sound cliché, but gifts are unnecessary. Plenty of time spent together talking, reading, playing is priceless for all. In the golden years of life, nothing else beats the presence of loved ones and the chance to interact and bond. Making memories together is the best gifts. Do you agree?
Best Gifts Make the Best Memories
Like our list? Send a not-so-subtle hint to spouses, grandparents, aunts, uncles and loved ones on this gift guide. We hope the focus is more on presence, rather than presents. Happy gifting and have a wonderful family time this season.