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Choosing Age Appropriate Toys and Gifts

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 22 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Grandparents Toys Gifts Children's

Grandchildren have a way of stealing the hearts of their grandparents who often want nothing more than to see the kids happy. This special bond between the two generations usually results in wonderful relationships that stem from a deep love and appreciation of one another. Children frequently look to their grandparents for advice, a boost to their self-esteem, and of course, to fulfill their wish lists for toys and other goodies. Oftentimes, grandparents are more than happy to oblige.

Safety Matters

When choosing toys or other gifts for children, safety is of the utmost importance. Manufacturers routinely label toys and other products designed for kids with age recommendations. While these recommendations may also indicate the likelihood that a child is developed and mentally ready for the toy, their main purpose is to keep young children safe by helping shoppers to avoid getting toys that may pose risks. For example, toys that have small parts are usually not advised for children under three or four years old, since these toys present a choking hazard to kids who still put things into their mouths.

In addition to adhering to manufacturer's age recommendations, there are other things to consider when choosing appropriate toys for grandchildren. It is important to know the individual child's limitations and temperament when selecting gifts. While it is good to choose games and toys that help the child to expand their skills and knowledge, you do not want to purchase things that are so advanced as to put the child off from enjoying them. If you are unsure, check with your grandchild's mum and dad before buying a questionable toy.

Clothing and Other Gifts

As children get older, they often request clothing, music, video games, or other gifts. While these can all make wonderful presents, selections must be made carefully, based on not only the child's age but also the wishes of the child's parents.

Parents often exercise caution when allowing their kids to play video games, since some are violent and seem to encourage types of behaviour that many parents deem inappropriate.

The same can be said for music -- while there is a lot of great music that is popular with youngsters, some lyrics promote sexual promiscuity, violence, or a disrespectful attitude. It is common for parents to oversee their children's music selections, especially when the kids are young.

Buying clothing can be especially tricky, since the fashions that children may request are often better suited for kids a few years older. Most of us remember looking forward to being older than we were as kids, especially as the teenage years approached. Kids today feel much the same way, and manufacturers routinely offer fashions for young kids that many parents find objectionable.

Pleasing Everyone

There are several solutions that may help grandparents to purchase gifts that will please the children without going against the rules that their parents have put into place regarding propriety. One is to shop with the child's parents so that they can offer suggestions and set limits. Another is to buy gift cards and allow the children to choose their gifts with the supervision and approval of their mum and dad. Finally, some grandparents ask their grandchildren to provide them with lists of the things that they would like to have and then they ask the children's parents to look over the list before they begin their shopping.

While it is understandable that grandparents may want to indulge their grandchildren a bit, it is not prudent to buy things that will cause discord in a child's household. Grandparents, however well meaning, need to abide by the guidelines that their children set regarding the upbringing of the grandchildren.

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