Kids’ lives seem to revolve around electronic devices nowadays. We’re not saying that’s altogether bad—we’re online right now, after all—but between televisions, computers, gaming consoles and smartphones, it seems like kids rarely see past their screens and monitors.
The dominant nature of electronics has been blamed on everything from increased obesity to shortened attention spans. While it’s tempting to pull the plug on kids completely, we can’t deny we live in an information age, and children need to develop the skills to navigate that world successfully.
The trick, as is so often the case with kids, is balance. Setting limits on computer and gaming time is important, but setting limits alone only leaves you with bored kids. To really achieve a balance between a child’s electronic and non-electronic worlds, you need to provide them with fun alternatives. Here are some of the best non-electronic gifts for kids.
Bikes and Scooters
Children love to feel independent. Bikes and scooters give them that feeling, placing them among the most popular gifts for kids. Not only fun and a source of exercise, bikes and scooters also offer educational opportunities. Few kids today really know how to maintain and clean a bicycle, or how to safely read road signs—teach yours to do so, and they learn a valuable skill.
It doesn’t matter how many worlds a child visits in video games, nothing stirs the imagination like a good book. Instill a love of reading in your children early with personalized story books, customized to make your child the star of the adventure.
It’s been said time and time again that introducing children to books at an early age improves pre-reading skills and early literacy, and children who are read to are more likely to enjoy reading as they grow. That’s one of the best gifts for kids we can imagine!
Plush toys offer so many play opportunities to children, while encouraging a growing imagination in a way no virtual pet game can equal. Few people grow up without a special plush friend to cuddle with at bedtime, or to share in secret adventures. Give your child a lifetime friend with one of I See Me’s plush gift sets, which include a soft cuddly toy with a personalized book. It’s a perfect recipe for cozy bedtime stories.
Coloring books and Art Supplies
The best gifts for kids develop skills while stimulating imagination or creativity, which is why coloring books and art supplies remain popular even in a world of Photoshop and image manipulation. The perfect solution for a rainy day, long car rides or during (horrors!) computer-crashing power failures, coloring books help children practice hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Personalized coloring books, which put your child’s name and personal details onto each page, are even better.
In a world of video games, you’d think the humble jigsaw puzzle just couldn’t compete for a child’s attention. That’s not true. The satisfaction and pride that comes from completing a puzzle is as strong now as it was a generation ago, especially when parents join in the fun.
Choose puzzles with subjects that delight your child. If she’s into trucks, find truck puzzles. If she prefers flowers, then flowers it is. Don’t forget that a young child’s favorite topic is often herself—personalized puzzles emblazoned with children’s names make great gifts for kids.