As a mother around the holidays or your kid’s birthday, you have the very tough job of deciding whether to get all items listed on your child’s wish list or go rogue and buy things you think they actually need, and would therefore end up being more useful.
A good rule of thumb is to get them at least one of the things they asked for, and then slip in another item you handpicked for practical reasons. You don’t have to buy them every single overpriced toy they got eyes on, especially if you’ve also got some great ideas.
But coming up with gift ideas that your kid would love though they didn’t ask for it is challenging. Fortunately for you, we’ve gathered some safe practical bets and gift ideas you’re unlikely to find in your child’s wish list, but are guaranteed to delight them anyway:
Sometimes, you have to give kids a little nudge before they realize that they love reading. So even before they start asking for their own chapter books or novels, slip in a book or two every time the occasion calls for it. Keep it age-appropriate to ensure the interest of your little one/s, and once you successfully cultivate their love for reading, you’d be blessed with more inquisitive, more curious, and more knowledge-hungry kids.
- Reading table
If you really want to raise readers in the house, your kids need a dedicated reading table. Your kids could use it for other activities too, like coloring or having make-believe tea parties. Make sure you place the table in a well-illuminated area of the house, so you can protect their eyesight even as you’re pushing them to read more.
- Stationery-style organizational accessories
Trust that when you simply give your child a couple of organizing trays or a drab office cabinet for their stuff, they won’t be excited to use it. You have to be creative and look for fun, stylish accessories that look more like toys or scrapbook/stationery materials. If you pique their visual interest successfully, you won’t even have to tell them to organize the stuff in their room — they’d gladly do it out of their own will, if only to have an excuse to use all the cute accessories you got them.
- Stylish headbands
Most kids actually love receiving stylish yet useful accessories like headbands and sweatbands, but they usually forget to include these things in their wish lists, as they’re too focused in asking for toys. But as long as you know their preferred fashion style, you can pick out accessories you know they’d like and surprise them with it.
- Personalized bath towels
Kids aren’t usually thrilled to receive household items like towels and such, but you can apply here the same principle discussed earlier when gifting accessories. Look for cute towels, such as hooded ones that look more like costumes than ordinary toilet essentials. An added bonus would be having their nicknames stitched or embroidered in the towels to further personalize the items, and generate more excitement from your kids.
- Night light
If your kid is having trouble sleeping with the lights turned all the way off in their own rooms, having a night light can help them ease into it. It’s still much healthier for people to sleep in total darkness, but having a softer night light is already a great start, rather than letting the young one sleep with bright lights on. Unless your kid has seen one before, they won’t even think about asking for a night light, so take it upon yourself to initiate giving this awesome gift. There are thousands of different kinds and designs for night lights out there, so it is once again imperative for you to know exactly what your kid will like and respond to.
- Their first bike
Riding a bike is an essential life skill that’s better learned early in life than sooner in it. It’s sort of a rite of passage for kids to get their first bike as a gift from their parents, so do not forget to get them one as soon as they’re big enough to ride one.
There you have it — seven great gift ideas that your kid would be thankful to receive, even though they never asked for them. Now you’re ready to win Christmas, or any next big holiday that’s coming.