Archive of ‘Gifts for Children’ category

Is it possible to make shopping with children FUN?


MallThe usual adult/child shopping experience – parents dragging their children from store to store, or children trying to drag their parents OUT of the mall after hours of shopping.  Shopping with children is often a daunting task.  While leaving the kids behind may be optimal, here are some suggested strategies to making holiday shopping WITH kids FUN…. Fun? You say, is that even possible?

Prepare in advance. When it comes to shopping with kids, a little preparation goes a long way. If at all possible, choose a destination that offers some form of children’s entertainment, such as a play area or interactive display. Before you leave home, let kids know what you will be doing and your expectations of them during the process. While you may need to repeat the information several times during the outing, take a few minutes before leaving to emphasize that gift shopping means buying things for others.  Children can be rewarded for their good behaviour while shopping at the end of the trip.  Pick a “reward” that they enjoy.

Bring appropriate toys. Pack a bag with a variety of toys and books that will keep your children occupied whether they are walking or in a stroller. Leave toys that come apart, can’t be carried or are intended for outdoor use at home. And don’t forget your child’s sleep time comfort item. A nap might be your best opportunity to cross a lot of gifts off your list.

Have nutritious snacks and drinks ready. Take along some water or milk and snacks such as raisins,happy fruit and carrots that will both satisfy kids’ taste buds and keep them occupied.  Or better yet, maybe a special SHOPPING snack would make the shopping trip fun – many malls have “fun” types of snack such as “make your own smoothie” or “choose your own popcorn flavour.”  This may be something that your child only gets to do when they’ve been “good” during the shopping trip so they should consider it a special incentive!

Play games. At the start of your shopping adventure, give your children a series of challenges that will keep them busy and engaged. Kids who love to count will enjoy tracking the number of a particular item they spy as you shop and emerging readers will have fun scouting letters and words. Older children can be given more sophisticated challenges, such as tracking and totaling the cost of purchases or figuring out how much items will cost when a discount has been applied.

Let kids contribute. Take some of the sting out of being dragged from store to store by inviting your children to help make some of the day’s decisions. Would Aunt Nancy like the blue scarf or the red scarf? Should we have sandwiches or pizza for lunch?

Shopping with children does not have to be so daunting. In fact, with a little prep work it could be fun!

Your turn! Tell us YOUR TRICKS for shopping with children in tow on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

Keep Kids’ Needs in Mind While Holiday Shopping


In a perfect world, holiday shopping would take place free from crowds, with low prices on all the items, and with no crabby children in tow. However, reality often means that time-pressed parents have to brave the crowds to get their presents purchased — and often with children along for the ride.


Holiday shopping can be stressful enough when an adult does it alone. With children factored into the mix, it can turn into an adventure. Unable to dart from store to store and squeeze through milling shoppers, parents must pilot the stroller or shopping cart and battle through. Others must attempt to keep an eye on a youngster flitting through a sea of much-taller people in the mall or store.

Without having a breakdown or throwing in the towel and skipping shopping all together, what can parents do when they have to shop with children? Be patient and follow a few ideas to minimize the confusion.

One of the key things to remember is that children — especially toddlers — have short windows of time of good behavior and patience. While an infant in a stroller may be content to sleep the entire shopping trip away, a boisterous toddler or school-aged child may become anxious when faced with crowds and long hours strapped into a carriage or car seat. Plan for short bursts of shopping so that children will not become overwhelmed or bored by the experience.

lunchRushing out to shop with a tired or hungry child is another way for parents to set themselves up for disaster. Hunger pangs and sleepiness can turn a normally amenable child into one prone to tantrums rather quickly. Parents should time shopping jaunts for after naps and meals to eliminate these factors from the things that might trigger poor behavior from children.  Another thing to keep in mind is meal time. Apart from the hassle of waiting on food court lines for lunch or a snack, dining out with kids in tow also can be expensive. Save time and money by packing lunch in a small cooler, complete with juice boxes and finger foods that children can munch on.

With the many toys, trinkets and other items on display for sale at area stores, children may beg and plead for certain things, making shopping more challenging. Try to avoid the stores that can be big temptations for children to times when shopping can be done sans kids. If a child is allowed to bring a toy, book or other distraction from home, it could help minimize the number of “I want that” requests made.

When possible, talk to older children during the shopping experience. Mention how much things cost and how they are being paid for. Kids can learn valuable life lessons about managing finances by mimicking their parents. Allow children to help with some decision-making processes, such as, “Should we buy grandma the blue or green blouse?” Being involved can make the shopping trip more tolerable and children will feel proud if they’re involved in the process.

While shopping with kids can sometimes be a headache, minor irritations can turn into tragedy quickly if parents do not keep safety in mind when kids are along for the trip. It is very easy to lose track of children in bustling stores. Unfortunately, child predators also can be lurking during the holiday season because they know it’s easier to kidnap a child or take advantage when parents are distracted and there are large crowds.

mallsantaOne last idea – bribery works!  A promise to visit the mall Santa at the end of the shopping trip, if the children are well behaved, might just keep your children well behaved for a couple of hours.   Try it and let us know if it works.

Holiday shopping with children may not be the ideal situation, but innovative and safety-conscious parents can make the best of it this time of year, even if you hate shopping.

Thoughtful gifting to children – nieces, nephews, friends, grand-children


AuntieThere is no denying that kids of many ages love their toys and video games.   They often have closets full of them!  But do they really need another doll or action figure?  Will they even remember that you got them that “sick” video game or Barbie two years from now?

Is there an alternative to these meaningless toys and games?

A story, if you will. I have an aunt and uncle who always, I mean always, bought me books when I was kid.  Not cheap boring books but quality picture books or best-selling novels as a young adult.  They bought me my first picture dictionary (now we use the internet to look up information but this was back in the day when we still used a book called a ‘dictionary’ to look up information).  I used to hate their Christmas gifts.  What made it worse was that my brother always got hockey equipment.  He loved hockey; I did not love reading.  Funny thing is, I appreciate those books more now that I’m an adult.  They are lovely because they were meaningfully chosen books especially for me.  My aunt and uncle didn’t ever get me the coolest doll or newest video game and I’d probably not be able to even remember them for those gifts if they had.  However, I can name 10 or 12 of the book titles they got me when I was young; many of them I still own (somewhere in storage); the kind of books I can pass onto my children.  My point, if you take the time to buy the children in your life, be it nieces, nephews, grand-children, the children of your best friends, there is a good chance they will remember you for it, years down the road.  Right off the bat that meaningful and more thoughtful gift might not give the child the “wow factor” but years from now they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and effort.

So if you’re looking for something a little more thoughtful this year may we suggest some meaningful gifts for children:


Yo Yo

This classic yoyo brings fun now and is a nice momento for the future. Stainless steel and ready to engrave. Click to buy.

Tic Tac Toe

Everyone loves a good match of Tic Tac Toe! Engrave it with his or her name or any message. Click to buy.

Key Chain

A keychain for their house key. Don't leave home without it! Personalize it with the child's name. Click to buy.

Piggy Bank

A timeless treasure for any child. Made of pewter and ready to engrave with anything you like. Click to buy.


Engrave her name! This girl's ID bracelet would be the perfect memento; daisies included! Click to buy.

Princess Box

How about the matching trinket box? Ready to be engraved with her name. Click to buy.

More meaningful keep-sake gifts for children can be found on our website. Please click to visit.

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