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Thursday, June 05, 2008

What to gift a 5 years old kid?

This post gives quick analysis of some probable gifts you can pick for a 5 year old. I spent couple of hours in Landmark Chennai analyzing the gift items and sharing my observations here.
What makes an ideal gift for a child of 5 years? I had to finalize a gift for a cousin (5 years old boy). Since local stores around my place didn’t have enough collection decided to head for spencer’s plaza. I spent couple of hours in Landmark store and studied several potential gifts for their pros and cons. These were my person observations and thought process-yours need not be exactly same... But I think you can use this post as a reference while shopping...

Option 1: Children’s laptop- Rs 500-Rs 1000
This is a laptop like looking toy with a small screen and keyboards. Lets children learn some fundamentals like alphabets etc. But I didn’t like them because of following reasons:
*The screen size is very very small-Slightly bigger than that of a handheld video game-A kid would strain his eyes to read from that screen
*Wrong keyboard layout. Where we have space bar these toys have return keys. Many other irregularities-not a good idea to let the kid get used to a wrong keyboard layout and then let him struggle when he starts working with original keyboard.
* Typing is pain-like hitting a typewriter...
Since almost everyone has a computer at home it might be better idea to let the kid practice on real computer itself.

Option 2: Flying planes and helicopters
When I was a kid this kind of toys didn’t exist. We have really flying planes and helicopters now, starting Rs 1000 onwards. I studied couple of models-found that they were made of thermocol, to keep the weight minimal. But thermocol as a material is extremely susceptible to heat and pressure. It is practically impossible for the child to keep a thermocol made toy safe all the time. It will be disappointing to everyone if 1800 Rs worth toy helicopter gets damaged within few days. May be the expensive models made of plastic were better lasting but couldn’t consider them.

Option 3: Skating wheels: Rs 1500 approx
Almost zeroed in on this. But the store didn’t have a safety helmet a kid should wear while skating. Didn’t have time to go to another shop searching for safety helmet, hence had to drop this.

Option 4: Remote control cars:
I picked up a model and noticed that shop had affixed a semi transparent sticker on the box hiding the original price of MRP Rs 175 and besides which new price sticker of Rs 325 is affixed. Didn’t feel like buying this. I believe big bazaar sells the same model for Rs 175. Also this a very common toy these days-every kid has one.

Option 5: Mobile swimming pool
This is a plastic thing which when blown air becomes a circular tub which could be used as a pool for the kid. Price Rs 500 +. Might have bought this, had it been packaged more appropriately. (Explanation deleted.)

Option 6: Kids tent: Rs 999
Cost conscious mind in me felt Rs 999 is too much for a small tent. I’d bought a mosquito net 3 times bigger for Rs 80 and would have got tarpaulin sheets several square meters in area for that price…There weren’t any specifications on the package (height, volume etc)- Not sure if the kid will be able to move freely inside

Kite would have made an ideal gift but was missing.
Games requiring 2 or more players or not suiting the age group had to be ignored.
There were so many other options-kids telescope, microscope and several traditional ones (construction kits, board games etc) It was a tough time deciding right one. Store closing time neared and I had to decide fast.

After much deliberation I decided to diversify my picks and decided to split my budget into 4 parts. Bought a “learn 75 magic tricks kit”, a “map building game” and a set of drawing equipments. (each around 200-300 Rs) The fourth part haven’t decided what to do-may be some sweets or dress material-will decide later. Hoping that at least one them will be interesting/useful to the kid.

Related: How to make children save money?

7 comments :

The Self-Proclaimed Wordsmith said...

I don't see what the problem with roller skates (without helmet) is - I never wore one when I skated (as a child), and never got hurt. That's not to say that it'll be the same for everyone else also, but in most cases, the worst injuries one can get a cut/bruised elbows & knees.

Regarding the swimming pool, what does the mother's attire have to do with anything? I'm sure the kids are more concerned about filling the thing with water and jumping in it than staring at some woman on the cover. Also, how can you say she was 'inappropriately dressed' by Indian standards? What does that even mean? If you disapproved of it, then that's fine - those are your standards. I don't think it's right for you to say that these are the same standards for all Indians.

That said, it's an interesting post - I had no idea Spencer Plaza Landmark had such variety! And buying a gift for a 5-year-old does sound like an tough task, now that I've given it some thought.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

HI Navaneethan,

Helmet is essential if kids skate on concrete roads-Not a good idea to take risk.

Do not wish to discuss about attire part-That was a personal preference and no further comments. Have revised the post accordingly.

Thanks for your comment...

Purvi said...

Hey Srinidhi,

If u are looking for ideas how about a globe. A nice big size one comes for about 350 - 380. I bought one for my 14 month old from landmark recently. And everytime i take an aeroplane and it lands on a new country i get to leanrn soemthing new while he giggles away!!!!!!!!!

Sudhir Nimbalkar said...

I went with the same experience few days ago … Could not decide even after several hours of searching … Finally got a mini swimming pool for 2 kids of 5 years and a mini basket ball kit.
Also a mini teddy bear cum School bags are a great idea and comes around 250rs …

Bhupesh said...

Like any techie you should have googled it. :)


Otherwise ask him what is his favorite cartoon/serial, buy some merchandise based on characters /stuff in the serial.

ajay said...

hello mr hande i welcome the blog name change it certainly changes the perception. i have raised the issue of certain features with CM ( i am totally with you on this) AS MENTIONED ON YOUR LAST POST TO ME. i should get an answer soon ,a positive one hopefully.will let you know as it comes.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Purvi:

Yes, globe also is a good option...

Thanks for sharing...

@Sudhir:
Great picks. Thanks.

@Bhupesh:
Had no time for online shopping. Also few things are best judged when examined physically...

@Ajay:
Will respond to your comment at CLub Mahindra post.

Thanks everyone for the comments...