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?