By Jenna Smith
There’s nothing like the way a young child’s face lights up when she receives a special holiday gift. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to not only give a present to a child, but to also introduce new experiences, passions, or hobbies.
The Gift of Sports
Many kids would love getting a first game ball – be it soccer, baseball, or basketball. It’s a great way to get your child active at a young age, which will encourage a healthy lifestyle for years to come. If you’re a football fan, a nice gift is a new football (in an age-appropriate size), paired with his favorite player’s jersey. (And then go out and throw the football around! Your child will most likely have fond memories of that quality time, and may want to continue the experience with his own child.)
Baseball is a good sport for both girls and boys. Consider getting them a new baseball glove from HomerunMonkey and appreciate the added bonus that comes with it: understanding the rules of baseball prepares a child to follow instructions, use teamwork, and retain good judgment.
Because it is winter, you may want to introduce ice skating or hockey by buying your child his first pair of ice skates. Such sports are good for children, and can lead to joining leagues, taking classes, and meeting new friends.
The Bicycle – A Holiday Classic
It’s the quintessential holiday memory: there it is, under the tree, glittering in the glow of twinkling lights – your shiny new bike, complete with streamers, a silver horn, all tied up in a big, red bow. (Imagine Mom or Dad up all night assembling the damn thing!) A bike is a great present, and gives a child the even more important gifts of exercise, family time (riding together through trails around town), and freedom.
Tis the Season for Reading
It’s undeniable; books are great gifts for children of all ages. That one book you buy could spark a lifetime love of reading. Most adult bookworms never forget the very first book they received. If your child isn’t quite interested in reading or is unable to read typical chapter books, look instead for one with illustrations. Many classics are illustrated and are even rewritten in current vernacular. You may also consider graphic novels.
This holiday season, try to think of the gift you give a child as more than just a present in a box. It’s not only a new baseball glove, but maybe also the birth of a little sports fanatic; a shiny new bicycle could soon turn into hundreds of afternoons zooming around with friends; and that seemingly simple picture book might lead to a passion for words and reading. Definitely gifts that keep on giving.