The illusive perfect gift for older children

veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
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When my kids were little, they were easy to buy for. The latest toy, a game or crazy coloured shoes would do it. As they got older and developed their own sense of taste and style, it got harder to find something they would actually like rather than just graciously say "thank you" for. In our house money is generally considered lame and one of the girls doesn't think people should buy from a list, so she doesn't make one.
Here are a couple that have done the trick:
When my youngest started to listen to interesting music (alternative according to the people who invent the categories) I got her the number 1 ranking record/CD for every year of her life. Big win.
The other daughter likes books about strange things, but it is hard to know which strange is the right one: for example sparkly vampires aren't, but moody, garlic hating ones are. I took her to the bookstore and said "you can have whatever you can find that you actually want to read in 27 minutes". Declared best gift ever.

But you can only do things like this once. What would your kids get really excited about?
 
Never been a problem in my family. My mother and grandparents always did (and still do) pretty much demand I provide a list. And with me being such a guitar/music nut, there's always some books, music or gear I'd like.

My daughter is only five, and she's already dying for a phone (crazy huh?), but I think mainly for the games. So she's getting a LeapPad (kid's tablet) instead. My wife and I have been joking how the kid is going to have a tablet before we will.
 
I have a spread, my kids are 23yo, 21yo and 7yo... Funny I think all three would like an IPAD this year!

With the older kids I taken to buying them things they need but DIDN'T know they needed.... Best Gift ever in this catagory - A small set of tools in a tool box. :D

I thank my GrandFather for the idea, he gave me a set when I was a young adult - I think of him everytime I use them. And perhaps that was the best gift of all! :D
 
With the older kids I taken to buying them things they need but DIDN'T know they needed.... Best Gift ever in this catagory - A small set of tools in a tool box. :D
I subscribe to the need but don't know it theory, though I like it to be something that they will recognize the need for as soon as they see it, as opposed to realize they need sometime in the future.
I'm always looking for those wide eyed "Oh My God" moments.
 
I subscribe to the need but don't know it theory, though I like it to be something that they will recognize the need for as soon as they see it, as opposed to realize they need sometime in the future.
I'm always looking for those wide eyed "Oh My God" moments.

It's funny - the older I get the smarter (I realize) my Dad is and my Grandfather was a GENIUS! :D
 
Some good ideas here. I can see doing the toolbox and bookstore ones.

My kids are still young, so toys are still an easy answer.
 
I actually find buying toys for my older kids much easier than I did when they were younger. Sure, they're easier to please when they're little - but they also grow out of things and lose interest rather quickly. So for me, it was always hard to rationalize spending money on something I knew wouldn't last. Now that they're older, and know what they like, I can buy accordingly and they are more likely to hang onto things. I had no idea my daughter would be a dancer, but now that she is, I can buy her toys and accessories that are dance-related.
 
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