Q: Help! I’m shopping for kids of all ages this year for the holidays, and don’t know where to begin. What are your thoughts about the kinds of toys that are good for kids?
– Wrapped Up in Gifts in Ames, IA
A: Dear Wrapped Up,
Become your gift recipients’ holiday hero by keeping this word in mind: CHILD.
Creative: Think creatively about who the child is and what makes him or her truly happy.
Homework: Do your homework on the nature, content, and age-appropriateness of gifts, especially media products, before buying.
Imagination: Provide a child’s growing mind with gifts to stimulate her imagination, creative growth, and development.
Learning: Look for gifts that encourage problem-solving, creativity, and positive social interaction.
Donate: Give the gift of giving.
(Read all of our tips on choosing great holiday gifts!)
Did the kids in your life provide wishlists? Check out our recent science-based advice on the following toys, games, and media.
Does your recipient want…
A cell phone?
- Should I give my 11 year old the cell phone she's asking for?
- How much texting is too much?
- Do cell phones affect kids’ sleep?
More cell phone Q&As >>
- How does Call of Duty impact teen boys?
- My whole family enjoys Guitar Hero, but I’m concerned about the lyrics!
- Which computer games are good for my 2 year old?
More video game Q&As >>
- My kids are asking for toy weapons; what should I do?
- How can I ask my family to forgo character toys?
- Are American Girl dolls a better choice for my niece than the more sexualized Barbies or Bratz?
More toy Q&As related to gender and violence >>
Laptops, MP3 players, etc?
- Should I encourage my preschooler to use the computer?
- Are kids benefiting from all these electronics?
- Is there anything wrong with cutting out electronic media completely?
More computers & electronics Q&As >>
Books or magazines?
- Are audiobooks a good use of kids' time?
- Could vampire fiction be contributing to my daughter's anxiety?
- Do models in ads affect how girls feel about their own bodies?
More book & magazine Q&As >>
Movies or videos?
- Which kids’ movies will my 5 year old enjoy?
- What goes on in the brain during a 3D film?
- Can toddlers learn sign language by watching DVDs?
More TV, movie, & video Q&As >>
- Help! We don’t approve of the music our child wants to listen to!
- Does playing the blues cause the blues?
- How should I explain that my kid’s favorite pop star is having emotional issues?
More music Q&As >>
Enjoy your media and use them wisely,