Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Do's & Don'ts of Gifts for Children

The Do's & Don'ts of Gifts for Children

Now that school has returned, there will be party invitations coming home in schoolbags around the nation. When you are a parent it is natural that you would prefer your child not be given certain things as gifts, but how can you let these perferences be known without seeming rude? I would avoid any reference to these things on invitations, nothing scars an invitation more than this kind of thing. It would be better to let your concerns be known through conversations with other mothers before it is time to arrange a party, through natural sharing of thoughts and ideas as you get to know other parents in the community.

Any parent knows the dread they feel when their own child unwraps a noise making gift - by this I mean drum kits, blaster guns with very loud sound effects, cars and trucks with sirens.... So these would be wisely avoided unless you want some degree of payback when your child's birthday comes around.

It is very common now for parents to make a blanket statement against weapon type toys - guns, swords, bow and arrows - and I completely understand, especially when it comes to toy guns. Toy guns, if you ask me, are as bad an idea as those novelty cigarette lollies that were sold when I was growing up. Objects that are dangerous when used as intended are not ideal products to have replicas and toys fashioned after them.

I have very strong objections to giving children makeup for presents. In the first place I will not let a girl wear makeup until she is 12 years or older, and secondly many of the makeup items given as gifts are cheap and of such poor quality that they are unhealthful and possibly dangerous. There have been cases of skin reactions, and in more serious cases illness from inhaling fumes (from nail polish and lip gels) lead based products have been found even in popular adult brand of lipsticks. Analysis' performed for current affair type programs have shown carcinogens abound in make up products aimed at children. I would definitely let it be known that you do not want your daughter to be given makeup.

It is wise to be wary of gifts from cheap markets and shops such as Cost Plus and the $2 Shop as they are very poorly constructed, have small parts which can be swallowed or plastic that snaps and cracks cutting fingers, and may even be unsuitable for children to suck and chew on. Many imported toys are doused in chemicals which are difficult to remove from soft toys which are labelled 'surface clean only'.

I realize it is very difficult to afford a gift for every classmate or friend who sends your child an invitation, perhaps an arrangement could be made between parents for 'no gift' parties to be held. Otherwise anything you can make yourself (view past projects on including beaded jewellery, embellished headbands, gift boxes, button design shirts, paint and sequin shirt designs, and card projects).

I will post in the near future some simple party activities, as well as food ideas for a tea party or teddy bear picnic, I hope you have found this helpful and feel free to pass this along to other mothers you know, love Starry


Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Starry!
Thank you sooo much for stopping by to visit me! It's so nice to meet you all the way in Australia!! I appreciate your comments so very much Starry.
Your blog of giving is fabulous!! I love all your ideas. They are so well thought out. I think I may have to try making the earring board one of these days. Fabulous idea!
I'm going to add you to my New Blogs to Check Out if that's okay with you. I'd love for people to read your wonderful ideas!
Big hugs from Ohio! Sherry

Starry said...

hi Sherry, I am excited to see you here, I think it is great that we can meet people so far away with different lives and find that we have things in common, shared tastes, and to share inspiration with each other.
thank you for adding me to blogs to check out, hopefully some of my friends here will find your blog enjoyable too,
an Ozzie hug is a boomerang, so I know it will come back, xxx Starry