Primary school is when gift giving becomes a challenge…
Finding a gift for a primary school child is the trickiest – they are too old for a lot of toys, they already have a tonne of toys which they love and they are too young for the pre teen gifts which their older friends and family are lusting after.
I am embarrassed by the amount of toys my eldest has unopened in his room. He has his interests and he sticks with them, no amount of flashy new and different things is going to change that. Lesson learned, this year I am going to follow his interest (another Montessori principle I have learned this year). This means less gifts which have been bought ‘just because’ and more gifts which will be used.
I’m going to briefly talk about budgets but you should really stick with what you can afford. If the ‘list’ is doubling in size by the day it is time to have some honest conversations. This year I am toying with the idea of letting my eldest put some money towards more expensive gifts from his pocket money but the jury is still out on that one.
1. Gifts are more than just toys
Once children start school they get a whole new set of influences on what they do and don’t like. I wasn’t prepared for the obsession with football and all of the expensive kit requests which goes with it!
2. Work out what 20% of your budget is
I’m going to talk about this again because it is that important. Once you have decided what your budget is for gifts for your child, work out what 20% of the budget is. For example if your budget is £100 then 20% is £20.
If your child has a bank account, transfer the money to their account instead of spending it on additional gifts. Our budget is now reduced to £80.
Imagine if you did this every Christmas and Birthday until they turned 18? That would at least £720 (more with interest) that your child will have to start their adult lives.
3. Make a list of potential gifts for your child
But what do you buy them you ask? This is where my planner comes in. Read on below to see where I explain some of the categories. These categories really inspire me to come up with some great gifts for my primary school age child. The first column on the plan is what I work with and I use the headings across the top of the other columns to give me extra inspiration.
Something to read:
With the current situation in 2020 its near impossible for children to bring books home from school to read. Stock up their library with some great reads. This year we are going for a National Geographic Kids subscription. It makes a great gift and provides a monthly surprise when it comes through the door. I know my eldest will love it because he is fascinated with logistics and how things get to different places. The postman is one of his favourite people.
Something to wear:
I’m sure you have already discovered their developing sense of fashion. Try to keep it practical so that you get longevity from the gift.
Middle Size present:
Looking at my planner this will fit nicely as an outside toy.
Something from the Santa list:
This is your chance to get a gift from the ‘list’. If everything is way out of your budget, it is time to have some conversations. If their gift list is just too much, maybe you could suggest some ‘matched funding’ for those extra expensive items.
Something they need:
This could be anything. At this age you could get trainers, clothes, sports kit, art supplies, the possibilities are endless. This is also a chance to find something which promotes their independence.
This could be something you make yourself (which I would love to do but never have the time) or it could be something you buy from Etsy, a local market or from a business you see on Facebook. There are loads of small businesses out there who need your support!
eBay/charity shop bargain:
This gift is meant to foster a sense of ‘reuse and recycle’. It can be anything. The ideal gift in this category is a bike or skateboard.
If you have a football mad child there are some great gifts to be had on eBay for replica kit. Our replica Barcelona kit has lasted ages and it looks just like the real thing.
At this age you might struggle to keep the magic going. My eldest is starting to get into toiletries and he loves Lindt chocolate, both which make perfect stocking fillers.
Cash in the bank:
I have already told you how beneficial this is. It is a the makings of a future nest egg you can give your child when they turn 18. Its also a great idea for family and friends to contribute towards too.
Click here to read my gifts guide for a primary school age child.
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