Art & Life

All they want for Christmas

Teddy Bear graphic

Ages 0-3

Shopping for little kids can be fun and challenging at the same time. Getting them cute clothing may seem like a good idea to most. However, kids grow rapidly at this point in their lives and what they wear now may not fit in the next month or two. According to the Mayo Clinic, “From ages 6 to 12 months, a baby might grow 3/8 inch (about 1 centimeter) a month and gain 3 to 5 ounces (about 85 to 140 grams) a week. Expect your baby to triple his or her birth weight by about age 1 year. “

Instead of clothing or another toy, how about items such as diapers and wipes. As any parent can contest, needing diapers and wipes are constant. However, when buying diapers and wipes, ask the parents beforehand because small kids can be allergic or sensitive to certain brands.

Ages 4-7

Children ages 4-7 are at a critical learning point in their lives. Some are starting school for the first time while others are beginning to read basic books. Due to this time of learning, some simple gift ideas are small books, simple puzzles and art supplies.

According to, Dr. Suess books teach kids, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr. Suess’s books are not the only options to help young readers. Books such as “Magic Tree House” or “Clifford” are found in schools across the nation and provide children with attention-grabbing stories and images while helping improve their reading levels.

Ages 8-13

During this age range kids are starting to express interest in hobbies. Some start playing video games, while others may begin playing an instrument or start playing a sport. Gifts that play to their interest will keep their attention and be used more frequently.

A few gift ideas that may play to people’s hobbies include music lessons, sports gear or video game accessories.

Music lessons will help a blossoming musician get an early start. Sports gear will get an upcoming athlete an advantage over the competition. Lastly, video game accessories will be continuously reused until and give them a start to competitive gaming.

Ages 14-18

At the age of 14 and a half in the state of Iowa, a person can start driving to and from school and school-related functions. However, even with a permit, they will still make mistakes such as leaving the headlights on and the battery dying. Gifts such as a battery jumper or cables are never a bad idea because of reasons such as this.

According to, “Micro-sized battery packs are powerful enough to jump start a car with a failing battery. They can also be used to recharge portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets, which makes them a valuable part of an emergency kit.”

It is because of these car gifts such as window scrapers, cleaning supplies or gas cards are all items that could receive repeated use.

Ages 20-27

Moving out, starting college and supporting oneself are all significant events for people in this age range.

It is because of these significant events that people become stressed and need a little extra help. House related gifts such as towels, dishes, tupperwear or cleaning supplies are often much appreciated and relieve the burden of moving.

However, this does little to help with the mental burden. According to, “The period between ages 18 and 29 is filled with potential losses.” This can cause severe depression in young adults.

Simple gifts like photos, cards of encouragement or hand made gifts are ways to show support and could fight depression.

28 & up

When asking what they want for the holidays, many people this age will say anything is okay, or they want nothing. This makes shopping for them very difficult, however not impossible.

Hand made gifts can be simple and mean the world to the ones receiving them.  These kinds of gifts show that time was taken and thought was put into them. 

A simple gift that can be made for under $15 is a hand-painted glass. It requires four items to be made. The items needed are the glass or mug itself, acrylic paintbrush and nontoxic paint sealer. All these items can be purchased at Walmart and similar stores and all the supplies can be reused multiple times except the glass.

Image courtesy of Nadine Lenehan

Categories: Art & Life