It seems on a weekly basis, we are asked to recommend additional activities, toys or even books for kids. We’re so flattered with the requests (Of course, the other interpretation is that we’re big kids. That’s cool too!). One of the hallmarks of L3 Academy is being in touch with our inner child. We never want to forget the wonder children experience and the excitement children feel. It keeps us changing and growing with our programs and the way we think. So, here are some traditional and not-to-traditional gifts you may want to consider.
An Epic LEGO® wall built in a play room or even a bedroom. I asked my husband about turning the basement into a big LEGO den and was met with a steely-eyed stare. So, I’m settling for a future project for the office kids’ room (foiled again!). Directions on building a solid LEGO® wall can be found here. And, of course, any LEGO set.
Comics! There is no way possible to go wrong with this. The comic book universe is so diverse. There is something for everyone including kids new to comic books. Word of caution: If you have a young child, please do look at the comic book first! In one of my visits to East Side Mags, the owner – Jeff – helped us pick out age appropriate comic books for my younger son. You can also check out Time Warp Comics too! How to draw a comic . . . give the experience of drawing something they love.
Put a camera in your kid’s hands! This was a gift that kept giving for my younger son, who received a camera on his 5th birthday. Fast forward a couple years and he’s still at it, but now has a Go Pro and a Fujufilm Instax too! Some recommendations by ages: VTech Kidizoom (age 5-8); Fujifilm Instax (age 8-10); GoPro (Ages 10+).
Big City Scavenger Hunt. Cannot tell you how much fun this is for the whole family. After the hunt, get some hot chocolate or ice cream. More info.
A home for all those stuffed animals no child wants to part with . . . a stuffed animal storage beanbag chair. Best storage and loads of smiles for parents and children. Purchase.
Color your own castle, playhouse, pirate ship, rocket ship, grocery store, and teepee. Make this the focus of all the gifts. So, if you give a color your own castle, the theme for this year’s holiday can be about castles – a book, a movie, music, castle figurines or action figures, costumes, etc.
ThinkGeek. Pretty much everything on this website and at the Manhattan location is on our wish list and likely on your child’s wish list.
Instead of just material gifts, how about gifting an experience? Some pretty cool places: Morris Museum of Rocks & Minerals (with an interactive experience), a scavenger hunt at the American Museum of Natural History or a sleepover for two, a road trip to Howe Caverns, the NY Aquarium, membership to the Turtleback Zoo or some other favorite institution, a tour of NY including a stop at Serendipity for iced or hot chocolate, and so many other experiences. Time is the best gift of all!
Books! There are so many, but here’s a list of some of the ones we always recommend:
People also ask us all the time whether they should buy the LEGO® Robotics sets, the EV3 or some other robot system. Our answer is always it depends. Majority of people who have bought these sets have kids who play with it a few times and then the pieces mysterious disappear or they lose interest quickly. From our experience, robotics is a collaborative process and fun when you have someone – other than an adult – to share it with on a continued basis. Otherwise, a few hundred dollars is wasted.
There are so many other recommendations we have, but that’s it for now. We’ll post most gift ideas over the next few days.
In the meantime, be well and relax. The holidays were meant for family and friends. Not frantically searching for the perfect gift or hosting the perfect party.