vtech-innotab-educational-tabletIt’s a tough choice: your friend or family member has a young child, and you want to get him or her the perfect gift. But do you opt for a fun toy, or more practical clothing?

Toy vs. Clothes

There are pluses and minuses with going both ways. On the one hand, nothing will make a young child’s eyes light up more than a brand new toy. But nothing will make a parent’s eyes roll more than yet another toy to add to the mountain of items they’ve already received. Aside from finding room to store them all without turning the house into a disaster zone, it also means mom and dad will be spending the day frustratingly opening packaging, searching for batteries and a screwdriver, and breaking down boxes for recycling. Because, of course, little Billy absolutely needpook-toques to play with that remote controlled car right away!

Clothes, on the other hand, are practical and useful. Even if the child already has tons, kids grow out of things quickly. So as long as you buy a size larger, and take seasons into
consideration, a piece of clothing will always be a welcome gift. That said, you won’t get that expression of sheer joy on the young child’s face when he unpacks a pair of jeans like you would a cool new electronic toy.

Get the Right Typelego-juniors-road-work-truck

Whichever you choose, you can ensure maximum appreciation by taking a few things into consideration.

Considerations for toys

Look for something with minimal packaging. If it requires batteries, buy those and tape them onto the package to make mom and dad’s life easier.
Stay away from toys that make tons of noise –you want the child to have fun, but don’t want mom and dad to get a headache because of it. Instead, opt for something educational, like a Learning Tablet. A young child smile from ear-to-ear upon seeing it, but so will mom and dad, knowing that it will help their little one learn, not just mindlessly make noise.boske-toque

Keep size in mind as well. While we all love to be that friend or family member who walks in with the biggest sized gift imaginable, leave those major purchases to mom and dad, unless you know for sure it’s something the parents want to get. If you want to contribute more than a small gift might allow, consider getting a small toy the child can open, along with a sizeable gift card so mom and dad can use it towards something the child wants, but that they can plan ahead to fit in the home. For the small toy, LEGO is always a safe bet. For kids from age 4-7, the LEGO Juniors sets are easy to build to help get them familiarized with the toy if they haven’t used it yet. But even
jojo-maman-bebe-boy-linen-waistcoatseasoned LEGO builders will love being able to make a new creation.

Considerations for clothing

With clothing, consider items with longevity, like a cute and warm toque, such as this one from Boske or this one from Pook; a scarf, and mittens set; or one-size-bigger hoodie that the child can wear under a winter jacket when it’s extra cold, or on its own on warmer spring days.

Grab an essential piece of clothing that a child can never have enough of, or that they tend to quickly grow out of. These include things like jeans for boys, or tights for girls – consider something out of the realm of basic solid colours, like these floral-patterned tights from JoJo Maman Bebe that will add some flare to a more basic wardrobe, and get a little one jojo-maman-bebe-floral-tightsexcited at the fun colours and designs.

Conversely, you can’t go wrong with non-essential items of clothing that the child might not yet have, or that they would welcome in their wardrobe, like a super-cute party dress or hat for a little girl, or linen waistcoat that a little boy can wear to his next formal or semi-formal occasion.

Whatever you buy parents and child will be appreciative at the thought itself. But choose wisely, and your gift could be an even bigger hit.

Check out a wide selection of kid’s toys and clothing at Best Buy Online.

I am a tech expert and journalist with 17+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism. I write for a number of technology, business, parenting, family, and lifestyle Websites, blogs, and magazines. A self-professed lover of tech, I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV junkie, and proud mother to an 8-year-old son.