Header Image: Clockwork Songbird, House of Marbles Online.
8th February 2016 by Thomas Murr
For the kids who have everything the monetary value of a gift is completely irrelevant, a quadcopter is just another quadcopter, right? Another iPhone? Stack it with the others, you only need two anyway…
When you get to a certain wealth level it can be easier to send your PA out on the mission to buy something for your friend’s son or daughter than doing it yourself. You give them a budget and they return with the new iPhone, remote-controlled helicopter or, yawn, drone. If it’s a birthday party and the father is a hotshot you can expect to see a pile of these wrapped gizmos on a giant table, tribute to the family’s status and power. The intent is good and I’m sure the thought will be appreciated but what if there was another way, a new way? Imagine seeing that golden child, their cherubic face filled with genuine glee, holding your gift aloft and shouting praise! Their Parents turn in surprise to scan the faces of the guests, who realising that it’s not their electronic wonder, pretend not to have noticed. An assistant leans in and whispers into the fathers ear, looking up, he sees you, a rare smile across his usually stern face. Very good Karma indeed….
If you really want to make an impression with your gift you will need to put the effort in, research the interests of the child, ask the family’s staff members or the parents directly what their offspring are interested in. You usually don’t need to spend a lot of money to get something that will make an impression. Remember it’s not a money thing, the key is to simply match the child with a gift.
There are some rough guidelines that I should think will help you find your target.
- Get them something they don’t already have.
- Something that doesn’t require batteries will probably be novel and can be used without any set-up.
- Don’t get them anything that is too complex for them to use by themselves.
- Immediate novelty value, something to pique the curiosity of the child so they will not be able to put it down until they understand what the present does or how it does it.
- Something usually unavailable to them in their location.
Read More to Find the Best Hunting Grounds!
Some less obvious hunting grounds for you:
- A personal favourite site of mine is the wonderful House of Marbles. Amazing high quality toys, most without batteries and mostly extremely reasonably priced. If you can’t find something amazing on this virtual smorgasbord of delight you have a serious problem on your hands. My personal favourites items include the extraordinary marbles. Make a selection, pop them in a beautiful bag and the child will spend at least 10 minutes admiring each one for its intricacies. As they are so unique the child will know they are difficult to replace and so will look after them more carefully than their “i-things.”
- Share certificates make great presents, not only can the child eventually say they own Disney or Apple with a glint of truth, but the parents will most likely appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gift. An extremely wealthy parent has a few big worries, how will their offspring cope if they are given a large amount of wealth and how can the child be educated to be prudent and wise if they do inherit a large amount of money. Share Certificates are a gift that keeps on giving; with dividends, annual reports and other shareholder actions the child will hopefully become interested in understanding finance. Parents will have a great opportunity to talk with the children about the ownership process and hopefully will be able to lay a firm foundation of financial knowledge.
3. Boogie Boards – If you haven’t come across one of these little fellows you still have the opportunity to get one for that special child. Although it does use batteries it doesn’t feel electronic. A simple stylus draws on the screen and a single button deletes the script. I keep one in my bag to explain things and for emergency diagrams. Children are fascinated by it, you can use it with a 2-year-old, an 8-year-old or even an adult. Great uses include games while travelling or in the car where a pencil and paper would be impractical. Drawing around hands, handwriting/spelling, scary faces; anything you can think of is doable. The child is only limited by their imagination, they also have the rare opportunity to scribble frantically without any thought of wasting paper.
The stylish boogie board also comes in blue and black, just in case your boss’s son does not appreciate pink. Buy one Here!
4. Secret Can Safe! The child will wonder what on earth you have bought them till you show them the secret compartment. Great for the kids to hide swag from their siblings and parents. Likely to shown off to every friend who comes over to play and you are virtually guaranteed that they do not have one already. The parents always lean in to see what on earth you have bought them, when they figure out what it is they will usually have a giggle.
5.Magnetic Thinking Putty– All children enjoy squishy, yucky putty; all children enjoy playing with magnets…. Mix the two together and what have you got? The cleaner’s nightmare! Yes… but you also have a great toy. Make sure you include a magnet with your present otherwise it’s just plain old putty…
I’m not going to list endless products as I wanted to show you just some of my favourites and hit you with some inspiration. I’m sure that if you have a think and put a bit of effort in you will be able to find something fabulous. None of these are traditionally educational but I’m sure the type of kids you are trying to buy for have mountains of books and human body models anyway. I want the kids to have fun and use the gift, if your present is up against an iPad pro you’ve got to have something fairly stimulating and novel just to get 5 minutes of attention. I hope you like these picks and ideas. Let me know if you have any great ideas or great products that you feel would be suitable for children who seem to have everything!