Sunday, December 11, 2011

5 Ways How to Teach A Child To Shop for Holiday Gifts for Family & Friends


As moms and dads it's natural for many of us to want to give gifts to our children at the holidays and we derive great joy from doing so. But, as frugal parenting expert Ashley Grimaldo wisely points out, there's an even bigger thrill that comes when our children are on the giving end, getting that same excitement and sense of fulfillment watching others open gifts that they chose or gave.  For sure, learning how to select and give gifts isn't something most of are born with and there's a high likelihood that just about any child would benefit from a parent's help and guidance to learn the ropes.

Store Shelves Overwhelm us all, especially kids
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

Here's some of Grimaldo's tips for helping children with holiday gift shopping

1. Prepare your child for the experience.
Dragging a kid through Toys 'R Us without buying him something is like parading a starving man through the buffet line and telling him not to eat. So, the first step is to talk to your child before you go to the store, then when you actually go shopping together, remind your the child of the reason for going to the store for this particular trip.

2. Shop sales and use coupons.
Children learn frugal shopping by example both in-store and online. Start now -- even within the context of gift shopping -- by giving your child the opportunity to help you find and take advantage of deals and coupons. Don't forget to visit sites like CouponSherpa for coupon codes for Target and other stores where you will be shopping together. And, by all means, teach kids about shopping securely and safely, especially online.

3. Brainstorm ways to personalize the gift.
This can be a simple as drawing a picture inside a blank holiday card and have you write down what they'd like to say in the card. You might also suggest that older kids make handmade wrapping paper with a paper bag, magazine cutouts, stickers and stamps. Also talk about matching gifts to people like not giving sugar cookies to Grandma because she's a diabetic. The lesson being taught here is gift giving is a great time to really think about what others would appreciate rather than what you'd like to give the recipient.

4. Consider homemade presents.
Working together with your child, come up with some DIY present ideas they can craft mostly without your help using whatever fine motor skills they've developed. Once you gather the materials necessary for them to make these independently, encourage them to work alone but also let them know that if they need your help they can always ask for it.

5. Take advantage of Free Shipping Day on Friday, December 16.
Many companies will be offering free shipping for those who buy online on December 16. Here's where you can turn online shopping into a math lesson, comparing prices in newspaper inserts to those online.

What did you learn about gift giving from your own parents when you were a child? And if you have children of your own what have you taught about the art of shopping for presents for family and friends? Do you have any advice you can share as a comment below this post?

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