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When I was a lot younger, a kid, my grandmother used to talk about how easy it was to entertain kids and that kids didn’t need all of the fancy electronic gadgets that were out at that time. We, society, were wasting our money and thwarting the creative/imaginative growth of our children. Imagine what she would say now, at least 25 years later.

There isn’t a parent out there that hasn’t marveled at how much fun their little one has with the box or wrapping paper and how little attention the actual gift gets. (I sometimes think I should just wrap a bunch of empty boxes.)

Who hasn’t given their child a pot and a wooden spoon to bang themselves into pure bliss?

I am okay with technology and a child’s use of technology. I have to be okay with my child knowing how to operate my iPhone better than I do just like my parents had to be okay with me learning how to operate a computer before they did. It is how we advance. But, what happened to no bells, no whistles, no batteries, no software, no anything other than blocks and imagination? (It drives me crazy to walk through Toysrus.)

And I know that there is a huge age difference between the older two and The Boy but, when did Legos start coming grouped for the creation of a specific vehicle, a specific creature, or specific building. Who thought it a great idea to put these sets together with very specific detailed directions that must be followed precisely in order to make what is pictured on the box? I used to give the older ones Legos to see that they could create. Now, I have to sit with The Boy and his two hundred and something pieces for at least on hour before he can play with the truck. And then what? (Luckily, mine takes his apart and recreates multiple times….like old times he doesn’t even know…I love and encourage it.)

Legos used to be a bunch of pieces…you put it together…however you want…to create whatever you want…and who cares if no one else recognizes what it is?

Anyway, before this becomes a rant about my frustration with Legos (kind of have already), I will move on. This Christmas (and any other gift giving occasion) as I look around for the perfect gift for mine, I have set some rules.

English: Gift ideas for men - wrapping paper e...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rules for Children’s Gifts

1. No batteries needed.

2. Any directions necessary to play/enjoy the gift are easily followed by the gift recipient. If I am giving the gift to a five-year old, then a five-year old better be able to figure it out for himself.

3. No computer or game console required for play.

4. Must be self-contained with no auxiliary parts required unless the auxiliary parts are a part of the gift as well.

5. Must either stimulate the mind or stimulate the body.

Rules for the Older Ones

The Rules for Children’s Gifts apply, with the exception of rule #3 and rule #5 is revised to read: Must either stimulate the mind, stimulate the body, or support educational/career growth and/or independence.