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  • Last-Minute Classic Toys Your Preschool-Age Inaanaks Will Value Greatly

    You want to get something awesome that he will treasure, not just during the holidays, but for years to come.
    by Regina Layug Rosero .
Last-Minute Classic Toys Your Preschool-Age Inaanaks Will Value Greatly
PHOTO BY iStock
  • You've been busy. Someone in the family got sick. There was a typhoon. Maybe there was a bank glitch or an emergency car repair. Whatever the reason, you haven’t finished your shopping for your inaanaks, and now you desperately need to find a gift. Of course, you want to get something awesome, something he or she will enjoy and treasure, not just during the holidays, but for years to come. 

    Last-minute Christmas gift ideas for preschoolers

    For the book lover: A classic children’s book

    Some kids gravitate towards the printed word. Some kids, as young as 1 or 2 years old, will pull their parents towards a bookstore just so they can leaf through the books! If this sounds like your inaanak, it might be time to share with him your favorite stories from childhood.

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    Get the hardbound edition with lovely illustrations. If he’s still young, you can enjoy bedtime storytelling by looking through the pictures together. As he grows, you can read along. You can also teach him how to turn the pages and how to take care of his books. And when he can read on his own, he’ll find new joy sounding out the words and figuring out what they mean.

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    Maybe the books will sit on a shelf, forgotten for a few years. But maybe he’ll have a kid of his own with whom he can enjoy the book again. And you’ll pat yourself on the back for buying that book all those years ago.

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    For the sporty kid: Excellent sports equipment

    Some kids are just physical. They’ll climb everything, try every sport, or tumble and jump and roll in the grass. For a kid like this, it's a good idea to buy high-quality sports equipment that will last a few years. You never know that your sports gear might just be the first step in an athletic career (or just an excellent way to get some exercise after school). The baseball bat may win him a few games, or that soccer ball might be how he meets his best friend.

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    You may want to purchase from well-known sports brands, so you're assured it will last, and it will survive your kid’s rough-and-tumble ways. Don’t worry, the staff at the sports shop will point you in the right direction.

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    For the sweet, sentimental kid: A locket

    Kids who are naturally sweet and thoughtful is probably the type to draw a beautiful picture and leave it in your closet with an “I love you!” She will insist on feeding you from her plat or kissing your forehead when she realizes you’re not feeling well. This kid probably hugs you tight when you get home from work and whispers, “I missed you!”

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    This is probably the kid who will appreciate a token that will remind her of your love and care. It can be a locket with a picture of the two of you, something she can wear or keep at all times. Or it can be a medallion, engraved with a favorite quote or a reminder. Some services even offer to turn your child’s drawings or umbilical cord into a pendant.

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    You can get a pair, so you each have one, and she knows that you’re always thinking of her. Whatever you choose, what matters is she knows it’s a symbol of your love, and she can wear it as long as she wants to.

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    For the science geek: Dinosaurs

    Many kids have a dinosaur phase. It might last a week or a few years. If you've given him a dinosaur picture book, and he devoured it in one sitting, you might have to splurge a little this and get him dinosaur figures that are not stuffed toys. It's the kind that will survive a trip to the swimming pool or a Jurassic battle in the mud.

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    He may outgrow playing with a dinosaur, but he could make dioramas with them, or use them to experiment with photography or drawing.

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    For the builder: Building blocks

    All kids love building blocks. There are those who’ll buy a Lego or Duplo set and build something by following the instructions, while others like to make something entirely new by merely putting together all the pieces they have. These kids always want more, more parts so he can build bigger and better things!

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    Aside from Lego, you can get wooden blocks, an Erector set, K’nex, or any construction set with modular pieces that connect. You could probably even get different sets, and your little engineer will figure out how to use them together. With a gift like this, not only is your kid in for hours of fun, but he’s also learning creativity, innovation and problem-solving.

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    For the explorer: A map

    A survey done in the U.S. reveals 43% of the kids it surveyed said they would prefer to go on vacation with their family than receive a physical gift.  So, why do kids love going on vacation? The same reason a lot of adults do—to have an adventure.


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    Make those memories alive with a map of the world that he can display in his room. Get one where he can scratch the places he has visited (or put a push pin).

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