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Planning Retirement Online

Buying Presents for Young Children

If we are buying presents for young people, they will normally be grandchildren. This is not exclusively the case, however, since you might find yourself buying something for a grandchild's best friend, for instance. However, grandchildren will obviously be high on the list of young people to buy for!

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The first thing to say is that young people are sometimes the easiest to buy for because they will very often tell you what they want. If they do, take advantage of this. Many people feel that they want to buy something that will be a surprise but it's probably better to buy something that you know they really want.

If you don't find out from the horse's mouth, involve the parents in the choice. They are likely to have a better idea about what the child would like. Even if you go your own way, it's best to check with parents first, to ensure that there's no duplication.

If you are left to your own devices, then there are plenty of sources of inspiration. To a large extent, of course, your choice will be determined by the age of the child, but your choice may be made easier by the fact that they want the latest electronic gadget - an Xbox, MP3 player or whatever. These can be expensive, so you could join forces with the parents and/or other grandparents to buy it. Don't forget to look at one of the price comparison websites, such as kelkoo, to see where you can get the cheapest buys.

Very Young Children
For very young children, places such as Mothercare, The Early Learning Centre or Toys R Us are obvious choices. At Mothercare, for example, you can put the child's foot or hand into a compound and get a cast of it to give as a present.

All Ages
There is an excellent website to help you with presents for recipients of all ages, including teenagers, called Present Finder. Go to it and select the category for who you're buying for. Then there are links to many suitable present ideas. Mulberrybush is a good source of presents for children of all ages.

Children very often like personalised gifts. If you think that this would appeal to your grandchild, take a look at prezzybox where you will find all sorts of personalised gifts as well as all kinds of other presents.

You might want to buy books for your grandchildren. If you do, Amazon has, literally, thousands of them to choose from. Another excellent website is UK Children's Books. Here, you can choose an author and then look at all their books before clicking on one to buy. The Book People often have fantastic collections of kids books in great special offers. Try Usbourne, too; they specialise in children's books and provide books for schools. They have an excellent website which could keep you interested for some time!

Buying tickets for events - shows, sporting events and so on - is another option for children. Very often, you can get reductions for children over and above any normal young people's discounts. There are specialist ticket sales companies like Ticketmaster where you can find and buy tickets for mosty of the major shows and events around the UK but often the best way to see what's on offer is to type 'Tickets for shows for Children' into Google and see if there's anything on offer. Irrespective of whether there is or not, a day out including a show or sports event is a very popular present with children. Talking of sporting events, take them to actually do something, such as ice skating, 10-pin bowling, swimming or rollerblading.

Days Out
There are also days out at a theme park such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park or a safari park or zoo such as Chessington World of Adventures (which also doubles as a theme park), London or Whipsnade. There are also many fun places with an educational theme to visit, such as the Royal Armouries in The Tower of London, Hampshire and Leeds, Eureka near Halifax (a 'hands-on museum for children'). There are, of course, many museums all over the country to take children to. The Science Museum in London, which very often has special exhibits and events for children, is probably amongst the best of them.

If you would like to help make this Guide even better, either fill in the feedback form or visit our Later Lifestyle Network and tell us any ideas you have. In particular, tell us about the best present you have ever given to a child or the best one you ever received when you were young. We'll then add your ideas to the Guide.

Finally, take a look at the laterlife Grandchildren page. There are ideas for presents for your grandchildren, books for you and all sorts of other aids to being a grandparent.

Now read the rest of the Guide by clicking on the links in the box. It will ease the dilemma of trying to choose the perfect present.

This Guide to Choosing Presents is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses
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