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Kids & Money: Gift Ideas to Make Their Holiday Bright

Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine what to get your kids for Christmas. In some cases, the problem can be solved quite simply: Get a gift card [3]. Gift cards can make great gifts for kids of all ages. From iTunes gift cards, to gift cards to a favorite store, to a general purpose gift card, this can be a gift that allows children to choose their own gifts.

However, you might also want to provide something for the children in your life to open. As you consider your options, here are some ideas that can help you pick just the right gifts for your kids.

Elementary Age Children

When your kids are in elementary school, it’s fairly easy to go shopping for them. They’re wants are simple, and they often tell you what they want — and it’s usually affordable. (Plus, they are excited about getting gifts for others [4], too.) For younger children, consider getting small things. Action figures, doll clothes, age-appropriate books, movies, hand-held games, and even clothing can all be gifts your smaller children enjoy.

Get your child interested in making good money decisions by getting him or her a bank of some sort. It can be one that sorts coins, or has different chambers for different goals. Such a gift can be a fun way to help your child get started on the right financial track.


It becomes harder  to buy gifts for teenagers. However, there are a few things that teens are interested in. Some of the items you can get for teens include:

You can also provide financial gifts to teens. Consider buying a teen stock [5] in a company, or contributing to a 529 plan. These are financial gifts that can keep on giving in the future, as well as right now.

College Students

Once a child heads to college, his or her needs and preferences change. Consider purchasing something that makes living away from home a little easier. If there are savings books in the student’s college town, purchase one for him or her. You could also buy a single-cup coffee maker, or a hot cocoa maker. Docks for iPods/iPhones/iPads can also make great gifts. These usually come with speakers, and can be great for when the student is doing homework, or wants to wake up to specific music. Video game systems, video games, and subscriptions to services like Netflix and/or Gamefly can also make great Christmas gifts for the college student.

Financial gifts for college students might include investments, as well as help paying tuition for the next semester. Every little bit helps when you’re in college, and most college students appreciate the gesture.

What are your gift ideas for the kids in your life?

(Photo: chotda [6])