Gifts For a Smarter and Healthier Kid

Friday, July 08, 2016

Gifts For a Smarter and Healthier Kid

I scan through the toy aisle and saw many cute toys that kids will definitely love, but there isn’t enough toys that can get the kids thinking while they play, and some toys are just straight up bad for the kids.
Some toys are so bad, that no parent should buy them as gifts for their kids no matter how good their grades are, toys like Bratz, anatomically incorrect dolls and a trashy version of already bad Barbie. Bratz are also linked to early sexualization of children, and the name itself just means “spoiled and ill-mannered” what else can we expect this doll to teach them? Oh, not to mention that it is manufactured in harsh conditions in Chinese sweatshops. For the boys, Marvel heroes toys and merchandises is going to make parents really poor, toys nowadays are a lot more expensive than in the past, where Hot Wheels or a basic Lego set can keep the child entertained for the whole year.
We should buy gifts that can keep children occupied or even educate them. Introducing them as gifts and rewards, and if used correct, it will make them smart, and richer in the future.

1. Musical instrument

A poll in 2007 in US found out that 88% of all post graduate students in college and 83% of all people people earning $150,000 (SGD200,000/year) or more had extensive music training. If that not convincing enough I don’t know what is. It is also a really effective in building confidence. Everything we do can be supplement with good confidence, we can all agree to that. If you want your child to develop good confidence growing up, learning an instrument is the way to go!
“They find that they develop the skill themselves, that they can get better and better” said Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen. What better way to boost confidence than to always improving and being better than before?

3. Art materials

Some parents will consider art to not be practical and can contribute to almost nothing to the society. But drawing and scribbling at a young age is very important and here is why. It teaches kids how to problem solve, there are many ways to draw your favourite cartoon characters, art demonstrates that there are always multiple solutions to the same problem. This encourages kids to be open-minded when facing and thinking of a solution to a problem, encouraging the kid to ask more questions that will lead to a more accurate answer, rather than just throwing random guesses.

So do not expect your kids to be artists after getting them art supplies, but it is a very cost effective way to keep them occupied, rather than playing on the iPad or iPhone. And of course this might help you to identify or develop artistic skills where they can pave their career to be a designer, or an artist in the film and video gaming industry (the core of a multi-billion dollar industry).

 3. Books

Teaching your child to ready early has many benefits, neurological, educational, psychological and social benefits. We will just look at the educational benefits and you will see how powerful reading is. Developing the love of learning and reading at a young age will generally lead to higher grades, and many studies have been done to related strong oral language skills to reading. Expanding their vocabulary will not only make them fluent readers, they will eventually recognize larger number of words in a shorter amount of time, making learning faster, from and around their environment.
Recreational reading in Singapore is not common, but schools are trying to develop this habit in students. Provide your kids with a good supply of books to allow them to pick up a kind of genre they like to read, not to worry about what kind of books they read, be it teenage novels or motivational books, the point is to make them enjoy reading and see the benefits of reading in the future.

4. Soccer ball

The benefits of sports is not doubt good, and kids are not getting enough exercise these days due to overwhelming school work, and computers. Sometimes parents just want their kids to be safe and hence we keep them at home all the time. Playing soccer or any other sports is not only beneficial for the kids but also the family, bring the family out on the weekends to play some soccer at the beach, perfect for the needed exercise and we also get to bond with the family.
There are risks to every sports and we have to do and risk assessment and management here. Shin splints and twisted ankles are more common when they are playing but as long as they are not being to competitive, injuries are unlikely to occur!

5. Computer/tablet

This might sound like a bad idea, especially when your kids start playing Minecraft and League of Legends. But being tech savvy can open up many opportunities out there, kids are very good at teaching themselves, just look at how they master complicated games such as League of Legends. Channel that kind of learning abilities towards website designing, programming or video editing can unlock hidden potential, such as starting an online business, selling digital services on Fiverr, etc.
They are also less expensive options, like the Kindle Fire HD kids edition, a high-tech tablet that is fun for kids. With a year of unlimited access to educational books, documentaries, games, and TV programs, and you can also limit the child’s tablet usage, and set educational goals for them to complete.  

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