If you're planning to attend a kid's birthday party, or if Christmas is around the corner, you may need to start thinking about finding the best gifts for kids that are age appropriate. Below we have listed a brief summary of the two best gift ideas for kids aged between one and eight years old to take a lot of the hard work out of the selection process.Best Gifts for 1 year olds:The two best gifts for kids of this age are Plush Toys and a Bucket and Spade. The important features to look for in Plush Toys are softness, short fur, flashing lights, special sounds, and preferably a big smile with engaging eyes on the toy. The talking Elmo is often the most popular of the plush toys, but is at the more expensive end. In terms of a bucket and spade, go for a small set at this age with a short handle on the spade, so they can dig little holes and build sandcastles. If sand is flying in every direction from the spade, the kit will usually have a small rake in it as well which you can swap for the spade. A bucket and spade is one of the best value gifts that you can buy for kids, typically costing under $10.Best Gifts for 2 year olds:The two best gifts for a two year old are a Kid's Car and a Bubble Machine. A small plastic kid's car where children can open the door, sit in and push around with their feet is a big winner. Hopefully there is also a horn for kids to toot, a key to start the car and a petrol cap for when they feel it's time to refuel. Kids will have a year or two of fun with this, whereas many other toys for this age group are played with for only hours. The second idea of a Bubble Machine is an inexpensive present (<$20) that gets lots of kids active chasing bubbles around the outdoors. Most kids will like to pick up a bat or stick for extra reach to swat the higher bubbles. Just make sure you have plenty of bubble mixture as it can run out quickly. Great for kids parties, Christmas events as well.Best Gifts for 3 year olds:The two best gifts for a three year old are Duplo and Play-Doh. Duplo is quite possibly one of the best kid's toys of all time as it engages the creative mind of the child, keeps them busy for hours, never breaks and is scalable, as you can never have too much Duplo. One of the best activities is to build a tower so tall, such that they can no longer reach to put more bricks on top. They will then marvel at their creation and no doubt tell their parents about how high they have built their tower. Play-Doh is a little messy, but it stimulates the senses with bright colors, soft texture and has lots of add on toys that help mold, cut and craft the Play-Doh into various objects. Some of the best add-ons are the Play-Doh Spaghetti factory and the Play-Doh fun factory. Adults will also have fun creating different types of spaghetti.Best Gifts for 4 year olds: The two best gifts for a four year old are a Bike and a Train Set. The feeling of riding around on a Bike is hard to beat for kids, but it may be worth investing in a set of training wheels, which can be detached once they have mastered riding. Don't forget the camera, because riding a bike is one of those milestones for kids that you will like to reflect upon in years to come. A helmut is also a must have given accidents happen in the most unusual ways. The second idea of a Train Set works well for both girls and boys and will see them making different track routes for hours with bridges, tunnels, mountains, etc. The good news is that this toy can be easily disassembled and stored by the kids as well. Most trains now need some batteries to power themselves, so check the packaging when you purchase a train set.Best Gifts for 5 year olds:The two best gifts for a five year old are Mobilo and a Dollhouse. Mobilo is one of the best building and construction toys available with innovative connectors that join and spin the parts to make cars, planes, trucks and lots more. The colors are fantastic and the parts fit easily together and are much larger than lego which makes it far easier to assemble and clean up. Dollhouses are the ultimate classic gift for kids and will keep them entertained for hours and allow them to engage their imagination. Don't forget to include plenty of toy furniture, staircases between levels, tiny beds where figurines can sleep, a kitchen where they can cook and hopefully a lock where the dollhouse can be packed away.Best Gifts for 6 year olds:The two best gifts for a six year old are a Remote Control Car and a Scooter. Adults will love the fun of a remote control car just as much as a six year old. You just need to make sure you buy an indestructible car as they will run into plenty of walls. A great tip is to make an obstacle course with a few jumps as the kids will spend hours trying to navigate the car around the course. Scooters are high-speed fun and develop coordination, balance as well as fitness. A helmut is an absolute must as kids find different ways to fall off a scooter that you didn't think was possible. To extend the fun, teach the kids a few tricks like a bunny hop, a nose manual, a no-comply or if they are really good, try a tail tap. It's well worth buying yourself one as well so you can keep up with the kids. Just don't try those trick discussed before.Best Gifts for 7 year olds:The two best gifts for a seven year old are Jenga and Roller Blades. Jenga is essentially a skillful stacking game consisting of 54 blocks with the winner being the person who doesn't knock the blocks over while deftly removing a piece and stacking it on top of the tower. It's more fun than you think, so give it a try. Provided the kids have the correct safety gear, roller blades will be a lot of fun and materially improve your kids fitness, balance and strength. They may even learn to skate on one foot, master turns, skate backwards and execute some small jumps. If they really want to get excited, show them a few of the roller blading professionals on YouTube.com.Best Gifts for 8 year olds:The two best gifts for an eight year old are an iPad and a Skateboard. Not much more can be said about an Ipad other than its one of the best inventions of all time and will be an addictive present for the kids with thousands of free games, music and photos to name just a few features. Don't forget the already installed camera function with kids trying to film themselves with the camera doing crazy things. Skateboards are for older kids given the skill required to master tricks and speed. However, eight year olds can still learn the basics and have plenty of fun with their friends or on their own. If they can master an Olly, they will be hooked and you won't see them for days.So that is our list of the most age appropriate gifts for kids. We thought it might also be helpful to list the most common mistakes made when selecting kid's gifts.Below are the top 6 things to avoid:
Try to avoid clothing as kids often don't appreciate these gifts and parents may have a certain style they like for their children. Disappointment is a high probability if you pick something here.
A bargain is often a good buy, but be aware that buying something cheap can leave you feeling awkward on the day the gift is opened.
Unfortunately bigger is usually better particularly for younger kids.
Stick to the recommended age for gifts on the package. They are often there for reasons unknown until you have opened the present.
Remember the batteries for an electric toy. Most toys come with batteries not included.
Re-gifting a bad kid's gift that your child received, while environmentally friendly, often just passes the problem onto someone else and may leave you with an awkward feeling. More often than not, this is a bad idea.
If you still not sure that what you bought is right, take the receipt with you as a backup. Parents take gifts back all the time. Yours will not be the first one.
Hopefully this list has given you lots of ideas and plenty of tips, so you can select the right kids present that is exciting and minimizes the risk of heading back to the toy store for something else.