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    #235205 - 12/02/16 07:18 PM Weird question about toys
    SaturnFan Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/04/16
    Posts: 102
    Hi all. Holiday shopping season is pretty much here and I am facing the same dilemma I face every year. First off DS 6 already has pretty much everything he wants. He even says he doesn't want anything because he has enough stuff. But I feel like he's missing out if we don't have this fun holiday with actual gifts to open. So I am buying a lot of books, some puzzles, and a few board games. But I feel like something is missing...

    Toys! Is it just my kid, gifted kids in general, something to do with him being 2E, an only child thing? He has toys around the house, he just doesn't play with them anymore. We have a ton of Lego, K'nex, Keva planks, marble runs/roller coasters, train set, etc. but he doesn't really play with that stuff at all anymore. Sometime the planks or the K'nex, but rarely. He is of course more likely to play with them if I play with him, but he'd rather read with me or play a videogame or board game. Not that I have a problem with that, just that I feel guilty not providing him with whatever it is most 6 year olds like to play with. Maybe I just don't know what is fun for a 6 year old? Maybe our stuff is too educational and not just for fun enough?

    I can't get the kid to go outside to play either. I have to give him rewards for spending half an hour outdoors, even if the only thing he does out there is sit and do a logic puzzle or maze globe or even read a book! He says he's getting vitamin D even if he is just sitting and there isn't anything fun to do outside anyway. Maybe what I should get him is a sibling! But I feel like I played outside by myself a lot as a child. I did grow up on a farm full of animals though, so probably not equivalent circumstances at all. I also feel like maybe he is into the things that I do with him and I just am not that into toys and kid things (or the outdoors).

    So, am I doing something wrong? Is this a typical thing with gifted kids? Is he missing out on something or am I just expecting something that I should give up on? And most importantly, what is the mythical toy that will solve all of our problems? Something fun with nothing intellectual about it at all that will make my kid act like a kid!

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    #235212 - 12/03/16 05:43 AM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1450
    Loc: NJ
    Wrt toys, pack some up into crates and store out of sight for a few months. Then put them out again and pack some of the others. Seeing them again will invoke some nostalgia/novelty and maybe spur him to play with them again.

    This even works with the family dog that I spoil rotten too :-)

    For outside stuff get thing that can be used outside - fishing stuff, binoculars/bird book, seeds, soil testing kit, topo maps...

    YMMV


    Edited by madeinuk (12/03/16 05:04 PM)
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #235217 - 12/03/16 09:32 AM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4300
    You've gotten great tips already. smile My experience may be most similar to what Portia describes.

    I'll just add that in order to have something to open, one possibility may be a gift card to a favorite bookstore, museum gift shop, or science lab supply company. Some children enjoy thinking about the possibilities and tradeoffs (opportunity costs), planning, and immersing themselves in an experiential gift.

    In case it may be of help to you, I'm adding a link to another thread about gift ideas.

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    #235219 - 12/03/16 12:07 PM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Make sure playing with toys is easy. At the moment we are very cramped and it is hard to play with the Lego - so they don't. I am hoping to fix this soon. Independent play is good for a break from each other.

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    #235220 - 12/03/16 01:00 PM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    Ivy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/08/14
    Posts: 337
    "what is the mythical toy that will solve all of our problems? Something fun with nothing intellectual about it at all that will make my kid act like a kid"

    Puppy

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    #235222 - 12/03/16 03:53 PM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    LOL, Ivy.


    I can confirm that this is true. laugh

    I can also confirm that then when they go to college, you're often stuck with the pet(s). So there's that.

    One of my FAVORITE memories of DD is her, at 6yo, playing with our then 4mo old puppy, in a gargantuan mud puddle in our back yard, after a heavy warm rain in mid-June. The entire memory is crisp and rich with sensory detail-- I can recall the quality of the light, playing on the water, the color of DD's hair with the sunlight shining on it, what the puppy sounded like, splashing and barking, and DD's joyful laughter as she wiggled a stick in the puddle to entertain the dog. Yes, they were both filthy-- uncharacteristically for both, as it turns out. Neither of them is much for grime or the outdoors. LOL.

    It is one of the few times I can recall feeling "normal" as a parent-- I treasure that memory.

    That puppy still lives with her, and while the dog in question is now a senior, 12yo one, DD walks her daily, takes good care of her-- I credit much of DD's mental health stability to having had a pet for so many years. This is also the dog that went to state fair with her in competition for many years, too. The dog she did freestyle ('dancing with your dog' basically) and obedience with.



    A dog is a companion like no other, in all seriousness-- and for only children who also have differences that prevent easy relating with peers-- an invaluable one.

    IMO, of course.

    DD was a great fan of some toys-- but not many. Books and things that she "collected" (whatever that happened to be at the time) were often better once she was 4-5yo.


    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #235225 - 12/03/16 08:03 PM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3697
    Pets not an option for us... ...though we did provide siblings. smile

    But toys are definitely not marquee gifts for us, either. Instead, we have books, of course (Tintin and Secret Coders recent favorites), and found objects (aka, trash) to use in "creations."
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #235228 - 12/04/16 01:24 AM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    Mana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/17/12
    Posts: 882
    DD6 does not play with toys either. Her bestie and she prefer pieces of plain white paper to toys or (gasp) iPads.

    I do know what you mean though. When DD was younger and just not that into toys, I thought I was doing something wrong because kids are supposed to like playing with toys.

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    #235231 - 12/04/16 08:27 AM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    [/quote=SaturnFan]So, am I doing something wrong? Is this a typical thing with gifted kids? Is he missing out on something or am I just expecting something that I should give up on?[/quote]

    SaturnFan, I hope you don't mind that I've quoted you.. but the quotes are slightly out of order. The first thing I'd note is that you're doing one thing absolutely right - you're obviously caring about your ds and wanting to give him the best. I think though, that maybe you're thinking a bit too much about the actual gift itself, comparing it with what you think most other people give/get and forgetting two important points:

    1) The point of giving is the act of giving, not the gift. Your child isn't going to necessarily remember what he was given, but he'll carry with him always the act of love and selflessness that is behind the gift.

    2) We are, each of us, individuals. That not only means that your ds may not want to play with the toys you see other children playing with, but it also means that just because certain toys/etc are advertised a lot or talked about by other parents or even things that you see other children playing with - it doesn't mean those toys are something that every, or even most, children care about. I have two daughters - one loved Barbie, one never played with dolls very much. That's just one tiny example of kids being themselves, not a group that can be generalized into one-shape-fits-all.

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    So I am buying a lot of books, some puzzles, and a few board games. But I feel like something is missing...


    Back to what a gift is - it's a gift you give freely from your heart, with the intention of pleasing the other person. If you were buying something for your adult parent, for your spouse, for an adult sibling, would you purposely give them something they wouldn't use or didn't want?

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    He is of course more likely to play with them if I play with him,


    And that's the key -the gift that most of our children want more than any other, and that they treasure, is the time they spend with us (parents).

    That said, it's still ok to get them material gifts too wink

    Quote:
    but he'd rather read with me or play a videogame or board game. Not that I have a problem with that, just that I feel guilty not providing him with whatever it is most 6 year olds like to play with.


    I've known (and know) quite a few 6 year olds.. and quite a few of them totally enjoyed video games and board games, as well as reading with their parents. That all sounds typical.

    Quote:
    Maybe I just don't know what is fun for a 6 year old? Maybe our stuff is too educational and not just for fun enough?


    First and foremost, there's no need to compare what your family enjoys to anyone else. For the most part, there's really no way to make an accurate comparison.. you'd have to be able to see inside a lot of peoples' houses and lives to truly know how the vast majority of people spend their time... and really.. I expect there are many different versions of "normal" smile

    The only thing I'd think might be happening (and honestly, I don't think so from your post, just have seen it with a few friends of my family)... is that sometimes parents of young high ability children purposely give them a lot of educational type materials and toys etc simply because they are capable, and focus on that direction solely instead of realizing that their young kids are also still just that - young kids who may very well enjoy some very simple young-child pleasures and toys.

    Quote:
    I can't get the kid to go outside to play either. I have to give him rewards for spending half an hour outdoors, even if the only thing he does out there is sit and do a logic puzzle or maze globe or even read a book!


    I live in a part of the world that is all about the out-of-doors. Our world is very different than when I was a child and we (kids) spent most of our free time outside. The difference isn't so much the outside world as the way our lives today are structured for young children - they are full of activities. Even if it's not your family's mode of operation - it's what's happening with many other families who have same-age children - which in turn means, less free time for a lot of kids, and less ability to just naturally hang out with friends. When our kids were young, we got them outside by scheduling outside active activities with friends, even if it was just a meet-up at a park to play. Activities that you can do together such as riding bikes are also a great way to get everyone outside. If you (parent) aren't really all that excited about the outdoors but want your child to spend more time outdoors, try a youth soccer/baseball/etc rec group for kids or playtime with other friends etc.

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    And most importantly, what is the mythical toy that will solve all of our problems? Something fun with nothing intellectual about it at all that will make my kid act like a kid!


    JMO, but I think your child is already acting like a child smile (And I don't mean that as a negative thing although it might have sounded that way!)... on the other hand, it sounds like he's not really into imaginary play, which many children are.

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    DS 6 already has pretty much everything he wants. He even says he doesn't want anything because he has enough stuff. But I feel like he's missing out if we don't have this fun holiday with actual gifts to open.


    It sounds like you'll be missing out on something if you don't have that holiday with actual gifts to open - and that's ok to want that. That's what most of us in the US grew up doing for the holiday, and we have great memories of being kids opening those presents smile It's also ok for your ds to think he doesn't want anything because he already has a lot of "stuff". That doesn't mean you can't wrap up whatever it is that will make him happy as can be and give it to him - that can (and will) be fun because the fun part is the happiness and excitement when the gift is opened, not the gift itself.

    That said, there are other ways you can celebrate the holidays that aren't tied to giving gifts to each other - things that you could do in addition to family gift-giving that can also be fun and become family traditions and take away some of the all-in focus on the gifts. Find an activity you can do together as a family. It can be something specifically holiday-oriented, could be a volunteer thing, could be an outdoors activity, could be just about anything. Just get out and do it together, and if it's fun, do it again next year at the holidays (or more often!).

    Best wishes for a happy holiday!

    polarbear

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    #235235 - 12/04/16 12:28 PM Re: Weird question about toys [Re: SaturnFan]
    Mana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/17/12
    Posts: 882
    I forgot to mention, we are trying to arrange a lesson (or more like a jam session) with her favorite jazz musician. That would be her main Christmas present this year. I think she would have the time of her life.

    Experiences might be more meaningful to children who already have enough stuff.

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