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How to Buy Awesome Gifts, According to Kids!

These 6 kids have mastered the art of giving the perfect gift. Learn from their wisdom.

Jack Shepherd · 30 days ago

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Buying presents that people will love can be hard, especially if you’re a kid. That’s why we’ve assembled a crack team of kid experts to give their brilliant insights into what goes into buying that perfect gift that’ll light up someone’s face instead of causing them to furtively glance at the box in the hopes that you included a gift receipt. 

These 5-11-year-olds are like the A-Team of gift-giving. Each has had the unbeatable experience of selecting a gift for a friend that they truly loved, and each has the insight, expertise, and particular set of skills that will make them the guest of honor at anybody’s birthday party.

The Observer: Madeline, age 7½.

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Madeline is an observer. Her gift-giving prowess comes from her skills at watching, listening, and learning. If Madeline’s over at your house, she’s paying attention to your hobbies, your interests – the little things that make you tick – and you can be sure that when you get a present from Madeline, it’s going to be about you

  • Best Present Madeline Ever Bought

    A sewing kit, for my best friend GG. GG really loves sewing, and she's really good at it. I picked something I knew she was already into. 

    Top Tip for Getting Someone a Perfect Gift

    Watch what they like to do and get something they are already doing. And save up your money.  If you're at their house, see what they are playing and get their advice. 

    Rookie Mistake to Avoid

    You should get someone a gift they like, not something you like.

The Craftswoman: Charlotte, age 5

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Asked how she knows when someone likes a gift she’s given them, Charlotte says, “I know it's their favorite because they love me.” Charlotte’s gift-giving secret is to give the gift of her own talents, to craft something that someone will love because it was made by someone they love. And when that’s not an option, she’ll give you a lizard. Truly an unstoppable gift-giver. 

  • Biggest Gift-Giving Win

    I made Papa Z and Mimi mugs. I worked hard with my own two hands. And they use it and I see it when I visit. They use them all the time. Like every day – maybe every second.

    Top Tip for Winning Mother’s Day and Father’s Day 

    Write a note that says “Happy Mommy’s Day” or “Dad Day.” And put a heart in it. And buy a big mug for iced coffee for Dad, and for Mom buy a new [ed. note: At this moment in the interview, Charlotte demonstrated her gift-giving genius by turning to her mom and asking how she likes her coffee] … medium mug for coffee because you're smaller than Dad. 

    Charlotte’s “Never-Fail” Gift Ideas for Girls and Boys

    You should buy a toy T-Rex for a boy and for a girl, buy a pet lizard. A real one. Girls would like that. But don't let them name it Starlight, because that's my lizard. 

    Rookie Birthday Mistake to Avoid 

    It's not about you. It's about the person whose birthday it is, and we cannot have a bad attitude when we give it even if we want to keep it. Oh, and you should use lots of tape. 

    Bonus Life Advice for Aspiring Gift Givers

    You can't just take what you want out of the store and not pay. You have to pay for presents. Otherwise, it's stealing.

The Curator: Valentina, age 9

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Valentina’s gift-giving style combines two of her greatest qualities – thoughtful curation (like the time she gave her older sister five cool and classy Pura Vida rings), and love. When the extremely accurately named Valentina gives you a gift, you know that it’s going to be from the heart. 

  • Most Recent Gift Home Run

    For her birthday I gave my older sister Pura Vida rings, five of them. 

    How Valentina Knows They Love Their Gift

    Because they go "Oooooooh! Oh my God oh my God oh my God! Thank you so much!"

    Advice From the Heart

    Think about what they want, or what they like. Then buy it. That's all. Put your heart into the gift. It doesn't have to be a really expensive, cool gift; it just has to be meaningful. Let them know you love them.

The Tastemakers: Mason and Ryan, ages 7 and 10

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The first secret to Mason and Ryan’s gift-giving success is their good taste. They like chocolate, and they like Star Wars, and they know that anyone else who has taste is going to share those excellent judgements about what is good in this world. The second secret is that they never cheap out. 

  • One Gift That Knocked Their Socks Off

    Mason: I gave my brother a chocolate fountain. Anything with chocolate is the best.

    How to Make Someone Feel Special on Their Birthday

    Ryan: Always get something Star Wars. A lot of people like Star Wars stuff.

    Mason: Find something you have in common with the friend and get a gift based on that.

    Rookie Mistake to Avoid 

    Ryan: Pick something you’re sure they know.

    Mason: Never cheap out.

The Philosopher: Holden, age 11

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And finally, Holden. Holden has a track record of gift-giving success because he has put in the hard, intellectual work of thinking about the science behind the perfect gift. Holden’s advice for getting the perfect gift is simple, ruthlessly effective, and timeless.

  • How Holden Does It

    Think about what the recipient likes ... their hobbies... their interests. And think about what you could get for them that is related to those things. That should give you a higher rate of success, since it is already something they are interested in.

Boom. Now go out there and get someone a beautiful gift.

Now Every Kid Can Be an Expert at Presents

CAMP's new Present Shop gives kids their own (safe, fun, awesome) way to buy special presents for friends and family. Plus, you get to make your own card, and it ships in a ready-to-give box — no wrapping paper required!