Is your child, like mine, busy, active, and can never sit still? Do a lot of the toys he gets for Christmas or Haunukah get played with once (if at all) and then never used again? In today's economy you don't want to waste money on gifts your child won't enjoy or use. This year you can be more strategic and thoughtful about the gifts you purchase if you think about what your child will really use and enjoy. Here, in no particular order, are my "gift picks," for busy, (hyper)active kids. Some of these are appropriate for younger children, while others are better suited for older kids.

• Indoor Trampoline - you know, the small one you can put in your basement. Get the kids off the couch and bed and no one gets hurt!
• Jump ropes - again, use 'em in the basement, or driveway. You CAN jump rope in a snowsuit!
• Pogo stick - just be sure to get a helmet.
• Gift certificates to local indoor playspace, sports comlex or ski slope/sledding park. This is a great gift idea for grandparents, aunts/uncles (especially the "cool" ones).
• Marble runs - the woodens ones are best. Drop the marbles in and watch them go!
• Water wheel - OK I have no idea what this is really called. If you come to my office you know what I am talking about. Water and some form of colored oil in a clear plastic container. If you tip the water wheel up, the soil spills toward the bottom and spins a wheel inside, tip it again and the wheel turns the other way. Let me know if you know the name of this thing or if you can find an example for me to show folks. I call this my "unofficial ADHD detetor". Every kid or adult with ADHD can't put this thing down!
• Lava lamp - Same concept as water wheel. Moving liquid seems to be soothing and entertaining to hyperactive kids.
• Tickets to a loud, raucus stadium event - In our family it is Monster Jam (Monster Trucks). Your kids may like something different. This is an "if you can't beat 'em join 'em gift. The kids are going to yell and shout so you may as well get them out of the house and bring them where screaming is acceptable and they can be with their own peeps (other hyperactive kids).
• A homemade gift certificate to go sledding, build a snowman, bake cookies, see a movie, go shopping with YOU - This can be the best gift of all. Just make sure you follow through and make good on the certificate later on.

Holiday Books

Here is a great list of wonderful children's holiday books:
I need to buy some of these for our family!

Teacher Gifts

Please do not forget to recognize your child's teachers and specialists this holiday season. They do care and work hard on behalf of your child. Joan Celebi, the Special Needs Parent Coach, put together a lovely list of teacher gifts. Pay special attention to her last suggestion. See her list on her blog:

FYI: Joan will be joining us for our January Parent Skills and Strategies teleseminar. I am so looking forward to speaking with her!

Enjoy gift buying and giving. Remember, it really is the thought that counts.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Susan Giurleo, is licensed psychologist who specializes in empowering parents to create peaceful, organized families. She exclusively works with families and children impacted by ADHD/ADD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Specific Learning Disabilities. She counsels and coaches children, teens and parents on issues of attention, organization, behavior, and homework strategies. For more information and to get her free report, “Parenting Your Unique Child: 21 Ways to Survive and Thrive,” visit