There is an old tradition that many households have gone through as they raise children. When they are old enough to stand, children lean against a doorframe while a parent marks their height with a pen. An age is then added next to it. Each year, on their birthday, the same process is repeated. The result is a visual guide to how much a child has grown through to the age of 18.
There is something wonderfully quaint about the idea. A habit and way of doing things that changes each year, but nevertheless remains the same. While many gifts for kids these days will be from the technology sector, there is still place for sentimentality. For the same visual record without needing to rip out a door frame when you move house, there are plenty of options to consider.
The famed “Russian nesting dolls” are designed to expand. You can begin with a small doll, decorated – perhaps by your own hand – while your child is young. The next year, they get a larger doll to encase the smaller one – and so on and so forth.
There’s a powerful metaphor at work here too. At the age of 18, you will have 18 dolls all nestled inside one larger doll. It’s quite the same as how your child’s developmental years are always inside them, influencing the adult that they will be.
Bobbleheads are adorable small statuettes that can be made to a person’s likeness. This is a gift that begins well around the age of six, as your child’s facial features develop fully into something that is uniquely them.
Every year on their birthday, give a gift that showcases the custom bobbleheads unique craftsmanship and how their face and body changes as they age. Each bobblehead makes a wonderful ornament in and of itself, but ten plus of them arranged in ascending order is something truly wonderful to be able to look forward to.
As most parents will agree, the regularity with which sports teams redesign their outfits can become expensive for a kid who is sports mad. But there is an excellent way of turning it into the perfect gift that moves with the times. You can, but don’t have to, start this on their first birthday with a miniature shirt, and go up size by size as your kid gets older.
The genius behind it comes with the fact that all sports teams play in numbered shirts. So birthday by birthday, as your kid gets older, you can mark the day by gifting them a jersey with their name on it and their age as their “playing number”. Keep each shirt, and you’ll have a real representation to show people when they remark “My, hasn’t he/she grown!”.
Of course, you’ll hope that your child doesn’t change teams as they get older, or the effect is lost to an extent. But then, you can always incorporate that into the display: “Ah, between six and nine. We call those ‘the Dolphins years’, don’t we honey?”, you will say to your sheepish, now Patriots-loving teen. That’s the stuff memories are made of.