I feel like I’m about to embark on an “eat your vegetables” type blog entry. However, with all the gift ideas being vetted on Stark Insider, I think one demographic is starkly missing in all this consideration… children.

I would say if all the gifts being given during the holiday season was a big pumpkin pie, then the category of gifts for children would take the biggest piece.

So here are a couple of my top picks for gifts that will not only fill colorfully wrapped boxes under trees, but will fill the minds of your loved ones with thoughtful, insightful, creative ideas. If children are the future, then I’d like to think we are shoving as many vegetables into their noggins as possible (…the organic kind).

Be gone Barbie!

Hable español?
One of the greatest gifts is that of language. Every time I am in Europe, I’m envious of all the languages people there know how to speak. We all know that the older we get, the harder it is to learn new languages… so start those little critters early with Foreign Word Match – First Words English/Spanish by Learning Journey. For $9.95 its a great gift for children 4 and over that won’t break the bank.

Where in the world is waldo?

With the explosion of the information age and the proclamation by Thomas Friedman that “The World is Flat” children know where various countries are in the world is not only the onus of our education system but of us as a community. So leap into world geography with LeapFrog Explorer Smart Globe. It is a little pricey at $99.99 but I do think form factor is important and having a globe rather than a flat map helps to spatially orient the student.

Money Talks with Children

I remember when I was growing up, it was taboo to talk about money with children. However, with the country in a financial crisis and a record deficit that the future generations will need to tackle and combat, I think it is imperative children be taught as early as possible life skills in money management. A great site to learn about this is from the University of Minnesota’s Children and Money Series. They offer some great tips here and as individuals, we can only impart the wisdom and knowledge we have to our children… we cannot give what we don’t have. One needs to be careful here when purchasing toys because in my opinion, many of these toys teach how to spend money more than how to manage it.

Green Small Money Savvy PigMy pick in this category is the Money Savvy Pig. You can purchase it direct from the website MoneySavvy Generation. This toy that has won several awards is only $16.99 and helps children manage money by making them consider the choices of saving, spending, donating and investing.

These are gifts that will teach children life skills. Gifts that keep on giving.

Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.