Stuff Kids Want: Sports Equipment

This is the third installment in our Stuff Kids Want series. Kids want lots of stuff, but almost two-thirds of children, before they leave home, play some sort of sport; to do that they often need equipment. The array of sports played today has never been broader. Depending upon geography or tradition you might live in a town mad for Basketball, Football, Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, Cheerleading, Modern Dance, Downhill Skiing, Cross-Country Running, Ice Hockey, Archery, Squash, Badminton, or, wait for it, Quidditch! Study after study illustrate the benefits of youth sport participation, but parents of junior athletes also know that there can be significant costs. Gifting Sense can help families manage those costs to a surprising degree.

Study after study illustrate the benefits of youth sport participation, but parents of junior athletes also know there can be significant costs. Gifting Sense can help families manage those costs to a surprising degree.

As kids age and become increasingly engaged in their sport of choice, they tend to be quite happy to receive sports equipment for holiday and birthday gifts. They know the helmet, stick, shoes, pads or broom they want is expensive. If you suspect they don’t know just how expensive, rest assured completing a two-minute Gift Survey will help your children understand the full value of their requests. Has your son or daughter expressed an interest in attending a sports camp? Have them complete an Experience Gift Survey to make sure they appreciate the full cost of going to said camp, including the safe transportation, snack and inevitable souvenir and/or equipment costs.

When completing Gift Surveys, and calculating a DIMS (Does It Make Sense) Score, children are encouraged to consider how they might help pay for sports equipment in both question(s) 2: If this purchase is a replacement, can you sell your existing equipment to help pay for the replacement? and 8: Will you be spending any of your own money to help purchase this equipment?

It might not be possible for kids to anticipate how much they will use equipment they need to try out for a team, because they may not necessarily make the team. Question 5: Do you need this equipment to try out for a team? helps families address this issue. Hint: Click on the LEARN MORE button to reveal the suggestion that borrowing equipment for try-outs should at least be considered. “Parents know that sometimes equipment must be purchased even in order to try out for a team – but see if you can borrow before buying if at all possible.”

Many communities have consignment stores where youth sports equipment can be purchased for cents on the dollar. Don’t just discard those Size 4 Ski Boots that were only worn 14 times before they no longer fit. You might be able to recoup a meaningful portion of the cost of next year’s boots. Search out retailers that offer “half-back” against annual equipment purchases until your children begin to wear adult sizes.

Gifting Sense exists to help children only ask for gifts they will really use and appreciate. Spare yourselves and your extended family the agony of purchasing the wrong cleats, racket, leotard, skis or jersey by having the young athletes in your midst complete a Gift Survey when the time comes to acquire, or upgrade sports equipment.

Teach your family that some requests are just too expensive to be met by one gift-giver. How? By allowing your kids to use the pdf summary of the math and thinking behind a request (which is automatically generated at the end of every Gift Survey) to invite people to collectively fund a purchase. Your son or daughter will get the equipment they want and will use. Your extended family will know their hard-earned gift dollars were well-spent. The planet is spared the accumulation of under-appreciated gifts. And perhaps best of all, your kids learn about the value of a dollar, forward planning and how to make gracious requests. All of those benefits are why we like to call our free safe service a “win-win-win-win” – sound like a well-intentioned but overzealous Coach you know?


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