Top 6 Baseball Gift Ideas Your Kid Would Love

By: Glemy Arthur

For all the video game consoles installed in American living rooms, nothing can replace a Dad and his boy in the front yard playing catch and no electronic beep carries the richness of a well-thrown ball smacking the leather of a catcher's mitt.

Although psychologists wisely counsel that it is best to allow children to develop their own interests, there is nothing wrong with giving your son baseball-related gifts to introduce him to the sport and to kindle his interest. Most children realize quickly when an activity is important to their parents and will at least make an effort to become involved in it as well. (But remember -- and this may hurt you to think about -- if your son really does not develop a love of the game, don't ruin it for the both of you by forcing it. Accept it and find something else the two of you can share.)

Some affordable baseball-related gifts that will appeal to your child include:

1. Baseball-themed clothing. Ball caps are a wardrobe standard with kids these days and are easily found at sporting goods stores. Get your boy a cap with the logo of your favorite team and use it as a pretext to start teaching him the logos of all the teams in the league and the names of their mascots. Make it a game. (T-shirts can serve the same purpose and if he gets really enthused, you can get him the whole uniform in his size.)

2. Collectibles. These items can include a pack of a baseball bats ,cards showing the players of a favored team, miniature baseball helmets, or the fun and popular bobble-head dolls of major baseball celebrities. These kinds of gifts are good because they can be stretched out over several birthdays and Christmases, building a complete collection for the child and creating the anticipation of receiving the next piece.

3. Memorabilia. Actual sports memorabilia is best reserved for older children who have already developed a keen interest in the game and an appreciation for its history. Many vintage baseball cards and signed game balls are quite expensive and require appropriate care. For the real enthusiast, however, they will become treasured personal items for years to come.

4. Tickets. Actually taking your son and perhaps one of his friends to a game creates an opportunity for a fun outing with "the guys." The boys will enjoy the spectacle, watching the players and the crowd, and getting to eat food Mom wouldn't let them have if she knew about it. (It's also a great venue to start explaining the rules of the game in a relaxed, fun atmosphere.)

5. Baseball camp. Like memorabilia, this is a gift best reserved for a slightly older child with a well-developed interest in the game. These camps may be held locally and simply involve a number of hours during the day at a sports center or they may be "away" camps requiring the child to stay a number of days. Judge what your boy can best handle psychologically and don't put him in a setting so far above his skills that he'll feel unhappy and uncomfortable.

6. Equipment. In the final analysis, the best way to help a child cultivate an interest in baseball is to give him the tools of the trade. Start with the classics - Softball Bats, balls, and gloves. Yes, he'll play with his friends, but you also want to be the one out there in the yard helping him develop his swing and his fast ball. There is no substitute for real play in learning to love a sport. (And remember, patience when he knocks that first ball through the kitchen window.)

Baseball is much more than a bat and ball sport pitting two teams of nine players against one another. In the American version, at least, it's been around since 1838, and forms a vital element of the national fabric. When you hear the phrase "as American as baseball and apple pie," it's not an exaggeration. By choosing the right baseball gifts for your son, you can introduce him to this tradition, share it with him, and build great memories for you both to cherish.

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