Low-tech, No-tech Gifts Still on Wish Lists, YouthBeat Survey Shows

CHICAGO /PRNewswire/ — Last-minute holiday shoppers can take heart: Low-tech gifts – versus expensive, high-tech toys and video games – also rank high on children’s wish lists, according to a survey by YouthBeat, the youth and family insight service of C&R Research.

Although nearly half of the survey respondents placed a video game system or video games as their preferred gift overall, low-tech gifts like books or non-electronic games were also cited. The survey included kids (ages 6-10), tweens (11-13) and teens (14-18 years old) who were asked about items on their 2010 holiday gift wish lists.

The findings suggested that the continued down economy is influencing this year’s wish lists. “Children seem to be somewhat more strategic about their choices, adding more items and smaller gifts than in previous years,” said Amy Henry, Vice President of Youth Insights at C&R Research. Since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008, more practical and less expensive items like books and musical instruments have appeared slightly more frequently on holiday wish lists.

More youth overall expressed greater interest in receiving money or gift cards this year than two years ago, despite greater awareness of the restrictions placed by many gift card issuers. Nearly 19 percent placed a gift card or money among the top three gifts this holiday season, compared with 14 percent in 2008. This was especially noted when it comes to gift cards for a specific store or a specific item.

But last-minute shoppers should be careful if they’re considering buying sporting or outdoor equipment for some of their children. Fewer tweens (17 percent in 2010 versus 20 percent two years ago) and boys (20 percent versus 24 percent) put these gifts on their list in 2010 versus 2008.