Kids love jewelry too. You just have to figure out the middle ground between what they want and what they should have.
Think about it: kids are just smaller people. Some are hyper-aware of what they wear and how they look, some aren’t and some care deeply on occasions no one can predict. Some take meticulous care of their toys and accessories and some come home from school missing a shoe.
So it’s not surprising that some kids, like some adults, love and want jewelry. It’s not just girls. A lot of boys take their style cues from their jewelry-loving dads or their sports or musician heroes. But as parents, you know there’s often a line between what they want, what’s appropriate and what they’ll take care of.
In many cultures, piercing babies’ ears is common. For safety’s sake, it’s recommended that the earrings be screw-backed, so that an earring or earring back won’t come off and possibly be swallowed. Necklaces should be worn with caution, when supervised, and never to bed.
For many pre-teen girls in North America, getting their ears pierced is a really big deal. As soon as those ears are pierced, she’s going to need some earrings. Take a minute to ponder safety here too. Nickel allergies are common, and some sources say are growing. Nickel allergies are a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. The skin reaction is similar to one caused by infection, so if those newly pierced ears are looking bad, it could be an infection or it could be an allergy. Look for earring materials that tend to not irritate newly pierced ears. These include sterling silver, surgical steel, gold or gold plate over sterling silver.
On to the fun part! Shopping for jewelry for kids is a lot like shopping for adults. Take their styles or lifestyles into account. Physically active kids will appreciate something that doesn’t snag or get in the way. Studs or small hoops will stay secure and out of the way when playing. Leather or rubber necklaces or bracelets will stand up to rough-and-tumble activities. If your kids are in organized sports, make sure you know what jewelry is allowed for practice and game days.
Also think about how responsible the child really is. Limit the really precious jewelry to wearing on special occasions or when you can supervise. Accidents and forgetfulness can still happen, but limiting the chances will make you both happier.
Keep designs sweet and simple:
- Hearts and nature motifs like butterflies, bees, ladybugs and flowers are appropriate for any age, but kids seem especially drawn to them.
- Studs and small hoops won’t overwhelm little faces. Chandeliers and dramatic dangles can wait ‘til their teens or 20s.
- Charm bracelets are always a hit with young girls.
- ID bracelets or leather cords for boys are perennial.
- Start a collection of birthstone jewelry.
- Enamel adds color to jewelry without running the risk of losing gemstones.
Make it special
Starting to wear jewelry makes kids feel more grown up and sophisticated. If you’ve got a child or children who love jewelry, it’s made your gift-giving pretty easy. You know they’ll always love it. It also gives you an opportunity for special time together. When it’s time to shop for a significant birthday or event, make an afternoon or evening of it — just the two of you. That memory will be cherished as much — or maybe more than — the jewelry you two choose.