Third Culture Kids have the world at their fingertips. They hike volcanoes, watch wildebeest migrations, don’t need language apps because they actually know several. Plus, they probably live far away from a lot of the people who love them and want to give them a gift. So what are some good gift ideas for the Third Culture Kids in your life?
By Marilyn Gardner and also, Passages through Pakistan
By Barack Obama, a fellow Third Culture Kid, not too shabby of a fellow TCK companion.
Books for younger TCKs
Esperanza Rising 8-12 years old
The Turtle of Oman 6-12 years old
B at Home 8-12 years old
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match 4-8 years old
My Name is Yoon 4-8 years old
Homesick 8-12 years old
Persepolis a graphic novel, teens
I Hate English! ages 4+
My mom has created paper books that tell a familiar story, like Snow White, but include my kids’ names. She has also made them CDs with music that inserts their names. These make great gifts, the kids love to hear themselves in the songs and the stories and they feel like Grandma is telling them the story herself.
After 20+ hours of travel, every suitcase starts to look the same. Help TCKs find their own bag and distinguish themselves with something like this:
My TCKs don’t have these, so I’m not offering a product review, I’ve heard these are pretty amazing. Just sayin’ TCKs probably wouldn’t be opposed to using headphones to cancel out some of the cross cultural noise they encounter.
A Local Experience
There is always another restaurant to try or trail to hike, a cultural event to participate in, or a regional sports game to catch. Find out what your TCK loves and see if you can gift them a local experience.
If forced to choose based on taste preference, my kids would probably go for the gum and muesli cereals they have grown up on here. But there is still something special about those brightly colored candy boxes of Nerds or Smarties that rings of “treat!” My TCKs love getting surprise packages with American goodies inside.
A Commitment to Take Them Shopping
Next time they return to their home country, take them shopping for clothes or shoes, so they have something new and culturally ‘cool.’ Or, if they have Amazon Prime (I promise I don’t hate you, I’m just a little jealous), send them something the kids their same age in your country love.
TCKs, ATCKs, parents of TCKs, what other gifts would you suggest?