Last year, I was last minute with my holiday shopping and blogging. I started shopping December 15th, which was also the date of my last blog post for the year. This December I am blogging earlier (YAY!), but still haven't started Christmas shopping. How are you doing with your Christmas shopping? Did you catch any deals on Black Friday? If by chance you still have some kiddos on your list to shop for- then this guide is for you. Today I am sharing my (revised) guide to help shop for fun and stimulating toys this Holiday season!
1. Books! Yes you read that correctly. Books are a great gift and 2019 was full of great releases. Whether you select picture books for babies and toddlers, easy readers, or graphic novels books continue to be a wonderful way to enhance learning, language, and literacy. I use books in therapy to help build language skills while teaching new concepts. As caregivers, reading together strengthens bonds and enhances communication. Books can also be a window to the world- exposing children to new experiences, people, places, and cultures different than their own. For suggestions on diverse book titles click here (*I have no affiliation with the author of the article, the suggested book titles, or distributors.)
2. Limit noisy/ light up toys. Talking or “noisy” toys often provide less opportunities for group play and inadvertently encourage solitary play (meaning less talking to others.) Talking toys can become a distraction and children become entranced with the lights and sounds as opposed to the actual message being offered.
3. Old School Toys. For toddlers and preschoolers, consider shape sorters, pop-up toys, toys cars/ trucks, and stacking rings and blocks. Classic toys like these encourage interaction with a partner and use of imagination. Baby dolls, Potato Head, puzzles, action figures, and cash registers are wonderful options too.
4. Play kitchens, grocery sets, tool kits, dress up clothes, and tea sets, etc ... Children love to imitate grown ups. Activity sets that allow little people to engage in adult tasks are great toy ideas. Children can integrate their own language, they can role play, practice taking turns, use their imagination, and integrate problem solving skills into play.
5. Board games – they are fun and teach a tons of skills. Click here to read one of my earlier posts on the benefits of playing board games. Board games are a fun option for family Game night and help improve social skills.
As you continue your quest for the perfect holiday gifts, I hope you keep these tips in mind. If you have suggestions that I omitted from the list, please share with me. I love getting feedback from you all.
I wish you all of the joy, wonder, and magic that the holiday season brings. From my family to yours- Happy Holidays xo