2020 has been wild, and like everything else the holiday season looks very different too. Our version of "normal" has changed, but I believe that this year has brought us many gifts, like the gift of patience, stillness, and appreciating the value of health, healing, friendship, family, time, and love.
As we wrap up this unprecedented year, I still find myself excited and looking forward to the holidays. Here is my annual holiday shopping guide to help you celebrate and find engaging and stimulating gifts for the little ones in your life. *Please note this post contains affiliate links and I may receive a very small commission from qualifying purchases*
1. Books! Of course books are number one on my list. They are the gift that keeps on giving all year round. Whether you select picture books, easy readers, or graphic novels- books continue to be a wonderful way to enhance learning, language, and literacy. As parents and caregivers, reading together strengthens bonds and enhances communication. Check below and see where I pair some of my favorite books with games and toys.
2. Limit noisy 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.
interaction with a partner and use of language, imagination and problem
solving skills. Mr. Potato Head and cash registers are fun and engaging too. I used to LOVE playing store and counting the fake money. Cash registers are much more sophisticated these days, but still tons of fun. Speaking of favorites, Saturday is one of my favorite picture books. It is a sweet story about a Mom and daughter and all of the things they love to do on Saturdays. You can pair this book with any toy or gift it alone.
4. Play kitchens, grocery sets, tool kits, gardening sets, dress up clothes, and tea sets... Children love to imitate grown ups. Activity sets that let kids 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. Try gifting the book Jabari Tries with a tool set or if you have a future scientist on your hands, try pairing a cool science experiment kit with the book Fairy Science book or More than a Princess.
5. Board games. They are a fun alternative to video games, especially during a year when our kids spent hours and hours on screens. Board games teach many skills and are a fun option for family game night. You can improve memory, attention, math skills, problem solving skills and social skills with just one game!. Memory games remain one of my favorites to improve attention, concentration, and focus. I found this adorable memory barbershop game from a shop that specializes in diverse toys for kids. I already ordered one to pair with Liam's First Cut!
I hope you find these tips helpful as you continue your shopping. If you are looking for holiday books or winter-themes, don't forget to browse my diverse book list. I wish you good health, peace, and all of the joy, wonder, and magic that the holiday season brings. From my family to yours- Happy Holidays xo