EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Kate’s Corner: Gift Lists For the Holidays

Posted on: December 15, 2009

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

 

Over the years, so many parents have asked the EduKids staff for gift suggestions for children, and we are always happy to help. There are many excellent products on the market for children, and we do not advertise or promote any company or particular store, but here are some suggestions that you might find helpful while shopping. 

First, keep in mind these three things:

  • Safety: Check products for non-toxic, lead-free paint and secure closures, and be sure they are constructed from material that is durable and won’t break off or fall apart. Be sure there is nothing that will cause danger to the eyes; if it is a doll or soft cloth toy, check to see if it is non-flammable.
  • Age-Appropriate: Children have a whole lifetime to learn to play and participate in organized games. The 18 month – 5 year old will enjoy toys that are made with them in mind. Check the age suggestions on the boxes and be sure your child can handle the gifts selected.
  • Recommendations: If it was recommended by a friend, a parent or another child, chances are it is tried and true, but evaluate it on whether you think it will engage your own child. Does it have ‘flexibility’ – that is, is there more than one way to play with the toy? Does it encourage imagination? Toys that are all about pushing buttons are not as apt to become beloved.

Gifts that are always a hit: 

  • Music – CDs are lovely gifts for children. Old favorites like Raffi and the Wee Sing Series, or new fun performers like Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes will get those little toes tapping. Soothing songs and instrumentals are also appropriate.
  • Games – Check that there are few small pieces and that you guide your child at the start. Games that can be played more than one way are always best for small children. (My Pizza Party, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Hi-Ho Cherry-Oh, checkers)
  • Creative Toys – Classic children’s gifts are the classics for a reason: Puzzles with separate and interlocking pieces, Colorforms, Etch-a-Sketch, Playdoh, crayons/markers/paints, wooden blocks, Legos,  Memory games, Bingo
  • Skill-Building Toys – Your kids will learn while they play with lacing cards, large beads and shoelaces, dolls’ clothing that ties, snaps, zips or buttons, small change purses with snaps and zippers, Pick-Up Sticks, Barrel of Monkeys, jump ropes, size appropriate balls, and dress up clothes.
  • Electronics – if you have a computer, Nintendo, DVD player or other electronic equipment at home and intend to supplement it with Christmas gifts, please keep in mind your child’s age and abilities when making selections.
  • Softies – (my favorite) It is my belief that no matter what the age, everyone should have a “softie” under the tree Christmas morning. Stuffed animals, dolls, and all little friends are a welcome and cuddled gift. (Just be sure you check the eyes, clothes and movable parts for safety).

Wishing all of you a wonderful Holiday Season and a happy, healthy New Year! 

Make learning fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director 

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