Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas gifts for young children

Merry Christmas! As you read today's column, you may be in the midst of deciding on the best gift to give the children you love.

When the little ones in your family open gifts take some time to observe what grabs their immediate attention. After the Christmas season is over, observe what toys and activities have long lasting play and learn value. These observations will help you the next time you shop for a child's gift.

Today, I would like to share my thoughts about gifts that have long lasting value. Some presents are appealing to young children because they have seen advertisements on television. We all know how seductive television advertising is for children and adults. However, when the shiny, colorful package has been ripped off and added to the landfill, what remains behind is sometimes a toy with limited creative or educational value. These kinds of gifts will soon join their packaging material in the trash or live in the back of a closet until the young child grows up and moves out of their room.

The toys that will stick around and are always out on the living room floor are the ones that help children imagine and create their own play. They are the books that are read and read again until they are outgrown. If they are stored, they will be handed down as precious treasures to the next generation. They are the blocks that can be stacked and lined up to create bridges and buildings and forts. They are the puzzles that challenge children to solve the picture faster and faster. They are the one doll or one teddy bear that is present at all the tea parties and is cuddled into bed or stuffed in the backpack as your child goes to school or day care.

What gift is your child playing with over and over again in the months following Christmas? Knowing the answer and understanding how children grow and learn will help you make a good choice the next time.


We’re Santa’s little elves,

Working at the North Pole,*

Santas little elves,

Working at the North Pole,*

Making all the Christmas Toys**

For Santa to bring to the girls and boys.***

Oh were Santas little elves,

Working at the North Pole

Busy, busy elves.

Wrapping all the gifts,*

Wrapping them up with ribbons and bows*,*

For Santa to take them when he goes.***

Loading up the sleigh,*

With cars and trucks and dolls and bears,**

The sleigh is now ready to fly in the air.***

Tune: Little White Duck

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