Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Gifts for young children

Many of us went shopping this past weekend, hunting for bargains and purchasing gifts for Christmas presents. If you have not finished picking out gifts for the little ones in your life, you may enjoy and benefit from today’s column.
Many of the toys on the market that are advertised on television are toys that will have no lasting play value. These are the toys that come from the most recent children's movie or television show. They leave little to the child's imagination. Their play value is only in re-creating scenes from the story that a child has already seen.
What toys do have lasting value? What toys give children the opportunity to use and develop their own imagination? What toys are handed down from one generation to the next?
My top choices for gifts are books, blocks, and puzzles. A gift of a book goes farther than just the story in the book. It gives time to cuddle with mom or dad; it places value on reading and learning; and it builds enjoyment of language and the written word. A gift of a set of blocks gives the child time to imagine through his own creativity, gives concrete practice with math skills, and gives children opportunities to work out social interactions. Puzzles are lovely to hold and feel the outline of shapes that fit together. They build confidence and concentration as a child completes the puzzle over and over.
These kinds of toys are handed down from one generation to the next. They are not based upon the most current movie nor the most current fad in child development. They are lovely, lasting gifts.


We’re Santa’s little elves,
Working at the North Pole,*
Santa’s little elves,
Working at the North Pole,*
Making all the Christmas Toys**
For Santa to bring to the girls and boys.***
Oh we’re Santa’s 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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