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GIFTS AND TOYS FOR TOTS

As the holiday’s draw near, you may be wondering, what are the best types of toys or gifts for young children.  Heaven knows, there are thousands of them out there to choose from.  From my experience, I have found that toys that allow the action to come from the child are the best. Yes, children like to be amused but children love and will play longer with a toy that allows them to be in control of the play.

Look for toys and materials that are open-ended, such as blocks or play dough.  Look for ones that allow the child’s imagination and creativity to take over and determine the outcome.  Look for ones that are full of potential and possibilities as far as the child is concerned.

Look for toys that are adaptable, ones that can change and become whatever the child wants them to be.  Let toys at this young age, be ones that children can use to experiment with and ones that aid in their overall language development.

As I said, before look for toys and gifts that allow the action to be in the child rather than in the toy.

Toy Suggestions:  Creative Art Materials, Blocks and other manipulatives, play dough, empty boxes, action figures, toy vehicles and small wagons, dolls; toy furniture; dress-up clothes (hats and scarfs), etc.

PARENT GIFTS FROM THE HEART

Just a reminder, as we trudge to the store for those special gifts for our children, that the best gifts cost nothing.
                Give your presence
                Give your time (especially to listen)
                Give your respect
                Give your praise
                Give your understanding
                Give your love (with lots of hugs)
                Know what’s happening in your child’s life.  (Especially at school)
                Share the past (family history)
                Share the future (let your child know how he/she is needed in our future)

To end this article, I would like to share with you to popular poems about what you can give your child this holiday season.

 
WHAT SHALL WE GIVE THE CHILDREN

What shall we give the children?
The holidays are almost here.
Toys, and games, and playthings,
As we do each year?

Yes, for the magic of toyland
Is part of the Yuletide lore
To gladden the heart of childhood
But I shall give something more.

I shall give more patience,
A more sympathetic ear,
A little more time for laughter,
Or tenderly dry a tear.

I shall take time to teach them
The joy of doing some task.
I’ll try to find time to answer
More of the questions they ask.

Time to read books together
And take long walks in the sun,
Time for a bedtime story
After the day is done.

I shall give these to my children,
Weaving a closer tie,
Knitting our lives together
With gifts that money can’t buy!
                                    Author Unknown
 

A PARENT’S GIFT

Gold and silver have I none.
What gift then can I give my daughter/son?

I can endow them with a sense of worth.
                I can deepen their inner security by developing self-esteem.
                I can encourage natural talents and special qualities.
                I can show an understanding of other cultures and other people.

I can stimulate their sense of adventure.
                I can present to them a wide variety of experiences.
                I can feed their natural curiosity.
                I can help them to develop an awareness of all life around them.

I can enrich their vocabulary.
                I can talk with them of many things, as opposed to talking “at” them.
I can listen to them and welcome their unique expression of ideas.
I can read to them from fact and fancy, poetry and prose.
I can sing with them old songs and new.

I can ignite the spark of their creativity.
                I can kindle their imagination.
                I can accept their new ideas.
                I can appreciate their efforts.
                I can provide them the raw materials with which to work.
                I can give them time to dream.

I can mold their character.
                I can set a worthy example for them to follow.
                I can motivate them toward achieving honest goals.
                I can be reverent and hold certain values sacred.
                I can laugh with them when life tests us both.
                I can offer them love.
                                                                Pauline Crabb
                                                                Young Children
                                                                March 1970