I came across this article in The Globe and Mail this morning and it got me thinking about gift giving and toy gift giving in particular. Certainly at this time of year what toy or toys to buy your little one is one that comes up quite often and all parents want to make sure they get their child that special toy that will make this Christmas special for them.
But I am a big believer that not all toys are created equal and that there is such a thing as too many toys. I have a friend whose children get so many toys at Christmas that she hides some so they can open some in July because if she does not do this they will not be appreciated or played with. I look at the toys that my 6 year old daughter has gotten and I can tell you that only a few have been truly played with and enjoyed over and over again. And of those few not one of them was the 'It' toy of the year.
I would really encourage parents to first take a moment and look at what your child has, what are the toys that they always gravitate towards, is it their dollhouse, their train set, their Legos, their arts and craft. This will give you a great idea of what really interests them and get them something that supports that interest.
Certainly their interests will change from year to year as they grow and discover new things. With my daughter, this year she is all about arts and crafts, she told me the other day that she is an Artist. So this year, her big gift will be art lessons and we will buy her some art supplies for her to use at her lessons. Last year she loved dinosaurs and would get books and watch shows on dinosaurs, the only thing on her Christmas List was a T-Rex and so we got her a soft plastic T-Rex and Playmobil set of dinosaurs. She loved both things, in fact that T-Rex went everywhere with her, it even slept with her and was the guest of honor during playtime.
If your little ones are under three years, and you are not sure what they like yet, the best toys you can get them are the classic toys. You really can't go wrong with getting a nice set of wooden blocks, dolls, wooden cars, a ball, good quality wooden puzzles, play food and books. They will love these kinds of toys and will find many different ways to play with them and discover new things with them. If you are not sure how to choose a toy for your toddler, Zero to Three has a great article on this which is worth a read.
I hope that this will give you some ideas of what to get your little one(s) this Christmas and any other gift giving occasion.
Share with us your child's or yours most beloved gift over the years?