Kids’ Christmas Gifts that Aid Development & Won’t Cost the Earth

Ready Steady Cook – Mini chef’s accessories

picsart_07-13-02-11-05Kids just love cooking! It is fantastic for development and learning at all ages, and is such a rewarding activity when you tackle it together. So, why not buy your little one an apron, chef’s hat or even their very own wooden spoon and bowl? Sure, it involves some commitment from you too, but the shared experience will be worth the mess! And when you can’t face the mayhem, these items are great for encouraging imaginative play too.  Tell them the oven is broken and just let them play make-believe!

Imaginative Play – Bits & bobs for dress-up

Group paiting and child (2).jpgImaginative play is such a great way to inspire children’s imaginations and creativity, and really helps them to socialise and verbalise.  How about some fancy dress items? But, don’t  feel your only option is to head to the shop to buy princess and pirate outfits. Make something simple, or pop into your local charity shop instead, and pick up some hats, shawls, vintage glasses and bow-ties to encourage them to create their own characters and stories….imagine the fun!

Early Years Art Childrens Development Gross Motor SkillsGoing BIG – Large drawing material

You can go for an easel, large whiteboard, A0 drawing pad, or even grab one of those flip-charts from the boardroom.  Or if you dare….go all out with a can of blackboard paint that you are willing to dedicate a wall to there and then. Drawing on large surfaces is not alone great for gross motor-skill development, but the freedom really opens up the children’s imaginations a creativity too!

 Getting Out & About – Binoculars, magnifying glasses and morechild-with-looking-glass

It is so important to encourage children to get outside, explore their surroundings, build up their immune system, and have fun getting muddy….it’s all part of growing up.  So what toys are good for that, bikes and scooters sure, and for something simpler? How about a pair of binoculars, or “pinoculars” as by brother use to call them when he was little (ahhhwww)! Or, what about a simple magnifying glass? Yes, now were’re talking.  Imaging how much fun they will have looking under rocks and at those creepy crawlies.

Construction Time – Anything that gets them buildingEarly Years Art Childrens Development

Building, constructing, creating…any gift that encourages this is a winner.  Logo and Meccano, or duple and building blocks for the toddlers, are classic kids’ toys, but are also proven to have endless benefits for our little ones.  Construction encourages thinking and reasoning, and involves lots of focus and patience, important characteristics to nurture.  But don’t forget, a decent collection of card, cartons, paper and plastics pots can be equally as inspiring.

P.S.  Books, art supplies, and musical instruments, are always top of my list too!

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