This post is sponsored by BIG W.
You may have heard the children’s Christmas gift rhyme…
“Something they want,
Something they need,
Something to wear,
Something to read.”
I have used this as the basis for Immy’s Christmas stocking for the last few years now but this year I have been thinking a lot about what toys I want my girls to have and which offer the best return on investment in terms of their cost-to-play ratio. In the process I came up with a new rhyme for this year that I would love to share with you…
We intend to spread these five gifts out so that they come from Santa and from us, and I have even considered these categories when making suggestions to relatives who have asked what we would like them to get the girls this Christmas - for example, their great-grandparents are buying each of them a gift from the ‘build’ list. We are also adding to the play sets that they already love, instead of starting a completely new set of toys that I would then need to find somewhere to store, like the wooden train set that I mention in the video.
Here are some gift suggestions for each of the five categories I mention in the video. Remember to keep in mind what your child is most interested in, their age and stage of development, and the open-endedness of each toy when making choices – as the more ways it can be played with, the more engaging is its play potential!
Ideas for Something to Build…
There is no shortage of construction sets to choose from but great building toys are those that can be assembled and re-assembled in lots of different configurations and that have enough pieces to do so.
- Construction sets like Lego, Duplo, MegaBloks, etc
- Wooden blocks
- Train tracks and trains
- Stacking cups or rings for babies and toddlers
- Playing cards for building houses of cards
Ideas to Get Kids Creating…
When choosing creative toys and materials, look for those that allow your child to express their own unique ideas and that can be used in many different ways for different projects.
- Video camera
- Musical instruments
- Karaoke set
- Art materials
- Craft materials
- Fun stationery
- Scrapbooking supplies
- Journal or diary
- A sewing or knitting kit
Ideas for Pretend Play…
Imaginative play encourages language development and supports a child’s developing ability to engage socially with other children and adults. It is also great for engaging children in play for longer periods of time.
- Figurines (people, animals, fantasy characters) and accessories
- Dolls and accessories
- Dress up costumes
- Dolls house
- Cars and other vehicles
- Toy parking garage
- Play tent
- Pretend kitchen and accessories
- Cubby house
Ideas for Getting Kids Outside…
Active play is important not only physically but also to mental and emotional health. Encouraging our children to enjoy time playing outdoors is one of the most precious, lifelong gifts we can give them.
- Ball and bat
- T-ball set
- Sporting equipment for a sport they enjoy or show interest in
- Sand toys
- Hula hoop
- Skipping rope
- Fishing rod and gear
- Boogie board
- Pool noodle or kickboard
- Slip n Slide
- Blow up pool
- Sleeping bag and tent
- Ride on toy
Ideas for Something to Share…
Toys and games that encourage friends, siblings or other family members to work, play and enjoy time together are also fabulous for social and emotional development.
- Board games requiring two or more players
- Card games requiring two or more players
- Totem tennis
- Ping pong table
- Walkie Talkies
- Jigsaw puzzles with lots of pieces to complete together as a family
- Tickets for a family outing
I would love to hear how you are choosing gifts for your kids this Christmas so please leave a comment below.
For those in Australia, you can find the items pictured and many of the other listed items at your local BIG W or online at bigw.com.au. Head on over to the Childhood 101 Facebook page for an opportunity to win $100 to spend with Big W this Christmas.