With the Holidays fast approaching; parents and grandparents are seeking the perfect toysfor the special little people in their lives. Here are some things to consider. Less can be more!

What type of toys invite more play?

If our kids have fewer toys we want to make sure that the toys they do have provide the greatest play value. When assessing a toy, always be mindful that the play is in the child, not in the toy. If a toy lights up or makes noises, and all the child needs to do is press a button, that toy holds very little play value. These types of toys provide an immediate dopamine rush, make the child and the giver excited, but they are short-lived. On the flip side, toys like wooden blocks or silk scarves don’t dictate the play to the child – they hold greater play value as the child is free to use their imagination for endless play possibilities.

Another way to choose toys is to determine if they are OPEN or CLOSED toys. Closed toys are generally defined as those that serve one purpose, once theyre completed, theyre done. Whereas, openended toys can be used for many different purposes. For example, coloured blocks can be used to build a castle, a bridge or for counting, sorting or balancing. Open toys ignite a childs imagination. Having said that, some closed toys can also be wonderful like puzzles and shape sorters. We aim for a ratio of 75% open toys and 25% closed toys.

Kathy Sylva, Professor of Educational Psychology at Oxford University, concluded after studying over 3000 children aged three to five that when children have a large number of toys there seems to be a distraction element, and when children are distracted they do not learn or play well.Her research shows that children with fewer toys whose parents spend more time reading, singing or playing with them surpass those from even more affluent backgrounds.

Melted Snowman Cookies

Everyone loves the smell and taste of freshly baked cookies. Even if youre not a baker these are easy to create using mixes, marshmallows and some premade icing tubes. Make them with or for your children

Box Building

Save an assortment of the Amazon boxes you may be receiving during December and let your child create with them. Duct tape and Imagination is all your need!

Tip: Break the boxes down for easy storage until you are ready to play with them