Let me start by saying this: it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go. If you didn’t burst into a song, not to worry, there is still time to get into that holiday cheer. We have decorated the house and put ornaments on our Christmas tree. A bit too early, sure, but with the year we had, it was a welcomed cheer. The three of us had our special Christmas breakfast every day of this week. And the only thing that’s left on my to-do list are Christmas gifts for my boys.
I’ll be honest. At times like these, when you are slammed with work and a babysitter short, I really wish for Santa to come down the chimney and leave the presents underneath the tree. Last year, that wishful line of thinking had left me buying Christmas gifts on the 23rd of December. This year, I am not repeating the same mistake. So I did what I do the best: research.
Surprise Gifts for the First Few Christmases
I remember just how excited I was for Alex’s and David’s first Christmas. I must have searched for a perfect gift for days. And although we are not able to recall our first Christmases or gifts, this sentiment is for parents too. What’s important is that they’ll enjoy the special gift you carefully chose for them. So, here are some of the best-ranked Christmas gifts.
Your baby and toddler have reached so many milestones till now. However, their talking skills are still in the development phase, so they could use a little help. If you want to choose a toy for your kid that is super fun and useful, I recommend Learning Friends Boom of words. Your kid will enjoy the company of Turtle, Tiger and Monkey as they explore new vocabulary. ‘Reading’ this book means hearing the sound of the animals who say toddler-appropriate words along with exciting facts and sound effects. More than 100 age-appropriate words are chosen by learning experts. The words are divided into several categories such as pets, animals, food, mealtime, colours, activities, opposites, outside, vehicles, clothes, my body and fruit. Fun fact about this book: everything in it can be heard in two languages, English and French. Perfect for a full bilingual experience!
After working on their language skills, the only logical next step is to introduce them to the magical world of numbers. Dimple Digits is a double-sided sensory toy which allows kids to touch, squish, pop, and learn some numbers and new language along the way. On one side, the bubbles are embossed with the numerals 1 through 10, each accompanied by its matching word in English. But if you flip it over you’ll find the words written in Spanish, plus some dots to feel and count. This toy encourages fine motor skills. And don’t be surprised if you find out that your little one counts as a pro after a week or even earlier.
Young kids have a lot of energy. They need to jump, run and be active as much as they can. This is how their brain develops. However, the pandemic has made us a bit more stationary than usual. So if you need a toy which can make them occupy longer and motivate them to do a physical activity, look no further. Wooden balance boards encourage young children to develop gross motor skills such as core strength and stability. Balance boards also will improve their coordination as they force children to move in all planes – not just up and down, but side to side in 360 degrees of movement. After all, we all know that children learn the best when they are in motion. Balance boards will encourage physical play indoors!
They came in different shapes and sizes. But a word of advice: protect or even move some fine furniture because playing with this toy requires some space. But that is a small price to pay for your children’s smile and development. Right?
Preschooler Christmas Gifts
What is your preschooler’s favorite cartoon? Colour? Activity? You are not 100% sure? Me neither. They change their preferences every day. One day my 5-year-old wanted to be a Gekko and the next day he is too old to watch PJ Masks’ adventures. So how can you pick the right gift?
…or anything from Ryan’s World store and I guess your kids will be thrilled about it. I bet your kids love Ryan’s channel. The latest toy he presented is this Secret agent mystery mission case. By buying this case, your child will become a special agent. His mission is to find the surprises inside his Mystery Mission Case and crack the codes to get inside and reveal the surprises hidden in each compartment. Completing this mission will make your child become the ultimate secret agent! Secret agent case includes puzzles, challenges, Ryan’s World figures, accessories and special Ryan themed spy gear. This is a great problem-solving playset with the ultimate reward for any fan of Ryan’s World. What’s more, I think your child will love it!
If your child likes playing with Lego and they still don’t have experience with magnetic building blocks, then look no further. Magnetic blocks will encourage free play, develop imagination and interest in STEM learning. Blocks come in different shapes and colours and they allow your kid to create anything he can imagine. With this toy, kids can develop fine motor control. They can build a magnificent castle or a fire truck, even a dangerous dinosaur and a spaceship. Their creativity is the only precondition and sky’s the limit.
Coding will have an important impact on Gen Alpha’s life and future career. So it might not be a bad idea to introduce coding at an early age. Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot could be a perfect gift for your preschooler. This toy robot will teach them how to speak the native language of robots and computers. It will guide them through the principles and rules of coding. Your kids will learn how to write and enter different codes to control the robot’s movements. There are three ways to play with the robot: free coding, learning challenges, and “secret codes”. All the coding instructions are in a cool secret codebook. They can also find four machine accessories to expand the play. Kids will practice new coding and problem-solving skills as they figure out how to “program” paths for their robot!
P.S. You might enjoy this one too!
Perfect Christmas Gifts for School Alphas
School kids have their faces glued to the screens. But even if this is the case, you can still choose a gift that educates and promotes development. Not to mention, the one they will most certainly like.
If you want to teach your child some important principles of electricity, math and science this is the right choice for you. This box comes with two manuals that feature 305 projects. The Snap Circuits kit uses building blocks with snaps that snap on and off a plastic board. Each of the blocks has a specific function. Your kid will learn how to use switch blocks, lamp blocks, battery blocks, different wire length blocks and more. The blocks are in different colors and have numbers on them, so kids can differentiate and identify them quickly. Once the project is completed, a kid will learn how to light a bulb with a switch or to create a police siren sound by clapping hands. There are several versions of snap circuits – a Junior, Standard, Pro, and Extreme version. So light up the fun with Snap Circuits.
If you think that it is impossible to use an apple as a touchpad, think twice. Makey Makey is here to prove you wrong. This is an electronic invention kit which will convert everyday objects into computer keyboard or a mouse. Your kid will learn how to replace a space key with a cucumber and how to use play-doh to move and click with a mouse.
This is a two-sided circuit board. On the top side, the Makey Makey has 6-inputs: the up/down/left/right arrow keys, as well as the spacebar and mouse left click. When you flip the board over, you’ve got access to 12 more keys: W, A, S, D, F, and G on the keyboard side, and up/down/left/right mouse movement and left/right clicks on the mouse side. The bottom header has six ground (aka Earth) outputs, while the top header is an expansion/output header. Makey Makey will turn your children into little inventors and it will boost their imagination and creativity.
And the last of Christmas gifts on our list is just an excuse for you to get something that you (and your kids, nearly forgot about them) desperately want for this as a surprise Christmas gift. It looks like a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica and has fantastic new features and a revolutionary controller. And with pandemic raging on, you and your family deserve to have a good back-up plan for the isolation. Sure in your kids’ eyes you’ll be the best parent in the whole world. The new version of PlayStation focuses on improving the user experience by vastly enhancing graphics and sounds, and speeding up loading times and this is something your kids will really enjoy. And this gift can also buy you some “Family time” while playing new video games on this console.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
So now that we have secured those Christmas gifts for the last (and the most important) piece of puzzle for a perfect Christmas Eve celebration.
Being a good parent is a tough job. And no gifts can buy your presence and time you spend with your kids. They will love those shiny toys but they will forget about them as soon as they get another one. What they’ll remember is the Christmas tradition created by your family. They will recall your laughter, singing, that divine smell of the apple pie. What they need right now, more than ever, is the feeling that they have their safe space and the people who will love them and support them unconditionally.
So go and grab those little ones and make them happy and joyous. Play a game together and enjoy holidays! Make their most important memories.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!
Especially to my little boys, Alex and David – Mama loves you!
This article is part of our series on Generation Alpha
We seek to provide answers to your most pressing questions about keeping your kids safe online, introducing them to the digital world, and helping them be their authentic selves online.
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