It’s THAT time of year. Believe it or not, it’s also time to start checking off your holiday gift list.
While “the most wonderful time of the year” can be magical, sometimes it feels overwhelming, especially when it comes to buying the perfect gifts for little ones. Between Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday savings, and all the other holiday ads, it’s hard to research before you buy. But here’s one piece of research you can count on: simple toys are BEST for development. Here are our Top 5 Tips for Buying the Perfect Gifts for Kids.
1. Don’t give in to digital promises.
According to many ads, from babyhood on, we should covet devices that entertain us, know our every want and need, and teach us anything we ask. Here’s the thing: next year there will only be new devices, with new promises. When it comes to children, proceed with caution and think about gifts that won’t go out of style.
Take the time to buy what is best. And here’s a side note: what is best is often NOT what is most expensive! So forget the pressure to seize all the savings.
3. Trust experts who are actually experts.
When you think about the credentials you would expect an early childhood expert to have, what makes sense? Wouldn’t you agree that a pediatrician—as opposed to, say, a celebrity mom or a beloved cartoon character—is the person who knows what is actually best for children?
That’s what our team at Kindermusik thinks anyway! So we were thrilled to find an article outlining what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests to look for when it comes to toys. Their conclusion? SIMPLE is best.
4. Let kids create their own magic.
The truth is that when kids play, they really only need two things: their imaginations and a person to play with. Add some simple toys or props, and the possibilities are infinite. And we argue that adding music to the equation takes play to a whole different level.
5. Consider giving instruments—the best simple toys!
Shared music-making is a play experience that truly is BEST for the child. The emotional bonds created by making music together, combined with the cognitive and motor skills developed, reap benefits far beyond most other experiences.
For example, the simplest of instruments—shakers, rhythm sticks, sand blocks, bells—are perfect for creative exploration. How many sounds can the player produce? How can he or she change the sound? You can’t get tired of instrument play when you are able to play an instrument in the ways you want and to many different songs!
The basic concepts of keeping a steady beat, audiation (remembering the tunes and words of a song), moving and dancing creatively, learning how rests (silent periods) during a song are part of the experience…these are fuel for school readiness across all the learning domains. Your child can only get such a potent mix of goodness with a musical adventure! And when you are part of that experience, lasting memories are built.
So this holiday season, give the children you love simple toys. Give them the gift of music. To make that gift a more important part of your life, also consider joining us for Kindermusik classes in your area. The community bonds you’ll form will strengthen you and your child beyond expectations!
It’s a WONDER-ful time of year, after all, isn’t it? So relax and enjoy our gift of song to you: “Simple Gifts.” They really are the best!