Three meaningful gifts to give your child this Christmas

Christmas is a lovely time of year where we focus on kindness, family and togetherness. And while it’s also largely associated with receiving and opening presents, it can be a great opportunity to teach our children that ‘gifts’ extend beyond the physical and can be experiences that turn into treasured memories. 

Here is a list of some simple ideas that create learning experiences as well as some wonderful play ideas too! 

1. Growing their own garden

Gardens provide endless opportunities to learn and discover. They are great for showing children how plants need care and how to respect nature while watching plants grow.

Toddlers love to get involved and will feel proud to help plant seeds and water them. Plus, gardening tools are great for developing strong hands and motor skills. 

For older children, gardening helps to develop and understand early science and maths concepts – for example, things like helping to pot and water plants teaches little ones about volume and measurement. 

Gardening is a great way to build responsibility and extend thoughts beyond self, plus little ones will feel very proud watching their garden grow! 

2. Christmas Baking

Children absolutely love to help out in the kitchen! So why not get together and bake some Christmas treats to give to your family and friends this Christmas. 

Not only does cooking provide some wonderful bonding opportunities, but it is also great for developing fine motor skills and helps to build language skills by talking and describing what you are doing, e.g. mixing, measuring, kneading, pouringwhich helps build understanding and vocabulary.

It also gives toddlers and young children a chance to develop independence as well as social and emotional skills through doing tasks themselves. 

3. Learning about culture and tradition

Special days offer great opportunities to help create a sense of belonging that’s crucial to healthy social and emotional development. Celebrations like Christmas, or other traditions your culture may observe, is a perfect time to start this. By introducing your own unique family traditions, you are creating lifelong memories. 

Singing encourages language development and Christmas carols are a fun way to engage with your baby while fostering these skills. 

Pre-primary aged children love to show they remember what happened at special times. Getting them involved in the planning for a celebration also helps develop thinking and reasoning skills, and the wonderful feeling of being ‘helpful’, which once again develops your child’s self-esteem and confidence. 

Seasonal celebrations, such as Christmas, help children mark the passage of time. Saying “Christmas day is in four more sleeps” or using an Advent Calendar, can help build the anticipation and learn more about time. 

Do you have special traditions you enjoy with your child? We’d love to hear about them!

For those looking for some toy ideas, make sure you read our Favourite Toys for Little Ones where we list our favourite toys that are perfect for young children and inspire creative play as well as key developmental skills.