09 December 2017
While electronic toys, computer games and movie character tie-ins consistently top the toy list “must haves” of the season, please keep in mind while holiday shopping that solitary, passive activities are detrimental to children’s development. Toys and materials that promote children’s own imagination, social interaction, verbal interchange, independent storytelling and sensory exploration provide children with far greater cognitive and social benefits. Below are listed our favorite toys and materials for the different age groups we teach.
Infants: Shakers, Texture Balls, SpinAgain Stacking Gears, Pop-Up Toys, Bubbles, Texture Books, Fingerpaint, Linking Rings, Do-a-Dot Markers, Soft Baby Dolls
Toddlers: Toy Vehicles, Pretend Farm and Zoo Animals, Wooden Blocks, Pretend Purses, Hats, Baby Dolls, Playdough, Xylophone, Board Books, Sidewalk Chalk
Preschool: Magnatiles, Duplos, Gear Builders, Wedgits, Matchbox Cars, Playdough, Pretend Veterinarian Kit, Stuffed Animals, Costumes, Pretend Dishes, Toy Drums
Pre-K: Wooden Blocks, Matchbox Cars, Legos, Magnetic Letters, Crayons, Markers, Colored Pencils, Costumes, Picture Books, Musical Instruments, Baby Dolls
Age-appropriate books, especially those that emphasize childhood dilemmas such as new siblings, struggles over toys and friendships and managing strong feelings, rather than re-telling tv shows and movies, are also a great choice. Reading with children is not only fun but also has long-lasting influence on children’s educational success. If you would like gift suggestions particular to your child, please ask your child’s teachers.