Best Natural Gifts for Young Children This Christmas

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Even now kids are writing out their Christmas lists to Santa and are absolutely letting their imaginations and dreams go wild. Children have no idea what things cost or what is a “good” toy or not. You know as a parent or grandparent that what you have in mind for Christmas is not necessarily what your kids or grandkids have in mind. There are plenty of toys that stimulate the imagination or are educational. Is there a better toy than one that is educational as well as fun?

Toys that come from natural materials are always a safe choice as well. We have created a list of some of the top toys that should not only stimulate your child’s imagination, but they should be safe and durable as well. Forget the underwear and plastic toys from China; get natural toys that your kids won’t be bored with after 1 day.

 

1. Jigsaw Puzzles

These are perhaps one of the oldest games around that almost everyone still enjoys playing with. Jigsaw puzzles are perfect for helping small children develop hand/eye coordination and seeing how the pieces turn into a picture is a real treat.

There are jigsaw puzzles available for all ages so be sure you get one that is age appropriate. If you get a puzzle that is too difficult, they will become frustrated or bored.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

2. Wooden Magnets

For preschoolers, colorful wooden letters with magnets on the back will help them learn how to make their ABC’s, vowels, and make simple words on the fridge while you are making dinner.

Or if you can find a magnet board, they can take their words anywhere. Add a few wooden animals and/or some numbers, and little ones could entertain themselves for hours.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

3. Wooden Animal Train Set

This is another fun one that kids will really love.

Colorful animals get to pick their place in the train cars and your little one can move the train from room to room or take it outside and allow them to make their own track in the yard.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

4. Books

No matter your kid’s age, there is a book to suit them.

Wipe clean plastic coated books, pop up books, books about ballerinas, dinosaurs, firemen, and animals, no matter what your child is interested in, there is sure to be a book(s) for them.

Reading to your young child builds memories that they will never forget and learning to read from their very own book is another source of pride.

Photo credit: hobbylobby

Photo credit: hobbylobby

5. Casting Kits

Kids love making things themselves, and casting kits allow them to make all kinds of things, from a handprint they can hang on the wall or on a Christmas tree, to full size skeletons.

Yes, they can be a tad messy, but everything cleans, right?

Besides, what a wonderful opportunity to teach them how to clean up after themselves! These can make priceless keepsakes for the future and terrific presents for grandparents.

6. Gardening Sets

If your little one likes to help you in the garden, then it’s never too early to get them started learning how to grow things for themselves.

You can make your own garden set with a child sized pair of gloves, small tools to fit their hands, a little apron, and some seeds. Vegetable seeds are usually a good choice as kids get to eat the fruit (or vegetable as the case may be) of their labor.

What a great learning experience as you can explain how seeds grow and use the sun and water to make our food.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

7. Swings

If you have space or a big tree in your yard, give your kids a gift they will never forget and will use for years: a swing.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. An old tire will do, or you can make one out of a piece of well sanded wood. (Splinters in the butt are not fun, so be sure it’s well sanded or painted)

Your kids will use this swing for years and will provide them with tons of exercise and fun.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

8. Photo Books

You can actually make these yourself with your home printer. Take pictures of your kids during the year or even just a few months before Christmas, add a few pictures of you and your dog and create your own story.

Retell a special event from the summer ( such as a family outing or a trip to an amusement park for example) or you could make up a bedtime story about all the ways everyone prepares for bed, or create an adventure story, whatever you think might  please your child.

Your young son might like a book that shows how big and strong he is, or your daughter might like one about all the animals she will treat when she grows up and becomes a vet. The possibilities here are only limited by your imagination.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

9. Math Games

If you are thinking “BORING”, you are in for a big surprise.

Many math games are anything but boring! In fact many of these games are like other games but they help your child learn math while playing.

 

SEE ALSO: 10 Unusual Ways Music can Tune up the Brain

 

 

Running a pizza factory, for example, can have your child learn fractions or being a grocery store cashier can help them learn how to count money.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

10.  Play Mats

Little boys love to drive their cars all over, so why not make them a felt mat for their cars to drive on? Little girls might like their own zoo for their dolls to visit or a play kitchen.

There are hundreds of designs and instruction online; some of them even come with a no sewing options. One of the great things about these mats is that they roll up and you can take them with you anywhere.

Ditch the craziness that comes with Christmas shopping and think simple, easy gifts for young children that will please them, stimulate their imagination, and maybe even teach them something at the same time.