The Holiday Season is upon us and as parents many of us may struggle to find the perfect presents for our children. My own kids write letters to Santa or make up wish lists (because their grandparents want to know!) so they get their share of electronic toys, gadgets and cartoony things from our thoughtful and generous family and friends, but the Montessorian in me always makes me want to find toys that will inspire them to learn, be creative and foster their love of discovery. Here are some suggestions that your own child might enjoy:
Rainbow Loom (ages 8+) These are so popular with the elementary group right now and it’s been absolutely delightful to see especially the boys getting excited over creating the intricate patterning details and using such fine motor coordination to make these elastic bracelets!
Quadrilla Wooden Marble Run (ages 4+) marble runs are so much fun. The logic and creativity involved in making an interesting run are also great for encouraging children to problem solve and work together.
Junior Ramp Racer (ages 18 mons – 4 yrs) A younger version of marble run fun, this is my youngest son’s favourite and he can spend well, many minutes, watching the cars race back and forth. Great for prepping the eye for tracking, which is a precursor to future reading and writing!
Melissa & Doug Doorbell House (ages 3+) this is a favourite with my own two toddlers. The wooden house has 4 different doorbells that ring with different chimes, a different lock on each door and a set of 4 keys to match to each lock. Opening the door to find a different doll in each one is just bonus fun.
Crayon Rocks (ages 3+) Every crayon is “green!” Made from Earth-friendly, renewable soybean wax tinted with natural mineral powders, Crayon Rocks„¢ are used by teachers and by occupational therapists to develop and strengthen the pincer grip needed to control a pencil.
If you’re looking for a great source of Montessori giftables, montessoriservices.com and their partner site, forsmallhands.com have a fabulous collection of quality play things children will love. And of course, don’t forget to purchase a clubmom card for discounts at wonderful toy stores in our area, such as ToyTown and OinkOink. Happy shopping!
Alternatively, if you’re really looking for something lasting and worthwhile, consider that family memberships to places such as the R.O.M. and the Ontario Science Centre are sometimes less than what you’d spend on presents anyway. A year’s worth of admission to our city’s wonderful museums and the quality time we can spend together with our children will mean more to them in the long run than any toy they might receive this year. Just some food for thought. Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!