Suits your child’s own unique personality and interests.
Is it appropriate for the child’s age and stage of development. (It will challenge the child physically and/or mentally, but not be so difficult to use that it will frustrate or overwhelm your child.)
Can be used in increasingly complex ways as the child grows.
Requires the child’s active participation, not passive observation.
Is safe, washable and durable. (It will not fall apart easily.)
Promotes positive values and non-violent play. (Through play, a child practices life.)
Gifts From the Heart
Give your child the pleasure of giving.
Talk about those you love and care about, and plan together how you might remember them during the holidays.
Ask, ‘What does Suzie like to do?’ or ‘What do you think would make Grandpa happy?’
Give your child a chance to create.
Help him/her make simple gifts ‘ a picture for Daddy or some play-dough for a favorite friend. Bake cookies and deliver them to special people together.
Give your child a family tradition.
Plan a holiday activity that might become a treasured memory in later years. For example, designing and making your own holiday greeting card or hosting a neighborhood dinner.
Give your child the joy of celebration.
Include him/her in the holiday preparations ‘ baking, wrapping, decorating the house. Chat about what you are doing and why. Share values of the season in a simple concrete way.
Give your child an example of caring.
Share your holiday time, traditions, or favorite foods with someone who needs a friend or a helping hand.
Give your child some extra patience.
When adults are super-busy, children feel left out. They try to tell us what they need by the way they behave. (For example, throwing tantrums, demanding, refusing to cooperate, dawdling ‘ these are all ways children express their feeling and stress.) Avoid unreasonable expectations ‘ such as shopping for hours with a young child.
Give your child some time with you.
When things get hectic, pause together to admire a sunset, snuggle up with a picture book, or take a walk around the block. Your own time is the best gift of all ‘ and it’s free!