10 Simple and Childhood-Reclaiming Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Young Children
by Kate Saffle
A month ago
If you haven’t already started planning gift-giving for the children in your life, the week of Thanksgiving in the United States tends to kick off the holiday shopping season. As an intentional and simplicity-minded caregiver you may be wondering how to transition your children into enjoying and even desiring simpler toys as well as what to gift this year. This short guide shares timeless and beloved goods and experiences that children of all ages will be excited to receive this holiday season.
Transitioning Children to Simpler Toys and Experiences
Children are incredibly adaptable and resilient if given the opportunity to do so. The very young child will most likely be unaware that this year’s toys look and feel different that what he received last year; he’ll simply be pleased to be opening a new gift! Older children may be a bit more reluctant if they’re used to receiving busier toys such as electronics, battery operated toys, or too mature of toys. In this case, having an open discussion about your family’s changing values will better prepare them for the change. Share with them your reasons for why gift-giving will look different in your home and request their feedback for what types of gifts they would like to receive, within the guidelines that you set. You may also consider telling family or friends about your new approach to create consistency with gifts received. Similar to technology, don’t be afraid to make a sea change in your home, if it’s what will create a happier and simpler family culture!
Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
1. Play silks - Play silks are an endlessly adaptable toy that children can use for dress-up, making forts, imaginative games, and more. Babies will love the texture and feel of the fabric as well as the colors and toddlers will love dancing and playing with them. Many stores online sell them as well as retailers on Etsy.
2. Simple doll - A cloth doll is a wonderful toy for the young child. It provides so many benefits: tactile, comfort, and play. I recommend very simple all cloth dolls for young ones because the fabric will retain the child’s warmth and feel more lifelike than a plastic doll.
3. Chunky shapes puzzle - This beautiful wooden puzzle introduces young children to learning shapes while creating a sensory experience through the warmth and beauty of wood.
4. Think Touch Learn Collection - Books are always a lovely and welcomed gift for children as it creates an opportunity for connection with a caregiver. I particularly love this set for its beautiful illustrations and gentle introduction to shapes, colors, and opposites.
5. Wooden play kitchen - Although one of these play kitchens is a bit of an investment, it will last a very long time and through several children. Older children might pretend to cook and store their favorite things inside the cabinets, while babies and toddlers love opening and closing the doors.
Gift Ideas for Preschoolers and Elementary Age
Building Blocks - Wooden blocks, like what you might find in a preschool, are wonderfully open-ended and engaging toy that belong in the simplicity parenting hall of fame. Similar to the wooden kitchen, blocks have longevity and will be a favorite of children of all ages.
Dress-Up Clothes - Preschoolers love to play dress-up and would be thrilled to receive a small trunk filled with hats, scarves, shirts, and other pieces. You can, of course, purchase already made dress-up clothes, but your local thrift shop is a fantastic resource for fun pieces to surprise your child with this holiday season.
Local Attraction Pass - Older children will be excited to receive a year-long membership to a local museum, zoo, or aquarium or even movie tickets. Experience-type gifts are a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season without giving a physical item.
Wooden Magic Drawing Board - Engage their creative side with an erasable magnetic board that can be used at home or in the car. This toy is also a wonderful way for a child to express themselves regularly when paper isn’t always readily available.
Classic Book Set - This is the perfect age to gift your older child one of the classic book collections that espouses a simpler life, such as The Boxcar Children or The Little House on the Prairie series. If your children enjoy these books as much as mine do, they’ll also be inspired to play more outdoors and express their independence around the home; I consider that a win-win!
Whatever you decide to give the children in your life this year, trust that you can choose items that reflect your values and create the home life you desire. Even if this hasn’t been your approach in your past, know that you can always turn over a new leaf in your home and gift-giving approach.
What is your gift-giving approach this year?
You can catch more from Kate by visiting her at https://thestreamlinedlife.com.