Yes, I know that it is September. Year after year I find myself shopping earlier and earlier. This probably has something to do with the fact that my extended family seems to be growing larger and larger year after year. On top of that, my children’s birthdays fall within two months after Christmas. Their half-sister’s birthday is two days before my oldest daughter’s, and one of their cousin’s birthdays is two days before that. What with all of these holidays so close together, every year I find myself feeling proud for starting so early and accomplishing so much.
So this past week I’ve been thinking more and more about the holidays coming up. I have a niece who’s birthday is less than a month away, so it seems to be a great time to start thinking about it. I have been on Amazon all day looking at toys. I always start looking for my youngest daughter, because she’s the easiest one for me to shop for. Her room is full of My Little Ponies and Littlest Pet Shop animals, among other things, so this is what I started looking at.
But as I was looking, trying to find toys that she would be interested in playing with, it hit me: She doesn’t play with hardly any of those toys regularly. They sit in her room until she decides to drag them out, and even then they don’t really get played with. Not in the way I remember playing with toys, anyway. Those toys don’t have any capacity to spark her imagination, and therefore they sit in her room, not being played with.
So I am going in a much different with my Christmas shopping this year. I am going to be buying science kits and building blocks. I have geoboards on my Amazon wish list for Christmas this year. I found some kind of a fairy garden kit, which is great because a lot of the blog posts I look at on a regular basis talk about making fairy gardens. We can take this kit and expand on it with ideas from those blog posts.
I am giving people that I usually buy for a heads-up that this year won’t be about action figures, video games, and all of the stuff that you usually see on tv commercials. This year will be about toys that make children think, toys that they need to use their imaginations with. I will also be asking people that shop for my kids to use these guidelines when shopping for my kids – no more of the same old, same old commercially produced garbage that doesn’t require children to do much but manipulate pieces around and talk for them. This year it will be all about stimulating imagination and creativity.
This has been your warning.