Monday, December 15, 2008
Posted by Dharm
it's the season
of love and understanding
Merry Christmas, everyone
Christmas is just round the corner and lots of us are frantically trying to buy gifts for our loved ones - especially the kids. I've always tried to get presents that are useful so this would include a new shirt or a new dress. However, clothes seldom thrill the kids as much as toys do. I have no issue with buying toys for the kids but I do try and get something educational or at least something that helps develop their knowledge, thought process or at the very least, develops their coordination or motor skills.
As the kids get older, I also find it is good to get them toys that we can all play together. So, since Christmas is just a few weeks away, I've put together some of my favourite gift ideas for the kids as well as an explanation of why I think they are pretty good.
Who doesnt like Lego? I loved it when I was young and both my son and daughter love it now too. I love Lego because it unleashes the creative genius in children. Most of them have instruction books to make a predefined model and this kind of guides them into making their own design later. It's also something that adults can get involved with too. If you are on a cost cutting drive and have access to the internet, download the Lego Designer from the Lego website. This allows you to create virtual designs on your PC! My son spends hours creating his own stuff with this programme.
This is a really fun game that you can play together as a family. The rules are fairly simple and although there is an element of luck involved, it still teaches you a little about strategy and at the very least, stimulates the thought process. My 4 year old is an Uno queen although the game is recommended for older children.
Board Games are always fun and to me, one of the best and most loved board games is Monopoly. I like this because it teaches kids how to handle money as well as basic adding and subtracting. It also gives then an insight into investment. The latest version of monopoly is the world version and this exposes the kids to different world cities. I know at least my children now know where a lot of cities in the world are!
Word games are always fun. It helps build the children's vocabulary and spelling as well. Two of my favourites would be Boggle and Scrabble. Boggle is relatively easier and a bit more fun for younger kids.
Make your own Volcano
There are a lot of sets that are sold out there 'teaching' you how to make your own volcano. Why not do it yourself with just a bottle of vinegar, some sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda, NOT baking powder) and some food colouring. All you need to do is to almost fill a class with vinegar, add in a drop or two of food colouring and then add in a tbsp or so of bicarbonate. The whole thing will fizz up and overflow. To make it even more realistic, wrap some cardboard around the glass to shape it like a mountain with the glass opening acting as a crater. The 'lava' will then pour down the mountain. Great fun, you get to teach your kids about chemical reactions and above all it is so cheap!
Homemade Gift Certificates
Finally, why not get your kids or loved ones, homemade gift certificates. Neatly print out small index cards with promises such as
"One trip to the cinema";
"One trip to the ice cream shop";
"One day at the park"
or for the significant other in your life
"One back massage";
"One foot massage";
"One home cooked meal";
"breakfast in bed";
I think you get the idea!!
Well folks, I hope this helps and that you enjoyed my last article for the year. Have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This post was written by Dharm
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