The holiday season is rapidly approaching and with it comes the stress of finding those perfect holiday gifts for children. Before you purchase that new video game or tablet, we want you to consider your many options. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends limiting screen time for children under the age of 5 years with no screen time for children under 18 months.  But fear not, there are many excellent and engaging toys and play items you can purchase that cost less than most video games.  

Does your child love to build? Get them building blocks or magnet tiles. If they love pretend play, a kitchen set is always a great choice that they will use it for many years (my children used theirs from age 2 through elementary school). The artistic child will love art tools such as an easel, paints, crayons, and markers. For more great toy ideas check out this article from We Love Teachers. 

Books are another great gift. I still have most of the books I received as a child and my children continue to read them. Books are a true treasure for children and help develop both language and cognitive skills. For ideas on what books to purchase check out this article from Time Magazine on The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time

Have you ever considered gifting an experience? This can be a great way to spend quality time with children in your lifeFor my niece’s 7th birthday I bought her an Okee Dokee Brothers book/cd combo and tickets to their concert. She loved the small gift on her birthday and the experience we had together was even better. After all, being fully present with a loved one is better than a present.  

There are also subscription gifts that keep giving all year round. There are many sites that send children crates with fun and enriching art and science projects or you can purchase children a Book Box subscription which allows you to determine the frequency of deliveries and even book titles to include for different ages.  For more ideas check out this great article in USA Today. 

Remember to make sure whatever you purchase is age-appropriate and safe.  Happy shopping and Happy Holidays from Healthy Child Care Colorado! 

By Becky Edwards, M.A. Ed