With Christmas rapidly approaching, what is meant to be a festive, joy-filled time of year can often become stressful and upsetting. For parents there is often nothing more demanding than trying to organise shopping trips with their little ones in tow. It is often easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of things for sale in stores. So how do you make Christmas shopping for your little ones a happy and positive experience?
It’s a really good idea to make a list of items you’d like to get for your child and stick to it. In addition, shopping online has revolutionised the often painful process of buying things for Christmas. Shopping online is so much easier, you don’t have to drag the kids along, it’s convenient – no hassles with parking, or dealing with those crowds. Lots of stores now provide prompt and free deliveries with your online purchases. Don’t forget to use many of the big chain stores’ free gift wrapping service – it could save you quite a bit of money and time.
A sensible suggestion is to focus on gifts for your child that are both cute and practical – you can get a lot of affordable items that you can use with your child from a very young age, e.g. cooking-themed items.
Cooking with children is always fun and provides a lot of joy – as there is always a great reward at the end. The eating! Not to mention the licking off of chocolate-covered spoons! As parents you get to spend some wonderful time creating yummy things and children get to understand that food doesn’t just come out of the cupboard or ready-made. They learn about textures, flavours, smells and sounds. As they grow up, cooking is more than just the making, it can be about reading, learning numbers, listening and following instructions.
Buying gifts that fulfil these purposes means that they aren’t disposable or wasted. Instead, they are things that can be used on a regular basis and can be a valuable source of pleasure for you and your little one.
As well as being cute and practical, it is important to get gifts that suit the individual needs and demands of your child. Choose gifts that inspire children and get their creative juices flowing. Babies and toddlers want to play and explore – rather than just be entertained. Older kids love toys that are different. By shopping around you can ensure your little one gets the special something that will keep them happily occupied.
This is also a great opportunity for you and your child to spend some time together making gifts for family and friends. Together you can make anything from candleholders to the little angel perched on top of your tree. Your little one can prepare the gift tags for the gifts and spend some happy time colouring them in for you.
If you do decide to brave the shops, it is a really good idea to plan in advance. There are plenty of catalogues filled with specials cropping up everywhere at this time of year. If your child has their heart set on something and you have decided to get it for them, this is the most practical way to do it. Make sure you phone ahead though to ensure the item you want is in stock.
With a little planning and preparation, Christmas shopping can actually be an enjoyable activity for parents, and you can ensure that the day itself is filled with happy memories and delighted children.
Presents for babies 0-1 year:
Stacking action blocks
Play rug/ blanket for outside
Toys for their car seats
Leggings or baby grows
Presents for babies 1-2 years:
Musical cell phone
Inflatable pool with balls
Push and play toys
Swimsuit and sun hat
Presents for toddlers 3-4 years:
Hair clips/ Alice bands for the girls
Sand castle building sets
Wide brimmed hat
Colouring in and activity books with crayons
Just remember – the more colourful your gift the better: often they end up playing with the packaging more than with the toy; that’s kids for you!
Here are some useful links: