A contribution by Kabana Community
There’s something special and magical about watching a child unwrap that special gift he/she has been waiting for, but how can we help them make meaningful choices? We don’t need to buy many presents for our kids to make the holiday season special, it is important that we can appreciate what we have.
First of all, to your child, there’s no better gift than spending quality time together. We love to create traditions and memories, especially during holidays: make a different ornament every year, watch a movie drinking hot chocolate, write postcards to your family members or any other fun activity that you can enjoy along with your children. The possibilities are endless, and your children will look forward to those moments year after year.
Going back to the gifts… how many of you have looked around after Christmas morning and found yourself surrounded with clutter? How many of those toys have really been used during the year? At the same time, holiday shopping is many times stressful and we live it as an obligation. To enjoy this process, we believe that we should make a conscious decision to find gifts that nurture the values we want to convey in our children. If we want our children to be creative, critical thinkers, kind, collaborative and to have initiative, why are we giving them toys that make everything for them? Children need to explore freely and discover the world around them by playing with high quality open-ended materials. The less the toy does, the more your children will do!
With this in mind, here are our tips to choose conscious gifts for your child.
Open-ended toys are those that can be played in many different ways because they aren’t’ designed to one form of play. Non-structured materials favor the free and autonomous play, where there are no instructions or preset guides to follow; there is no “right” way to play. This kind of material invites children to create, engages them in the creation of different worlds and promotes connection with others.
- High quality materials
When we choose high-quality materials not only are we giving a completely different experience to our children, but they will also last longer. When we encounter an organized play area filled with toys made of nice wood and non-toxic materials, most likely we will feel invited to play.
- Support artisan’s handwork
We also believe in supporting business that take care of their products and, like Wiwiurka, make all their toys by hand. When you receive the material at home, you can definitely feel the love they have put in it!
Usually these kinds of toys are more expensive, but they grow with your children. They might be an investment at the beginning, but we truly believe it is worth it! One of the things we love about non-structured toys is that children will use them for many years, and they will find new ways to use them in different stages of play. Your collection of toys will grow with your children and, on top of that, we are being more sustainable!
There are many different ways to approach this conscious way of choosing presents. At Kabana we decided to use the “four gifts” idea. With this rule each person gets four gifts (which it is still a lot!!) and we use it for children and adults in the family.
Something you want
Very likely your child is obsessed with something and we definitely want to acknowledge that. We use this as our “big gift”, for example, a rocker, an outdoor mud kitchen or a new bike.Something you need
When we talk about children’s needs in this case we also focus on play. Maybe your child needs new loose parts, art supplies or building pieces; or maybe he/she has outgrown his/her sensory table. But also, he/she may also need new boots or a new nice water bottle. And this is part of making the conscious choices we talked about above.
Something to wear
This will really depend on the age of your children and your choices as family. Maybe your child likes a movie character, so you can get a new sweater or pajamas. Or maybe you can use this gift to buy a new costume for the pretend play area or even silks (which we really recommend!)
Something to read
Reading aloud to your kids is one of the best activities you can do together, so adding a new book into the gift list is a great idea!
We hope this post helps you take some of the stress off the holiday shopping and if you want more recommendations on specific products we recommend, check out our latest blog post at www.kabanacommunity.com/blog