The holidays are upon us. During this glorious time of year, how do we show our children that the holidays are not just about getting but about giving as well? Here are our top tips and recommendations for getting through this holiday season with a sense of peace, goodwill, and gifts you and your children will both love.
Comfort and Joy
Show your children, and remind yourself, what the holidays are really about. Remember the motto “comfort and joy?” Try to manifest those sentiments. Giving to someone else, connecting and giving thanks are what make the holidays special.
Try implementing a Good Deeds Jar:
- Items needed: jar, pieces of paper, pen and plenty of heart
- Write a week’s worth of good deeds on individual pieces of paper and put in a jar
- Each morning, draw out one of the deeds and participate in whatever the deed is. Examples of “good deeds” might be:
- Bake cookies for a neighbor
- Make a meal for needy community members (try Family Promise in Beverly)
- Write a note/draw a picture for a friend, mail them a card!
- Tell each member of your family one thing you appreciate about them
- Make dinner for a friend and drop it off at their house
- Offer to do a chore for a neighbor
- Bake brownies for your local fire/police department and drop them off with a thank-you card
- Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a long time just to say hello
- Offer to shovel a neighbor’s walkway on the first snowstorm of the year
For Under the Tree, A Gift Guide, By Age
It’s all about the imagination! Encourage your children to exercise their creative problem solving skills by selecting toys that are simple and multi-functional. Toys that can be imagined into many things provide an endless opportunity for fun, discovery and learning.
Tin or aluminum cups, saucers and bowls
Wooden apples and eggs
Stacking measuring cups
Wooden stacking rainbows
Vegetable chopping knife
Clay and cutters
String games (Klutz Cat’s Cradle books, and others)
Balls of any kind
Hopper ball (sit on and bounce)
Creativity and purposeful work. With newfound and improved fine-motor skills, practicing dexterity, coordination and focus through play is the best gift you can provide a growing child.
Wooden jigsaw puzzles
Wooden peg doll set
Puppet play set
Fairy craft set
Rocks, geodes, crystals
Beeswax candle making kit
Dustpan and broom
Wash basin, rack, clothespins and sponges
Fun math games, such as “Shut the Box”
Rivers, Rails and Roads game
Sit n Spin
Pick up Sticks
At this age, children are ready to concentrate more on steps, processes and results. Independent and collaborative games are a perfect gift. Games that help children explore math and simple words are excellent choices.
Finger string games
Knitting needles and yarn
Double dutch jump rope
Rocks, geodes, crystals
Gardening gloves and tools
Microscope and items to view
Clay and sculpting implements
Climbing rope or ladder
Baking and cooking items: apron, cupcake cups, measuring spoons and cups, and so on
Klutz paper airplane book
Shrinky Dinks book
Rock tumbling kit
Spirograph Design set
Fun math games, such as Snap it Up! Cards
Games to encourage spatial awareness such as Blokus
Chinese Jump Rope
Quiddler word game
Equate math game
There’s a Moose in the House card game
Deck of cards
At this age, collaborative games continue to be important. Items that require even more independence, with more challenging elements, are good choices. Children are noticing more in the world around them, and are becoming more aware of the passage of time. Games that reinforce math and word exploration can be fun and educational.
Music and CD player
Make your own plane or boat
Pastels and newsprint
Wooden toy crossbow
Kids weaving loom
Enchanted Forest board game
Stone and sculpting implements
Block and tackle kit
Tool chest and basic tools
Ping Pong table
Sketchbook and colored pencils
Old fashioned wooden games, such as Game of Graces (hoop rolling)
Word games such as Banagrams and Scrabble
Children are becoming very aware of their environment. Activities that keep children moving and exploring are important. Kits and items to help explore the earth, including the study of geology, agriculture and botany are great choices.
Charcoal and paper
Hand sewing animal kit
Sewing and knitting kit
Marbling kit for paper or fabric
Natural face paint
Wooden star candle holder
Waldorf spirit wear!
Pulley system kit
Water wheel kit
Wood burning set (with supervision)
Klutz twirled paper book
Tool chest and basic tools
Special photos, framed
Cooking, clay, or art classes
Rock climbing experience
Geode exploration set
Games from ancient cultures such as Senet, Mehen, Go
Settlers of Catan game
Animals such as fish, hermit crab, and so on
At this age children are quite interested in the world around them, and exploring the skies and the earth are great activities, so anything that can encourage these activities is great. Children are quite independent so tools and kits are excellent choices.
Ping Pong Table
Solar Energy exploration kit
Instrument of any kind, especially drums
Microscope and scientific equipment
Enchanted Caravan Store
You can find many of these gifts and more at the Enchanted Caravan School Store located at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, 701 Cabot St. Beverly, MA.
School Store hours: Mon – Friday, 8:15 to 9:15 am and Tuesday, Wed., Thurs., 2 – 3 pm.
Follow Enchanted Caravan Store on Instagram.