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December 20th, 2012
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Christmas shopping for children can be slightly overwhelming, especially when the toy store shelves are piled high with the latest flashing, singing gadgets. Here are some Christmas gift ideas for children aged three and under that they really will be playing with long after the tinsel has been put away.

  • Imaginative toys Toys that encourage children to develop their imaginations include simple train or farmyard sets, and toy doctor’s or builder’s kits. You could also consider a play kitchen complete with toy food that can be cut up and served, a dolls house, or a car garage. These types of toys tend to last longer when they are made of wood and are kept simple, without battery operated extras.
  • Building blocks All children love to build with blocks, starting with squashy foam blocks for babies, moving onto colourful wooden blocks which will last forever, and mega blocks, Duplo and finally Lego for older children. Again building blocks allow children’s imaginations to develop as they can begin to construct their own toys or structures for their smaller toys to play in and around.
  • Simple games They may not always seem the most exciting gifts but simple puzzles and games are a wonderful way to help children learn about patience and taking turns, as well as teaching them their colours, shapes, and numbers. Games also provide a great way for adults and children to interact over Christmas. Look for simple memory games, colourful floor puzzles with chunky pieces, and basic learning games such as Red Dog Blue Dog from Orchard Toys which the whole family can play.
  • Craft supplies Craft supplies make a lovely Christmas present that will provide entertainment throughout the year. Play dough is always a hit, especially if you combine it with cutters and other tools. Finger-paints are also a good choice, or you could look for a craft kit that contains tissue paper, card, glitter, pom poms, crayons, glue, and safety scissors, allowing children to make their own Christmas thank you cards.
  • Dressing up clothes Dressing up clothes and costumes can make play time extra special so look for sparkly princess dresses, fairy wings, firemen helmets, pirate patches, super hero cloaks, or any other accessories that will help little ones to get into character. A special toy box containing dressing up clothes can keep a child entertained for hours.
  • An indoor den Small children love having their own little space that they can fill with their favourite toys and retreat to for some quiet time if the celebrations get a little too much, or where they can invite mum or dad inside for a cosy story. Whether you choose a simple pop up tent in their favourite colour, or a full Wendy House construction, an indoor den makes a lovely Christmas present.

When you’re searching for the perfect Christmas present for a young child, look for something that will inspire their imagination and that they can use to create their own games. Ideally you should choose something they can learn from, and that will be used throughout the whole year, not just on Christmas Day.

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