We are already at the gates of the Christmas and we are fully in search of the best gifts for all family members.
When it comes to choosing gifts for the little ones in the house, we all like to get it right, see them smile, be original and at the same time practical. Choosing from advertising blitz and catalogs filled with thousands of toys and accessories is not an easy choice. Most of them respond more to the desire to like parents and are little thought for the child to play, enjoy and learn.
If we analyze the catalogs that we all have at home, we see that toys are becoming more expensive because they have thousands of functions, lights and sounds with which they promise that they will excite the little one. But we all know what the children will end up playing with, with the box and the wrapping! And because? Because with more functions of the toy, less activity requires on the part of the child, and this ends up boring them. Instead, a daily box or object can be used for whatever your imagination wants. We can't underestimate the creative power that babies and children have. It's amazing!
Just the other day M caught me playing with a belt that he had taken out of his father's closet. First it was a snake (most obvious creation), then it became a horse, then it became a witch's broom and in the end it ended up stretching on the ground next to it to see what was longer if it was the rope or her. Until our cat came and started tugging at his belt. He played with it for about 40 minutes while I made dinner.
I love the idea of Adolfo de los Santos, child psychiatrist who has dedicated his life to the care, study and research of children. He says that you have to «play life "and more in these times of crisis in which well-being is discomfort and in which more than ever we must notice that while a child plays with a shoe box and a twine that serves as a drag, without noticing account, is constructing its thought ».
According Howard Gardner, psychologist, researcher and professor at Harvard University children possess eight types of intelligence: linguistic, musical, mathematical, spatial, corporal-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal and naturalistic. Several pedagogues support this theory and add that « games relate to these intelligences». So, they quote, that a skateboard or bicycle favors kinesthetic intelligence; a blackboard, verbal and mathematical; a doll and the fact of dressing and feeding him, the so-called «fine motor skills»Which is what facilitates the development of the hands, writing and also the emotional intelligence. Sophisticated toys are not suitable if they do not develop the imagination.
It is not easy to run away from the toys that lead the advertising campaigns, we know that you are going to love having your favorite characters, but we should try to get away from the toys that make the child more passive and also contribute to generating unnecessary consumerism.
How should a good toy?
- Adapt to the age, characteristics and tastes of the child.
- They must be safe and always approved.
- They have to stimulate the curiosity and all the senses of the baby or child.
- Encourage imagination and creativity.
- Break gender stereotypes and promote equality.
- The fewer the toy's programmed functions, the more it can develop fantasy and its symbolic reasoning ability.
Apart from this initial reflection and in order to help you choose, today we bring you a selection of thoughtful gifts to promote the good development and motor skills of the baby and young child. And in all we explain what its functions are 😉
For future dads or newborns:
During the first weeks of life, we cannot think of toys as such, but there are several accessories that we are not used to thinking that they can help them:
- Mimes Cushion: What better than giving a cushion to help the baby have a well-rounded head? The Mimos cushion prevents Y about plagiocephaly (link here) while the baby is resting.
- Babymoov cosydream: When they are just born, babies are used to the fetal position. This entire cushion raises their legs to promote the correct position of the back. In addition, it also incorporates a cushion on the head to maintain the round shape of the skull.
- Nursing and teething necklaces: with the arrival of the baby we usually think of gifts for him, but what if we also think of a detail for the mother? Nursing collars are the perfect 2 in 1. A necklace for mom and a relief for baby's gums. In addition, it also serves to start stimulating manipulation and helps the baby to entertain himself while breastfeeding, carrying, or simply being in Mom's arms. (Here our experience)
To enhance object handling and grip:
- Pilot oBall: The balls are always a safe bet for all the little ones in the house. Of all shapes, colors, textures and sizes, they love it! For the little ones we have to try to make them easy to grip to facilitate their exploration. If they also serve as a teether and rattle, we already have everything!
- Wooden rattles: Rattles, despite looking like a simple toy, are highly recommended as they help develop the sensory and manual skills of younger babies.
For the older ones there are also translucent wooden blocks, with which in addition to manipulation, they also exercise the sense of sight, hearing and proprioception (each one has different weights). In fact, this Christmas, it is one of the gifts that we have bought for M since we have realized that at school she loves them and is super interested in assembling towers with pieces different from the usual blocks (she is 2 years and 8 months old)
To strengthen the back and neck muscles:
- Activity blanket with facilitating cushion Tummy Time (or face down position): gyms or activity blankets give us incentives for babies to be in both positions:
- Face up: they will be distracted by watching and trying to catch all the hanging objects.
- Face down: when choosing a blanket of activities we must look at that it has objects of different textures, sounds, objects to uncover or mirrors to look at. This will make it more motivating to play face down.
To encourage the start of the movement:
- Roller: they roll, they sound (some have bells or pieces inside) and he invites them to go out after him, motivating him to stretch his arms or start crawling to catch him.
To encourage the first game, encourage observation and exploration of the qualities of objects:
- Treasure Basket: When they can sit still and start to get distracted looking at objects or toys of all kinds, it is ideal to build a treasure basket. Children tend to use common objects like toys, so let's take advantage of it! At home we can build it ourselves, but we also have the option to buy it.
- Stackable Cubes and Waldorf Rainbows:
Ideal for exploring, manipulating, initiating eye-hand coordination, stimulating the imagination, and starting to build.
For the most moved of the house: (crawlers and for the first steps)
When they begin to take their first steps, they want to go out and explore their entire environment, we have to provide them with security without taking away autonomy. This is the time for some good socks and walkers / riders.
- Non-slip socks: Like Jané's Soki's that we talked about in this link, which serve us both for crawling and for the first steps because they provide total freedom of movement of the foot while keeping their feet warm.
- Ride-on: It is important to choose the ones that, in addition to stability to move alone, offer us more activities: puzzles, transporting objects, labyrinths of fine motor skills that, in addition to giving them autonomy, help them develop coordination and strength. Strollers are not the same as a walker, which are detrimental to learning and force the baby (link with extensive explanation on this topic here)
To enhance the sense of rhythm:
- Imusical instruments: for all ages! They are always a source of fun and learning. This is one of the star gifts to M. The day we gave them to her she went crazy, her favorite at the moment is the xylophone. I recommend it to you!
A few weeks ago I also fell in love with this children's cajon that if you have a little one released with percussion I recommend it to you
For the most daring:
- Bicycles without pedals: essential to help develop balance and have fun during walks.
- Unirider: What can we say about this toy-complement-transport! Which is ideal! AM loves it and uses it almost every day. Also in this time we have seen how it has progressed in balance and body dexterity. At first she was sitting, then she started to lift her bum, then she 'folded' to the sides to turn as if she were on a motorcycle and now she is lying down and everything I swear she has done it! It's a show! From here we go to the circus 🙂 (Link of our experience here)
- One of the most important things for Mom's Lab is 'safety', that's why we also believe that one of the best gifts goes hand in hand with this. But NEVER BUY A SAFETY SEAT WITHOUT PARENTS BEING PRESENT AND RELEVANT TESTS TAKEN IN THE CAR AND WITH THE BABY. We know that it is a high-priced gift, so we advise you that if you do not know what to give the new family, do not spend accessories that will be at the bottom of a wardrobe. Get together a good group and do a 'WORTH YOUR NEW CHAIR ON THE COUNTERRAM' and that they are the ones who go to the store to choose it and do the tests with some good advisers. And you can accompany them. More would be missing! (Our experience of choice here)
Remember that for children the best gift is still playing and spending quality time with us.
You already know that following the criteria of the Mother's Laboratory, there is no brand that has asked us or subsidized us to appear on this list, our commitment remains only with the well-being of the little ones of the house.
And you, what gifts will you ask for this Christmas?
Post in collaboration with: Laia Maseras Col. 7098