Stuck for present ideas this Christmas? The shelves of toy shops are full of colourful packages making decisions tricky. Here are some great ideas that are not only simple and fun but supportive of childrens healthy development.
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A small set of cymbals
-This helps children develop an interest in music by stimulating the area of the brain that is dedicated to music. It will also help to improve children”s hand-eye coordination by encouraging them to bang the miniature cymbals together.

A short simple rhyming book
-The patterns in the speech of the person reading the book will help the child to develop an interest in reading.

A simple book with pictures of farm animals and touch-and-feel sections with different textures
-This not only helps children learn the names and sounds of the most common animals, it helps to promote brain development by stimulating their sense on touch.

A train set
-This will help to develop fine motor skills by getting them to join train track pieces together and by getting them to balance the trains on the track while they push them. It will also help promote collaborative play between two or more children which is critical in developing strong social skills.

A set of stacking blocks
-This helps children to begin to grasp the concepts of ??bigger?? and ??smaller?? whilst developing their motor skills by getting them to balance boxes on other slightly bigger boxes.

A set of dark pencils (or thin wind up crayons) and paper
-This will help the child to develop a pincer grip on the pencil which is an important step in learning to write.

Cooking sets (tea set, pots and pans etc)
– This encourages children to play cooperatively and to work together at a common goal. It is these early social interactions that will be crucial in developing the child”s personality and sense of self.

A set of paints
– Painting helps promote brain development by stimulating the areas of the brain that are devoted to creativity and fine motor skills. It is very important to let children explore their artistic side as it helps them learn express themselves.

A ball (soccer ball, football, bouncy ball)
-Playing ball games as a young child is absolutely critical in developing general sporting skills and interest. If a child is going to become skilled in sports they need to be exposed to different sports from a young age so that they can not only develop an interest in sports, but can start to develop their gross motor skills such as kicking and catching. Playing sports with children is also an important part of teaching them how to work as part of a team.

A decent sized xylophone or keyboard
-For a child to develop musicianship skills they need to be exploring music from a young age. By encouraging children to play around with a keyboard you are helping them to understand concepts such as ??rhythm??, ??beat?? and ??melody??.

A construction set with small pieces
-Encourageing children to join small pieces together helps them to develop their fine motor skills. Building their own constructions also helps them to learn how to visualise their constructions before they are complete which in turn helps them plan structures of increasing grandeur.

Card games (Old Maid, Go Fish, UNO, etc)
-Playing card games helps children learn different game theories and improves their logical reasoning skills (which helps with their mathematical skills later on).

Board Games
-Board games help children learn a myriad of skills. Depending on the game they may learn about game tactics, adding and subtracting, working as a team, the list is endless! One thing they will always develop by playing board games is their social skills as board games encourages children to cooperate with each other

Outdoor Sports Sets (cricket set, soccer set, football set)
-Playing sports as a child is vitally important as it encourages children to stay active throughout their life (which is such an important part of being healthy). If you can get children interested in sports then there is a higher chance that they will end up being active as an adult and thus live a healthier life.