Friday, 25 May 2018

A Gift for the Imagination: Prezzies for Toddlers’ Minds

That special little chap or lady have started walking about and causing all sorts of mischief. They climb up and down the furniture, they cry like it’s the end of the world when you ask them not to lick their fingers and put them in the plug sockets, they throw wobblies in public and food at the walls. They’re great and don’t they just know it. Now it’s their birthday, and you’re not quite sure what to get them.

In the eyes of toddlers, designer clothes are for rolling in muddy puddles, jewellery is a percussion instrument, electronic devices are for smashing open and seeing what’s inside. Rightly so. But the question remains, what to give the little person that has it all?

We once heard a rumour that no child can have too many toys? Maybe so, maybe not, but whatever the truth, it can’t be denied that the best toy in town is the imagination. Let’s check out some gifts for the imagination here:

1. Soft toys

There are many toys. Many little plastic trucks, many little wooden people, many little houses, pets, beasts and more. Some toys glow alight, others speak your name, others sing their ABC, others will even shed a tear. So why soft toys?

Soft toys in the UK, USA, UAE, from Brazil to Bhutan, from Samoa to Senegal – everywhere, in fact – beat so many of their plastic, wooden and tin counterparts because of their intrinsic cuddlebility. This means that not only are they fantastic for playing out the fantastical stories of our children’s minds, but also those of their dreams. Nothing beats a toy you can spend the day with then cosy up to at night. Those most special of soft toys will be more than toys; they will be best friends.

2. Picture books

No matter how young or old you are, books activate the mind. Classic children’s stories such as The Wind in the Willows, Swallows and Amazons, The Railway Children and The Tale of Peter Rabbit ignite children’s imaginations today as much as when they were first published. But probably your toddler isn’t quite ready for a classic story just yet. Pop-up books can be beautifully made and utterly delightful to explore, but they are also delicate things, and toddlers are set on discovering the world around them as much with their hands as their eyes and ears. So if you want to gift a book – and why wouldn’t you? – choose something that’s full of bright colour and engaging imagery, one with simple yet fun storylines, one with rhymes, one with characters that your toddler will  love (mischievous personalities are popular, we hear).

3. Sketch book and crayons

It’s sad that us grownups ever stopped drawing stuff – we used to love it so! If you managed not to give up colouring in, sketching, painting, drawing, then good for you. Toddlers may be unpredictable, but they’re nobody’s fool, so present them with a sensible gift like some colouring pens and pencils and let them get on with the important matter of articulating their thoughts and feelings on paper.

*This is a collaborative post*

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