Planning on how to fill your little one’s Christmas stockings can be one of the most exciting parts of the Christmas season. Watching their excited expression as they unwrap their gifts on Christmas Day can make all the effort worthwhile. So how do you go about choosing the perfect gifts for them?
Limit the gifts
It is important to be sensible about choosing gifts. Your little one won’t care about labels or how many gifts they get. It’s actually better to go with fewer gifts when they are small anyway. They are often likely to find it quite overwhelming and will often be spoiled by relatives and friends as well.
A good rule of thumb is two or three gifts that you know they’ll be able to get some use out of in the long-term, and then a few stocking fillers for fun.
Choose with care
When choosing presents for the stocking, check the labels carefully to ensure the presents are age-appropriate. There are tags that will tell you what age group a toy or book is suited to. It is important to check that to ensure your little one isn’t playing with something that may be a potential hazard for them.
Check your options
One of the problems with the mid-year toy sales is that baby will often have a whole new set of interests six months later. They grow and develop so quickly in the early years that your little one may have gone from crawling to walking, or from babbling to speaking in full sentences! So that perfect toy that you’ve chosen and put on layby may not be ideal for them by Christmas. Instead, it is often better to shop a couple of months before Christmas. There will usually be sales on, or you can check out online stores for potential bargains.
Focus on baby
When you start thinking about gifts for your little one, it’s good to spend some time closely observing them. What activities do they seem to thrive on? Do they enjoy creative play or do they like to be in the kitchen trying to help you out? If they are into creative play then maybe some dress-up costumes are the way to go, but for the mini master chef why not get them some miniature cooking equipment so they can cook with you as well?
If baby is trying to walk, it might be a good time to invest in toys that will encourage this. If you have a newborn, then rattles or soft toys might be a great option instead.
Keep wrapping simple
Even if you love wrapping things elegantly and decoratively, don’t do this for baby. Save your efforts for family and friends who will appreciate your efforts. Your little one is likely to get frustrated and distressed if they can’t get past the ribbon and reams of sticky tape on their present. Avoid using ribbon at all on their gifts. Stick to using inexpensive rolls of Christmas paper and keep the tape to a minimum.
Once Christmas Day is done
Once the excitement of Christmas Day is over and your little one has finally settled off to sleep, it is a good time to sit down and go through their Christmas gifts. If they’ve been given anything you feel is inappropriate for their age and ability, you can store it away for future use. It’s also a good idea to leave out just two of the toys they received and put the rest away.
You can bring these out one or two at a time in the future. The chances are they will only have a faint memory of them, and it will be like getting a new toy again. It means you can spread the fun of Christmas that bit further and also find new and interesting ways to keep your baby occupied on future occasions.
We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of finding stocking fillers for you. They are all usually available at major toy- or craft stores. Remember to choose ones that are appropriate for your little one’s age group. Don’t be surprised if it is the cheaper gift that ends up being the hit of Christmas, rather than the toy you placed on layby and spent months paying off! Children have an amazing way of really enjoying the simplest things. It is a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
Fun and colourful toothbrush
Gliders or Kites
Colouring in books
Silly putty/ Play dough
Slinky spring in rainbow colours
High bounce balls
Novelty money box
Mini craft kits
Mini brain teaser puzzles
Rubber duck/ Bath toys
Tambourine or other musical toys
Bucket and spade set for the beach
Swimming trunks or costume
Playing cards/ Board games