Have you ever dreaded the clutter that comes after Christmas? Do you feel like your kids have too many toys and you have now where to put them? I have come up with a list of gift ideas for your kids that will help make Christmas less stressful and the rest of your year more enjoyable.
If you buy a seasonal pass to anything, STOP!!! This is a great gift for grandparents, aunts/uncles, and even Santa. We put a zoo pass on the kids’ Christmas list from one of their grandparents and a Children’s Museum pass from their other grandparents. They are pretty big presents but both grandparents spend way too much on our kids for toys so this way they can get them something we can all enjoy all year.
My kids enjoy reading and we use their tablet to store their books. I have put on their Christmas lists subscriptions to book apps and other educational apps that we use. I even added in a book list for my oldest, of books that she wants on the Kindle. It is something that is used more than all the toys and let’s admit it “junk” that they get for gifts.
There are always events going on that are great for kids. Get the kids tickets to Disney on Ice or any other character live show. The memories that are made when they go to these events will last forever. They will get new experiences and you won’t have another toy to through away a week after Christmas because it got broke.
If you have kids in sports, activities, and clubs this is a great opportunity to get supplies for them. When my daughter started karate it was around the time of her birthday so my dad got her uniform as a birthday present. This year she wants a punching bag like they have at karate so that she can practice her punches and kicks. Christmas and birthdays are a great time to get these things. If your kid needs cleats for soccer, costumes for dance or supplies for a 4-H project, take advantage of holidays to stock up.
I hope these give you some good ideas to help you out this Christmas. Comment if you have any more ideas that other moms can use.
Many parents question whether their child should be allowed to use technology at a young age. It is a very touchy topic with a number of parents. Some believe that screen time should not be allowed at all. There are some great things that technology can provide for a family and it is important to keep it controlled and in moderation.
When we were kids we had home phones. Today, most people do not have a home phone. Cellphones have replaced the home phone for the most part. This means when there is an emergency you can’t have your children go to the nearest house and ask to use their home phone. Many parents let their older children ride the bus home, and they are alone for a short time. It is important to have a way to get ahold of an adult incase of an emergency, no matter what age the child is. That doesn’t mean they need a cell phone. There are options like a smartwatch. This would allow your child to contact a small number of people that you choose. I have started researching smartwatches for my 5-year-old.
How many moms out there have a child who loves it when you read books to them? I have a child who could sit and listen to me read to her for hours. Working full-time and being a full-time student, it can be hard to find the time to read to her as much as she would like. I get to read at most 2 books a day. With her tablet, she is able to have books read to her and she can follow along as it highlights the words. She can take her library anywhere she goes. I am also able to download books at her level as she learns to read. It makes it easy to keep her interest in books and reading. Being interested in reading is very important for any child.
During the summer I wanted my daughters to stay on top of her academics. I downloaded an app that allows her to do lessons and I am able to track her progress as she works. I can see what she understands and what she could use more work on. Her reading app lets me track how many books she has read and how many minutes she has read for. As parents we want our kids to continually learn new things and to be challenged. So this makes it easy for us to stay on top of their progress.
Sometimes we notice that our children are struggling and they could use some extra practice. There are a large number of apps out there that are can help your child practice an area they struggle with.
When a child gets a new phone, tablet, or smartwatch they have to learn to be responsible. You just shelled out a good chunk of money to get them their new device and they need to know how to treat it. They will learn that they have to be careful not to break it, not lose it, and know what they are supposed to use it for.
Technology is a great tool for children to use but there should be restrictions set up to keep your child safe. It is still important for your child to learn through daily activities and for them to get plenty of time to be creative. Technology should not be used to replace this, but instead as a tool in addition to creativity and authentic learning opportunities.
Please comment if you have other examples of the benefits of technology for children. Also, comment with any thoughts and concerns about the topic.