You may have been thinking for many weeks about what gift you are going to give your children this Christmas, right? And, although you love to see the face they make when they receive what they have been waiting for, the moment of choosing one gift or another becomes a real headache. Which are the best Christmas gifts for children? To find an answer, we dive into the Montessori method with the help of Cristina Tébar, mother of two children and disseminator of this philosophy.
Just by going to any mall it is easy to realize that Christmas has arrived. Mountains of teddy bears stacked on top of each other, displays full of current video games, dolls and action toys all over the aisles ...
It's easy to feel a little overwhelmed by so many options (some of them a bit bizarre) to give kids for Christmas. How to find the best gift for children? And by ideal gift we mean one that children really like, that does not respond to a momentary whim or a passing fad. In addition, we look for gifts that help them in their learning, to acquire certain skills or to promote their development.
Based on the principles of the philosophy proposed by María Montessori, Cristina Tébar has pointed out some of the keys that the method recommends for choosing Christmas gifts.
1. Toys are not that important
The first thing we must bear in mind is that if we are trying to carry a Montessori upbringing, we must begin to soak up the Montessori philosophy: what it consists of, in what way is it convenient to relate to children, etc. It is not a question of wondering if this toy is better or worse for children, but of understanding the foundations of the Montessori philosophy to know which gifts are the best for children.
2. Toys, better be made of natural materials
When choosing toys for children, we look for those that are made of natural materials: wood, metal, natural fabrics ... These types of toys offer them an interesting sensory experience. Although it is not difficult to find these types of natural toys for younger children, as they grow older it becomes more complicated.
3. Avoid toys that make children passive
Although the tonic seems to be the opposite, the Montessori philosophy advocates more 'real' toys. Therefore, it is better to avoid gifts with lights, noises, bright colors, plastic ... That is, those kinds of toys that do everything for children, without the children having to do anything.
4. Observe children to find out what they really like
To find the ideal Christmas gift, you also have to observe your children and really see what things they like or what things they need at the moment of development in which they are. For example, if you are starting to like a trike, perhaps now is the ideal time to gift it to them. It's all about watching children and asking what things they really like.
5. Work with children on expectations about gifts
It never hurts to work with children on their expectations about the gifts they ask for and those they receive. When children ask for 20 gifts in their letter to Santa Claus or the Three Wise Men, they expect to receive those 20 gifts. However, it is not always possible, which can generate great frustration in them that they still do not know how to manage.
6. Write the toy letter with them
Therefore, before that moment arrives, it is good to explain to them that in the letter they can ask for whatever they want, but understanding that they will not receive everything because there are many things and some of them are unattainable. We must make them understand that you cannot always get what you want and you have to learn to handle this emotion.
We already know that Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men come to our house, but also to the grandparents', the uncles', the friends' ... For that reason, the situation that your children are gifted can be given toys at Christmas that do not meet the Montessori requirements or advice that you, as a mother or father, would like.
In these cases, how should we react? ¿We must take these gifts away from the little ones and hide them? Should we compromise and let them get to know other kinds of toys too?
Cristina Tébar, who is a mother of two children, says that at first she tried to prevent the little ones from using these toys that she did not consider convenient. However, over time, it has acquired a more flexible position.
However, for reasons of space, you must often ask your children to choose the toys they want. For organizational reasons, when something new enters the house, it is necessary to find a place for it; and if we can't find it, it means that there is something else we have to get rid of.
With this strategy, which ultimately answers a practical question, we teach children to be more selective, since they are the ones who decide which toy they prefer: the one they just gave them or the one they already have.
And Cristina Tébar herself explains that, according to her experience, although at first battery-operated toys are very attractive to children, once the 'novelty effect' wears off, the little ones usually return to those toys that stimulate them and help them learn.
Have you already thought about what you are going to give your children this Christmas?
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