Christmas is coming. What to buy for the grandkids this year? That new toy with a million pieces? The newest doll with moving parts and tons of accessories? It’s a dilemma. Kids love toys and there is nothing wrong with buying them—even if we do tend to spoil them a bit. After all, we are the grandparents.
But maybe this year you’d like to do something more. Maybe you’d like to extend their understanding of holiday joy to include things that last longer than a day or a week.
Before you wonder if Scrooge is writing this article, let me say I love Christmas. I love giving presents and I love watching children open them. But allow me put in a good word for the type of gifts that will keep on giving pleasure, inspiration and educational benefit long after the holidays are over.
Here they are:
From music lessons, to art, drama, dance and sports, the gift of a series of lessons in some skill area will add character-building traits to your child’s personality. The child who learns to practice diligently, focus on a skill, set goals and meet them, experience defeat and then move on to victory, that child has gained lifelong benefits.
Ask your children some questions. Listen to their discussions when they’re dreaming of what they want to be or accomplish in their lives, research the best teachers and schools in your area. Choose from individual lessons with one on one attention, or group lessons which can be a wonderful starting point in a new skill.
Learning studies show more and more clearly that children with the ability to focus their attention and follow through with practice become better learners in every subject area.
Magazine subscriptions, books of the month and other learning materials that arrive at your grandchild’s doorstep on a regular basis instill a love for learning. Children look forward to the next issue, the next story, the next episode. They enjoy being “old enough” to have something come in the mail just for them.
There are fantastic books and magazines available for children. From literature to science, math, geography, history and more, the wealth of information available is quite wonderful. You know your grandchild. You’ll know the types of reading materials to purchase. And as your grandchild grows, so can the reading and interest levels of the subscription. There are excellent choices for all ages.
This choice may be the best one you can choose. Give the gift of time and adventure to your grandchildren. How about a planned trip to a local art or history museum? How about a week-end trip to Ghost Towns a short drive away? How about purchasing a book on geology and then taking a trip to some areas displaying geologic wonders?
Every town and region has its own historical background. Did they used to mine for gold in your area? Is lumber or fishing a local industry? Are there castles? Palaces? Famous authors’ homes? Did Lewis and Clark travel through your part of the world? Are there Native American sites to visit and learn about?
Since parents and grandparents are their child’s first and foremost teachers, you can take the initiative to combine learning with family fun. There are endless possibilities, and you can be sure the kids will love the time together and soak in a bit of learning at the same time.
So go ahead and buy the toys, dolls and games the grandkids want for Christmas. But why not make it an annual tradition to add in at least one gift that will keep on giving?
Quality Magazines for Young Learners
For Ages 0-2
For Ages 3-6
Highlights High Five
Your Big Backyard
Ranger Rick Jr.
National Geographic Little Kids
For Ages 6-9
For Ages 9-14
Time for Kids
National Geographic Kids
Sports Illustrated Kids