My youngest daughter turned 6 last week and while I was shopping around for some birthday presents for her, I started to think what I could get her. She still loves girly things, like princesses, fairies etc.
I’m finding that some things that are intrinsically tied to girls won’t go away until they get older; nor should there be an overpowering campaign to try to change this. I’m talking about princess stuff, makeup, jewelery etc. But when I’m doing the shopping for my girls, I try to think outside the box, and revert to my childhood to see if I can get some ideas.
So one of the presents I got for her was a toy motorcycle that had to be assembled with tools. This is a toy made by Meccano, and when I bought it, I wasn’t sure whether she would like it or not. One, it’s a motorcycle, and two, the pieces were a little small. When I was a kid, I remember my dad got me several Meccano sets, and I’d have fun putting them together. This one worked out great though. After her birthday party, she sat with her grandpa and together they worked on the bike. It felt so good to watch her handle the tools that came with the set, and see her get into the building and the collaboration.
She also loves music, and beside always having music in the house (from CCR to Led Zepplin, to Mozart and Edith Piaf to name just a few), my wife and I have tried to intoduce musical instruments into their play as well. So while shopping, I bought her a snare drum. Last year I bought her a guitar, that she still plays.
I also got her a flashlight. A no-nonsense LED one that she can use anywhere, anytime. She loves flashlights. I think it’s great that something that small and inexpensive gets her into an exploratory mode.
If you’re looking for some Christmas goodies for your adventurers, some of the best gifts are ones that kids can use their imaginations and exploratory senses. Think microscopes (I’ll be getting one for my 8yr old), modelling clay, butterfly garden kits, binoculars, birdhouse kits, tool sets for kids, paint and canvas, and other simple, but fun and adventurous toys that go a long way to keep your kid entertained well.