I have seen so many posts on Facebook recently asking what people are getting their kids for Christmas, and “Do your kids actually play with this toy or that?” And then I came across this post explaining why toys are really overrated. I had decided earlier this year that I was NOT giving my kids toys for Christmas, and reading it from another mom just reaffirmed that.
My one year old plays with whatever he can snatch from his brother, and my 3 year old plays with whatever is lying around. Things from kitchen spoons to hair elastics feed his imagination and magically come to life. The toys he does have aren’t played with in the way they are “meant” to be played with. Music instruments become sharks, tinker-toys become shark food, and Cowboys and Indians become fish. And they will play with ANYTHING for HOURS as long as I am right there with them. Because all they really want is for someone to spend time with them.
So I looked over my Christmas list for my boys and scratched off EVERYTHING. Because “toys” had still found their way onto the list. I wanted something for my kids to play with Christmas day, but let’s be real here, they will play with the wrapping paper and boxes for just as long as any toy I could buy them. Because my boys are IMAGINATIVE and I want them to stay that way. And they toys will end up at home in a box.
So then I had to start over with thinking about what to give them for Christmas. And I finally decided I am going to be THAT mom. The one that gives her kids art supplies, loose parts, homemade science experiment kits, and STEAM drawers. Because I want my kids to stay imaginative.
We have been doing home based learning with Tot-School and Preschool so the supplies will be centered around our curriculum. I recently became an affiliate for their curriculum because I loved their tot-school so much! Nourishing Small Minds has something for Moms who want activities to entertain their kids while Mom makes dinner, activities to help your child love learning, and activities to help with home-based preschool. It offers activities for ages 18 months to 4 years! The best part about having a curriculum is that I no longer spend hours scrolling through Pinterest finding crafts that my kids will probably never do. The Nourishing Small Minds curriculum has everything laid out for you and covers all aspects of learning. Most of the things I found on Pinterest were crafty and fun, but didn’t help me know how to teach them math. I love the child-based learning approach of the curriculum so that I can go at my child’s level, but also know what I need to help encourage him to learn.
Having a curriculum makes it that much easier for me to know what kind of supplies and learning material I want to get my kids for Christmas.