Thoughts on Holiday Gift-Giving for Children from LePort Montessori Schools | Irvine Moms

The holidays are a great opportunity to come together as a family. In many families,
they also are a time to express our appreciation with thoughtful gifts that align with our
values, and that put big smiles on the faces of our precious children. At LePort Schools,
we recommend gifts that foster the skills and attitudes at the core of your child’s
Montessori education. If you are interested in finding gifts that help you support your
child’s education at home, read on to discover gift ideas that your child will both love
and learn from.
Get into the kitchen and out into the garden. Most children love to hang out in the
kitchen and “help”. They love to garden along with us, or take a turn at handling
tools. For Small Hands is a great online store that offers real, high-quality tools sized for
young children to handle comfortably. You’ll find everything from child-sized
brooms and aprons to hand-drills, from gardening gloves to child-safe vegetable


Game time! The holidays are perfect for starting a tradition of turning the TV off and
instead playing games together as a family. Children as young as age three can play
board games, such as Hi Ho Cherry O, the Ladybug Game or Sequence for Kids. Memory
games—with wide ranges of pictures, from construction equipment to life on earth and
more challenging I Spy versions—can be turned into “matching games” for 2-year-olds;
with practice, some 4- or 5-year-olds will love to beat Mom and Dad at memory! Simple
card games, such as Uno or Go Fish, can also be fun, especially if you start by playing
them with the cards laid out openly, so you can help younger players. And older childrenmay enjoy more challenging games like Shut the Box.

Pretend play. Every child should have plenty of time for unstructured free play.
Pretending to take on grown-up roles, working together to make up far-flung journeys, or
acting out day-to-day situations is lots of fun. Children are creative, and can make a lot
from a little, so you don’t have to buy much. Consider largely unstructured items, which
inspire and not limit creativity, things like a play cape, a doctor kit or even a working
stethoscope, some huge cardboard blocks, and your little ones may be off for hours of
play, especially if you also make sofa cushions, chairs, blankets and tables available to

Let’s draw and do crafts together. With your child’s growing attention span and
improving fine motor skills, she’ll soon delight in having quality and fun materials to be
creative with. If you have the space, a two-sided easel can be great for the youngest ones to draw on a big, toddler-suitable surface, especially if you can offer nice chalk or poster paint. (Don’t forget the artist smock!) For older children, invest in drawing pads and high-quality colored pencils. If you want to help your budding artist to both
learn to draw more things, and practice reproducing shapes (a key skill in writing), you
may find one of the “How to Draw” series a great way to spend some quality time
together. The step-by-step instructions for drawing animals, flowers, or people are
super-simple; 3-year-olds will delight in coloring the figures you draw for them, while
older children will be excited to try their hand at tracing or copying the figures. Klutz
books and activity kits also are a great source for creative inspiration, and so easy that
even those of us who don’t think we are very good at crafty things can have fun with our

Head outside and play! Every child should have a collection of balls: even infants can
enjoy easy-to-clutch open balls to throw around outside. Or try having fun with bubbles:
this bubble wand is just amazing, and sure to be a hit, whether in your yard, or at the
park. Finally, balance bikes are a huge hit for children to receive. These make great
holiday gifts for children as young as age 2, and are a great way to get ready quickly for
riding real bikes for older preschoolers.

It’s story time. No surprise here: we always think books are a must-have gift for your
child whenever there’s a joyous occasion.


We hope you find some interesting new ideas in this list for your family, and that
whatever gifts you choose add joy to your holidays and for the year to come.
Happy Holidays from LePort Montessori Schools!

LePort Montessori Schools are located in Huntington Beach, Irvine, and Solana Beach,
and offer an authentic, nurturing Montessori experience. With programs from infancy (as
young as 12 weeks) through middle school, your children can thrive with us for many
years. Our students gain what we call Knowledge for Life: the essential knowledge,
thinking skills and strength of character needed to flourish as joyous children today, and
as successful adults tomorrow.

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