The best gifts are those that give knowledge and experiences. Extracurricular activities such as dance, or a special science program are educational experiences that can benefit children intellectually and developmentally.
For example, “Studies have shown that dancing can improve memory and everyday performance, in addition to reducing dementia risk over the long-term,” according to Dr. Cynthia Green, a leading expert in brain health.
Creative gift ideas for children can encourage learning and give children positive experiences to remember for a lifetime. Some ideas include:
- Dance Class/Zumba
- Taking a trip as a family
- Visiting a historical site
- Taking an art class
- Signing your child up for music lessons. Let your child choose the instrument.
- Going to a symphony concert can alsobe beneficial to learn and appreciate music, especially if your child is already playing an instrument.
- Visiting a museum. The National Air and Space Museum is a great place for children if able to travel.
- Visiting a zoo or an aquarium can help encourage discovery and scientific exploration. Children can gain environmental awareness as well.
- Role-playing toys like doctor sets, fix-it toys, baby dolls and kitchen equipment. Gifts that encourage role-playing and pretending strengthen a child’s imagination and mental processing and can also help children learn important life skills.
Research shows that reading is beneficial for language and brain development. When parents encourage their young children to read, these children grow up to perform better in school. Lifelong reading has also been shown to reduce the risk of alzheimers in old age. Books are great gifts as well because they also provide children with knowledge and experiences. In addition, books can even help teach children about good values and having good character. Some interesting non-fiction book ideas for children include books on the following subjects:
- Sports: how-to & self-improvement, autobiographies and biographies on accomplished athletes
- Music & the Arts: dance, instruments, singing, producing, orchestra, autobiographies and biographies on accomplished musicians, how-to & self-improvement, drawing, painting
- Hobbies: sewing, jewelry making, stamp collecting, hiking,
- Plants & Animals, Nature
- Books on proverbs from different cultures around the world can help children gain wisdom. Personalized religious texts can also serve as gifts for those family who ascribe to a particular religion.
- Relationships: being a sibling, talking to parents, making friends, waiting for marriage
When children feel loved by their parents, they feel secure and are more confident in trying new activities.
This holiday season and for every day of the year, the best gift you can give your children is unconditional love.
For more information: