Give the Gift of Inspiration
With the holidays in full swing, now is probably the time that you’re really getting serious about purchasing those perfect last-minute gifts. When it comes to gifts for girls, the traditional standbys are always fun, such as dolls and dress-up clothes. However, if you want to potentially change the trajectory of a young girl’s life, putting her on a path filled with imagination, creativity, and learning is a great way to begin. If you’re wondering how to do all that with a simple gift, here are a few creative gifts to help make this season merry and bright.
Give the Gift of Creativity
Compared to the instant gratification you get when a child receives a toy you have given them, gifts that encourage creativity can initially seem kind of boring. That doesn’t mean these gifts should be overlooked, however. Allowing a child to use their creativity helps them increase their focus, patience, and their self-awareness. Plus, no matter what their current skill level is, beginning a passion for creativity at a young age could uncover hidden natural talents that blossom into a lifelong love and talent for the arts.
Ideas of creative gifts include the obvious like crayons, markers, colored pencils, and glue. You could also gift creative elements such as the ones offered by Maya Toys, including: Orbeez, Cutie Stix or Pom Pom Wow, and more! If you’re wondering where to buy Orbeez, you can find the Maya Toys products online or in-store at Target, Walmart or Toys R Us.
Give the Gift of Imagination
In many ways, imagination and creativity are closely-linked together. You can’t have creativity without imagination, and imagination is dry and boring without a fair amount of creativity. Imagination encourages problem-solving skills, cooperation, and gratefulness by allowing a child to work through a situation and find a solution using what they have immediately available.
Play-doh is a classic imaginative toy that also involves creativity, but whose outcome is more fluid and dynamic than, say, a coloring page. With Play-doh, you have the ability to instantly reshape the final product, and immediately start over if you become dissatisfied. Other great thought-provoking activities include reading books, building blocks, pretend to play toys such as doctor’s kits, and of course the perennial favorite, “the box.” These items all allow a child to begin with an essentially blank canvas and change the direction of the final product with each decision they make along the way.
Give the Gift of Possibility
For young girls especially, encouraging their interest in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) opens up a broad spectrum of future career opportunities. They can find fulfillment with the high calling of being a full-time mommy if they want, or they can find fulfillment in fields that have traditionally been male-dominated, and make their mark on the world designing buildings and flying to space.
Beyond educational presents, one simple way to do this is to not limit your daughter to traditionally girl-focused toys. Take any young girl down the “boy toy” aisle at a toy store, and her eyes will light up with all the mechanical toys that play to the tactile-kinesthetic learning style. In addition, there are many toys being marketed directly to young girls that encourage a focus on mechanical and industrial engineering, while still being fun and age-appropriate. Taken together, these toys will ensure your daughter sets her sights high, knowing that she can do anything she sets her mind to.
Give with Love
So often, parents give gifts that encourage their kids to excel simply for the purpose of seeing them excel. It becomes an area of bragging rights for the parent, that their child is so creative, imaginative, or insightful. These gifts aren’t meant to help you, though.
These gifts should be given simply out of a desire to delight your child and see her mind opened up to a world of new possibilities. If these conditions set her up for greater success in her future, then that’s fantastic. In the meantime, though, simply appreciate her simple enjoyment of learning new things and expanding her horizons while she enjoys just being a kid.