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5 classic toys that make perfect Christmas gifts

Old school gifts and toys for ChristmasWith all the whiz bang technology out there, it’s pretty hard to not be distracted by all the flashing lights, buttons, touch screens and so on that are integrated into the latest children’s toys.

And who is to say these toys aren’t fantastic? They’re in line with today’s world and they can be a fantastic learning tool.

But as I’ve been perusing catalogue after catalogue for Christmas presents this year, I’ve been reliving the toys I had a child, and you know what? They are still awesome.

So I’m giving you a moment to relive the classics and consider them as a gift for Christmas this year. Because the learning benefits in these toys are just as amazing, if not more, as today’s educational gadget.

5 classic toys that make perfect Christmas gifts

Baby playing with a ball for his Christmas presentBalls

Yes, that’s right. Balls. Every colour, size, shape and material that you can imagine. My little guy has been playing with an array of balls since he was born. He started with a soft soccer ball and worked his way up. By 12 months he could roll it, chase it and pop it up over his head and bounce it.

As a teacher, I’ve come across many children who have great difficulty perfecting the art of throwing and catching. Why? Because they haven’t practised! Playing with balls increases hand-eye coordination, improves motor skills, gets children active and outside!

Children playing with hula hoops they got for Christmas presentsHula hoops

When I was little my parents gave me a hula hoop for my birthday. It was pink and I thought it was extra special because it was bendy and I could twist it into an ‘8’’. I moved my hips like anything. It went round and round as I counted.

Not only that, but I perfected using the hula hoop around my arms, neck and ankles. I don’t remember ever getting bored! Another one that’s fantastic for coordination and getting kids moving!


Children playing with a jigsaw puzzle they got for a Christmas presentJigsaw puzzles

I can hear you thinking ‘as IF my child can sit long enough to do a jigsaw puzzle!’. They can, and they will. I’ve seen the most reluctant learner get so obsessed by completing a jigsaw puzzle that I’ve had to corner it off in the classroom with a “do not touch” sign.

Why? Because it’s a jigsaw based around their interests. Your child is in love with trucks? Get them a truck jigsaw! Maybe dinosaurs or fairies are their latest thing, so get them a jigsaw puzzle of either of those! Just make sure it’s not too easy or too hard.

Children playing with a board game of chess they got for a Christmas presentBoard games

There are so many out there and, like jigsaw puzzles, you can usually find one to suit your child’s interest, and therefore hold their attention. They are great for a rainy day, or maybe a time when you realise the TV has been on a little too long.

They’re so portable too. If you’re going on a holiday with children, take them just in case you get stuck inside with some cranky, bored kiddies!

Child playing with puppets she got for a Christmas present


I have never met a child who doesn’t like roleplay. And if they’re not keen on getting dressed up, then they are more than happy to be hiding behind a table with a sheet over it, playing with puppets!

You can inspire children with the smallest of prompts – ‘What about acting out your favourite book?’, ‘Let’s pretend we are making a new friend!’ or ‘So we are having a problem sharing and need to solve it? Let’s act it out’. See the learning here? It’s mammoth, and it’s fun too.

Children playing hula hoops for Christmas

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4 comments so far -

  1. Great post – fantastic!
    We’re on the same page here! We have 4 kids with wide age differences, and have to work within a very tight budget. Our choice of toys is often based on what we liked when we were kids in the 70’s/80s, and things that can still be used in our frequent power outages or torrential rainstorms. And things that are sturdy enough to withstand kids being accidentally rough.
    I would add “books” to this list, and “Lego” also. We still have Lego sets and books from when we were kids that our kids now play with!
    My nephews always seem to get the latest and greatest gadgetty things, and you know something? Their attention is only occupied for a very short time before they want the next shiny thing in the catalogues.

  2. I love this post. I think the toys that have been around the longest have proved that they’re good value – otherwise they would have disappeared long ago. I try to stick to the classics when buying for my two. Everything else is just a fad!

    • So true – they are stayers for a reason! I’ve bought a few jigsaw puzzles this year and other classic items, but I do love some of the new things out there as well. It’s all about balance I think and definitely getting those toys that will lead children outside into the fresh air 🙂



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