Valerie’s Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

If you’re considering what to give your children, family or friends’ children for the holidays, or if you just need a list of loving suggestions for family and friends, I’ve compiled a list of great gifts that encourage healthy development for our children.  


Sometimes just a bunch different sized legos are all that is needed to help your child’s brain develop skills in problem solving, concentration, and hand-eye coordination. Legos also encourage discovery and growth of imagination.

Blocks and Marbles“:

Check on-line to decide which kind (wooden or plastic), then ask relatives to each buy one of the same set, and you will have a lifetime supply of open-ended games for your child and yourself!

The “Set” Game:

In Set, the whole family can play. You use a deck of 81 cards, varying in four features: number; symbol; shading; and color. Each possible combination appears once in the deck. The game promotes concentration, attention to details and more!


There are at least two wonderful ways that Dominos can be used to encourage development. The Dominos game is great for children to learn counting and matching!  Or you can use the tiles to construct a winding parade, then watch the exciting chain reaction as the first tile is toppled. This is ideal for promoting dexterity, hand control, hand-eye coordination, concentration and the understanding of cause and effect!


Qiwrkle incorporates elements of other familiar games and is engaging for all ages!  It’s part dominoes (matching) and part chess (planning ahead and strategy).  When a tile completes a series, call “Qwirkle!” (instead of Bingo).  Even the youngest players can score points with basic plays (match any circle with any other circle, or any blue shape with any other blue shape).

For more ideas, check out For Small Hands or Montessori Services, which our teachers use to equip the classrooms.

These services offer a vast assortment of cooperative games and open-ended activities that encourage discovery and growth of imagination. Their specialty has always been to provide real, child-size tools to enable young children to have successful experiences learning how to take care for themselves and their environment and how to develop their brain in the same time. From toys to books that stimulate reading, you’ll find tools and materials that are both educational and entertaining, helping build strong self-esteems and giving a great educational foundation for children of all ages.