What I bought and why
This Christmas I have four children to buy for
7 year old twins
A 3 year old
And a new baby
Much like taking us all on holiday
Planning Christmas has to be done with military precision
Since the beginning of October
I have been writing list after list after list
As I write a blog
I have also been sharing my lists
And ideas for gifts on there
Just a few days ago I shared my shopping list for
The post has been well read and well received
I have now bought the children’s stocking fillers
In the end they all came from Babipur
So I thought I would share what I chose
And the reasons why I made each choice
The first thing to know
Is that as a large family
We have over the years accumulated a huge amount of toys
Some well used and well loved
Some once loved but long forgotten
Some never really used
This year we are reducing the number of toys in our home
We are donating lots of our unused toys to charity shops close by
We have already given some to local schools and preschools
This year we have started to focus on more educational toys
Traditional wooden toys
This year we are having a slow Christmas
With gifts for the children that encourage and facilitate open ended play
We have been working with Babipur testing a large Grimms pastel rainbow
And the way my children
In particular my 7 year old son
Has quashed any doubt that I might not be doing the right thing
Seeing what my boy can do with a rainbow
Has inspired me to really whole heartedly
Give this toy reduction a go
To truly embrace the ethos of fewer better toys
And inspire open ended collaborative play
Within my tiny tribe
And so here is what my seven year olds will find
In their stockings this Christmas
W, Boy, age 7
Ever since we went to see jousting in the summer William has wanted some knights to play with. These are the nicest ones I have found. He wants to stage battle scenes between noble knights. He wants to defend castles and save damsels in distress. He wants to act out the myths and legends that we read. These are gallant knights, brave soldiers, skilled fighters. These are the tellers of tall tales from long ago. I cannot wait to see their adventures unfold.
Here is a bear in a cave. Here is an explorer sleeping on a mountain on a dark, bitterly cold night. Here is a child playing hide and seek. Here are endless opportunities for storytelling and play.
William does acro and gymnastics. He is always bouncing, twisting, tumbling and balancing. These little figures provide some fine motor skill acrobatics to support his gross motor skills. Stacking and balancing, building towers or acrobats. A beautiful wooden toy for balancing and constructing, or open ended characters for small world play.
These beautiful wooden people can be anyone, anything. Give them a name or not. Give them a character or not. Give them a role or not. Give them feelings or not. So many possibilities. What will he see? What will he play? How will my boy choose to use these stunning sensory natural Nins.
E, Girl, Age 7
When Esther was in NICU I used to sing her the song, ‘There was a princess long ago…’ This I imagine to be the prince and princess from that song though they can be used as any prince and princess, new or old, with a tale as old as time or a tale yet to be written. These are for Esther to play alone or to use with William and his knights.
Esther loves small world play. She loves to create lands and settings and homes for creatures. I love watching her imagination come to life in front of my eyes. It is magical. I love to hear the stories that she tells and get to know the characters that she creates. These pebbles will help her to add elements to her storytelling, to her habitats. They can be placed in the lands she creates. They are also fun for balancing and stacking.
Here is a lone adventurer, camping out beneath canvas, ready to study the starry night sky. Here is a young girl having a sleepover with friends. Here is a creature standing their post, enemies of this creature … beware! A figure, a shelter, a story to be told, an adventure to be shared. Anything is possible. Anything at all!
A simple balancing game that can also be added to a garden or a forest. So many creative ways to play. I love toys that stand alone and can also be added together with other beautiful toys to create something kind of wonderful.
As with William I am so excited to see what these little figures become in Esther’s play.
I have tried to buy my three year old daughter
Toys that will help her to play with the twins
But that will also allow her to play alone
I am also imagining that once the festivities are finished
These toys will be housed in the playroom
And therefore will all be shared
In my 3 year old’s Christmas stocking
There will be
These I have chosen for because they look fun to stack and sort and balance. They can be put on things and in things, used together and individually. Bea loves collecting stones and these may be seen as special magical stones. We can use them to create small world scenes, we can use them for casting spells and making potions. I am looking forward to arranging and playing with these wobbly rocks and seeing what Bea chooses to do with them too.
Bea adores The Gruffalo. I think he scares her a little but she knows the story off by heart and recites it in the car and around the house. It will be lovely to act out the story with her with these figures. I think I am going to also get her the smaller Gruffalo figure to be The Gruffalo’s Child. I am also going to get the other animals from the story so that together we can create a story sack and / or storytelling box. It will be lovely to create something together that she can use and share with her siblings especially baby Edie.
A damsel, a princess, a lady in waiting, a lady. This beautiful wooden character can be used alone or as part of a bigger story with Esther and William’s figures. I have visions of the three of them coming up with great stories together, acting out plays and creating new worlds.
I have always liked to include a bath toy in a stocking. Bea loves her bath but it is often hurried as Esther and William are so much older and tend to shower. I want Bea to enjoy the magical lengthy water play baths that the twins had at her age. Soon Edie will be old enough to join in the fun and these beautiful wooden bath toys will be perfect for them to share and to have their very own aqua adventures. There are more characters to collect over the years too. These toys are great for bath time but also for water tables and paddling pool play.
My plan with these toys is to remove all the packaging
So that the colourful wooden toys
Look made by elves
Delivered straight from Father Christmas’ workshop
In the North Pole
I cannot wait to see their faces on Christmas morning
I cannot wait to see the ways in which they will play
It really is
The most wonderful time of the year x