Parents want to buy holiday presents for their children that are fun yet hopefully somewhat educational, and can keep them happily busy during snow days. Coming up with ideas for gifts isn’t too hard if you give kids what they ask for.
But sometimes you can hit the nail on the head with a surprise gift, something your child wasn’t expecting and didn’t even know he wanted. I pretty much guarantee that the gifts on this list won’t sit on the shelf after the excitement of the holidays has faded away.
1. Is your child a chair tipper, wiggler, or rocker? Do they have a hard time sitting still? Do they find it difficult to concentrate or focus? Then the Hokki Stool from VS America might be your child’s—and your—most-used gift of all time.
The Hokki Stool gives kids exactly what they crave the most (especially at those times they are “supposed” to be sitting still)—movement. The Hokki is an active seat that comes in four sizes, so you can find the perfect fit for your child.
Children instinctively know how to use the Hokki—they are able to shift, wiggle, and twist as they sit, releasing tension and energy, enabling them to concentrate on activities like homework or art projects. Made from polypropylene, it’s also tremendously sturdy and long-lasting.
Prices range from $100 to $125 depending on the size. You can also purchase an imitation Hokki Stool for considerably less money, but they generally are not as well made.
2. Once a child experiences the naturally calming effects of the Pea Pod, they’ll go back for more. The Pea Pod is a pod-shaped calming station, a kind of deep-pressure cocoon made from thick, inflatable vinyl, covered with a washable, cozy flocked fabric.
Kids slip inside and automatically get deep pressure to sensitive areas. Once inside the pod, children like to gently rock which also adds to the calming effect.
It comes in three sizes. Prices range from $68 to $99 depending on the size and where you purchase the Pea Pod.
I really like these weighted vest costumes and hats from Fun and Function, which provide calming, proprioceptive pressure to your child’s chest and/or head. The weights are removable (they are attached by Velcro) so your child can wear the costumes with or without them.
And, at only $20 to $29, they’re very affordable.
4. The Spooner board is wonderful for balance—kids can use it while reading, playing ball or doing other activities or on its own. It helps strengthen the eyes, helping them work together as a unit. It also helps strengthen the muscles of the body.
Its uses are limited only by your child’s imagination. For pure speed and motion, the same company also makes Yardboard which is a snow board with a rope but without bindings, and can be used on dirt, grass, or snowy slopes and the Rock-It, which is a Spooner with a rope attached.
The Spooner costs $45 for the small size and $54 for the medium size.
5. Okay, these storage gifts are really for you, but your kids will use them. They help your child keep his space (and family spaces) neat. They also help him learn how to sort and organize. Some of them can even make sorting and putting away toys, art supplies, and other belongings more appealing.
I like this rattan organizer which comes in both a round and square version, and costs $13.95.
At $21.95, this set of 5 vibrantly colored vinyl storage trays, gives your child choices to make about which items he wants to put in each colored tray.
This Park-n-Learn toy car does the jobs of organizer, calmer, and creative toy. It’s $113.99. The car itself holds kids in a calming position. It has a glove box to store personal items. It comes with a speedometer, stretch brakes, and a customizable license plate which identifies personal space. When not in use, it makes an attractive, personalized storage container for soft toys and other items.
The Honey-Can-Do with brightly colored storage bins is around $55 at Walmart.
The Step2 Fun Time Room Organizer comes with bright pink, pastel pink, and pastel green bins and costs $69.99 at Toys R Us.
Want the same organizers for more than one child’s bedroom but in different colors? This kids 12 bin storage unit comes in pastel or vivid-brights and costs $49.
May your holidays be filled with happiness,