I am loving these days after Christmas – it’s relaxing and we are enjoying the new Christmas pressies. We also have loads of boxes on hand to create with and lots of yummy left over food, not to mention quite a few of my favourite chocolates in the fridge too.  While we are still enjoying all things Christmas I thought I’d share some of the presents that have been a hit with my cherubs (aged 2,4 and 6) – these will no doubt become some of our favourite gifts to give throughout the year too.

That’s MY Story

That’s MY Story is a card game designed to inspire creative story telling. The durable cards contain pictures for children to incorporate into a story. The cards are colour coded to help children establish a structure to their stories. Children choose a red card (a character card) and a green card (setting card) at the beginning of the story. Towards the middle of the story, children choose a yellow card (complication).  There are also prompts provided to give children different ideas about ways they can conclude their stories.  The beauty of this game is that you can play it over and over and it never gets old as there are so many wonderful  possibilities. The cards come in a sturdy tin. More details including the numerous educational benefits of  That’s MY story can be found on the website here. This game can be purchased for only $14.95 on the website.

Lace Crowns

These crowns have barely left my girls’ heads since Christmas morning and have inspired many Princess adventures .  These gorgeous crowns are made by Venice&Me . You can purchase these crowns via their Etsy store.

Fairy Tale Finger Print Set

After purchasing some of  Ed Emberley’s fingerprint books a couple of years ago we have been fans of finger print creations. My children enjoy the challenge of having a theme and creating a finger print picture to complement the theme, such as our recent Christmas finger print scenes as seen here. When I spotted this Fairy Tale Finger printing set I knew it would be a fun addition to my eldest daughter’s Christmas stocking.

Books:

In my opinion, books are one of the greatest resources you can enjoy. Books allow you to easily take children to other places, times and worlds so that their minds can see possibilities, ideas and imagine places, people, characters very different to what they know. Needless to say, our Christmas stockings had their fair share of books stuffed into them. Some favourites so far include: Iggy peck, Architect, which is a perfect book for the resourceful builder in your family. My children have been giggling with the combination of the rhyming text and detailed illustrations of Iggy’s structures built out of whatever he has access to. Nothing, including a second grade teacher with an immense dislike for buildings, could quell Iggy’s insatiable desire to construct amazing structures. Iggy’s ingenious ideas ended up saving the day and teaching his teacher a valuable lesson. If I built a Car is another book written using rhyming text that inspires children to “think outside the box”. Our family likes to play a game where we select an item (any item at all) and work out creative ways we could improve it, so this book does exactly that – Jack comes up with his ultimate dream car complete with all sorts of gadgets that will have your children oooohing and aaahing.

Some more new favourite books

Chalk is a wordless picture book with amazing hand painted illustrations (and one of the reasons I purchased the book). My children have enjoyed making up slightly different variations to the story and are captivated by the way the magical chalk transforms anything you draw to life. For Just One Day  is one of those books that has been the springboard for many conversations about what you would like to become for just one day and what kind of encounters and experiences you could have, while embracing the message of the book that the best thing to be is yourself.

Spencil Jelly Crayon set:

Christmas time is the perfect time to experiment with new (to us at least)  art supplies. These jelly crayons did not disappoint and each of my cherubs love them. They glide over the paper and are quite addictive.

Doctor’s Kit

My two year old has been giving her Doctor’s kit form the Early learning Centre a good workout. All of her dolls, sheep (she loves sheep) and our family have had numerous doctor visits with her. Every time she gets her doctor’s kit she says,  “ahhhhh”  (her association with the doctor after several visits last year for tonsillitis).

Doll:

I am going to embrace the “getting a new doll phase” for as long as I can. My six year old loves new born dolls and she will spend hours playing and making things for them. She makes all sorts of creations for her babies – in the past she has used some brown wrapping paper to make a sling for her baby, she will make clothes and hats out of fabrics and pegs, she will decorate the doll strollers with ribbon, lace, flowers as well as come up with special parties for her dolls. I love that the dress, bonnet and booties are handmade. It makes for a unique doll that is going to be showered with special, fancy things.