Books for young children remain one of my favorite gifts to give. They give parents and grandparents an opportunity to interact with grandchildren, teach while the children have fun, and also provide something that can be passed down to younger siblings or in some cases to their children.
Diane Shapley Box, a Texas author and illustrator has a series of books for children up to eight years old. Each book has a lesson or moral such as “You should listen and pay attention,” or “Winning isn’t everything.” Each of her illustrations have additional learning opportunities. As you read the book and the child looks at the picture, have her find how many ducks are in the water or identify colors. As the child gets older, the “facts” in the back of the book expand the knowledge about the characters in the book such as learning more about alligators or frogs. I suggest you write the child’s name in the book and the date you gave it.
Both girls and boys benefit from building blocks such as Lego-type toys. Children who build things from blocks develop a sense of spatial relationships, as well as enhancing their creativity.
You may remember having a leaf press when you were young. This allows children to search outdoors for specimens to be pressed and saved. It encourages an interest in science as well as serving as a basis for craft projects.
Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman located at 3800 South Texas Avenue, one mile north of University Drive. 979 268 0608. www.fitzyou.com