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The Benefits of Finding Developmental Gifts for Children


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Shopping for kids over Christmas can be one of the funniest parts of the holidays, but it can also be a challenge knowing what to buy.

As a mom to 8-month-old Lydia and her 3-year-old sister, Sarah Shin asks the question that many parents hear at this time of year: what am I giving your children for? Xmas ?

“Absolutely yes. That was one of the hardest questions to answer,” Shin said.

While it can be hard to know what else your kids might need …

“I just don’t want any more stuff,” Shin said.

… Katrina Anderson, Family Life Educator at Sanford Health, says the right toys can be a huge asset for families.

“Most of the time, we think we’re going to give them this toy, they’re going to love it, it’s going to be fun for them, but a lot of them are going to learn a lot of their skills while playing.” Anderson said.

And depending on their age, the right toys can play an important role in teaching these developmental skills.

“Find something that will promote the development of gross and fine motor skills in your young children,” Anderson said. “For example, a ball to grab, they can learn this fine motor skills like grabbing or holding, from there they can roll the ball, throw the ball and eventually learn to kick.”

She says a big bonus is finding open-ended toys that can teach a variety of skills.

“Speaking of the bowling set, if you can find a bowling set in different colors, you can work on your kid with different colors or count, work on different skills that they need,” Anderson said.

And while it may be easier to find for little ones like baby Lydia, finding developmentally appropriate toys for older children can be a challenge.

“For school age, what we encourage is anything that will get them out; Obviously we live in South Dakota so we can’t go out all year round, but something like a sled can get them out, ”Anderson said.

While toys can add to the clutter, Anderson says anything that takes kids away from screen time will be a big help.

“It’s important as parents to spend time and play with them on the floor,” Shin said. “It’s good to spend this time with them playing with the toys.”

Anderson says that any time you can help kids get their hands on a real object, it will be more developmentally beneficial than looking at a screen.