With Christmas not far away and the store catalogues being delivered and devoured by the children, now’s probably an appropriate time to consider what Santa might be leaving under the tree.

Obviously we are drawn to the things that our children show interest in; it could be a type of play eg. Construction, dramatic play, puzzles, books or it could be a theme Princesses, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig. This is always a good place to start because when the interest is piqued then the discovery and engagement will follow.

It is the discovery and engagement that needs to now be the focus of the choice of toys. This means we also need to think about the age/ development appropriateness of the toy too. Think about how many different ways that toy can be utilised or used creatively, think about if it can be added with or too existing toys the child has, think about if the child will still engage once it has removed the packaging or are they more likely to play with the box!? Look for what are called “open-ended” toys that demand the child thinks about what it is they have to do with it, what they can create. Oh, always consider the child’s safety. Does it meet Australian standards; will it pose a choking/ suffocation hazard?

At Cow & Koala we have the fundraising toy catalogues from two of or suppliers, which will give us 20% of the value that parents, spend with them to us to use on resources. In the past we have received puzzles, construction toys and light- box resources. As well the Scholastic book fairs and catalogues that you receive throughout the year offer great prices on books that can become family favourites. We receive 15% value for books for the Service when you purchase from them.

The Raising Children’s Network, Kids Health and the Women’s and Children’s Health Network all have articles on choosing toys safely.

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