Are you looking for baby shower gift ideas? Are you having a difficult time choosing between something practical and useful and something memorable and special? Why not choose the middle road by picking something that is both useful and special?
Toys are essential
Toys are practical and useful because play is essential – it is an important part of what childhood is about; it’s what children naturally do; it is crucial for child development.
Toys are not needed by a newly born baby since day one, but they will be growing more and more needed as the child is growing. Of course, many people today give up toys and find it more practical to buy electronic devices to substitute for them, but some people know that electronic devices cannot really substitute for real toys and real play; what they can do is deprive children of toys and play and thus of some skills that can be learned only in hands-on play.
Classical slow and quiet toys that can be used in open-ended play are toys that grow with the child. The more a child learns about the world, the richer their play with such toys. Here are some resources on symbolic play, the healing power of play and play with toy animals that might give you a better idea of this topic. You can find more resources on play and toys in our blog.
Heirloom quality toys make truly memorable yet pragmatic gifts
Heirloom quality toys (for example toys made of hardwood) are not only useful for children in play; they also make truly memorable gifts that will also impress parents. Another very pragmatic aspect is the fact that such toys are durable and have resale value, so a growing number of parents perceive them as an excellent investment. At some point, when their children outgrow them and they do not have younger children to pass them on to, they can sell them and buy something that is more useful for their children at this stage of their lives.
Toys made of natural materials are sustainable
Toys made of natural materials are an excellent choice not only because they are safer for children but also because they respect nature and are better for the environment. While many parents might not be happy at all with receiving plastic toys as gifts for their children, most parents will be grateful to receive toys made of natural materials. Here is more information on how wooden toys are more sustainable than plastic ones. In fact, they are sustainable in more ways than many people expect.
Here is a solution if you are looking for gender neutral toys
Last but not least, a growing number of people would prefer to give or receive gender neutral toys. Animal figurines are an evergreen solution (here is a text on how toy animals can be used in play in a wide variety of ways). Fairy tale creatures are another interesting solution that can be coupled with some beautiful fairy tale books. Here is a useful text on fairy tales.
The symbolic gesture and special meaning gifts
If you are looking for a way to celebrate not only the baby but the parents, you might be wishing to make a gift that symbolically affirms the family. Then you can choose between beautiful human figures (if you wish the gift to be more literal) and animal figurines (if you wish the gift to be more metaphorical) and compile a bundle of figurines representing the baby, the parents, the siblings and even the grandparents. This is a gift that parents will value not only because of the meaningful symbolism but also because later these figures will be very important in symbolic play for years to come.