From Universal Preschool's Founder
Diane Flynn Keith...

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The Unassembled Gift!

Will you be giving a gift this year that needs to be assembled? If you really want to make it memorable, give your present to your child in the box, unassembled! Just wrap up the box and let your child enjoy the challenge of helping to assemble the toy. By doing this, you can make any gift an educational one.

Whether it’s putting in the batteries, or putting together an entire riding toy, your young child can be a part of the process. Children are so curious and eager to learn, and they’ll appreciate their gift so much more if they are part of its creation.

In addition to learning something new, they will also enjoy the one-on-one time with an adult they care about, and memories will be made. They’ll have respect for the complexity of the toy. They’ll learn patience, and so will you. Granted, it’s easier to put something together without a child’s help, but they need experiences like this.

Of course young children can’t do it all alone. Some things are so complicated that even their parents might struggle. But they can watch. They will note that their parent/grandparent is reading the directions (and perhaps making the connection that they want to read someday). They will see that the toy has many parts, and perhaps they can hand them to the adult putting it together. It’s a team project!

When it’s all done, they will have a stronger pride of ownership, because they helped make the toy, and instead of a one minute gift, the fun lasts however long it takes to assemble.

Perhaps we should make it official and call it the unassembled gift curriculum. And sell it? Nah, just do it. Please. Your child needs experiences like this.

In addition to unassembled gifts, here are some fun holiday-themed activities to encourage learning in a fun and playful way:

o A Fun & Playful Holiday Curriculum

o Holiday Decorating with Preschoolers

o Holiday Gifts for Preschoolers

Bonus! Holiday Survival Guide for Parents of Unpreschoolers

*Karen Taylor provides regular homeschooling information and mentoring on Facebook, and she is the Directory of Cedar Life Academy, a Private School Satellite Program (PSP) for homeschoolers in California. 

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