Regardless if you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or another permutation of the Winter season, buying toys for your children can be incredibly overwhelming. I think toys that are fun and educational are important to include in the overall package of gifts that you purchase. Of course, buying your kids what they request from their list is important so they feel like you are meeting their needs. Balance, balance, balance. Here are a few websites I highly recommend (by no means do I have any affiliation with them nor do I endorse them for any financial reasons):

http://www.shop.pbskids.org/ (great educational fun stuff that kids know because of TV)

http://www.mindware.com/Home/HomePage.aspx (science experiments, to art, to brain games)

http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/ (the MECCA in learning toys)

http://www.ebeanstalk.com/ageSelection.php (toys separated by developmental age)

http://www.educationaltoysplanet.com/ (separated by age, subject, skill; outside versus inside games)

Sometimes we want to be friendly to the world and the environment. Here are some options for “feel-good” gift-giving:

“Max the Shelter Dog” book teaches compassion towards animals. Proceeds go towards animal shelters. http://www.maxtheshelterdog.com/

You could help education in another country buy paying a teacher’s salary for a week (approx. $60.00). You could have your child contribute and make this a learning experiment and help develop moral thinking skills. http://changingthepresent.org/gift/600/educate_girls

Buy something comfy from Blanket America and they will donate something to someone in need in America: http://www.blanketamerica.com/

Buy a pair of good looking Roma Boots and a child in need will receive a pair PLUS 10% of the profits go to their non-profit organization: http://romaboots.com/

Happy shopping by making a difference for your children and the world.

Namaste and happy holidays,

Dr. Stephanie

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