Holiday Gift Guide 2022: 4+ years

Kids grow up so fast and the gifting selections out there reflect that as they reach school-age.

For early school-age kids, executive functions are steadily maturing and they can focus and recall information more efficiently. They seek to play with others, continuously refining their social skills and looking for friendly competition.

Honestly, there are so many options out there for this age group that it can be difficult figuring out what gifts are both beneficial to your child’s development (because yes, they’re still growing and learning), and will also be enjoyed for the long haul.

Here’s our top picks for 2022 for 4 and up.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2022: Newborns – 12+ Months

It’s the most wonderful, magical, and stressful time of the year. How do we know? Because we’re giving you our 2022 gift guide way, way early…

How do we figure out what gifts we like? We narrow it down to a few things:

  1. Is it cool?
  2. Does it support child development?
  3. What makes it stand out from all the rest?
  4. What do the reviews say, specifically with durability and longevity?

So without further ado, here is the first of our FIVE gift guides for 2022.

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1,000 Hours Outside: Progress Report

As of 10/23/22: 191 Hours, 50 minutes
Monthly average: 26 Hours, 15 minutes

My family started our #1000hoursoutside challenge at the end of April. At the time, our girls were just out of pre-school for the summer.

Six months later, we are in Pre-K at our bigger elementary school with set start and dismissal times. Our weekly hours took a huge cut because TBH, there are only so many hours in a day. Which brings me to a close reading of what this challenge actually entails.

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Willy Wonka Series: Violet Beauregarde

My mom was a tiger mom. She demanded excellence and if any of my friends were better at a sport or skill than I was, she pushed me to do better. That meant hours dedicated to practicing piano, hours perfecting dance routines, and hours studying to get grades that she could be proud of. Not only did this add more stress on me as a kid, but it also placed tension on my friendships because it always became some sort of unnecessary competition.

For Violet Beauregarde, her story was never really about gum chewing. The spirit of competition and need to be the best or the first runs deep with her. The 2005 movie does a more obvious job of showing this caricature.

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Under Pressure: Child Burnout

Our kids can only handle so much.

As parents, we want to give as many opportunities as possible to succeed. We place them in structured activities, enroll them in after school classes and extracurriculars, and take them to new places to gain new experiences. Despite our good intentions, we can go overboard and it’s only a matter of time until our kids finally reach a breaking point.

Similar to adults having burnout, child burnout is the product of continuous, unmanaged stress. They may be overscheduled with too many activities and not enough rest in between. Or they just might be overloaded from people, directions, and physical exertion. Burnout affects their ability to process and reflect on their day, that then snowballs into anxiety and overwhelm. Their motivation and interest in even their favorite things can drop.

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