The past two years have been extremely difficult for most families. Some have taken a health knock or lost family members and loved ones. Most South Africans have experienced financial strain. Keeping food on the table is difficult enough, and at this time of year parents have the extra pressure of purchasing school supplies, uniforms and stationery for next year.
Children have also been affected. Staggered lockdowns, home schooling, less social time and practically no sport or extra curricular activities. Many parents have relied on home entertainment for their children and finding affordable and creative ways to keep them stimulated. It’s true that throughout this pandemic, the parents really are the unsung heroes among us.
This year, more than ever - an old debate has been excavated and we’re giving it a lot more airtime this time. Should we encourage our children to believe in Santa / Father Christmas? This is a firm tradition for children ages 2 - 10, but should we be encouraging it?
While so many parents are struggling to keep their children healthy, educated, safe & nourished - many can’t financially afford expensive gifts this year. How can they explain to their children that Santa delivered the latest cellphone or tablet to their friend, but a pack of playing cards or puzzle for them? Are we feeding their perceived misconception that Santa liked them less? That they are worth less? Or ‘deserve’ less?
How are parents expected to navigate the festive season under both financial strain and possible feelings of guilt?
Parents are encouraging each other to ‘come clean’ and tell their children that the gifts are from their own family. And to explain different circumstances to their children around this year (and perhaps every year’s) gifting. Children are a lot more likely to be grateful for their puzzle and more understanding and empathetic of their own family’s unique circumstances than harbouring any kind of insecurities around not being favoured or at least placed as an equal in the eyes of an imaginary Christmas Delivery Man.
In that spirit, we’ve rounded up our MOST FUN and exciting gifts at a budget for parents this year. We applaud and commend your efforts these past two years and wish you & your family a festive season filled with joy, laughter and togetherness.
Gifts under R100
Yes! You can get really great and FUN toys and games for under R100 with us! Starting with toddlers, they absolutely love to draw and paint! One of the funnest things you can do with a toddler is take them outside with a box of chalk and give their creativity free reign to draw and write on every surface. Let their creativity run wild and simply spray off with water when they’re done. Chalk crayons are here. Same goes for Bath Crayons which are loads of fun and entertainment in the tub.
For older kids & tweens, your little gamer will LOVE these Minecraft Trump Cards. Sport enthusiasts will equally love these World Football Trump Cards and don’t forget the girls with these adorable My Little Pony cards that they’ll love playing with their friends!
By far the MOST POPULAR game this season is Skip.Bo. From the same creators as UNO, this game is super fun and highly addictive and will be loved by the whole family. This Melissa & Doug Medieval Castle will provide hours of fun, too! Don’t forget the super popular Loom Band Kits, too!
Gifts for under R300
You can’t go wrong with UNO! Get a pack for your kids here and enjoy years of fun! Do you have a Harry Potter fan in the house? They will LOVE to test their knowledge and challenge their friends with this Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit!
This Friends Trivial Pursuit is also great for tweens and teens who have caught the Friends Fever this year. Little Marvel fans will adore this Marvel Champions Card Game as well as this super awesome 4-in-1 Avengers Puzzle set. For our little princesses, they’ll love building their own palace with this Teddy Dough Palace Kit! And our little bookworms have endless options, but this year the Treehouse Series is still going strong with one of the latest 130-Storey Treehouse books! Lastly, create a fun new hobby and get your kids this super fun Magic Set for hours of fun!