Christmas is a time that makes us really nostalgic about our own childhoods, and we’re always keen to try and make sure that we give our kids a really magical and memorable experience. We want to get the best presents we can for our family, but the huge array of electronic toys and video games on offer is sometimes baffling.
That’s why we’re relieved to find that many kids actually love the simpler toys that remind us of our own childhoods. We particularly love wooden toys that leave room for plenty of imagination and playful games. Many kids have spent endless hours playing host at their Wooden Cherry Shop & Café and saving the day from their Wooden Fire Station. It’s great to see them invent characters and make noises and sounds to bring their imagined stories to life.
However, one thing we’ve learned over the years is that as a parent, if you want to give your children the gift of magical wooden toys this Christmas then you need to start preparing early to make sure you have the toys assembled, wrapped and ready to go for the big day itself.
The best tip is to start early. Set aside an afternoon or a few hours of the day, preferably before the school holidays start, so that you can really focus on the task at hand without the distraction of your little ones running around and ruining the surprise.
It’s not a chore! The best way to build wooden toys from a flat pack is with a cup of tea and some good music in the background. And the kids will love the results…
Ask a friend for help. A bit of company will make the process all the more enjoyable, plus, your second in command can help you if you get stuck.
How to Prepare
Building your wooden toys shouldn’t be stressful. If you prepare correctly, it can become a fun Christmas tradition.
Set the scene by turning your phone on silent and putting some Christmas songs on. Wooden toys are all about nostalgia, imagination and getting creative, so set an atmosphere that feels really festive. Why not make some warming hot chocolate for yourself and any little helpers.
I know it sounds really dull, but don’t forget to read the instructions before you begin. It’s much better to have a clear mental picture of what you need to do before you start than to launch off into the dark using your best guess work.
Watching the toys come together is a magical experience and it always sends us straight back to our childhoods – you’ll barely resist jumping in and playing yourself! The Wooden Dolls House is one of our favourite toys to build. As each room takes shape you feel a real sense of pride that you’re creating a whole new world for your children to play in.
One of the greatest things about making wooden toys is experiencing a sense of achievement with your finished creation. Toys such as the Wooden Rocking Horse will be up and ready in no time at all. So you can sit back, relax and admire your craftwork.
Many of the toys contain extra accessories to ensure your children can maximise their creativity. Why not fuel your child’s playtime with a Wooden Fire Station! Complete with a helicopter, fire engine, firemen and fire fighting figurines, this toy is a safe and enjoyable way to prevent any improvised hazards.
The best part of the process is the wrapping. Get the wrapping right and you can watch your children’s faces light up as they open up their gifts on the big day.
Wooden toys come in all shapes and sizes so wrapping them can be a little difficult. One trick we love is to opt for a soft tissue paper that’s easy to bunch up and will mould itself around sharp corners and edges in a way that traditional wrapping paper won’t. This type of wrapping would work perfectly with the round shape of the Wooden Rocket Toy, which guarantees to send your children to cloud nine.
If you’re able to put the wooden toy in a playroom or separate space in the home, why not simply use wrapping paper to cover the door and allow your kids to run through the wrapping to reveal the big surprise? This would work fantastically well with your child’s first bicycle. The Wooden Balance Bike, would be an excellent surprise and a great first step onto the cycling track.
On some occasions, the wooden toy you assemble might just too big and awkward to wrap, so just settle for a big, bright bow instead. The kids will be so excited as soon as they see it that it simply won’t matter that it wasn’t wrapped in the traditional way.
If your wooden toy comes with small accessories and additional items, consider placing them all in a small gift box to make them easier to wrap. Square and rectangular items are very easy to wrap and always look neat and tidy.
Just make sure your Christmas toys get to you in time for that wrapping session…Santa can get some help from George.