2017 Favorite Things

Gift giving can have a purpose, be therapeutic, and educational at any age. Read about our Favorite Things for 2017 to gather ideas to shop for your loved ones at any stage in life!

1.     Children learn and express emotions through play during the preschool years. One of my favorite toys for preschoolers is the Melissa and Doug dollhouse with family sets. This allows your child the freedom to express how they are feeling regarding the people in their lives and can provide them a sense of control through play.

Another favorite toy for the preschool years include Lite Brites. Yes, these fabulous toys are popular again and are so helpful for fine motor development. With the over use of iPads, children are needing play activities to help with fine motor coordination and strength!

Guess Who is one of my favorite games to help build inferencing skills. These skills are crucial for emotional intelligence and language development.

2.     Costumes are a perfect gift for the young elementary child. Costumes allow them the freedom to be whoever they want through pretend. Some ideas include super heroes, police officers and fire fighters, doctors, etc. Barnes and Noble sells many different costume sets.

Jig saw puzzles are the perfect gift to work on with the family to improve visual-spatial skills, fine motor development, and patience. Find a puzzle theme that your child enjoys, such as dinosaurs, cars, superheroes, etc.

Craft supplies are a great way for your child to work on creativity, expressing themselves through art, and to work on fine motor skills.

3.     The adolescent years can be a difficult time to give gifts. Some of my favorite gifts include bubble baths with aromas. This can be a great mindfulness activity to decrease stress while teaching positive self-care habits.

Give the gift of an experience instead of material possession. It can range anywhere from time together to the nail salon, hunting or fishing trip, or a family trip to somewhere fun. Use the money to experience life together.

Buy a journal set that can be used to plan the future- picking the colleges they want to attend, places to travel, etc. It can also be used to document positive experiences, or a way to express and narrate the emotions of the day. This is a fabulous gift to teach life-long coping skills!

4.     The Gottman Love Map and Open Ended Card Deck is the perfect gift to give your spouse. It’s a perfect way to have meaningful conversation and connect with your loved one.The Couple Retreat Gottman Board game is another fun way to connect!

The Art and Science of Love Making is a gift that will surely get your partner’s attention. Who wouldn’t want to make sex more meaningful with their loved one? This might be the gift that you save and don’t open in front of the children!

Lastly, give the gift of couples counseling. Couples counseling can help build communication, address past hurts, and learn more effective ways to address conflict. Couples counseling can be beneficial for any couple!

Written by Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPC-S

Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and owner of Heights Family Counseling. Amy has been practicing counseling and diagnostic evaluations for fifteen years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, evaluations, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Houston Heights and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Read more about Amy's counseling style by visiting www.heightsfamilycounseling.com and read more about her services http://heightsfamilycounseling.com/services-1/