Anyhooo...my thinking is that if there is exposure to beautiful and gentle music, simple images and toys that are not an assault to every sense, children will have the chance to process things more clearly. Beauty is attractive. Now I'm not talking here about a beautiful face, through what is more beautiful than the human face and body...which is why art students spend so much time and study in mastering their ability to capture the human form.
On the subject of human beauty, my father always considered himself very lucky as there have always been small children in his life. Firstly he was the eldest of a large family and clearly remembers his youngest siblings as babies. Then he had his own large family and no sooner were they half reared than grandchildren began to arrive and now he's dipping into generation number four with the arrival of his first great-grandchild this time last year. He said once that babies are a glimpse of Heaven and he's right you know. You never really get fed up of studying and loving the minutiae of a baby's face, from the tiny downy hairs to the little veins under the perfect skin and just gaze at the wonder of the child, whether he or she has been born with amazing 'perfection' or whether that extra (special) chromosome has inadvertently slipped in there, or whether there's maybe half a heart...each one their own little perfection.
So simplicity and beauty...quite often my criteria in choosing for children (or myself), though I fully admit to my children being exposed many's the time to the shouting ambiance of Saturday morning TV while I either catch up on sleep or nurse that first blissful cup of coffee in the kitchen away from them all.
With that in mind, here are today's offerings:
GIFT IDEA 4: FOLKMANIS PUPPETS
When I decided to begin getting puppets for our children, I searched high and low trying to track down some that weren't either downright ugly or scary. This was before the days of internet shopping and I have to tell you I never found any which I actually wanted to buy apart from some simple animal ones. Finally after years of looking and with the help of Google, I can tell you the nicest puppets in the world, in my opinion are the Folkmani Puppets.
These award winning puppets come in all types of animals and fantasy characters. They are not overpriced and come as finger, glove and larger sizes for stage or classroom. This advert gives just a tiny taste.
Check out their website http://www.folkmanis.com/ to see them all but here's a few photos to start you off...
GIFT IDEA 5: THE ENCHANTED DOLL'S HOUSE
For the right child or adult who is interested in the whole world of dollhouses or book collectors, this series of books would be the perfect gift. Santa Claus brought these two books on consecutive years and our daughter who was the recipient treasures them and takes them out from time to time to enter into the imaginary world of a time gone by. Just beautiful. The covers are made of a sort of embossed velvet which just feels luxurious and special before you even open the book and you can also purchase paper dolls to go with the books to make them even more complete.