Claire Bagnall, our educational advisor reflects on the past year and how we can approach the holiday season. Claire explores the idea of a gift that keeps on giving when considering: “something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read”.
As we approach the end of another year heavily impacted by Covid-19, my mind is turning to reflection, and what we have learnt from all of this with regards to education. A quick glance at social media at the time demonstrated that many people used the lockdowns of of 2020 and 2021 to complete home renovations, or to make home improvements. Coinciding with this seemed to be a tangible shift in mindset – suddenly, people’s homes became more important to them than ever before, and having space took on an even greater value. One way people went about creating this space was to have huge clearouts, and charity shops were overwhelmed with donations when they eventually did open. This of course had the effect of reducing the clutter in people’s homes, but perhaps a more important outcome of this process was that many realised how overwhelmed they had been with items they had taken no pleasure in owning for some time. Indeed, I have come across of wealth of anecdotal evidence that seems to suggest that children engage in a much deeper level of creative play when they have just a few toys, rather than the overwhelming quantity found in many homes, so perhaps space wasn’t the only thing children were able to benefit from as an outcome of their parents’/carers’ endeavours.
How then, should we approach Christmas? I am sure many parents and carers are currently looking at their current toy storage solutions and taking a sharp intake of breath at the prospect of needing to accommodate yet more items. And yet, this problem for many has been a relatively recent one. Generations of the past approached Christmas very differently…and I think they were onto something. “Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read” was the advice given to parents of the past who were wondering how to approach Christmas shopping in the run up to the big day. For those who wish to celebrate Christmas by purchasing gifts, I think there really is something to be said for this approach. It ensures that, whilst there is still the thrill of a special toy to unwrap on the day, there is also a much more important gift that willl last long after the interest in the latest toy craze has waned: the gift of reading.
Supporting a child to learn to read will support them not only in their schooling, but throughout their lives, and gifting them books that are pitched at a level appropriate to their age and stage is the ideal way to achieve this. Choosing a ‘The Bear Can Read’ subscription takes the hard work out of selecting the right book as each box is curated especially for where your child is at in their reading journey, and the monthly interval between boxes means there is are regular brand new ‘presents’ to open long after the festive period has ended. The best of both worlds!