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Just a little more than two weeks to go till Christmas and many parents are still trying to decide which are the best gifts to buy their kids.

Parenting expert Nikki Bush has been reviewing toys and games in the run-up to the big day and in today's edition on Weekend Breakfast she focuses on the age group 4-6.


- The best festive season gifts for babies and toddlers

- Kids' festive season gifts: top picks for children aged 2-4

At this age children should, ideally, be attending pre-school. Bush says this will help them acquire the pre-reading,
-writing and -numeracy skills required for school readiness.

It's a developmental stage where essential skills can be developed in an informal non-stressful learning environment through play.

You're not sitting down and saying 'I'm going to teach you how to hold a pen' or 'your numbers 1-10'. That's not how it works. It really is about experiental learning.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Kids of this age are interested in how stuff work and it's the perfect time to let them put things together and pull them apart, says Bush.

They should also have mastered their basic shapes and colours, which can be now be combined with numbers in board games.

They're also starting to understand the concept of winning and losing. Especially on a rainy weekend, this is a great time to get first board games out where we learn the rules and take turns.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Rather than handing four to six-year-olds devices like tablets and phones to keep them busy, she suggests toys which involve a three-dimensional learning experience.

Bush reviews her top pick of gifts which stimulate multi-sensory learning, some of which are also useful when travelling during the holidays.

Find specific toy and game recommendations at toytalk.co.za.

Listen to the conversation on Weekend Breakfast with Refiloe Mpakanyane:

This article first appeared on 702 : Festive season gifts: Tips on choosing toys for pre-schoolers

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