SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Shopping for kids at Christmas time can be one of the most fun parts of the holidays, but it can also be a challenge figuring out what to get.

As a mom to 8-month-old Lydia and her 3-year-old sister, Sarah Shin has been getting the question many parents hear this time of year: What do I get your kids for Christmas? 

“Yes absolutely. It’s been one of the harder questions to answer,” Shin said. 

While it can be hard to know what else your kids could need…

“I just don’t want more stuff,” Shin said. 

…Sanford Health Family Life Educator Katrina Anderson says the right toys can be a big asset for families.

“Most of the time we think we’re going to give them this toy they’re going to love it, it’s going to be fun for them, but a lot of them are going to learn a lot of their skills through play,” Anderson said. 

And depending on their age, the right toys can play a big role in teaching those developmental skills.

“Find something that is going to promote gross motor and fine motor development in your young children,” Anderson said. “For example, a ball to grasp onto, they can learn that fine motor skill like grasping or holding, from there they can roll the ball, throw the ball and eventually can learn to kick.”

She says a big bonus is finding open ended toys that can teach a variety of skills.

“Talking about like the bowling set, if you can find a bowling set that has different colors, you can work on your child with different colors or counting, work on different skills that they need,” Anderson said. 

And while that may be easier to find for littles like baby Lydia, finding developmentally friendly toys for older school age kids can be a challenge.

“For school age, what we encourage is anything that’s going to get them outside; obviously we live in South Dakota so we can’t get outside year-round but anything like a sled can promote them to get outside,” Anderson said. 

While toys may add to the clutter, Anderson says anything that takes kids away from screen time is going to be a big help.

“It’s important as parents to be spending time and getting on the floor with them and playing with them,” Shin said. “It is good to spend that time with them playing with the toys.”

Anderson says anytime you can help kids get their hands on an actual object it is going to be more developmentally beneficial than staring at a screen.