Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Great Learning Gifts For Kids

I love the fact that so many toys out there now are actually teaching our kids. Why just play if you can play and learn at the same time? Of course, kids are learning with any kind of play, but I love it that toy/book/game/music producers seem more in tune with that now than they ever did when I was a kid. Here are my top ten learning toy gifts. These are products we either already have or have on our Christmas list for this year.
1. Songs for Saplings CDs: These are hands down the number one request when I'm the van DJ. And I certainly don't complain. Dana Dirkson has a lovely folksy sound, and she is teaching my kiddos scripture and catechism Q & A to catchy tunes. Check out their bulk order options if you have lots of kids to buy for this Christmas! Listen to a few songs from the new Q & A album on their FB page.

2. Real Kids, Real Places books: I'm excited to find this new series of books filled with facts about places all over the world. And the best part? These facts are hidden inside a thrilling mystery just right for young readers. The reviews put the books for age 8 and up, but from what I read, even the adults were learning a lot about each place. These will be especially great to read right before visiting the places in the book!
3. I'm in love with this toy! Connectagons are a great way to build 3-dimensionally and if your child happens to learn shapes in the process, all the better! These come in all kinds of shapes including these beautiful butterflies, and (I feel like this needs a drum roll, it's so great) if you buy the huge Constructagons, your kids can build creations they actually play in!

4, 5, and 6. I love anything Melissa and Doug too. These wooden toys are favorites in our house. I'm going to be looking for some of their preschool/kindergarten toys for my youngest soon. I think she would like their See and Spell (letters that fit into slots to spell out what you see on your wooden block), their Shape Sorter Clock (learn colors, shapes, numbers, and time all with one simple wooden toy), and their Beginner Pattern Blocks.

7. Anything Magic School Bus gets my vote as well. These books are great for learning science! And since I wrote a report on blood from the viewpoint of a blood cell when I was in 3rd grade, I totally think I came up with part of this idea a long time ago. (ha!) My opinion is that, if your older child is willing, they should be able to watch these as well and maybe answer some deeper questions: Where is the line between fact and fiction? Are there over-simplifications? What are other facts abou this subject that you could write into the plot of this show?
8.I think that this cash register (notice the "learning resources" at the beginning of the name of this toy: They think they are just playing, but you know the truth!) would get lots of play with all three of my children (3, 6, and 8). Pushing buttons + fun sounds + playing with money = hours of fun.
9. This is going to be under the tree for our very artistic boy. Each page has some sort of doodle/drawing already there as well as instructions on how to finish/add to the page. One page even has about 1000 little tiny circles with the instruction to color 624 of them! I think the boy will enjoy the fact that the drawings already in the book are things he can already draw! He'll love finishing and coloring them. We actually bought his at Costco for $9.99. It's great to see that we beat Amazon's price (which are hard to beat!).
10. I am so impressed by this Robotikits 6 in 1 solar powered robot. For only $12.95, you get 6 different robots that don't even require batteries! Your techy child gets to break down and build to his/her heart's content!

So there you have it. Some humble suggestions on gifts that not only entertain but teach your children. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Fun list! We LOVE Melissa and Doug stuff, as well. Our friends have one of the Learning Resources cash registers, and my toddler LOVES it.