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I’m back this week with a list of my top 20 Best Educational Gifts for kids, the second installment of my 2019 holiday gift guide series. It can get tricky shopping for kids, so I’ve gone ahead and broken down these gifts and categorized them by age.
I think it’s safe to say that we share many of the same struggles as most parents when it comes to the holidays and toys. I can’t tell you how many gift list the kids have created complete with the hottest toys they just couldn’t live without, only to receive said gifts and become bored of them before the New Year ever got a chance to ring in.
That’s why we decided a couple of Christmases back that we were SO done with watching these toys ( and our money) go right down the abandoned toy drain. We decided we would allow the kids to request one “big” or two small “must haves” on the list. Any other gifts they received from us would be gifts we knew would bring value to them or help enrich their minds.
I wanted the kids to have gifts that would be loads of fun while tending to their developmental, creative, emotional and social needs. As a plus, I wanted to gift them with things that would last for years to come and could be enjoyed by the next kid in line.
We’ve had great success in doing this. In fact, a few of the gifts of this gift guide I’ve created for you all have been personally purchased by me and I’m so happy I did! My little guys are playing with them as we speak!
check out my top 20 Best Educational Gifts For Kids, Holiday Gift Guide # 2
Best Educational Gifts For Baby
Crinkle books are a favorite amongst infants. The sensory stimulation from the sounds and feel of the crinkle paper are great and have always sent my kiddos into a happy baby frenzy. Not to mention baby will be introduced to colors, shapes, animals, you name it. Made of washable fabric, its the perfect first book set for the wee ones.
This adorable play mat looks like the perfect little play lounge. It’s padded all around with colorful and playful borders to wake babies senses as well as hanging toys and a separate bag of balls to encourage motor development.
I know!… The thought of bringing an entire instrument set into the house probably looks a little like you standing in the kitchen with a twitching eye waiting for your ear drums to burst while your kid bangs on every surface in the house! But trust me when I say, all that noise is SO worth it! Music is an integral part of child development and should definitely be embraced. This set is better for the older babies and toddlers and I’m certain will get LOTS of play!
With black and white being one of the few things that baby can see very well in their early days, exposing then to high contrast art is actually REALLY good for stimulation and triggering visual signals to babies brain, which then encourages and helps them to strengthen those little retinas.
Abacus toys of any kind are always a winner! This adorable house shaped Alex Jr. Abacus one is the perfect size for baby’s hands and is covered and tons of colors and patters. It also includes sorter shapes and slots as well!
Best Educational Gifts For Preschoolers
How excited would your little one be to receive a personalized puzzle of their very own name!? I think this gift is a great one to introduce early on once your baby starts to develop fine motor skills, but as they get older and start to experiment with letters, this can be the perfect tool for name recognition.
Just as with the name puzzle above, these number and counting blocks they are small and stack able and great to introduce in the baby years, but will be greatly appreciated by your preschooler when they start learning all about numbers and counting.
Oh my goodness! When I say Magna Tiles are one of the BEST thing that has ever plopped on the face of the earth for kids, I MEAN IT! Kids of all ages love these, especially preschoolers. The amount of developmentally rich play that occurs when diving into a bucket of these is fantastic. Critical thinking, hand eye coordination, problem solving, and engineering to name a few. We first purchased two sets of these a few years ago, and the kids STILL play with these for hours at a time.
Right along with Magna Tiles, I speak highly of these Building Gears. Another item that happily lives in our home, it’s always a joy watching the kids creativity blossom as they play with these. The ever important skills developed? Directly from the Learning Resources site include
Counting, Sorting, Matching, Patterning, Problem Solving, Cause & Effect, Critical Thinking, Sequential Thought, Spatial Relationships, Creativity, Fine Motor, Eye-Hand Coordination, Visual Processing AAAAND Color Identification……Woah!
Yes, the amount of pieces that are included in this Brain Flakes set may be a bit intimidating and feel like a really bad idea at first, but with its large size comes a great deal of versatility. Much like its sister toys above, it’s incredibly enriching and the amount of projects and activities you can do with your little is impressive. If you happen to home school your pre-k kid this gift will complement whatever lessons you whip up.
Best Educational Gifts For School-Agers
If you and your kids are fans of Little Passports, Then they’ll love this Shifu Orboot Interactive Globe. It works in conjunction with it’s iOS and Android supported app to create an augmented reality learning tool. The globe comes with a passport, stamps and country flag stickers. Packed with over 400 highlights and over 1000 world facts, this globe has enough to keep the kids, and YOU learning new things every day.
STEM Toys are very popular and appropriate amongst school aged children. Brain and Logic games like this Gravity Maze is perfect for exercising critical skills like reasoning and planning. It comes with 60 challenges from beginner to expert that get more and more difficult as you progress.
Another insanely cool find for your big kids. The Kanoodle brain teasing puzzle is actually a fun one for the whole family. When playing with this your child is actually tightening up those critical thinking, strategic and problem solving skills. It comes in a convenient travel size case and is filled with 200 different puzzles from basic to difficult.
Is you child super into technology and coding? The Artie 3000 Coding Robot is a wonderful beginners tool for children looking to get into it. Kids can learn various methods of coding through Artie’s preprogrammed designs and advance on to their own more intricate designs as they grow. With its built in wifi server the only thing you need is your phone, computer or tablet to get coding!
I’ve tried a variety of Mochi treats and while they are tasty I could never fully get into them. My kids however are a different story! I don’t know what it is about these pillowy sweet ice cream balls, but my kids can’t seem to get enough of it! This DIY Mochi kit is a great gift for kids who love creating in the kitchen. It comes complete with all the necessary ingredients as well as a dough cutter and mold and is easy enough for the older kids to do on their own.
Best Educational-ish Gifts For Teens
My oldest is only just crossing over into tweenhood and I already can’t wait to unleash this teen cook book on her! If you’ve got a teen who will willingly starve themselves waiting for you to whip them up something instead of cooking for themselves, then this book will (hopefully) help them on the path to self sufficiency! Written by teens for teens, the Teens Cook cookbook has 75 easy to follow recipes covering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
They may be teens, but that doesn’t mean they’re too old for paper planes! This super advanced upgrade to traditional plane launching is a complete build it yourself kit and can launch planes almost 100 feet! This Mechanical launcher is made of sturdy birch plywood and comes with three planes of its own, although you can launch your own creations as well. Crafty Kids can get creative with the planes flight and tricks by adjusting wings.
Think Polaroid from the old OLD days. For the teen who is a lover of the arts or wanting to experiment with photography, this Retro Instant Camera will have them running outside ready to capture everything. Made entirely of recycled cardboard, with just a quick set up and a roll of the handle this super unique camera prints out photos instantly.
So this gift doesn’t necessarily teach a new skill, but it actually packs a LOT of very interesting facts! This Trivia Game is as silly as it comes. 400 random and fun factoids that will easily strike up some interesting conversations!
If your teen is a maker who is constantly in creation mode, then this 3D Printer will be appreciated. It’s perfect for nurturing their creative side. This machine is fully assembled, desktop compatible and ready to power up and print!
That sums up our list this week! I hope this list of 20 best learning gifts for kids helps to get your gift giving juices flowing. If you happened to miss last weeks post, Holiday Gift Guide For Dad check that one out below. In the meantime, let me know below what are some of your kids most beloved gifts!