Christmas time is an excellent time to give your children an educational gift! This year we are giving our children four gifts each, one toy, one educational item, one book and one clothing item. It has been so much fun picking out educational items that I want to give them, and I’ve found it incredibly hard to narrow it down to just one gift per person!
Below is an educational gift guide for ages 1-16.
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For Little Ones
1. OBall - This soft, squishy ball is idea for little babies and toddlers. It is easy to throw and catch, it can be chewed on, twisted, and stamped on without injuring it at all! Throwing and catching balls is good eye/hand coordination for little ones.
2. A to Z Magnatab – We have this and our 3 year old loves playing with it. Even our almost 2 year old will sit and use it. The magnets work well, and I like the arrows on it showing the proper way to write the letters.
3. Imaginets - Boost fine motor and visual thinking skills with these brightly-colored magnetic blocks and 50 full-color design challenges. This is on my list for our almost 4 year old daughter this year.
4. A-B-C Say It With Me Bible Memory Verses – I have been so excited about this DVD ever since I watched the preview a few months ago! The DVD teaches children of all ages (and adults too!) a memory verse for each letter of the alphabet. But that’s not all! Each letter also has a corresponding one to two minute vignette showing a visual depiction of the verse put into practice. It is 55 minutes long and the preview looks ever so sweet!
5. Camelot Jr. – I have started including brain challenge time in our school days for my older boys. This is a brain game I want to get for my little girls, as I think they would love the princess aspect of it. But a boy would like it also for the castle and prince! Follow the directions in how to put together 48 different challenges.
6. Automoblox – These wooden cars combine the challenge of building, puzzle skills, brain concept of how to put together a vehicle, and then the pretend aspect of actually playing with the vehicle! I’ve heard nothing but good things about these cars!
For The Middle Years
(6 – 10)
1. Perplexus – A maze game where players must maneuver a small marble around challenging barriers inside a transparent sphere. You shift, flip, and twist the sphere to guide the marble through. I’d say this is for ages 8 and up.
2. Bananagrams – I have an 8 year old that loves to spell, so I’ve been meaning to get these for him. Players race against each other to build words. I’ve also looked at the Bananagrams for kids book, and love the challenges presented in it.
3. Boogie Board – I’ve only recently seen this item, but as soon as I came across it I knew my children would love it. It is an LCD writing tablet, that you can easily write on with a stylus (included) and erase with the touch of a button. I can see this being used for math, spelling, note taking, and lots of doodling time!
4. Snap Circuits Lights - My son received a set of Snap Circuits when he was 8 and he loves them! They provide hours of educational fun while building different creations. It is really amazing what you can do with these sets!
5. Enginos – We all know that children love to build things. With the Simple Machines set you can build sixty working models! For ages 8 and up.
For the Older years
( 11 – 16)
1. Metal Earth – Incredibly detail model from laser cut models. This takes a few hours to put together, and is definitely for older children! There are various models you can purchase.
2. Smart Car Robotics Kit – Explore the cutting edge of automotive technology with this futuristic car. Construct the sleek, high-tech car and then use your tablet or smartphone to control the car’s motorized wheels and steer it in any direction. On your device’s screen, watch the car as it drives through a virtual, augmented reality cityscape.
3. Alcatraz - Can you dodge watchful security cameras and make a daring escape from prison? You are locked up in a high security prison. Surveillance cameras are…everywhere? Not quite! One stretch of the wall around the prison compound is surveillance-free, and that’s where your accomplice has put a ladder! Can you arrange the pieces to make your escape?
4. Laser Maze - Laser Maze by ThinkFun is the first single-player logic game to feature a real laser. Players reflect and split the laser beam using mirrors and targets on a puzzle grid to reach their goal.