We’re getting close to the big day, only 12 days left until Christmas! There’s still plenty of time to get those last-minute gifts checked off your list, so today I will be sharing some ideas for fun, educational gifts for kids. In addition to books, we always try to get at least one present for each kid that will help them develop problem-solving skills, encourage STEM learning, express creativity, or just make them think! Here are some of our favorites:
1. GoldiBlox and the Spinning Machine (Age 6+)
I discovered this company over the summer at an event I attended in NYC, and I was so excited to get my hands on this set for my daughter! GoldiBlox is an amazing company with a goal to “get girls building!” They have created a series of books and interactive construction toys that will help develop spatial skills and foster a love for engineering in young girls. My 5-year-old loves the Spinning Machine set, but she still needs a little help with putting all of the pieces together. I’m thinking about getting the Craft-Struction Box, which includes 275 pieces and will encourage more open-ended play.
2. Rory’s Story Cubes (Age 8+)
We don’t actually own these story cubes, but I love the concept and I know my boys would get a huge kick out of playing with these together. With this game, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark your imagination! They offer an original storytelling set, and then lots of other add-on sets like Actions, Voyages, Prehistoria, and more! (Recommended for ages 8 and up.)
If you want to create your own DIY version for younger kids, we made a set of Christmas Storytelling Blocks that would be a perfect stocking stuffer. Get the tutorial and free printables to create your own storytelling blocks here.
3. Magformers (Age 3+)
If you haven’t heard of Magformers yet, I’m pretty sure you might be living under a rock. These seem to be the hot toy on everyone’s Christmas list this year, and for good reason. These patented magnetic building blocks instantly attract and never repel, so the pieces will connect as soon as they touch. Trust me, they will entertain 3-year-olds, up to teens! Building with Magformers engages mathematical and scientific thought, deductive reasoning, and requires use of spatial awareness. There are so many different options, but I think this standard building set of 64 is a good starter set for older kids, the younger ones would be okay with the 30-piece Magformer set.
4. SET Junior game (Age 3+)
One of my favorite family games is SET, so I was really excited to see a version for young kids!
Another game we have that my daughter loves to play with me (she started when she was 4 years old) is Blink. It is a fast-paced card game that helps them recognize groups of objects, based on color, shape, or number. It requires quick thinking, and can also help with hand-eye coordination.
5. Disney Imagicademy Activity Books (Age 4+)
I was able to get a few of these new Disney Imagicademy activity books for my girls to try out, so I want to share what they enjoyed about them. My 3-year-old liked the Mickey Mouse Animals Activity book, but it is definitely geared more towards kids ages 4-6 if you want them to do all the activities. I was happy that the stickers, colored pencils, and magnifying glasses kept her entertained for hours!
For my 5-year-old, I love that the Science book is geared towards her with a FROZEN theme. She is still obsessed with that movie, and she was really interested in trying out all of the hands-on experiments.
One aspect of the book I really appreciate as a parent, is the introduction to scientific terms like observation, prediction, and learning how to conduct experiments to find the results. It teaches basic concepts about matter, density, weather, the water cycle, light and shadow, and more! Our favorite activity was learning about how snowflakes form and then making our own paper snowflake art together.
I will definitely be checking out the other Disney Imagicademy products available at Target for gift ideas this Christmas!
6. Learning Cash Register (Age 4+)
I’m a big fan of pretend play for my girls, especially now that they are at the ages that they want to play together! One of the items my 5-year-old will be getting this Christmas is the Learning Resources Pretend & Play Cash Register. As a kid, one of my very favorite activities was playing restaurant or store and using a cash register to “ring up” my customers. This cash register takes it to the next level with interactive learning games that help kids practice early math and money skills. It also has a built in scanner and can recognize real US currency, as well as the play money that comes with it. Isn’t that cool?
7. IQ Fit (Age 6+)
This is another favorite new game of ours, perfect for my boys when they need some solo play time (that doesn’t involve electronics!) The challenge is to fit all the 3D-puzzle pieces on the game board in such a way that it turns into a flat 2D-image without any empty holes. Both my 8 and 10-year-old enjoy completing the challenges in the book and like to compete with each other to see who can get the farthest, or solve a puzzle the fastest. One of my favorite things about this is that it is portable and easy to take in the car!
What are some of your favorite games and learning toys for kids? I would love to get some more ideas!
I was provided with some of these products in exchange for my honest review and opinions are 100% mine!