Educational Gift Ideas

Whether you're buying for your own dear little ones, or for your extended family, you're sure to find something on this great list of educational gifts I've been gathering.

For us, personally, we're doing the 3 gift thing this year.  My original thought was that if I spent less on them we could give more.  With less, do more.

I've seen many bloggers mentioning the "one gift you want, one you need, one to wear, one to read".  Then there's others doing the three wise men gifts, "gold" (a want), frankincense (something for spiritual growth), and myrrh (for the body).  I came up with sort of mix of the two, for us to do this year.  We are doing one "want", one "body" gift, and something to read.  In addition, we're doing meaningful stocking stuffers, which I've already covered.

This list covers the "something you need" with education in mind.  Next post will be for the body (muscle growth).

In a loose age based order, here is my gift list to guide you along in quality gifts:

For the mind:

These Poke-a-Dot books are just so awesome.  They have all the addictive and appealing qualities of bubble wrap, except re-useable.  What kid (or adult) doesn't like popping bubble wrap!?  These books are sturdy and solid.  The poppers help with counting.  The dot pops in, so that when you turn the page, you're ready to begin again.  Ages 18 months- 5 yrs.

Wedgits are a unique geometric stacking type toy, geared for ages 2 and up.  My 7 year old loves these as much as my 2 year old.  When I first got them I was apprehensive how much they'd get played with, because it looks so simple and "babyish".  They are so great though.  All 3 of my kids (plus the neighbor kids) love this.  What I love most about this toy is that you can't really get it "wrong" like traditional stacking toys.

Squigz , by Fat Brain Toys, are so fun for the whole family.  They are another quirky "building" type of toy, offering a relaxing and fun way to build fine motor skills and creativity.  We are getting this for Sammy (age 2).

Imaginets , by MindWare, are magnetic shapes the kids can manipulate into many different things - animals, houses, faces, vehicles, whatever they come up with!  This is such a great creative outlet to own.  The board also acts as a dry erase so they can draw a background for their creation.  Ages 3+

Emma often wants to play with big brother's modeling clay but I learned the hard way she's too young to be trusted with it.  It gets shoved into her kitchen play items, and smooshed into her bedding.  This Skwooshi Activity Set is the perfect (age appropriate!) solution to play with something like her brother's clay (and doesn't dry out like playdough)

This Hello Kitty Sewing Kit is something I found after Emma (age 4) declared all she wants is a doll for Christmas.  This way she can have her doll and build her fine motor skills as well as begin to learn a life skill!  Ages 3+

This Colorful Caterpillars Game , by Beleduc, is something great to consider if you have multiple ages in kids.  It can be played solo as a "lacing" type toy (super for fine motor skill), or for patterning.  In addition it can be played with a group by rolling the dice and finding the color and shape displayed.  All 3 of my kids enjoy this on different levels.  Ages 2+

If you have a reluctant writer like I do, consider this "Create Your Own Books " set.  Connor loves to role play and draw/paint but hates to write.  The only way I can get him to happily write is to have him do storybooks, which in the past are just done on scrap pieces of paper.  This would be a really great for build self-esteem and for a kid to develop his own language and writing skills by making his own book!  Ages 4-8

Logik Street is a super 1 person game that builds your "thinking skills".  There are 84 different challenges ranging from easy to hard making this a great game for all age ranges, 4+
I think this is super, as a homeschooler, to keep one child occupied as you give another child one on one time.

Zoobs are another unique building type of toy, for ages 6 and up.  My 7 year old plays with these nearly every day.  There's many different sizes of kits.  We personally have the 75 piece kit.  This is a great opened ended building toy.  Connor has come up with so many great creations so far.  His latest was a robotic arm.  :)

This Build-It-Yourself Woodworking kit is great to inspire some life-skill learning.  Connor just absolutely loves going to the Kid Workshops offered at Home Depot.  He can no longer attend due to conflicting schedules with his Martial Arts class, so we intend to bring the woodworking home to him (from non-woodworking parents, of course).  Ages 5+

If you have an older child (6+) that loves Legos and/or building, consider Enginos.  If I had to pick one gift this year, this would get my highest golden stamp of approval.  My only "complaint" is my indecision of which kit to get.  (I finally settled on the wheels).

Next up I'll be talking of my ideas for the "need" gifts with building little muscles in mind.

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