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Gift Guide: Choosing Educational Toys This Holiday Season

By Sandy Siegman, M.S. Ed.

As a mother of three boys, one of my favorite quotes was “There are only two lasting gifts we can hope to give our children, “one of these is roots, the other is wings.” For roots, we look to our family traditions. Traditions are rituals families engage in over and over. They nurture the family spirit, giving us a sense of belonging and help us to celebrate generations of family. Most importantly, traditions create positive memories for children.

For wings, we want to find experiences and material objects that will help our children stretch and grow. Below is a collection of some of our favorite educational toys to challenge your child’s intellect and stretch his or her imagination.

Infants & Toddlers

Suction Kupz - Ages: 1 - 2 years

Supports: Fine Motor Skills, Spatial Reasoning, Creativity, Exploration, Experimentation

Spin Again - Ages: 1 - 2 years

Supports: Eye-Hand Coordination, Baby Engineering Skills

Tobbles Neo - Ages: Infant - 2 years

Supports: Sensory Exploration, Fine Motor Skills, Coordination, Spatial Awareness

Lakeshore’s Slow-Roll Visual Tracker - Ages: 9 - 24 months

Supports: Visual Tracking, Color Recognition, Fine Motor, Eye-Hand Coordination

Lakeshore’s Pound & Play Music Maker - Ages: 12 - 36 months

Supports: Eye-Hand Coordination, Sensory Learning, Cause-Effect Learning

Learning Locomotive - Ages: 1 - 2 years

Supports: Fine Motor Skills, Visual-Spatial Skills, Creativity, Shape-Learning, Imaginative Play

 

Preschoolers

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game – Ages: 3 - 7 years

Supports: Fine Motor, Visual Motor, Turn-Taking/Social Skills

Melissa and Doug Cutting Food-Wooden Play Food Set - Ages: 3 - 5 years

Supports: Imaginative Play, Fine Motor, Hand Strengthening

AGPtek® Kids Outdoor Indoor Pop Up Play Tent with Tunnel - Ages: 3 years and up

Supports: Gross Motor/Motor Planning, Imaginative Play

Elefun - Ages: 3 - 8 years

Supports: Visual Motor Skills, Eye/Hand Coordination, Social Skills, Early Math

Imaginarium Deluxe Marble Race - Ages: 3 - 10 years

Supports: STEM Concepts, Eye-Hand Coordination, Logical Thinking, Creativity, Bilateral Hand Skill, Visual Tracking, Problem Solving, Construction

Lakeshore’s Alpha-Bots - Ages: 3 - 8 years

Supports: Alphabet Knowledge, Spelling Skills, Eye/Hand Coordination

Lakeshore’s Create-A-Chain Reaction STEM Kit - Ages: 4 - 7 years

Supports: STEM Concepts, Design, Problem Solving

Sturdy Birdy: The Game of Perfect Balance - Ages: 5 - 7 years

Supports: Increased Balance, Coordination, Core Strength

Melissa & Doug Examine and Treat Pet Vet Play Set (24Pcs) – Ages: 3 years and up

Supports: Role-Playing, Dramatic Play

Classic LEGO Medium Creative Brick Box – Ages: 4 years and up

Supports: Fine Motor, Problem Solving, Creativity, Building & Design

 

School Age

I Got This! - Ages: 6 years and up (Great for family game night!)

Supports: Gross Motor Skills, Coordination, Critical Thinking, Cooperative Play

Splitting Image - Ages: 6 - 10 years

Supports: Spatial Reasoning, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Creativity

SwipeShot - Ages: 6 - 10 years

Supports: Gross Motor Skills, Coordination, Strategy, Quick Thinking, Fast Reflexes

Lakeshore’s The Allowance Game - Ages: 5 - 11 years

Supports: Money Concepts, Budgeting Skills

Stix Strux - Ages: 5 - 12 years

Supports: Eye-Hand Coordination, Visual Skills, Creative Play

Osmo - Ages: 5 - 12 years

Supports: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Math Skills, Spelling Skills, Communication, Digital Skills

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