More Than Toys: Educational Presents for Your Children
The Holiday season is here, that time of year where you decide which toys your children might find most engaging or entertaining. Yet as you try to find the perfect toy, don’t forget that entertainment and education can often go hand in hand! We’ve compiled a list of a few toys to consider, by age group, that could be great choices for educational presents for your children.
Depending on your child’s age, there are different levels of educational toys that can teach them new skills while stimulating their imagination. Early childhood is when the mind is most impressionable, but all stages of childhood are perfect for mixing education and fun.
Educational Toys for Children 2 to 7 Years Old
An all-in-one station for exploring sketching, drawing, and coloring, the Art Center/Art Desk includes a dry-erase whiteboard, chalkboard, a workbench, and even storage units for art supplies. The double-sided easel gives children several different avenues to explore their creative side and even the chance to creatively collaborate with siblings or friends!
This is a toy will keep on giving for years, providing a dedicated creative space for kids exploring their artistic side. You can also stock the desk with the supplies of your choosing, including sketchpads, coloring books, paintbrushes, crayons, and more.
For the musically inclined, the VTech Record and Learn gives children not only the chance to perform music on a keyboard and sing into the built-in mic but record and playback the tunes they create! Built-in songs give kids the chance to explore different musical genres, from jazz to rock n roll, as a helpful source of musical inspiration.
Mega Bloks provides almost all the creativity of Legos with large enough pieces to avoid choking hazards, making it a perfect gift for children as young as 12 months old. From houses and towers to animals, there are many creative possibilities to be explored in this 80-piece set. A dedicated travel bag makes it easy to store and tote around the pieces for the next playtime.
Educational Toys for Kids 7 to 11 Years Old
The Thames and Kosmos chemistry set give children the opportunity to explore several basic chemistry concepts with varied interactive experiments. A 48-page instruction book details each of these experiments, which your child can reference to explore those they find most interesting. The kit contains pipettes, measuring cups, test tubes, and Petri dishes, offering an immersive scientific experience. The experiments provide a perfect launching point into more complex scientific concepts later on.
While one of the most traditional educational games in the world, the classic game of Chess remains a powerful learning tool. Requiring thoughtful decision making and foreplanning, children quickly learn how each move affects both the short and long-term play of the game. Benjamin Franklin held Chess in such high esteem as a learning tool, he found it to be both practically useful for everyday decision making and an allegory for life:
“Chess teaches foresight, by having to plan ahead; vigilance, by having to keep watch over the whole chessboard; caution, by having to restrain ourselves from making hasty moves; and finally, we learn from chess the greatest maxim in life – that even when everything seems to be going badly for us we should not lose heart, but always hoping for a change for the better, steadfastly continue searching for the solutions to our problems.”
6. Laser Maze
Another great option for building reasoning and planning abilities, the ThinkFun Laser Maze offers a total of 60 puzzles to solve. Through the correct alignment of a laser and mirrors, children learn foresight and how to plan their arrangements in advance to solve the puzzle. While chess requires two players (unless your child enjoys playing against themselves), this puzzle set is ready to go out of the box as a solitary logic challenge.