The holidays are right around the corner! When it comes to purchasing gifts for the kids in my life, I have always leaned more toward the educational (blame the teacher in me, as well as my parents). I decided to gather up a list of some of our favorite educational products that we have checked out this year, as well as a few that I have my eye on as my daughter gets older. I hope you find some holiday gift giving inspiration here!
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Books & Learning Tools
The Moodsters may be one of my absolute favorite purchases that I have made all year long! We were first introduced to the colorful group of feelings detectives when the company kindly sent us the Moodsters Feelings Flashlight and Snorf Talking Plush to check out. (Check out my full review here!). My daughter immediately fell in love with the adorable characters, and I loved that they taught her coping skills that she was able to start using right away.
I have now purchased almost the entire collection of toys and they are all fantastic. She loves talking to the stuffed versions of the characters whenever she is having a “feelings emergency” (as the Moodsters would say). I really like the story books that come with some of the toys, and can’t wait to use the activity books that come with the stuffed characters when she is older. I highly recommend these amazing toys for kids of all ages. They not only help kids cope with their feelings through easy-to-remember sayings, but they also give them a vocabulary to discuss the emotions that they are dealing with.
Put Me in the Story Personalized Books
Put Me in the Story offers beautiful personalized children’s books inspired by some of your child’s favorite stories and characters. Personalized books can make reading more fun for kids by putting them right into the story. This company blends your child’s name (and sometimes photos) seamlessly into the story and illustrations in fun ways. You can also add a special dedication page, making these a gift that kids will treasure for years to come.
As brand ambassadors for Put Me in the Story, we had the opportunity to review their gift set which includes On the Night You Were Born and an adorable polar bear plush. Nancy Tillman’s On the Night You Were Born is one of my favorite books to read to my daughter. I am thrilled to have a personalized version to share with her! (You can get 15% off your copy just for being a reader of my blog!)
The Brushies are a great way to make dental hygiene fun! This fun board book and the matching finger puppet toothbrushes teach kids about the importance of brushing their teeth. The peppy rhyming in the book and colorful characters make it easy for families to talk about dental hygiene.
We had the opportunity to check out The Brushies gift set and my daughter loved playing with the toothbrushes! Putting the finger puppets on her fingers was great for developing her fine motor skills and she really enjoyed reading the story. Luckily she has always liked to brush her teeth, but these characters made her look forward to it! These toys are definitely a great way to introduce dental hygiene to very young kids and to encourage those who find tooth brushing time a little frustrating. Check out the fun activities that we paired with it to get them excited as well!
My Tot Clock
My Tot Clock has been an amazing tool for helping my daughter learn to sleep in her bed at night. She hasn’t always been the best sleeper. When it came time to transition her to a bed, I needed something to help her recognize when it was time to stay in bed and when it was time to get up. My Tot Clock has been the perfect answer to this need!
The bright screen of the clock changes colors based on the mode it is set on. Overnight the clock face is blue. It turns yellow when it is time to get up. There is also a light blue setting for nap times and a red setting for timeouts. You can program the clock to turn on at a scheduled bedtime and to turn off when it’s time for your child to get up. You can also schedule naptimes. However, for those days when your schedule is running a little differently, you can easily turn the sleep setting on or off as you need.
If you would like to provide your child with some calming music, a bedtime story or white noise, this clock can do all of that as well. There are even different cartridges and faceplates that you can purchase to customize the clock for your child. This clock has allowed us to finally fine tune a bedtime routine that works for us!
The Learning Tower
The Little Partners Learning Tower is an amazing learning tool for getting kids involved in the kitchen. My daughter loves helping out in the kitchen, and I love that there are so many wonderful learning opportunities to take advantage of when she is at the counter with me. We had the opportunity to test out a Learning Tower recently and I have been thrilled with how much easier it is for my daughter to use than a standard step stool. I no longer have to keep one hand on her at all times to ensure she doesn’t fall. The Learning Tower keeps her at counter level without fear of falling and gives her the ability to become more involved in the food prep and cleaning that she wants to help with.
In addition to being a huge help in the kitchen, Little Partners also offers add-ons to extend the usability of your Tower. My daughter has had so much fun using the Lemonade Stand and Ice Cream Shop Cover on her Tower. I have really enjoyed watching her use her imagination to turn it into a food truck, an ice cream stand, a reading nook and tons of other things. Check out my full review here!
MyFamilyBuilders is a toy company offering a variety of fun toys that embrace family diversity and allow kids to see themselves in the toys they are playing with. When founder Eze Karpf couldn’t find a toy that represented his friend’s multiracial family, he set out to create a line of toys that would allow families to feel represented in the toys they are sharing together. We were lucky enough to try out their MyFamilyBuilders™ Magnetic Mix & Match Wooden Shapes. This fun magnet set offers up to 6800 possible combinations! Mix and match heads and bodies of different hair colors, skin colors and sizes to create all kinds of families. They also offer block sets and wall magnets.
Fisher Price Think & Learn Code a Pillar
Fisher Price Think & Learn Code a Pillar is a fun toy that encourages kids to develop problem solving, critical thinking and sequencing skills. The various segments can be connected in different patterns, causing the Code a Pillar to veer in different directions. There are also expansion packs available to make fun sounds and more elaborate maneuvers.
I am excited at the possibilities for extending the play. Is she able to set it up so it will go around a toy on the ground? Can she “program” it to make it through an obstacle course? The learning opportunities are endless!
Fisher Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle
Fisher Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle is a fun way to turn screen time into an active activity. For those of us who live in colder climates, winter can be tough with rambunctious kids trapped in the house. The Smart Cycle encourages kids to pedal their way through learning adventures on the TV or a tablet. The faster they pedal, the more they can learn. This would be a great way for kids to burn off energy when you can’t get out of the house!
Amazon Kindle is a great kid friendly tablet. I try to keep my daughter’s screen time to a minimum. When I do allow her to have some, she loves using the Kindle. There are lots of fantastic games and apps available for kids, reviewing all kinds of skills or subjects. Plus there are kid friendly cases available to protect it from the damage a child can wreak. Enter below for a chance to win one just in time for the holidays!
M is for Monster
M is for Monster is a fantastic subscription box for families who are interested in learning, crafting and playing together. Each month, members receive a box with everything they need for a month’s worth of learning activities. There are four themes a month, and each theme has different games, crafts and activities with all the materials included. We had a chance to try out their subscription box, and we had so much fun creating art projects, practicing letters and numbers and playing fun games together. Check out my full review to learn more!
Bookroo is a book subscription service that provides families with quality books delivered right to their door every month. They offer board book boxes perfect for ages 0-2, as well as picture book boxes aimed at ages 2-6. Each book comes wrapped like a present, so kids can get excited at a new gift delivered every month.
Green Kid Crafts
Green Kid Crafts is a subscription service that offers STEAM learning kits for ages 2-10+ delivered right to your door every month. Each month you receive a themed kit full of science, technology, engineering, art and math activities. These activities are designed to get kids excited about learning and include quality materials & easy instructions.
There are lots of fantastic educational toys out there to keep kids entertained and learning this holiday season. What are your favorite educational gifts? Share them in the comments!
I’ve joined up with some awesome bloggers to give you a chance to win a new Kindle just in time for the holidays! Check out the giveaway here!