Your Guide to Educational Gifts for Children

It’s tempting to give children electronic gifts, since that’s what’s popular. Yet, we all know that getting kids away from screens is better for them. The research shows that children’s brains develop with toys that spark the imagination. When considering gifts for children, opt for educational gifts or experiences instead. You might be pleasantly surprised at the response. Here are some ideas from

For the Little Ones

Toddlers are learning a variety of motor, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills. recommends toys such as the BettRoom Geometric Sorete, which is made of wooden panels in various shapes that a young toddler can sort. Another highly recommended toy is the Jumbo Nuts and Bolts set, which allows young children to hold, grip, and sort. They’re developing motor skills while learning shapes and colors. All they know is they’re having fun.

 Children four and up will enjoy the Pidoko Kids 123 Learning Abacus. They not only learn to count, but they’ll already be starting in on addition and subtraction.

Subscription Boxes are Gifts that Keep Giving

If you’re so inclined, several companies specialize in educational subscription boxes for children of all age groups. You can find gift boxes that send fun storybooks, boxes with small projects relating to kindness, activism, or art, or fun gift boxes for teens who are into pop culture. Boxes can range from $17.95 to $66 per month, though there may be additional shipping costs. Everyone loves getting packages in the mail and looking forward to a package you know is coming is the best.

The Gift of Science

Do you know a kid who is a budding scientist? Live Science recommends several science-based gifts that you can find for kids of all ages. Make bedtime fun with a DIY Glow in the Dark Astronomy Planet Model. For the child with a love of life science, you can get a Grow N' Glow Terrarium where they can nurture a miniature garden with wheat and chia seeds. For the little chemist, a Volcanic Eruption & Lava Lab Science kit can provide hours of fun.

Think hands-on

Accompanying learning with motor skills isn’t just for toddlers. A children's tool set is a great way to get kids involved in projects around the house. Some sets are functional and durable enough to really do the job. You’re budding scientist might also have a knack for woodworking or working on cars. And while we’ve discouraged electronic toys as gifts, it doesn’t mean they can’t borrow your laptop or phone to look up new projects. Self-guided learning is what’s best about the internet, and under supervision they can learn so much.

Once a child is comfortable using tools, you can always get them to help with minor car repairs. Check the oil together or change a bulb. You can look up how-to instructions together on the web, then ask questions to see if they get it. Confidence around cars can start pretty young, and it’s a skill that can save a lot of money down the road.

For the Teens

Don’t forget the teenagers in your life. Teens interested in writing and literature would probably love this mini-magazine kit. If you’re unsure about what they like, you can buy your teen a chic notebook, art supplies, or a gift card to your local bookstore. Older teens are also ready for more challenging educational experiences, such as stargazing with a telescope or a pair of binoculars.

Consider Experiences as Gifts

Psychology Today suggests that experiences make people happier because they’re often shared with loved ones, such as family or friends. Giving an experience not only gives you time together to bond, but you're creating happy memories. Consider tickets to their favorite theme park, a membership to the closest zoo or museum, or tickets to take in a Yankees game. While it's true experiences can cost a little more, sites like Groupon can help.

 Regardless of what type of present you decide to give, sometimes the simplest gift is the one that will help them grow and develop. Educational gifts don’t have to be boring, and they’re available for all ages.

Photo by sasint via Pixabay.

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