We all remember opening new gifts as kids during the holidays. There’s nothing like getting the toy you always wanted Those moments to create memories that last a lifetime. Kids today have a wide variety of toy options to choose from. There are toys for all age groups — from 0-24 months to 14 years and up.
If you’re buying kids gifts this holiday season, give them what they want — toys! The secret is to find one that promotes education, creativity, and curiosity. Learning is fun when kids have the right toy. To help you decide,, let’s look at the different types of toys, with some examples that I think are really fun.
Gift for babies & toddlers
For babies and toddlers, playtime is a key component of early childhood development. It provides an opportunity to learn and develop fine motor skills, Simple toys like balls or building blocks encourage movement and discovery. A baby bouncer helps babies develop stronger leg muscles while keeping them safe and secure in one spot. Many feature built-in toys to keep them entertained.
The Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Sit-to-Stand Activity Centre is the perfect gift for babies. It features a 360-degree spinning seat inside an activity centre with animal toys and activities. The activity table has three adjustable height positions and a machine washable seat pad. This Activity Centre promotes gross motor skills and sensory development. It’s the perfect first gift for a new baby in the family.
Educational & Learning gifts
Personally, when I buy kids gifts, I lean towards Educational & Learning Toys. Who says toys can’t be fun and educational at the same time? These types of toys can enhance literacy, memorization, and motor skills. With others, these toys support interactive play and social skills such as communication and turn-taking.
Robots and robotic toys
There are different types of educational toys like Robots and Robotic Toys. They combine sensors, computation, and motors to interact with their environment. Robotics teaches children problem-solving and engineering skills. To build and use robotic toys, children work through different challenges by reading and following instructions. They learn the basics of engineering by designing and creating something that solves a problem.
STEM toys and activities
I’m a big fan of STEM Toys and Activities. STEM is short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These toys develop important learning skills and behaviour. These include problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, and perseverance. With STEM toys, playtime becomes educational learning lessons.
The VTech KidiStar DJ Mixer is a great gift for young music technology lovers 5 and up. It develops creativity and DJ skills by letting kids create custom mixes. It comes included with 15 songs or pairs it via Bluetooth to bring their favourite music into the mix. Music games teach kids to follow along with rhythms and the internal mic lets them create their own sound effects. After enough practice, they can DJ the next family party with the built-in party lights. It’s the perfect gift for any musically-inclined child.
Coding kits develop skills while having fun
One of the most valuable skills children can learn today is coding. Coding Kits provide kids with valuable cognitive skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. Coding toys work by using a companion app to teach children how to combine commands. By doing so, they can generate sounds, lights, and movement in the toy.
The simplest coding is with physical building blocks. Older kids have access to app-enabled coding toys that chain together a sequence of actions. Construction-based coding toys require time and patience. They typically teach a wide range of skills to build models that come alive with movement and sound.
LEGO & Building Blocks gift ideas
At some point in time, all kids play with Lego & Building Blocks. They promote motor skill development, creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Putting pieces together builds hand-eye coordination and problem-solving.
With LEGO, there are a wide variety of categories that appeal to kids of different ages and interests. LEGO Technic is a subset aimed at older children. They build vehicles out of pieces with functioning parts such as gearboxes and wheels. These include luxury vehicles, motorbikes, and heavy equipment vehicles like excavators.
The LEGO Technic: App-controlled Transformation Vehicle is a great gift for kids 9 and up. This 772-piece set can be built into a 2-in-1 vehicle that is app-enabled. With a smartphone, kids can steer and flip the vehicle during stunts and challenges over different types of terrain. It’s a great gift idea for kids who have shown an early interest in engineering.
Board Games always make great gifts for kids. It’s a gift the whole family can enjoy. With board games, kids learn problem-solving skills and team building. It’s also a great way to encourage kids to reduce their screen time. Playing with friends and family develops social skills in both large and small groups.
There are different types of board games: Family, Strategy, Cooperative, and Party. A good gift idea is introducing kids to some of the classic board games like Monopoly or Scrabble. These games can be enjoyed by adults since everyone grew up playing them. It’s a great opportunity for inter-generational play among family members.
My all-time favourite game to gift young kids is Risk. It’s the game of strategic conquest that’s perfect for kids ages 10-12. Achieve world domination by building an army and conquering enemy territories. Make peace arrangements with some players, while declaring war with others. Risk teaches kids strategy, negotiations, problem-solving and communication. Furthermore, it accelerates social skills as the game is filled with loose alliances, betrayals, and surprise attacks. Kids will love playing it with friends and adults. Nothing brings a family together during the holidays than competing for world domination.
Choosing fun gifts for kids
The holidays are a time for gift giving and there is no better present for kids than toys. Some children know exactly what they want. For others, it’s an opportunity to introduce them to new things to develop more skill sets like engineering and problem-solving. Check out this Educational toys buying guide for more gift ideas for all the kids on your shopping list.