It’s the most wonderful time of the year… unless you have no idea what to put on your children’s shopping list. Should you get something they have watched other kids unwrap on YouTube a million times? What about something educational? Or maybe that new toy that’s trending, that you can only get on craigslist at 5x the retail price? Holiday shopping can be fun and stressful at the same time. So I have come up with a list of educational and developmental toys I think your kids will love. All of these have been given the seal of approval from my family.
Simplay 3 Carry and Go Track Table $39.99
There comes a time in every parent’s life when they see their child engrossed in play on a train table. The smile on their face melts your heart, until you see the price tag and realize that your living room will permanently become Thomas Town. Well this toy is the solution to that. It is light weight and portable. You can sit it on the floor or on top of a table you already have. It is made in the USA of sturdy, durable plastic. And bonus, no assembly required. Take it outdoors or indoors and then slide it under the bed or in the closet when you are done. Not only is this an awesome train table that works with all brands, but when your flip it over it has a monster truck race track on the other side. My favorite feature is that because it is plastic we can use it for sensory play. We love to pile up shaving cream for the trucks to run through or fill the pits up with beans for them to trek across. This is a great present that will make you look like a hero and will not break your wallet.
2. Creativity For Kids stuffed Animals $19.99
A hot trend this year for kids is reversible sequins. They are a great way to calm anxiety and distract fidgeters. There are several brands on the market but this one stood out as the best value to me. Not only do you get the fun sequin play it is also weighted for added sensory stimulation. If you have looked for weighed animals in the past then you know they can cost upwards of $50. This cute buddy is half that. Another great feature is that it comes with customizable patches that your child can put on and off of their new friend. These fun pets are available as a unicorn and a gender neutral hedgehog.
STEM is a big deal in kids toys now, but I find some of the toys fall flat for younger kids or those who aren’t particularly interested in that field. This toy helps bridge that gap. It is durable and easy to use right out of the box. The microscope comes with prepared slides and a colorful storybook to guide them on their scientific journey. We do have a regular microscope at home but, this one is so much easy for younger kids and its great for items you find outside that you want to get a closer look at. It is targeted to younger children but my entire family has fun discovering with this together. PRO TIP: On Ebay you can buy fossils, shark teeth, rocks, and preserved specimens for $1. These look amazing under the scope.
Over the summer my 4yr old son who is Autistic was blessed with the gift of a sensory room. One of the items that came with it was a door way gym set. There are tons of brands, Gorilla Gym is probably the most popular, but we got the Bonobo brand from Amazon. Let me tell you the whole family loves this. It is used by far the most out of anything. My husband works out with it. My daughters swing on it. My son climbs on it. Most sets come with several attachments that allow you to use it in different ways. And while this is a pricey item, you will get good use out of it for the entire family. It would most certianly be a nice surprise for everyone in the house.