With the holidays coming and many of you looking for what to buy your children. I’m sharing with you our favourite educational toys and games.
I think the absolute hands down favourite one is MagnaTiles.
Kids of all ages LOVE these. Even my 2 year old builds all sorts of things. They’re a wonderful engineering based toy which develops fine motor skills, spacial reasoning, planing, problem solving, strategizing, shape awareness and they’re also a great open ended toy for imaginative play. My kids make houses, barns, zoos, all kinds of things. They’re super durable and the magnets are really strong. There are other more inexpensive brands out there but I haven’t tried them so I can’t comment on their quality. We have 2 of the small sets and my kids are getting a 3rd set for Hanukkah. They can be purchased from Mastermind Toys.
Duplo is another favourite toy. I really love building toys and think they’re such great educational toys. My kids love to build cars and vehicles. Duplo develops a lot of the same skills as MagnaTiles only it’s a little trickier for little ones to manipulate compared to the MagnaTiles. Duplo is of course available everywhere toys are.
My daycare kids always love to play doctor. You can put together your own doctor’s kit with real tools found on Amazon which is what we did but some of them fell apart quickly with lots of play and weren’t durable enough for the power of children (and some had little parts that fell off which wasn’t safe around little ones). My kids with be getting a new doctors kit with a child size real working stethoscope from Discovery Toys. I know this gift is going to be a big hit. You can purchase it from here.
Motor Works is one of my favourite toys from Discovery Toys. I highly recommend this one if you want your child to be entertained and engaged and you’d like dad to get involved in playing. Daycare kids go nuts over this and their dads are often drawn in to help them. My 2 year old likes to just use the power drill to screw the screws in and out. Older children will be more engaged in taking the whole vehicle apart and assembling it. It’s and awesome STEM toy. Available through my website here.
Another toy that gets used all the time in all different ways is the Measure Up Cups, Pots and Spoons. My kids are always using these. In the bathtub, in the play kitchen, in the sand. When playing camping or with dolls or playdough. They’re just such an open ended and versatile toy. And they have so many ways to learn – numbers, size, animals, food groups, addition, fractions, comparisons, the clock face. You can purchase them here.
Play Kitchen: Every kid needs a play kitchen of some sort. There’s all kinds out there. We have a beautiful wood set from Elves and Angels.
We got a mini trampoline last Hanukkah and it has been great during the cold weather for getting energy out. I really love the sturdiness of the one we got from Walmart though it took forever to come in, I think we finally got it in January or February.
Our toy barn gets played with more than our doll house. We have this one by Melissa and Doug.
Toob figures by Safari Ltd are always great stocking stuffers. Kids love to play with them but you can use them in your sound boxes, continent boxes, biomes, animal classifications, spelling, etc… You can find them at Michael’s and you can usually get a discount coupon online.
Playmobile. Pumpkin 1 is just starting to get into Playmobile. They’re great quality and open ended toys that spark the imagination. When she was sick the other week I brought out some Playmobile toys I had been saving until my son wasn’t putting everything in his mouth. I set up a breakfast tray on her bed and she was so content playing with them. She also likes Calico critters too. I remember those from when I was little only back then they were called Sylvanians. You can generally find both at most toys stores. My daughter has her eye on this one because she’s into camping.