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Educational Gift Guide | Learn Through Play with These Fun Toys

Educational toys are a great way to inspire learning through play. With my oldest, I purchased her learning toys from the time she was a small toddler. We used flash cards, toys, creative arts, and so many other fun activities. I believe her exposure to education early is the reason she developed a passion for reading and a love for school today!

Learning through play helps children develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments. Role-play and pretend play involves creativity, children use their Imagination during play, which helps create images in their minds to do with their feelings, thoughts and ideas. Below are a few of my favorite toy ideas in this educational gift guide.

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Let’s Go Shopping! Cash Register

18 mos. – 8 yrs. / toddler – 3rd gr.

educational gift guide

Little cashiers complete one transaction after the next—with this cute talking cash register! It has all the features of the real thing—from a bar-code scanner that really beeps and flashes. It has a scale that plays a tune as kids load it with pretend produce. There’s an interactive learning function that kids can press the quiz buttons to explore the alphabet, learn numbers, practice addition & subtraction, and more! The cash register is 13″ and comes with 14 realistic props. This is a great way to teach kids about money and how to count. For younger children, it is a good introduction to money and great for any child that likes to play pretend grocery shopping. 

Cash register requires 3 “AA” batteries (not included).

To the Rescue! Fire Station

3 yrs. – 8 yrs. / preschool – 3rd gr

educational gift guide

If you have a little firefighter in your house like we do, this is the perfect gift to teach him/her about the role of a firefighter.  When using a toy like this it is a great opportunity to talk about how the fire truck comes down the street in real life.  Fires safety in and out of the home, plus so much more. This cool set features realistic buildings, detailed play figures, exhilarating light and sound effects plus a fire truck, an ambulance, a police motorcycle and a rescue helicopter. There’s is also a working loudspeaker to dispatch rescue workers!  The fire station is the perfect hub for all your pretend rescue missions.  Set includes a total of 13 pieces; firehouse measures 10 1/2″ tall. Earlier this Spring we took a visit to our local Fire Station. Give your local fire station a call and see if you can schedule a visit!

The fire truck and dispatch building each require 2 “AAA” batteries (not included).

Guidecraft Interlox 96-Piece Set

Ages 3+educational gift guideThese are great for helping with fine motor skills. They are soft and easy to lock. With eager toddlers in my experience  I have learned they can get a little frustrated. This set is designed to help smaller hands connect and lock much easier. With these sets little ones can build, design and create with their own designs. There is no hardware, small parts or tools necessary; simply clip the edges together to create an unlimited array of constructions: buildings, people, robots, fantasy animals and more. Translucent plastic panels with inset details in five beautiful colors.Children explore the concepts of symmetry and asymmetry while strengthening their design, structure and engineering skills.

  • Open-ended interlocking construction toy
  • Set includes 96 pieces
  • Five vibrant colors
  • Notched edges fit together securely
  • Translucent panels feature embossed geometrical shapes
  • Material: Plastic
  • Educational Focus: Explore symmetry and color, strengthen design, structure, and engineering skills
  • Use with original Interlox to expand building possibilities

Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Dust! Sweep! Mop! 6-Piece Pretend Play Set

I don’t know about you, my toddler loves to help clean the house. These mini cleaning items are perfect for helping pretend clean-up. It also helps teach kids to pick up after themselves. Pretend cleaning is a great way for kids to develop confidence and responsibility in a playful way! Hands-on pretend play with the Dust! Sweep! Mop! play set helps kids develop fine motor skills, encourages them to get up and moving. Mimicking everyday chores helps teach responsibility and boosts self-esteem. My son loves to help me hold the duster and broom, now he can have his own. All of the pieces have hanging loops to store the pieces on the wooden upright stand, making it easy to store after playtime!

educational gift guide

  • 6-piece cleaning set for hours of pretend play housekeeping
  • Includes broom, mop, duster, dust pan, brush, and storage stand
  • All pieces durably made and sized for kids
  • Dust pan snaps onto all handles
  • Sturdy wooden construction

Telling Time Teaching Clock

3 yrs. – 8 yrs. / preschool – 3rd gr.

educational gift guide

My daughter used this clock to learn how to tell time. It is perfect and kids gravitate to it because it is so CUTE. When my 3-year-old saw it, he says “I want that clock”. I never think it is too early to introduce a child to subject matter if they show interest. He tries to tell time on our clock every morning when he wakes up, so this will be nice to help him along. Your child will learn to tell time with this cute talking clock by turning the hands, then listening as the clock says the time and shows it on the digital display. You can also switch to “quiz” mode, and the clock challenges kids to display the time. It also works as a real-working digital clock! Clock measures 10″ tall; with a night-light on top.

Requires 3 “AA” batteries (not included).

The Allowance Game

5 yrs. – 11 yrs. / kindergarten – 6th gr.

educational gift guide

The Allowance Game is one of all time favorites.  This truly brings home the concept of money for kids in a fun way. The concept behind the game is kids are given a chance to earn money, for example wash the car and earn $1.30, but forget your homework and lose a turn! In this fast-paced game, players race around the colorful board doing chores and collecting an allowance, then spend their earnings on the things they want. It is so much fun for kids and parents.

For 2-4 players; game board measures 18″.

Sesame Street Elmo’s On the Go Letters

24 months – 4 years

These Elmo on the letters were perfect for teaching my son his ABCs. He was able to pack these up and take them to Grandma’s to practice this letters on the go. Your preschoolers will have the opportunity to explore the alphabet with their favorite Sesame Street characters. Snap each letter into place, or mix them up to spell out simple words in the bottom window. Underneath each letter is an image of a word that starts with that letter. You can also use this to teach phonics because behind every letter is picture, C is for Cookie. This is a great simple gift. Don’t expect magnets, they are just letters that child places in the corresponding spot. Great for learning letter recognition.
educational gift guide.*Please check back as more items are updated weekly to this educational gift guide.

Janelle Robinson is from Chicago a proud wife and mother of 2 (teen and preschooler). She is health educator and writer with a focus on providing families with resources and tips throughout all stages of parenthood.

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