Top 5 Holiday Gifts for Preschoolers
Thereâ€™s a unique challenge to preschool gift giving: finding something thatâ€™s educational, inspirational, and fun. Plastic toys with flashing lights delight for a bit, but their staying power is weak and their mind-expansion negligible. Books, while good for a growing brain, can make dull holiday presents if given in excess. So here are some presents so good the kids wonâ€™t even know theyâ€™re learning something!
Inspiration for Your Mini Artiste
What better way to learn about the great painters of the world than by doing what they did? Master Kitzâ€™ gives your child the chance to recreate Â masterpieces like Van Goghâ€™s Starry Night and Monetâ€™s Water Lillies. At Amazon, $29.99; ages four and up.
No Frills Counting
Get back to counting basics with Melissa and Dougâ€™s wooden abacus. This old-school calculator is ideal for kids at any stage of learning. Little ones can push the brightly colored beads from one side to the other, while older kids can work with simple addition and subtraction. At Amazon, $14.99; ages three and up.
An Anatomical Puzzle
Kids can discover whatâ€™s really going on inside their bodies as they put together this puzzle based on several of the bodyâ€™s systems: skeletal, muscular, digestive. Available in boy or girl. At Amazon, $22.99; ages four and up.
Not Your Average Castle
Shureâ€™s ArchiQuest Kings and Castles system helps preschoolers express their inner architect. The set includes 68 laminated wooden blocks designed to look like Medieval castles, fortresses, chapels, and towers. The set is supplemented with a 46-page booklet about Medieval history. At Amazon, $74.97; ages five and up.
Whether theyâ€™re the tough-as-nails type or a scaredy cat, every kid will get a kick out of Melissa and Dougâ€™s Make Your Own Monster set. The kit includes a variety of eyes, ears and of course, antennae for a customized monster experience. At Amazon, $21.99; ages three and up.
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Marisa Belger is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor and mama. When not running around with her five-year old boy â€” or preparing for the birth of his little brother â€” she writes about parenting, natural beauty, wellness and green living for publications like Natural Health, Prevention and TODAYShow.com, or collaborates on books like Josh Dorfmanâ€™s The Lazy Environmentalist.