As Christmas approaches us parents are always on the look out for great gifts to give to our kids either from ourselves or from Santa. Obviously Santa always needs a hand so why not make it a bit easier for him. I find it easy to always spot the common well liked toys such as Barbies, Lego, PlayStation Games etc that are on the Santa List but what about some lovely educational toys for a change? They might not seem like an obvious choice but these toys often last longer and come in handy when trying to teach your child new life skills.
Learning Resources have a wealth of educational toys available at the click of a button and a lot of these toys are so fun the kids won't even know they're learning! Read on to see my top picks and hopefully they give you some nice inspiration for Christmas Gift ideas.
Mental Blox Go
This critical thinking game is the perfect travel companion for holidays and long car journeys. Not only does Mental Blox Go encourage problem solving skills but it comes with a multicultural game & puzzle instruction book featuring 10 extra ways to play so kids will never get bored. The three-piece storage case features removable challenge tray and contains 20 puzzle pieces. Inside there are 20 double-sided puzzle cards, 16 puzzle pieces in four shapes, colours and patterns and all pieces store easily inside the case for easy pack up and play. Games which can be played from this set include; Shapes Sudoku (10 puzzles) – for 1 player, Memory Match – for 2 players, Slide & Solve – for 2 players, Piece by Piece – for 1 - 2 players, Swap 2 – for 1 -2 players, Attribute 3s – for 2 players, Spot the Blox! What's Missing? – for 3+ players, Spot the Blox! What's New? – for 3+ players, 4 x 4 Chess – for 2 players and Tower of 4 – for 2 players. There's also multilingual packaging available. All in all a great fun educational game aimed at ages 5-9 years and retailing for £16.50. An excellent gift to give this Christmas.
One for the explorers and adventurers out there this GeoSafari SeaScope helps you to discover a hidden underwater natural world without getting wet! GeoSafari SeaScope lets you see into streams, ponds, lakes and rock pools thanks to the 5x magnification and built-in LED torch that illuminates what’s going on below the surface. This sturdy exploration tool features a ruler and thermometer so kids can record observations about what they find. GeoSafari SeaScope is a real working scientific tool which develops observation skills and promotes STEM learning. This scope measures at 33cm length compact and extends to 56cm. It requires 3 AAA batteries which aren't included and retails for £34.50. I honestly think this is an amazing piece of kit and one which I would have loved as a child. If you're like us and are always by the sea, rivers and ponds then this is a fantastic gift to give your child. Highly recommend.
Time Activity Set
I'm definitely more of a hands on learning and my daughter seems to learn the same way. Telling the time can be hard for some kids so to actually have a clock and suitable resources to hand for learning this skill is super helpful. This Time Activity Set isn't really a game as such but it'll be really good for helping with the hands on learning of telling the time. Included in this pack are; 3 time dice (two hour and one minute) to illustrate digital time, 24 double-sided analogue and digital puzzle cards to help visualise the relationship between digital and analogue displays, 12 double-sided, wipe-clean daily activity cards to encourage a link between time and everyday activities, Plastic clock with moveable hands (measures 13cm H). Hours and minutes are colour-coded for easy identification and a Wipe-clean clock. There is also multilingual packaging and comprehensive teaching guide. So if your little one can use some extra help with time telling then this is the set for them. Retails at £16.00.
A great game for older kids Kanoodle Duplexity is a brain-bending puzzle game for 8 year olds and up that’s ideal for developing critical thinking, problem-solving and spatial reasoning skills through scree-free play. These 200 logic puzzles have been designed to put brain power to the test! Simply select a challenge card, place it in the case and play! Included in this game there are 200 puzzles (100 double-sided puzzle cards), 28 two-colour magnetic pieces, a carry case and multilingual instructions. Challenges increase in difficulty as you work through them from 1 – 200 and the carry case features magnetic surfaces and carry handle for on-the-go fun. This is a single player game so great to take on your travels as well. Retailing at £21.00 it's definitely something different for older kids to enjoy.
It’s time for the ultimate memory test with BrainBolt. Challenge your brain by memorising the light sequence and following along for as long as you can without breaking the pattern. Sound too easy but honestly it isn't and this game keeps you hooked as you always want to beat your last try and win. Aimed at ages 7-11 years this electronic brain challenge helps develop memory skills and visual scanning. Engage your brain by remembering the light sequence and following along for as long as you can without breaking the pattern. It's perfect for solo play, two-player mode, timed mode for quicker games, and advanced mode for expert players. BrainBolt comes with 3 AAA batteries installed for instant game action and retails for £20.50. Highly recommend this game, loads of family fun and it never gets old.
This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.