We are making lists. We are all searching for the perfect gift for everyone on our list. We hope we can find toys for our kids that are exciting and fun! We also hope we are giving them gifts that will sustain their interest, encourage creativity and cognitive thought, last as a go-to toy for years to come and so much more. Personally, I also look for toys that don’t include batteries. Toys that are child driven.
With tomorrow being Cyber Monday I wanted to share a few ideas that might just be on sale then. Click on the photo for the link to one site where you can purchase the item. You may want to shop around tomorrow to see if another site is offering it at a lower price.
Here’s a list of some that I would recommend.
I would definitely go with some of the standards:
For building and construction play:
WOOD BLOCKS: These would definitely be my top 10 list of toys for kids!
For those of you worried about how to store these, we keep them in an old suitcase that even looks nice in my livingroom. Afraid your girls won’t like them? Consider adding some furniture or characters.
LEGOS/DUPLOS: These have been around for years and there is a reason. The larger Duplo blocks are great for the younger kids and the traditional Lego’s have infinite possibilities. I’m excited to know Lego is introducing the new Lego Juniors sets. These are offered in a variety of play scenarios:
SQUIGZ: I always try to include some things that are new. There are always such neat new toys! These look very interesting and have gotten great reviews. (We don’t have these yet but you can be sure they are now on our preschool list for future purchases.) This link is to the deluxe set (as with most things, I’m think you need enough to make the play really fun) but there is a starter kit as well as other extending sets such as Squigz Benders that look interesting.
For Arts/Crafts & Sensory Play:
MARKERS, CRAYONS, CHALK We encourage the children to use pipsqueak sized items. The shorter length encourages the children to hold the item closer to the writing area which applies the most successful amount of pressure.
Do-A-Dot Art Daubbers Kids of all ages enjoy these – and they are very low mess.
PAINT, WATERCOLORS, FINGER PAINT I know, it’s messy, but it is so worth the risk of a little spill. Purchase several of those cheap vinyl table cloths to put under your child’s chair while he or she creates. These are from Lakeshore Learning. I like their items however we purchase most of our art supplies from DISCOUNT SCHOOL SUPPLY.
TAPE I know it sounds so basic but tape can become lines, roads, decoration, letters . . . It’s also good fine motor work to tear it & scissor work to cut. (This and similar rolls can be purchased at Target, Walmart, etc.)
COLLAGE MATERIALS A collection of different papers, ribbons, buttons, pipe cleaners, rhinestones, google eyes, tongue depressors, and more can supply hours of fun!
KINECTIC SAND This wonderful feeling sensory material molds well without being wet. It never dries out.
For Dramatic Play
REAL WORKING CASH REGISTER I think the name says it all for this one.
DOCTOR KIT If you don’t already have one, you need this.
MAIL BOX This was popular while it lasted at preschool. Hopefully with less continuous use it would hold up to your children’s wear and tear.
For Playing Games
In addition to the traditional games such as Candyland and Hi Ho Cheerio we have a few we especially enjoy.
TEDDY MIX & MATCH There are a variety of ways to adapt this game to various ages. I began using these in play with my granddaughter when she was just two years old. I will do a blog post soon with ways to adapt toys and games like this one.
MAISY GAME This game encourages children to find their different color items to fill their board. We also play it a variety of ways. Watch for that blog post soon.
OH RATS! This is an old Discovery Toys game – it’s worth the hunt. Every person has a puzzle with one piece of each color. If your spinner lands on a color you have already filled you get to yell, “Oh rats!” It helps a child handle the disappointment of not getting to fill another piece.
SPOT IT JR I haven’t played this game but it seems like it would encourage visual discrimination at an appropriate level for young players.
While I was researching for this post I came across a couple of games I would heartily endorse for older kids. I couldn’t resist including them.
For Large Motor Play:
TUNNEL This pop up tunnel is always a hit when we get it out at preschool. It would be great on those long winter days.
TRAMPOLINE While we don’t have this specific model, a trampoline that can be used indoors is a great way for children to continue building hose large motor muscles throughout the cold weather and all year long.
BILIBO We don’t have these yet but they are on the list. They look really interesting. There is a video tab to see a whole host of uses for this unusual toy.
PLASMACAR Again, we don’t have these …. YET. It looks and sounds exciting. There is a video you can watch to see it in action. (UPDATED: We had a few families try this and unfortunately it didn’t seem to work as well as we hoped for our preschool aged children. It seems this would be best suited for early elementary aged kids.)
Hopefully you’ve gotten a couple of ideas from this post. Happy Shopping!