Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Preschoolers

If there is one thing that I've become really good at, it's recommending great gifts for little ones. This is the perfect time of year put my expertise to good use, and share my knowledge with you!  This guide is a list of things that any preschooler on your list (and their parents) will love.  You'll notice that there are a few brands I'm in love with, these are brands that I know are high quality because I've used them in classrooms, and I've seen them live through the crazy things that little ones like to do to them.


All of the links are Amazon affiliate links, but many of these items can also be purchase locally (Target and Ikea are my favorite places to shop for toys).


B. Pop-Arty Beads
Pop beads were one of my favorite toys when I was little, and some things never change. My students love beads, and these let kids get creative without having to worry about string.  The best thing about these is that they can be used over and over again to create endless patterns.  They are also great for improving fine motor skills.


Magna-Tiles®
Magna Tiles continue to make my gift list year after year simply because my students cannot get enough of them.  They would honestly play with these all day long if I let them, and to me, that means they're a great toy.


Melissa and Doug Role Play Costume Bundle
Dress up clothes are a really great gift.  I love the sets from Melissa and Doug because everything you need is included in one kit.  I also love that they offer so many occupational sets. THere's nothing wrong with dressing up like a princess, but sometimes it's fun to be a firefighter too.  Kids need possibilities!


Edushape Wood-Like Soft Blocks
I just got a set of these for my classroom and I absolutely love them.  They look like wood, but they are foam, which makes them easier to clean up, because they are not quite as heavy.  If my students want to build the "tallest tower ever" I don't worry about them falling onto anyone because I know that these won't hurt.


Tonka Chuck and Friends Mini Trucks
If I put out all of the different cars that we have at school, my students would all choose these to play with.  I don't know if it's the great faces, the bright colors, or the fact that they are slightly soft, but these are by far my preschoolers' favorite cars.  They are a little expensive on Amazon, but I found our at Big Lots, so they don't have to break the bank.


Pigeon Pack 4 Book Set
If you want to make a preschooler giggle just read them a Pigeon book. Mo Willems speaks fluent preschooler, and my students think that these books are the funniest stories ever.



Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set
This set has everything that your budding scientist could need.  It is a great way to encourage pretend play and basic scientific discovery.  My students love to look at everything in the magnifying glass (the kickstand is an awesome feature!), and the other tools - eye dropper and tweezers - are great for encouraging fine motor skills.


Melissa & Doug Pots and Pans Set
I love this set because it is so realistic.  They look just like a mini version of a high quality stainless steel set (they also look like they could take a beating and be just fine).  Any preschooler would love to help prepare dinner with these.


Crayola Creativity Tub
You can't go wrong with some great Crayola art supplies. Even kids who got new supplies at back to school time will be ready for more new supplies by Christmas.  New markers, crayons, and a great sketch pad are an easy gift that any kid will love.


Digital Camera
My students love to take pictures with my camera, and I think that it is a really great way for them to express their view of the world.  If I gave them a "kid camera" they would look at me like I was crazy, they would much rather use mine, so if you are considering getting a camera for your preschooler I would say get the cheap digital camera, it is probably a very similar price to the "kids camera" and your child is much more likely to use it if it looks like yours!

These are all perfect gifts for preschoolers, if you are looking for a gift for an infant or toddler, check out the Infant Toddler Gift Guide that I posted yesterday! If you have a teacher on your shopping list be sure to check out my Favorite Things: Preschool Teacher Edition!


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