Educational Gift Ideas for Christmas 2016November 30th, 2016 by Anna Michaelidou
It is that wonderful time of year again where Christmas is fast approaching and we should have at least started our Christmas gift shopping. For many of us, including myself, getting the perfect gifts for kids at Christmas can often be a struggle. Buying a gift that will inspire learning in our children as well as being fun and 'awesome' is not as difficult as it may seem.
That's why we have come up with the best educational gift ideas for kids this Christmas to ensure your child's gift is not only trendy, entertaining and suitable for their age but will have a positive effect on their educational learning.
We have come up with different educational categories and suggested some fabulous toys and games for the perfect gift for your child this Christmas.
Let's face it, computers have basically taken over the world, and the lives of our children, so computer coding is an absolute must for the children of today. Once children have learnt to speak the language of computers and mastered the basic fundamental concepts (and let's be honest, our children have been doing that since the age of two!), it's time for them to learn about actual coding and with these ideas you will definitely find some inspiration:
- Fischer Price Code-a-pillar - Age range 3-6
This brilliant Code-a-pillar will help your child develop their critical thinking, reasoning, memory and problem solving skills as well as learning how to think independently. Watch your little one pick up concepts such as coding and debugging with this fun and interactive learning toy. With all the sounds, lights and colours your child will be entertained all day long.
- Bits & Bytes - Age range 4-11
This fun and simple card game aims to teach children the fundamentals of computer coding and encourages your child's learning through play. The aim of the game is for each player to reach their home planet by giving out instructions (turn left, right etc.) and avoiding Walls, Bugs and the CPU at the same time. Excellent way to get your child on the right track with coding and developing their logic skills.
- Ozobot Coding for Kids to Learn & Play - Age range 10+
If your child is into robots and loves learning about programming then this is the gift for them. Ozobot will move, dance and play with the correct colour code patterns. Great for encouraging strategic thinking and developing those all-important technological concepts.
- Sphero SPRK Robot - Age range 1-5
This fabulous little ball will have your child entertained for hours whilst developing their knowledge of robotics. This little robot will follow simple commands such as 'roll', 'flip', 'spin' and 'colour change' and develop their programming skills along the way.
- Code Monkey Island - Age range 8+
Want to introduce your child to programming concepts used by real programmers whilst enjoying some quality family time together then this board game is for you. Each team player will guide their tribe of moneys to the banana grove using concepts such as conditional statements, looping and booleans to earn moves for your monkeys. Discover the fun and magic of coding with your child.
Many children show their construction and engineering skills from an early age with stacking blocks and Lego towers, so here are some great gifts for those budding architects or civil engineers to be:
- LEGO Minecraft 21125: The Jungle Tree House - Age range 8-9 years
For all those that love Minecraft this fantastic Lego Jungle Tree House will see them put their knowledge and skills into some hands-on practical work. Your child will have some great fun creating their own unique world.
- Amusement Park Engineer - Age range 3-6 years
Take your preschooler on an educational and fun engineering journey with these large and colourful building pieces that are great for little hands. Follow the beautifully illustrated story-lines and help your child build their own amusement park.
- Ingenious Machines Remote Control Toy Building Kit - Age range 6+
This amazing Ingenious Machines kit will keep your child challenged for ages. Watch them build their own robot and then be amazed as they get their machine to move with their own remote control.
There is no better way of tricking your child into learning than with some fun, interactive games. We did some research into what trends for interactive gifts are most popular this year and we came up with some great gift ideas:
- Hatchimals Egg - Age range 5+
These fabulous little creatures are absolutely adorable. Hatchimals are a surprise that will hatch out of their shells with some gentle probing. Once hatched you can teach your hatchimal to walk, talk, dance, play games and more.
- WowWee MiP Balancing Robot - Age range 8+
This little robot is an amazing gift for any child. It's a robot with style that can move around, carry things and action on your command. A perfect interactive Christmas gift.
- Vtech Kiddizoom Action Cam - Age range 5+
Children love taking photographs and with this great little gift they can have fun taking photos anywhere! It comes with a waterproof case for those underwater shots and bike extensions for taking moving action shots.
- Mindware Square Up - Age range 6+
This incredibly fun, two-player, puzzle game is great for tuning the fine motor skills. Shake the cube and let the fun begin as you battle to solve your puzzle and slap down the frame. Great for Christmas time and sharing some quality time together
We all know the importance of music and introducing children to musical instruments and concepts as early as possible. Christmas is a great time to entice your child into learning about music with some of these great gift ideas:
- Selfie Mic Music-Set - Age range 3+
Children love singing and pretending to be pop stars, so this little gift, a great combination of a microphone and selfie stick in one, is sure to be a success with all those wannabe pop artists out there. And with new songs added everyday your child will never get bored.
- Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo - Age range 3-10
For the younger child this fun, dance and move BeatBo is sure to intrigue all little ones with it's lights, colours and groovy sounds. With songs that will encourage your child to learn things like the alphabet, this entertaining toy is a great gift.
- Vtech Kidi Super Star Toy - Age range 6+
Karaoke is always a fun family game to play over Christmas and with this stand-alone microphone with a built-in disco light your children will have a blast performing their favourite songs. It has a cool change the voice feature with built-in microphone effects and includes some fun games and groovy tongue twisters.
- Generic Electronic Hand Piano Gloves - Age range 8+
These amazing electric piano gloves can turn any surface into a piano. Each finger tip has a different musical note and will have all young musicians creating tunes for hours.
Science and Maths gifts
It is amazing how many fun gifts you can find that incorporate learning Maths and Science and encouraging a love for these subjects. Here are some ideas that we loved:
- Primary Science Mix & Measure Set - Age range 3-7
This extremely fun science set will see your little one enjoy doing real-life experiments such as creating their own slime or bubble mixture. Perfect for little hands and for introducing some basic science concepts with lots of fun.
- Slinky Scientific Explorers Mind Blowing Science Kit - Age range 3+
Great for budding little scientists and introducing them to the world of science. Everything you need to do some fun experiments with your children is included and there are plenty of activities to keep them busy.
- Prime Clime - Age range 10+
This mathematical, family board game is designed for 2 to 4 players and is great for developing your child's arithmetical and critical thinking skills. If you are looking for a way to make Maths learning fun whilst spending some funny family times together then this is the game for you.
- My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope - Age range 8+
This is a great microscope for all young scientists that includes a 50 piece accessory set to keep them busy. Children will have hours of fun creating their own fun scientific research using a range of different tools that are included.
- Science & Play Crystal Laboratory - Age range 7+
A great crystal growing kit with everything your child will need to start growing their own crystals. Your child will have hours of fun, and plenty of scientific learning, with an array of different experiments for them to try.
- MindWare KEVA Contraptions - Age range 7+
Introduce your child to the world of both physics and engineering with this fun building game that will strengthen their analytical skills and encourage creativity and resilience. With a great guide book that will inspire different ideas this gift is the perfect fun yet educational gift.
- Cooking Science Kit - Age range 8+
Whether your child loves cooking or science, or both, this amazing cooking science kit will entertain them for hours. With 70 experiments for them to try and an easy to follow guide book, your child will learn all about chemical reactions, bacteria in food and how to make the best chocolate muffin ever.
World Learning gifts
There are so many gifts out there that are made especially to inspire learning in our children. We have done some research to find some exciting, educational gifts that children will be sure to love this Christmas:
- Children's Illustrated Atlas - Age range 6+
No child should be without a good children's atlas to introduce them to our world and this Children's Illustrated Atlas is packed full of fascinating facts. Bring geography to life in your home and inspire learning with this beautifully illustrated and colourful atlas.
- Pretend & Play School Set - Age range 3-7 years
Children will be encouraged to practice the alphabet and recognise numbers with this fun, realistic play set. A great game for stimulating little imaginations and preparing children for school.
- Smart Globe Discovery - Age range 3+
Globes are a great way to get children interested in learning about countries and continents. This interactive globe with different activities, touch mode and informative audio content will be a real treat for your child as they spin the globe and get to point the interactive SmartPen, learning all about populations and geography along the way.
Children love sports and being active so a Christmas gift that will keep them active will be much appreciated.
- Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Play Gym - Age range 0-3
This great little play gym grows with your child as they reach different stages; from laying to sitting, crawling to standing. With lovely music, sounds and lights and plenty of fun activities this little gym will keep your little one entertained and stimulated for ages.
- BrainBox Sport Game - Age range 8+
A great family game to encourage children to learn about sports. Fun to play alone or with others, this brilliant game from BrainBox is a great gift for any sport lover.
- Garden Archery games set - Age range 6+
For those winter days when it's cold but not raining this archery game is a great outdoors game that will help hone your child's motor skills and keep them entertained at the same time.
- Crazy Forts - Age range 5+
Children love nothing more than building their own dens and this brilliant building game is excellent for building lots of different skills in your child; from problem solving skills to enhancing their creativity.
- Yvolution Y Glider Deluxe Scooter - Age range 3+
A great way of encouraging your child to be more active is to get them to learn to ride a scooter. This fun activity will help your child develop their co-ordination skills as well improving their balance and their fine motor skills.
Learning about Space is almost always fun and exciting as there are so many thing to explore. Treat your child to a gift that teaches them all about Space and our Universe:
- Xtronaut - Age range 6+
Is your child intrigued about space and planets? This great game is a fabulous way of introducing children to space exploration where they will get to bargain for essential items to survive.
- STAR WARS Science Death Star Planetarium - Age range 7+
All Star Wars fans will love this desk top planetarium that opens up into a planetary projector that displays the galaxy on your bedroom walls. There is also a fun and informative learning guide for children to learn all about space.
- Estes Tandem-X Launch Set - Age range 10+
For children that love rockets and constructing things then they will love this two-rocket launch set. They will have lots of fun building and then launching their rockets although you do need to have a few extra supplies (things like glue, masking tape etc.) at home to get started.
There are so many ways to inspire and encourage creativity through art in your child and we have found some great gift inspiring treats for children of all ages.
- Creative Dough Playset - Age range 3+
A great little set for younger children that will see them entertained with play dough for hours whilst developing their creative thinking skills. The tools included are easy to use and great for making lots of different patterns so little ones won't get bored.
- Ancient Egypt Discovery Crafts - Age range 8+
Your child will not get bored with this fun, arty game that will see them wrap a mummy and construct a pyramid. They will get to paint and use stickers and you'll be happy in the knowledge that they are developing their imagination and building up their creative skills.
- Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Colouring Book - Age range 3+
This stunning colouring book is far more than just a colouring book. There are drawings that need to be completed and hidden objects that need to be found; including nine symbols hidden throughout the book that are needed to unlock the castle door at the end of the quest.