This year I’ve been helping my wife a lot with shopping for all the kids in our family. I’ve spent quite a bit of time picking the best educational games and toys I can find for children of all ages (toddlers to teens) and since GT is about learning, I thought you all might be interested as well.
Here’s my short list of the educational toys I like best this year, clicking the pictures will take you right to more reviews:
1. The Amazon Kindle
Although not technically a “toy”, the Amazon Kindle is the perfect educational gadget for anyone age 12 and over. Download thousands of books directly to the Kindle, and the fact that it cannot be used for anything but reading ensures your teen is actually expanding his or her literary horizon when they are staring at the screen. You can also upload PDF files, and stay on top of the news with the Kindle.
2. The Wii fit is a great gift for the whole family
The Wii Fit can be used by anyone, with any fitness level and of any age, making it one of the best family gifts! Not only can you learn from the Wii, kids will stay fit, focused and active throughout the winter. This is the perfect holiday gift that actually gets kids off the couch.
3. Lego Ultimate Building Set: the Ultimate creative and educational gift
Lego sparks the imagination of all age groups. Kids get creative, learn to play together, and learn to use their imagination when playing with Lego. The Lego Ultimate Building Set has all the pieces needed for hours of play time and lots of creative fun. Lego is also one of those timeless gifts that everyone loves, and boys and girls alike have played with Lego for a few generations. It’s a gift that lasts a lifetime, and that is also why it is in this list of favorites.
4. Playskool Talking Truck
The Playskool Chuck my Talking Truck speaks over 40 phrases and words. It is the perfect gift to keep little ones entertained for hours, and help them practice their verbal skills. The coolest part of this toy is that it will start driving when it is called. It will talk when you lift his dump bed, press his bumper, or press the top of the truck, making play time discovery (and learning!) time.
5. Snapp Circuits SC-300
This toy isn’t just my favorite, it also has the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, was named the Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products, and is among the Dr. Toy Best Educational Products.
With Snapp Circuits you get over 60 parts that can easily snap together to create alarms, doorbells, burglar alarms, radio, and over 3oo other fun technology projects. Kids with a heart for tech will love this educational toy! It is without a doubt one of the best educational toys, for both boys and girls who like to create fun electronic projects. Although kids get to play with circuits and build projects, they can do this safely without a risk of injury. The toy comes with a manual showing how to create the 305 possible projects. This is definitely not a toy kids get bored with easily.
What do you think?
Is this a good gift list? Have you found a great learning toy for a gift this season? If so, let me know in the comments, I’m not quite done with my shopping yet and I’m sure others would like to know too!
Update: 12/8/09 — if you need more ideas I just published two new lists, one on my wife’s site and one on my blog. I cover educational gifts for baby, and educational software for kids, both have five more great gift ideas!