Dec. 19, 2016

By now you’ve probably heard of the hottest toy of the holiday season, Hatchimals, the little stuffed animals that “hatch” out of shells after your child has played with it enough. You may have also noticed that these little toys have sold out virtually everywhere, leaving parents everywhere worried as to how they’re going to explain to their little one just how Santa failed to make enough Hatchimals.

This happens every year! Each year, toy manufacturers release the latest toy craze, and parents struggle to delight their children by making sure it is under the tree by Christmas morning. This very subject has been the fodder of holiday movies, like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Jingle All The Way”. But what if the perfect toy for your child this Christmas is not the latest and greatest toy sensation? Indeed, preschool learning games for kids can make for some of the very best Christmas gifts! 

Here are some great ideas to excite your child with the gift of learning this Christmas: 

    • CARD GAMES OR PLAYING CARDS

Card games make awesome stocking stuffers! From Go Fish to Rummy, with so many possible games to teach your child, your little learner will have a blast learning to play with you. Look for playing cards with big letters and symbols, and you can even find playing cards that feature your child’s favorite TV or movie characters.

For slightly older children, look for card games such as Uno or Skip-Bo. Young children will use playing cards to learn about turn-taking and rules, while older kids will work on important sequencing and numeracy skills.  

    • FLASHCARDS

These also make for great stocking stuffers, and preschoolers love learning! For early learners, purchase flash cards to help them learn numbers, counting, letters, and sight words. Use these to reinforce skills that they have been learning in preschool, or through their apps. Look for flashcards that feature bright, lively graphics to keep your child excited and engaged.

    • AN APP OR TWO OF THEIR CHOICE

Why not let your child pick out a new favorite learning app as part of their Christmas present? Give your child an iTunes or Google Play gift card, and let them pick out an app of their choice. Of course, you can limit your child’s choices to certain preselected options, but your child will be even more excited about his or new game because they could choose it themselves.

With so many preschool learning games for kids available, you won’t have a problem finding meaningful educational apps. Look for games that focus on the skills your child is currently mastering. 

    • ART SUPPLIES

Your little artist will love opening art kits on Christmas morning! Give your preschooler the gift of creativity by shopping for art supplies. You can shop entire art kits that are filled with crayons, markers, paints, and more, or you can put together your own custom art kit for your child.

Supply your child with all the tools necessary to create beautiful masterpieces; purchase construction paper, scissors, water or finger paints, washable glue, glitter, etc. Let your child explore different textures, or play dough and related tools to create “sculptures” and models. By giving your child the gift of art, you will foster their budding creativity skills, while helping them to develop fine motor skills. 

    • BOARD GAMES

Family board games are an economical, yet wonderful choice for reinforcing important logical reasoning and social skills. Consider your child’s age when choosing which games to buy, and be sure to teach your child the rules of each game as you play. Your child will love the time spent with you, and many games for preschoolers help children build important educational skills.

Certain games, like Snug as a Bug in a Rug, are cooperative games in which children don’t compete, but work together. This allows them to work on targeted skills, like numbers, shapes, size, and more! 

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Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about paying top dollar to find the hottest toys on the market. If you think outside of the box, you can easily select toys for your child that are both memorable and educational. Think of the skills that your child is currently working on, and select the best educational games you can find to delight your child on Christmas morning.