Holiday Gift Guide: The Top Educational Gifts for Your Child

Smiling toddler holding a gift box
You’re making a list, and checking it twice! But have you checked to be sure some of the toys on your child’s holiday list promote developmental skills or are educational?

Investing in the right toys during the holidays can give your child months (or even years) of fun and learning.

Here’s our ultimate list of recommended educational gifts by age for the holidays!

Babies

The holidays are a great time to get gifts that start building your baby’s skills to help him or her reach developmental milestones. From gross motor skills like crawling, standing, and walking, to speech and language skills like babbling and first words, here are some great toys that can help your baby stay on track!

Lovevery Hide & Find Drop Box

Lovevery Hide & Find Drop Box Baby Toy

As your baby drops a ball in the top of the box, then opens to find it is still there, he or she learns object permanence - an important cognitive concept.

This fun toy also helps develop your baby’s pre-language skills like understanding cause and effect.

Fisher Price Rattlen Rock Maracas Blueorange

Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas

A fun twist on a classic rattle, these maracas provide sensory input with different textures and sounds and bright colors. Hold one and give one to your baby as you shake and stop together to help him or her develop the concept of imitating!

Sassy Peek A Boo Activity Book

Sassy Peak-A-Boo Book in Black/White

When it comes to introducing books to your child, the earlier the better! The crinkle textures of the book keeps little eyes and ears engaged. Teach your child new vocabulary words by naming the simple black and white pictures. Encourage first words by saying words like, “peak a boo!” and “open!” repetitively.

Toddlers

Your toddler is rapidly growing, and likely surprising you with how quickly they are picking up on new skills!
Even though it might look like they are just playing, your child is also learning. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Play is fundamentally important for learning 21st century skills, such as problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.”
Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set

Melissa & Doug Wooden Fruit Crate Cutting

Pretend play benefits your child’s social and emotional development. Set up a pretend picnic at home that your child helps prepare!

Shape Sorter Truck

Shape Sorter Truck by Green Toys

Not only will your toddler love pushing around this truck, he or she will learn concepts like matching, shapes, and colors.

Melissa & Doug Farm Animals Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Farm Animals Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzle

Encourage your child to imitate animal names and sounds to promote speech development with this classic puzzle.

Preschool: 3-4 Year-Olds

If your child started preschool this year, you’ll want to keep the learning going at home! These toys help teach early academic concepts. They also promote creativity, problem solving, and pretend play.

Smart Snacks Number Pops

Smart Snacks Number Pops by Learning Resources

Slide the toppings onto the popsicle with the matching number to practice early math skills.

Picassotiles 100 Piece Set 100pcs Magnet Building Tiles

Picasso Tiles

This bigger gift is an investment that your kids will love and learn from for years!

Kindergarten: 5-6 Year-Olds

Educational toys can also be fun! Check out these toys that promote your kindergartener’s cognitive and phonological awareness skills for reading and spelling.
Alpha Bots

Alpha-Bots by Lakeshore Learning

These transforming alphabet figures help your child grow their literacy skills while engaging in imaginative play.

Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit

Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit

Here’s a rewarding hands-on activity that teaches your child science concepts. Gardening has also been proven to grow children’s cognitive skills and boost academic performance!

7 Year-Olds and Up

Get your child’s critical thinking skills going during screen-free fun with these toys and activities!

Learning Resources Botley The Coding Robot 2.0 Activity Set

Botley 2.0 the Coding Robot Activity Set by Learning Resources

According to research, coding can help kids become better problem solvers and increase their analytical reasoning skills.

National Geographic Break Open 10 Premium Geodes

National Geographic Geology Kit

Older children will love acting as geologists as they break open and study geodes. This STEM toy also includes a learning guide that your child can use to answer the “why” and “how” questions related to minerals!

Continue Learning Year-Round

Giving your child education gifts for the holidays is a great way to boost their development and learning skills. If you have concerns that your child is having difficulty meeting developmental milestones or keeping up with academic concepts, consider seeking an evaluation. Depending on your areas of concern, a Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, or Physical Therapist can help.

TherapyWorks offers Speech Therapy, Occupational and Physical Therapy both in person (in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio) and through teletherapy (nationwide). If you would like to learn more, or discuss your child’s specific needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to TherapyWorks!

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Are you interested in services for your child? Founded by Michelle Worth and Erin Vollmer, TherapyWorks provides in-home speech, occupational and physical therapies in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois and teletherapy nationwide.

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