With multiple children in our family, the amount of toys in our house can add up quickly. The toys we do keep should encourage the kids to use their imagination, build something, or learn something. With Christmas coming up, we’ve been on the hunt for fun and educational gifts that won’t just take up space on the shelf. Our kids range in age from 2-6, plus a baby on the way in early 2020. That means we’re looking for learning toys for all different levels.
If you’re in the same boat, searching for unique and educational Christmas gifts for kids of varying age and maturity levels, I’ve got a small roundup of gift ideas that are so fun that kids won’t realize they’re learning.
Top Educational Gifts Kids will LOVE this Christmas
PBS KIDS Playtime Tablet DVD Player for ages 2+
The PBS KIDS Playtime Tablet DVD Player has a 7″ screen and comes preloaded with educational games, songs, and videos. It also doubles as a portable DVD player so parents can bring their kids’ favorite movies on the go. With Google Play, parents can download multiple apps to enhance their child’s learning experience, too! Naturally, the tablet has parental controls so parents are in charge of exactly what their kids are seeing and doing.
Our family travels a lot, and we do quite a few road trips each year. Some are relatively short, and some are as long as 20 hours in the van. While we have screen time rules like most families, there comes a point during the drive where we need or want a break. Our two-year-old is actually pretty good about entertaining himself in the car, but he does have his breaking point.
Enter the PBS KIDS Playtime Tablet DVD Player. In the past, he’s gotten really mad when he sees the older kids get to play on their tablets and he didn’t have one. We’ve now had the chance to go on a road trip with the PBS Kids Tablet, and what a difference it made! I loved knowing the content on the tablet was safe and educational, and that I didn’t have to worry about himing falling into the abyss that is YouTube in order to watch videos.
This tablet comes loaded with videos from our family’s favorite PBS Kids shows like Curious George, Daniel Tiger, and Super Why. When our toddler gets sick of the games, he can always find a video he loves. Even better, we can bring a DVD from home and use the DVD player feature to show him one of his favorite movies!
This is the first time I’ve found a true tablet that works just as well for a 2-year-old as it does for a 6-year-old. Our first-grader is always trying to borrow the tablet from the toddler because there are features and games on their that they both love. Usually I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving a tablet in my 2-year-old’s hands at all, but this one is durable, safe, educational, and fun!
This is a perfect Christmas gift for families who love to travel with their kids, or families who want their screen time to be somewhat scholastic in nature.
You can find the PBS KIDS Playtime Tablet DVD Player at Walmart.
Magformers Amazing Rescue Set for ages 3+
My kids have been into magnetic tiles and construction toys for years. As a parent it’s one of my favorite things for them to play with. I love that they can use their imaginations, recognize shapes, and build and construct whatever they come up with.
The Magformers Amazing Rescue Set allows children to take their magnetic construction skills to the next levels. They can create a fire station and fire trucks by following the instructions provided, or they can use the pieces to create their own version of a fire rescue scene. The set comes with the traditional magnetic shapes along with wheels, 2 characters to use in their imaginary play, and an idea booklet for inspiration.
This set is recommended for ages 3 and up. My 4-year-old was actually the child in our family that really took to this toy. He loves to use his hands, and he loves emergency vehicles of any kind. Of course that means the Amazing Rescue Set was a big hit with him. The first time we helped him build the fire trucks according to the instructions, but after that he had a blast mixing and matching the pieces to make it his own.
This would make a wonderful Christmas gift for creative preschoolers or elementary age kids who love to build and imagine.
You can find the Magformers Amazing Rescue Set here.
Gummy Candy Lab for ages 6+
Gummy Candy Lab is a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) experiment kit that allows kids to make their own gummy candy treats from the materials in the kit. The website explains how this works:
Mold your own delicious gummy candies using a natural gelatin-like ingredient called carrageenan that comes from seaweed! Flavor and sweeten your mixture with two flavors and then mold the gummy shapes in the included mold. You can even add citric acid to make sour gummies! Learn about the scientific properties of natural polymers.
My daughter is in first grade, which means she has become intensely curious about how things work. Combine that with a recent interest in cooking and baking with Mom and Dad, and we knew this Gummy Candy Lab would be right up her alley. My husband, who teaches 4th grade and loves doing STEM activities with his students, took the lead and helped explain the science to our daughter.
Not only was the process of making the candy fun and educational, but she was so excited to share the final product with our whole family. She wrapped the gummies up according to flavor, and we had a taste test party. I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the candy was. It reminded me of the Jell-o I used to eat as a child! The best part, in her opinion, was that some of the gummy molds came in rainbow, unicorn, and cloud shapes.
If you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift for elementary age kids that doesn’t require a huge time commitment or special skills, the Gummy Candy Lab is perfect. Kids don’t even realize they’re learning about science because they’re so excited about the sweets and so proud of making something themselves. It also gives parents an easy activity they can oversee or help, providing much-needed bonding time with kids.
You can find the Gummy Candy Lab here.
DOLCE Sensory Dragonfly for ages 0 months+
The only toy in this roundup we haven’t been able to test yet is the DOLCE Sensory Dragonfly for babies. Our fourth child is due in early March, and as of right now the poor child won’t have anything new of their own. All of our baby toys have already been through three children, so I was excited to find the perfect first toy for Baby #4.
Explore and learn with the Dolce Sensory Dragonfly. A beautiful learning toy to hang on a stroller or crib. Visually stimulating for a baby with sounds, waterfall beads, Dolce teether, crinkle wings and ribbons for tactile development. Dolce stands for Develop, Observe, Learn, Create, Educate. Let your baby DEVELOP their sensory skills with the wide variety of high quality textured fabrics. Your little one will love to OBSERVE the fun colorful fabrics and LEARN to understand cause and effect through the many interesting activities in our toys. CREATE fun, learning and role-play with your favorite Dolce friend. Let the beautiful, interesting and activity rich Dolce toys EDUCATE through play.
This brightly colored toy has everything you need to keep a baby occupied. As a mom of 3 already, I know that babies love feeling different textures and seeing the cause and effect of shaking or crinkling a toy. Even before the baby has the ability to grab the Sensory Dragonfly they’ll be able to enjoy the contrasting patterns and colors. I love that you can hang this from the car seat or crib where they can enjoy it.
Baby may look like he or she is just shaking the rattle, feeling the ribbon tabs, or chewing on the teether, but in reality, they’re developing hand-eye coordination and discovering colors, textures, and shapes.
I can’t wait to give this to the baby and watch him or her learn through play!
This is a wonderful Christmas gift for babies of all ages, or an expecting parent. You can find the DOLCE Sensory Dragonfly here.
Educational Gifts for Kids
These fun toys make excellent educational gifts for kids of all ages. If you’re already planning out Christmas gifts for your family, be sure to check out the items on this list!
We’ve added these educational gifts to our Magical Merry Christmas 2019 Gift Guide! #MegaChristmas19 Check it out here!