Monday, October 25, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas - Educational Toys

We're in the middle of birthday season at our house.

And since Christmas is coming, I thought I'd highlight some of my favorite gifts that my 4, 3, and 2-year-olds have received (or will receive) this year.

Most of them came from CSN Stores.

I did a review for them because I was interested in checking out their educational toys back when I was doing my Life Lessons Preschool series, and I was so pleased with how quickly the stuff I ordered arrived!  The first item arrived the very next day!  (And the others followed soon after that.)  What, do they have little elves working for them or something? I was impressed, because I have sure never received that kind of prompt service from Amazon.

So without further ado, here are some toys that are kid tested and Me-approved:

My soon-to-be 5 -year-old Guy doesn't know it yet, but he is getting this next month for his birthday, and I already know that it's perfect for him.  This toy is simple, colorful, challenging, and smart.  As you can see there are many ways to fit the blocks into the puzzle, but you might not realize that the dots on the base indicate to the child how many blocks should fit in the remaining space.  It's neat.  Can't wait to give it to my son for his birthday.

Melissa & Doug - See and Spell

This is another toy that is waiting to make an appearance.  I think that my 3-year-old Scarlett will find this little number waiting for her under the Christmas tree this year.  I was initially wondering if the letters would be so small that they caused a choking hazard, but I was pleased to see that they actually a great size.

We gave this one to Autumn (my 2-year-old) yesterday for her birthday.  I knew that I had to get this toy because every time we see this toy, my kids have go nuts over it...all of them do (even though we've had plastic versions around for a long time!)  It's well-made, intuitive, makes a nice sound, and because it's wood, it just feels good when you use it.  Great, simple, active toy!

Kid O Exploring Fractions Pegged Puzzle

This one is being saved for a rainy (or snowy) day.  I was torn between getting this one or another puzzle, but figured this one taught more concepts:

Leap Frog Fridge Farm Magnetic Animal Set (HC29)

CSN actually has a car set, but my parents gave the animal one to Autumn for her birthday.  This is another toy that my kids go nuts for at other people's houses, so I knew she'd be thrilled with it...and she was.  She danced around with this thing for a long time yesterday.  I took a 4-minute video, but due to a downloading snafu, I lost half of the photos that I took on her Birthday...boohoo. 

Guidecraft Housekeeping Stand - G96030

Guidecraft - Housekeeping Stand

Autumn's Grandma and Grandpa gave her a broom set for her birthday, and she loves it.  They bought their set locally at The Purple Platypus.  It was a simple broom, hand broom, and matching dustpan, but what a great gift idea!  Now my little helpers can really help and not have to fumble around with an adult-sized broom.

Plus it went really well with the little apron that I gave her that I found at a local Mennonite fabric shop:

So there you have it!  A few of my favorite toys for tots.
I hope it gets you thinking about gifts, because Christmas is coming, my friends!

But first, I need to go carve pumpkins with my kids! :)


  1. Wow. Time to edit Spencer's Christmas list! Thanks :)

  2. great post for those Momies on the shop & go...nice.

  3. That housekeeping stand is really cool. I love wooden toys.


  4. Me and Erik just carved a pumpkin. But since I don't want to waste all that wonderful pumpkin I'm not going to be putting it outside this year. I have been going crazy with making pumpkin puree and I have been doing a lot of baking with it.

    Pumpkin cheesecake is on my list of things to bake this week. Yum!

  5. My kids love, love that fridge animal set whenever they see it at someone's house! I really need to get it for them sometime.

  6. Oh yeah, the fridge set is an amazing hit with all my grandkids. Also, any of the fisher price little people sets are pretty darn fun. Last year, the chorister at church brought her little people nativity in the entire month of December and we could not keep the kids away from it. It was their favorite thing to play with.

  7. My kids would LOVE that housekeeping stand!

  8. ok, so there is a lot on here that i love, like th plan toys. i've never seen those before! and the fraction toy, VERY cool. thanks--i've been working on Christmas lists.

  9. Thanks for sharing the toy idea's. I am grandma and we need to get some better toys for our closet.
    Blessings to you! LeAnn

  10. We had the barn and we LOVED it, oink oink. We also had a leap frog one with all the ABC's that the kids love, I recommend getting the Canadian version, it says "ZED" instead of "Zee" which all the missionaries find immensely humourous.

    Now if you could do a list like this for teenage boys, I would be eternally grateful... I do however know that a puzzle is not a good gift for a 14 year old, no matter how cool it looks.... (made that mistake last year)...

  11. Oh man, my kids all loved that Leapfrog fridge set. I think that little melody has been burned into my brain until death.