Instead of giving your child another toy that will just sit on the shelf after a few weeks, give your child the gift of knowledge that will last a lifetime. Here you will find a guide to the top learning toys for Christmas 2012.
Infants and Toddlers
Nest and Stack Buckets: Babies love to stack and sort. With this set, there are 9 different sized stackable buckets and 4 blocks that come in different shapes and colors. The largest bucket has a snap-on lid that allows babies to match up the shaped block to the bucket opening. The buckets can be put inside one another or stacked up to make a tower.
Take Apart Toys: Toddlers love to build things almost as much as they love to take them apart. To pique their interest and actually give them the opportunity to take something apart, without getting in trouble, these toys are perfect. Each set comes with the tools needed to do the job, which also promotes motor skills. You can find take apart toys from Battat, Tomy Constructables, Black and Decker and more brands online.
Vtech MobiGo: The Vtech MobiGo is suited to kids up to age 8, but this is the perfect toy for kids who may still be too little to enjoy real video games. It can be controlled by the keypad or touch screen and the console is made to withstand drops. There are simple games like sorting animals and more difficult games like reading and math. This console uses cartridges and you can also download more games from the internet.
Ages 5 to 9
Match It Games: These sets cover spelling, math and reading and puts a new twist on flash card. The sets are made of thick, cut out cardboard and when pieced together correctly, they spell out a word or solve a math problem. Once put together, they can also be used as flash cards.
Playmobil: Kids love to use their imagination and with Playmobil, that is exactly what they will do. You can find ambulances, pirates, pets shops and almost anything you can think of in this line of toys. They are well made and come with very detail accessories, making your child’s imagination run wild. Most of the sets are unisex, but you can also find more gender based sets like princesses, day cares, spacemen and cowboys.
Wild Science Kits: Children can learn to build their own miniature farm, learn about their family pets and make soap. There are also special kits made for boys and girls including perfume making, lip balm kits, worm farms and slime shops. With over 25 different kits, you are bound to find something that you and your child will enjoy, and you may find yourself wanting to join in on the fun.
Ages 10 and Up
Live Animal Kits: Older kids are responsible enough to take care of live creatures while learning about them. Traditional sea monkeys, or brine shrimp, are some of the most popular, but ant farms, butterfly kits and even tadpoles can be raised at in-home science kits. For something really out of the ordinary, families can grow triops, which resemble small horseshoes crabs. Some kits come with the animals included and other you must send away for, so check the box before making your purchase.
Microscopes: There are dozens of varieties depending on your price range. The best you can buy should come with prepared and blank slides and the tools to prepare more. In addition to the microscope itself, buying a box of slides with samples is also a good idea to keep your child busy or if they can’t prepare the slides on there own. Some microscopes will also come with a display screen that allows the image being seen under the scope to be transferred and magnified onto a small display screen.
Learn to Solder Kit: Not only will your child learn to solder for fun with this toy, but they’ll also be learning a practical skill. After the beginners kit, there are other training kits for practical uses like soldering radios and computer parts and fun kits like building miniature robots. Additional tool kits are also sold separately.
For the Whole Family
Cranium: This board game is made for the entire family. It combines Pictionary, Charades, sculpting, Trivial Pursuit and Name That Tune. Anyone can play from ages 7 and up, but it may be more enjoyable with pre-teens and adults. The game is played in teams, so at least 4 people should play at a time.
Whatever your child’s interest may be, there is an educational toy out there to suit their needs. Let your child play, imagine, and most importantly learn without even knowing it. Holiday shopping should be a lot easier now that you know the top learning toys for Christmas 2012.