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Holiday Gift Guide: Preschoolers

It should be easy to pick out a great gift for the kids on your list, but more often than not, they are the most difficult to shop for.  You want to get them something that they will enjoy and actually use.  You also know that they already have a room full of toys, and don’t really need another action figure, doll, or stuffed animal.

Preschoolers will tell you exactly what they want for Christmas, but the issue here is how do you impress a preschooler without subjecting Mom and Dad to an avalanch of toys with tiny little pieces that are bound to get lost or broken? Here are a few great ideas for the preschooler on your list.

Blocks: The market is overrun with options for blocks, especially for preschoolers.  Our absolute favorite are Magna Tiles.  The fact that these have magnets, which allow the tiles to stick together, make it easy for kids to build large, fairly durable creations.  These have been tried and tested in our classrooms.  They are a favorite that kids play with for hours, and the fact that they introduce basic magnetic properties doesn’t hurt either!

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Gross motor play: No one will deny that preschoolers have tons of energy.  Here are two great gifts that will help channel some of that energy (and they can both be used indoors).  The first is the Gymnic Hop 55 Ball.  You probably recognize this from your own childhood, kids still love these, and they are a great way to encourage large muscle development, balance, and body awareness.  The second is the Pacific Play Tent I See You Tunnel.  Kids love these for imaginary play, and this one is perfect because parents can see their children the entire time that they are in the tunnel.  They can be  a space for kids to hang out quietly, or part of a larger obstacle course to wear them out!

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Fine motor skills: Practicing those skills that will strengthen finger muscles and prepare kids for writing and cutting (Kindergarten readiness!) can be a lot of fun.  to make writing more fun considering gifting them with a set or two of Crayola Twistables.  These come in crayon and colored pencil versions, and will get kids excited about drawing, while helping them practice holding a pencil, the real plus here is that there is no sharpening necessary, just twist the end to reveal more lead.  Another great way to encourage fine motor skills is beading. We love B. Pop-Arty Beads for a couple of reasons, first they don’t require string so kids won’t get frustrated when all of their beads fall off the string, and second, they are much less likely to go rolling all over your floor! Plus, who can resist these fun patterns?!

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Dramatic Play: We don’t know a single preschooler who doesn’t like to pretend they are cooking.  The best play food can be found at Ikea, these felt sets are so much fun that adults will want to play too! They also have great pots and pans, ceramic dishes, and baking sets specifically for kids.  The best part is that they are so reasonably priced that you can easy give two or three different sets without breaking the bank.  These are great for the kids who has everything, or the child that you don’t know very well, because they are sure to be a hit!

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Games: Preschoolers are just getting old enough to play by the rules, classic games are a great way to encourage some fun that the whole family can enjoy together! Some of our favorites are Don’t Break the Ice, Ants in the Pants, Barrel of Monkeys, and Memory, you can find all of these on Amazon.

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We hope this gives you some new ideas for the preschoolers on your list.  Share your ideas in the comments!

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