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Christmas is just around the corner and we’ve got you covered with gifts that will go the distance with your preschooler!
Sure the newest fad “it” toy can be fun, but in our house we are more interested in pushing imagination, creativity, and ingenuity. The toys listed below are prepped for not just hours of fun, but years’ worth of a good time. We own all of these, and they are continuously played with!
Parenting Win Tip: One of the best things you can do in your home is rotate toy bins. Keep some hidden so that only a few items and ideas are presented at a time. Your little one will stay engaged with what they have if you present it in spurts. After you see what they love best on Christmas morning, put the rest aside for more fun later!
Preschool Gift Guide: Toys that Go the Distance
We were originally gifted Magna Tiles during our overseas move from a friend. They are incredibly multi-purpose. Use them as a teaching tool by talking about shapes and colors. Encourage your child to create 2D and 3D structures. Pulling them apart can also be a great bit of fun!
When my mother got really over excited about getting our kiddo a toddler sized shopping cart, I sort of shrugged. Well- Grandmas know best! A timeless gift, the shopping cart is such fun to have at home. Whether filled with little play groceries, stuffed animals, or random house nick knacks- pushing it around never seems to get old. I love the carts with the basket on them so that a buddy can come along for the ride.
All play food is pretty fun- but especially if it relates to things she eats on a daily basis. We’re big fans of Melissa and Doug’s food group set. You can use the crates to explain the food groups to your toddler, as well as have them try sorting it themselves. It’s never too early to instill proper nutrition education. The play sandwich set is a blast too, so many great combinations for your little chef to make!
While the play kitchen is definitely an expensive investment for childhood fun, we have never regretted it. Thus far it has still been fun for an entire YEAR of play, and even five year olds & up come over for a play date are ecstatic to see it. With so many fun doors to open and close, pots and pans to set on the stovetop, a handy coffee machine (and a mother to watch who’s constantly in her own kitchen) our daughter delves into the “chore” of making us dinner in her kitchen frequently.
Who’s in for a backyard safari? We are- a lot of the time! These durable animals are offered in many different types. You can find dinosaurs, sea creatures, farm, and jungle/safari. Ours make their way around the house, marching in a parade or riding in the shopping cart, above. This is a timeless toy without any bells and whistles but your child’s own brain.
While you may regret the intense banging and jangling that accompanies this toy, your kid will love it. We incorporate it with sing-a-long time and all take turns attempting to croon out a nursery tune or too. The drum is wearable, and handily stores all the instruments.
Fold Up Trike
Ready for some wheels, but not pedals? We have had a lot of fun with the Scuttlebug Fold-up Trike. On our overseas move we were even able to pack it in our suitcase for instant fun. The pedal-free style allows your child to obtain balance before swapping out to a bigger real bike.
Living in the age of technology, it is an intentional choice to keep screens from our kids. However, some exposure is good- perhaps even necessary for the next generation. The Leapfrog Laptop keeps it super simple. With three settings that allow your child to explore Music, ABCS, and Animal Sounds, this is another item that has gone the distance. It has remained entertaining for over two years now.
No room for a big back yard playhouse? Consider these play tents, which can be folded up and stored flat when not in use. They have many creative uses, from becoming a reading room, a little extra shady spot on a hot day outside, and even as a pirate hide-out. Fill the floor up with balls and you have an instantly fun ball pit!
Gift an Experience
All the above gifts will assuredly aid your child’s creative wonder and spirited playtime at home. However I do not want to miss out on one of the most important gifts of all: our time. What can you do with your child this season that feels extra special? Remember that it does not have to cost a thing!
What are some of your favorite toys that your children have? What are you looking forward to sharing with them this season?