My goal every year is to stay on top of the holiday budget while making the best of our holiday gatherings and gift exchanges. This can be a challenge, but with a little research I have been able to find gifts that make everyone happy and fit within my budget. The past few weeks I have been searching high and low for my preschooler. She is a funny little girl that loves unicorns, dolls and princesses, but also can rough and tumble with the boys.
Here are the items at the top of my “great gifts for preschoolers” list.
1. A doll by Pebbles: My daughter has fallen head over heels for this handmade doll. I was drawn to this company because they are “Fair Trade”, treating their employees well, providing safe working conditions and protecting the rights of children while respecting the culture of rural Bangladesh where their employees live. Their happy employees are evident in the quality of the handmade stitches in these dolls. My four year old has creatively named her Pebbles doll, “Dolly” and has made special space on her bed for her. My seven year old daughter also received a doll and loves it as well. Together they have played with these dolls for hours. I love the fact it is an “old fashion” doll that gives my kids an outlet for imaginative play. They offer a variety of dolls and animals in an assortment of colors.
2. Lux Blox: The Lux Blox are a made in the USA product perfect for preschoolers that are old enough to know not to put small items in their mouths and enjoy engineering their own designs. The 200 plastic pieces click together and are durable enough to allow bending and twisting of the pieces due to the way it hinges together. My preschooler enjoys clicking the plastic pieces together and loves how they lock into place creating a hinge. The Lux Blox captivated her for an entire morning. It is a toy that grows with your child and can be a fun family activity. We’ve all enjoyed creating designs and sharing new ideas of what we can build. This product is a recipient of the Parent’s Choice Gold award from Parents Choice foundation.
3. Activity Cube: Anytime I have taken my children anywhere that has an activity cube, they will sit quietly and play with it. In hindsight, I wish I had one of these when my oldest was in preschool because it would have been passed on to the other children and it would have been money well spent. There are a variety of options for the kids to play with on these cubes. The activities help the kids develop fine motor skills as well as captures their imaginations.
4. Think and Learn Code-A-Pillar: This is a super cool STEM toy that is on my preschooler’s Christmas list. I believe this wish will be granted, as I am a fan of educational toys. The child puts the caterpillar together and the caterpillar will move according to the order the codes are put in. Any time the child rearranges the segments, the code-a-pillar will change paths. There are different segment packs you can purchase to have different movements and sounds.
5. Marble run: This is another favorite that has been around for years, in fact there are a lot of different versions of these for sale. I noticed they have less complex versions for preschool aged 3 and up, then they have more complex models for the older kids. My kids love this game and have included it on their Christmas wish list this year. Children love being able to have the freedom of building their own design and then testing to see if it works by letting the marble roll through it. The look on their faces when they succeed is priceless as well. Marble Run is one of those games that can supply endless hours of fun for the kids, which is a huge plus during the winter months!
6. Magnatiles: My children love these things! They are perfect for preschool aged children because they stick together easily and are easy to for their little hands to create and build with Magnatiles. Kids have fun experimenting with creating different shapes or stacking as tall as possible. Unlike blocks, these do not fall down as easily so they are less frustrating to use while children are still developing their fine motor skills. And my kids also love being able to knock them down after they build it as high as they can. I love the fact that they are large enough they are easy to find and pick up when done, another plus is they do not hurt when you step on them. http://www.magnatiles.com/products/
7. The perfect stocking stuffer: Debbie Lynne has little animal erasers, trendy pencil sharpeners and fun art items that are perfect for stocking stuffers. They are priced just right, and what kid doesn’t enjoy using an erases shaped like a dinosaur?. I like the creative outlet the products provide as well.