Kindergartener and first graders spend all day busy learning skills that are built upon in upper grades. The best holiday gifts allow them to learn and practice the things they’re learning in a fun hands-on way. Here are my picks for the best gifts I’d give to a 5 or 6 year old.
GIVEAWAY: LeapPad ($99.99)— When I first got my hands on the LeapPad, I predicted it would be the hot holiday toy for kids. There’s lots of buzz about the newest LeapFrog device and for good reason! The LeapPad is an innovative kid-friendly tablet that can be personalized for ages 4-9. It combines great technology with LeapFrog’s legendary educational content in order to make learning fun. The new LeapPad is an ergonomic, easy-to navigate device featuring a durable design, content that is cross compatible with Leapster Explorer, and uses sophisticated technology that elevates educational game play for children while teaching phonics, math, spelling, geography, world languages, music, science, and life skills! To read my full review, click here. Win a LeapPad by leaving a comment below.
Lego City Advent Calendar ($34.99)— This is a must have for any Lego loving child who is counting down the days until Christmas. Spring for the early Christmas gift and watch it save your sanity as your child reveals minifigs, snowmobiles, a police dog, Christmas tree, mini police station, and more as they are play and build larger models as the 25th draws closer. Just be sure to replace the Advent Calendar contents with some new Legos on Christmas so you can actually pack it back its box until next December!
Hexbug Nano Elevation 3D Habitat ($59.99)— I have to admit that I didn’t understand the appeal of Hexbugs until I saw my children play with them for the first time. Suddenly the strange little creatures became so cool as I watched my kids become engrossed in the small vibrating bugs. Building a Hexbug world is as addictive as laying track for train play and the more track, the better since it allows for endless possibilities! The Elevation 3D Habitat is a must have as Hexbugs traverse spirals and raised track to vibrate along. Equally appealing sets include Hexbug Bridge Battle Set ($39.99) and the First Hexbug Hive Playset ($34.99). Come to think of it, you can never have too many Hexbugs! This mom is sold on Hexbugs! Be sure to look out for special edition Hexbugs for the holidays with snap on reindeer antlers which are perfect stocking stuffers!
Mermaid Beach ($11.99)— Designed by an 8 year old girl, Mermaid Beach has players collecting the most seashell cards that can be snatched by sneaky waves, slimy seaweed, and the sea monster in a quick fun game that features colorful underwater charaters. Designed for 2-5 players, it takes about 15 minutes to play the game, the perfect amount of time for 5 and 6 year old attention spans! But the game is so addictive that chances are you’ll play it more than once in a sitting.
GIVEAWAY: Tag Solar System Adventure Pack ($13.99)— This 6 foot two sided interactive map helps kids learn fun facts about planets, seasons, and orbits as they explore more than 40 activities by tapping the Tag Reader on the surface. Designed for kids ages 4-8, the content appeals to younger and older ages alike, making it a gift that the whole family can enjoy. For additional information about Tag, read my review of LeapFrog’s Tag Reader. Win a Tag Reader and the Tag Solar System ($69.99 value) by leaving a comment below.
Perplexus Rookie ($22.99)— Rotate the sphere to move the enclosed ball along the length of track and through obstacles in order to reach the end while practicing hand-eye coordination and spatial skills. A little easier than the original, thanks to wider tracks, the Rookie serves as a great introduction to the Perplexus line. Captain Computer gives this toy a thumbs up- he’s squirreled it away in his room and spends long periods of time completely engrossed in moving the ball from start to finish only to exclaim victory upon emerging.
Crayola Jewelry Boutique ($14.99 from Amazon)— If your budding fashionista loves jewelry, she’ll love making her own with Crayola Model Magic. This jewelry design studio contains everything that is needed to make over 160 unique beads that can be used for bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and whatever her heart desires. Use solid colors of Model Magic or blend using the spinner to create swirly beads and then finish with a sparkling bead glaze before stringing everything together. Also be sure to give the gift of a refill. Amazon has 7 color tubs of Model Magic Deluxe Variety Pack for less than $13 and buying one means you qualify for free shipping!
Razor Graffiti Chalk Scooter ($59.99)— Razor scooters remain hot and the newer Graffiti Chalk model allows kids to leave a more permanent trail than Hansel and Gretel by inserting your favorite colors of chalk in the holders under the brake. Depress the brake so a slow friend, younger sibling, or dog walking parent can easily trace the path of a speedster as they race through the neighborhood.
Hearts for Hearts Girls doll ($29.99)— This affordable line features real girls from real places from all over the world such as countries like India, Belarus, Laos, Mexico, Ethopia, and the United States. I love how beautiful the dolls are and how they reflect the country they represent through their facial features, skin tone, and clothing (additional outfits are $17.99). I also like that the company has an online component designed to teach geography and their mission is to empower children to become agents of change as they support children’s causes on a global scale.
Scrabble Scoop ($24.99)— Move over Scrabble Junior! In the newest version of Scrabble, players scoop letter tiles from a large bowl and use their letters to form words making this a fantastically fun, yet educational, game for early elementary kids as they work on word building skills.
Smurfs Dance Party for the Wii ($29.99)— Join the Smurfs and groove to favorite songs by Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Bruno Marz, and more. Easy to follow dance moves get the whole family grooving whether selecting single songs or putting it on a shuffle-type mode where the Wii will select songs for you in random order. Multi-player settings allow 4 people to play at once. Rated “E.”
Kinectimals Now With Bears ($49.99)— Kids who were fans of the original Kinectimals that featured lions and tigers will love the Now with Bears version that follows the same lines as the original game except with bears! As huge Kinectimals fans, Little Miss Techie and Captain Computer love being able to play with their own pandas and I appreciate the age appropriate content that is perfect for younger gamers.
Looking for more than the one time gift that will provide your child with pleasure throughout the year? Here are my picks for gifts that give all year:
- Foster global citizenshipthrough a Little Passports subscription ($10.95-$13.95/month)— Each month kids will go on an exciting global adventure with fictional friends Sam and Sophia, who find a magical scooter in a garage that takes them all over the world. The Explorers’ Kit, a suitcase filled with a letter and picture of our new friends, a map, activity sheet, some stickers to use to customize our suitcase, and a passport, will come the first month and then monthly adventure kids will arrive through the duration of the subscription. The kit also came with a secret code to access an online Boarding Zone for more games and activities. Each subsequent month your children are sent a package containing a photo, stickers, a letter, and souvenirs from the next country Sam and Sophia visit. Little Passports is a unique concept that helps children begin to become global citizens since it introduces other cultures, history of the country, and world languages to kids in an age appropriate way.
- Foster developing literacy and a love of reading with a subscription to age appropriate magazines like High Five, Click, or National Geographic Little Kids.
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Fine print: Winners will be selected from valid entries on Friday, December 9 and must reply with a U.S. mailing address and phone number within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen. Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama and companies supplying giveaway items are not responsible for items lost, damaged, or delayed during shipping.
Disclosure: Product samples were received to facilitate the above reviews. Relationships with clients have been disclosed above and do not influence my opinion of the product. Amazon Affiliate links are included in this post. All images courtesy of the companies.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama