Preschoolers are constantly busy. If they’re not in motion, their minds are racing as they work to synthesize information about the world around them as they learn at home and at school. Friendships at this age can be rewarding but tricky. Parallel play- playing near each other but not exactly collaboratively- is something that develops with more social interaction and also with age. Preschoolers make sense of their word through imaginative play and they often want to be just like us. They clamor for our devices and ones of their own but it’s always important to balance screen time with outside time and the many other things that preschoolers need for healthy emotional, social, and physical development. Here are my gift picks for preschoolers this holiday season.
EzyRoller ($99)— The EzyRoller is something completely different than other riding toys and its uniqueness adds to the fun. Not a luge, not a bike, not a scooter, the EzyRoller moves like a snake, without chains or pedals, using easy right-left leg movements. The EzyRoller moves and turns silently without chains or batteries. The principle behind the EzyRoller is so powerful that most kids can go alone with their EzyRollers within seconds. EzyRoller is also easy to assemble and a great choice over other riding vehicles because it features an extendable bar that allows it to grow as kids do. Ages 3+
LeapTV ($149.95)— Finally. An age appropriate educational gaming system that’s designed for kids ages 3-8 years that allows them to move and learn at the same time. LeapTV provides kids with three different ways to play: body motion, pointer, and control and the transforming controller works in two different modes as they play games that reinforce reading, math, science, and problem solving skills. Games can be purchased separately but with over 100+ LeapTV cartridge games, game downloads and videos, there is lots of content to choose from. Ages 3+
Robot Turtles ($24.99)— Believe it or not, it is possible to teach the fundamentals of programming before they can read. Kids move their Robot Turtles around the game board using forward, left and right Code Cards to reach jewels. Jewels help them achieve a win but if they make a mistake, a Bug Card can be used to undo any move. One thing I love about this game is that it has a lot of levels so kids who master it quickly are challenged by additional obstacles like Ice Walls and more complex Code Cards (like lasers to melt the walls). Play continues until all players collect a jewel—so everyone wins and no feelings are hurt! This easy game just takes seconds to learn, minutes to play and provides endless learning opportunities and before you know it, your child will be ready to code on the computer.
Zingo! Word Builder ($19.99)— The popular Zingo now comes in a word building version that’s perfect for kids who are just learning how to put letters together to form words. of Zingo! Not only is it the perfect confidence booster for early readers, but it’s great for teaching spelling and vocabulary. Two levels of play provides differentiated play for beginning and more fluent readers. Ages 5+
Amazing Zhus Stunt Pet ($12.97) and Disappearing Box ($12.99)— When Zhu Zhu Pets first came out, I was surprised by how much my kids clamored for the silly hamster type things that raced around the floor and made funny noises. Fast forward to the present and every parent’s favorite almost-pet is back now with the ability to perform acrobatics and gravity defying stunts! The Amazing Zhus Stunt Pets can plunge over 3 feet from the High Dive into a bucket below, brave a Tightrope, run around on Circus Balls, and vanish in a Disappearing Box. The Amazing Zhusare available in four different characters, each with their distinct color. Choose from Abra, Dynamo, Kardini and Piccadilly and assorted accessories for their stunt pleasure.
Little Scholar Tablet ($169.99)— Toddlers who clamor for mom and dad’s tablet wanting to be just like them now can enjoy educational content from School Zone Publishing, one of the top trusted names in learning materials for kids. One of the most refreshing things about Little Scholar is that the price includes over 150 pre-loaded apps, videos, e-books, songs, and games that serve as fun ways to learn math, reading, spelling and more while they practice fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Unlike other systems, everything your child needs is already on the Tablet so it doesn’t end up being an endless money suck as your child clamors for new titles. There’s plenty of original content provided in the kid-safe environment. Additionally, the Android-based tablet has a lot of features that appeal to kids and parents alike. The rear and front facing camera make Little Scholar Tablet more similar to devices kids are used to seeing mom and dad use while parents will appreciate the password protected parental controls, Report Card App to view your child’s activity, durable nature, and included protective case to protect their investment from wear and tear that will come with use.
Great Books for Preschoolers:
- The Paddington Treasury ($21.99)— Acquaint your young reader with a delightful tales of Paddington Bear in a treasury that contains the complete text and art of the following beloved picture books: Paddington, Paddington at the Palace, Paddington at the Zoo, Paddington in the Garden, Paddington and the Marmalade Maze, and Paddington the Artist. Reading these delightful stories of a marmalade loving bear in England is a great way to spend part of a chilly winter day together especially if you’re looking forward to Paddington coming to the screen in January 2015.
- Little Kids First Big Book of Bugs ($14.99)— Preschoolers who are naturally curious about bugs will delight in this reference book that contains colorful photographs of bugs seen in the backyard as well as more exotic species found in rainforests and deserts around the world. Informational text about the size of each bug, diet, habitat, and more accompany each stunning photo taken by National Geographic photographers. The large format of this book makes it well suited as a read-aloud on the couch or independent readers might enjoy sprawling out on the floor with it, combing through each photo to memorize the various facts about each bug.
- Little Books About Important Things ($29.95)— Available beginning December 1, The Mother Company will be bundling together three of their most popular books for the preschool set in one nice package. Little Books About Important Things includes A Little Book About Safety, A Little Book About Friendship, and A Little Book About Feelings. Tackling difficult topics of how to avoid getting lost; how to make friends; and how to express yourself and your feelings, these wonderfully written and illustrated picture books takes scary topics for kids and addresses them in age appropriate ways.
Age Appropriate Music:
- The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band ($9.99)— This ultimate compilation of greatest hits features six of Laurie Bernker’s albums and is a follow-up to The Best Of The Laurie Berkner Band, which has consistently been a top-seller on the children’s music chart since it was released in 2010. Songs from albums like Whaddaya Think of That?, Buzz Buzz, Victor Vito, Under A Shady Tree, Rocketship Run, and the DVD/CD Party Day! are included on The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band.
- A Laurie Berkner Christmas ($8.99)— Favorite children’s recording artist, Laurie Berkner, sings classic holiday songs and carols while including some of her own holiday hits (Candy Cane Jane). The CD ends with a reading of The Night Before Christmas and will be a welcome change from what you hear on the radio during the holiday season.
Need more ideas? Visit my past Preschool Gift Guides and other 2014 Gift Guides that will help you find the best gifts for all ages!
- 2013 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Preschoolers
- 2012 Gifts for Preschoolers
- Preschool Gift Guide 2011
- 2010 Holiday Gift Guide: Preschoolers
- 2009 Holiday Gift Guide: PRESCHOOLERS
- 2008 Holiday Gift Guide Toddler and Preschool Edition
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