Elementary aged children are masters of gross and fine motor skills, language, and social skills and enjoy activities that allow them to practice and get better at doing the things they love. Playing organized sports, board games that involve strategy, video games that combine learning and fun, exploring nature, or craft sets are great for this age range that has an increased attention span.
Now sit down, grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine, and get ready to read my longest gift guide featuring a whopping 17 products we absolutely love!
Nerf Fire Vision Sports Football ($21.99)— Never again will your kids want to come inside as it’s getting dark if they’re playing with the Nerf Fire Vision Sports Football. This football feels like the Nerf products we know but put on the Fire Frames eyewear that come with the ball and keep playing well into the night. Fire Frames allow the wearer to see the ball even in the dark, putting a new spin on a classic toy thanks to incredible technology. Nerf Fire Vision Sports Football comes with two pairs of Fire Vision glasses so your child and a friend can keep playing well after you’ve told them to come in for the night.
Nintendo 3DS ($169.99)— I’ll let you in on a tech savvy secret…We didn’t own a DS until recently but are so thrilled to have a 3DS. I was always a little hesitant about the DS and the educational quality of games but as Nintendo has partnered with more trusted names in education, the learning potential and variety of games has increased. We love the 3DS because it’s a great portable gaming experience through an easy to use device that provides fun content through cartridge games. The 3D-ness of the 3DS is a nice touch but does take a little getting used to. It’s still so new to us that the kids tend to turn it off by using a the slider on the side but my husband loves it! The 3DS works with games for the DS and DSi, making it versatile, especially if you own different versions of the DS. If you’re looking to purchase a 3DS this year, one of the best tips that I’ve received is to buy used games from Game Stop. Look for their buy 1 get 2 free sales because you can stock up on great games for lots less than paying for new ones. Used games come with a 7 day warranty so test them out soon after you get home and save those receipts! Another tip for parents- The 3DS allows kids to connect to others via wireless or broadband internet to challenge friends outside the home. Be sure to take a look at this feature when setting up your DS to ensure your child’s safety when gaming.
American Girl Caroline Doll ($105)— Regardless how parents feel about American Girl Dolls because of cost and endless accessories, they are a hit with this age group because of the endless dress up opportunities and the imaginary worlds that girls create for their dolls. We’re huge fans of the historic dolls and this year American Girl added Caroline Abbot to their lineup. Elementary ages learn about the time in which Caroline grew up and the important historic events that occur during her young life. It’s an age appropriate way to learn about periods of history and in this case, the War of 1812. I can’t recommend getting the doll and boxed set of books ($128) since they are titles that your special girl will read over and over again. American Girl dolls are an investment but these high quality dolls do retain their value as a much loved toy. We have always personally purchased our American Girl products from doll to clothes to books and accessories!
Crayola Digital Light Designer ($49.99)— Coloring goes digital with Crayola’s Digital Light Designer. Kids use colored LED technology to draw free-hand, create animated objects, and play interactive games like maze races, animated connected the dots, and memory games on the domed surface. The digital light stylus allows kids to choose the colors they want to use and line width and tap anywhere on the surface they want to draw. Up to 50 creations can be saved at a time. Be sure to gift some D batteries with this toy since it requires 4 to work!
Hexbug Warriors Battle Stadium ($24.99)— We’re huge fans of Hexbug Nanos but the Hexbug Warriors take the fun to another level as the crazy bugs battle using weapons and armor. Warriors have shock sensors that activate and turn from green to red as a bug becomes defeated. Once a Warrior’s lights turn entirely red, the battle is over. Kids love the interchangeable weapons and armor and the fun of seeing whose Warrior will outlast. Hexbug Warriors Battle Stadium comes with 2 Hexbug Warriors, armor, weapons, and platforms for battle.
Blingles Gem Themed Packs ($9.99)— Girls who love to be crafty and like bling in their life will enjoy Blingles Gem Themed Packs that allow for endless blinging of jewelry, electronics, notebooks, binders, and more thanks to jeweled stickers that adhere any smooth surface. Each pack comes with Blingles Gems, a pen and mat to create designs, transfer slides, glue, and design templates. There are enough materials to create up to six designs making this an affordable gift great for personalizing new holiday gifts on cold winter days. Just keep them off the hardwood floor otherwise they’ll stick to add some bling to where you walk!
MicroChargers Time Track ($34.99)— Put these teeny tiny cars in the launch unit, wind the timer, and let them race around the track. How does it work? The 2 AA batteries in the launch unit charge the cars while you wind the timer to give them enough power to race towards the finish. Kids never get tired of racing the cars around the included track in this easy to use, but incredibly fun toy. The set comes with 2 cars but additional track and stunt cars can be purchased however, this is a great starter set that will entertain for hours.
Gelarti 3D Butterfly World ($16.99)— Paint pens and a glitter marbling tool let girls create stickers that can be repositioned anywhere without a mess. These unique gel stickers are reusable so new versions of butterflies can be created over and over again so the fun doesn’t end after the paint is gone. Gelarti makes lots of other sets with different animal themes as well as a Cool School Activity Pack and Ocean and Mermaid theme.
Monopoly Junior ($9.99)— Young land barons can practice their math and budgeting skills as they cruise around the board picking up property after property in this classic amusement park themed game. Once our kids start playing, they’re engaged for hours. It’s not uncommon for them to leave the game in the living room and come back, much like my brother and I did when we played Monopoly as kids. It’s affordable fun for the whole family but also a game our 6 and 9 year old enjoy playing independently.
Ice Age: Continental Drift ($19.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray combo pack)— Whenever we happen to be watching a movie and the Scratt and the acorn short films come on, the kids are in hysterics. There’s something about the prehistoric squirrel and his love of acorns that they love and the joy of watching him through Ice Age: Contental Drift continues. In this fourth Ice Age installment, Manny and his family are separated thanks to what parents will recognize as global warming. Climate change commentary aside, the story takes Manny and his sloth and saber tooth friends , along with Granny, across the ocean where they run into Captain Gutt, a not-so-nice ape who is the captain of a pirate ship and is determined to take down Manny and his friends as they attempt to head home. The film deals with themes of being yourself vs. fitting in with the so-called popular kids that provide teachable moments through family discussions and conveys a general warm fuzzy feeling about the importance of family. Pre-order this film from Amazon and it will arrive to your home on December 11. Our family looks forward to hosting an exclusive screening to share this fun movie with friends before it officially comes out!
Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar ($49.99)— High on Captain Computer’s wish list this year is the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar. Having seen it at friends’ houses in past years, this combines his love of advent calendars (we usually get the chocolate ones!), Legos, and Star Wars. With a minifig for every day, kids will love opening the box as they count down to Christmas. I think the only hard thing about this toy is getting kids to return their favorite Star Wars characters to the box after Christmas ends, knowing that they’ll be in storage for 11 months.
iFrogz Animatone Earbuds ($19.99)— Elementary kids with their own devices need headphones as cool as they are but parents are still smart to protect their young ears. iFrogz Animatone Earbuds are attractive low profile earbuds that come with 4 differently sized tips to fit ears perfectly that limit volume to 85 decibels so you can rest assured that your kids can hear without blasting out their eardrums.
Just Dance Disney Party ($29.99)— We had the opportunity to play this game over the summer and the kids declared it a hit, waiting patiently for it to come out this fall. Fans of the Just Dance franchise will love Just Dance: Disney Party for the same dance fun that features 25 classic Disney favorites from films as well as familiar tunes from Disney Channel Original Series and Movies. The choreography is kid friendly and players will enjoy seeing their favorite Disney characters and familiar backgrounds as they dance dance dance away. Available for Wii or Xbox Kinect.
Nintendo DS Games— Being new DS owners, here are some of our picks:
Imagine Games by Ubisoft— The Imagine titles allow players to immerse themselves in virtual role play with a variety of different themes. Girls can pretend to be teachers, fashion designers, detectives, family doctors, interior designers, fashion designers, and more through these highly engaging games. The newest games cost the most and titles that have been out for awhile sell for a lot less on Amazon. Match the Imagine game to your child’s current interests and you can’t go wrong!
Mario Kart 7 ($39.99)— Mario in your pocket? Yes, please! Kids who love the console game will enjoy Mario Cart 7 for the ability to choose their own characters, customize their vehicles, the fun or racing, and more just like they do through the Wii. When playing on the 3DS, kids can engage in wireless matches or plug in for online gaming with friends.
New Super Mario Brothers 2 ($39.99)— Mario and Luigi love their coins and this game allows kids to progress to more advanced levels as they collect coins to move on through the game and rescue the kidnapped Princess Peach. Savvy kids will be able to figure out through trial and error which paths through the Mushroom Kingdom yields the most coins. This game is being hailed as the one with the most coins and gold related features than any previous Mario game!
Scholastic’s Digging for Dinosaurs ($19.99)— Separating facts from myths is an important skill and this title from Scholastic requires players to do so as they learn facts about dinosaurs through game play. Kids will love pretending to be various types of dinosaurs through game play.
Samples were received for review purpose while other products were personally purchased. No compensation was received for this post. All images are courtesy of the companies. All opinions are my own. Amazon Affiliate links are included in this post.