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Well before teaching middle school, I started my career teaching first grade. My 5 and 6 year olds always had a wide range of knowledge and skills which is indicative of early elementary ages.
Kindergarten through second graders are experiencing huge growth in their social, emotional, and academic skills. The best gifts for early elementary ages should allow them to have fun while practicing what they know.
Best Gifts for Early Elementary Ages (ages 5-8/grades K-2)
Knowing your kids and their interests and skills should always drive your purchases. It’s ok to overlook what retailers are pushing as the hot new toys. Instead, buy gifts to increase their confidence, self-esteem, and skills through fun. Here are my picks for the best gifts for early elementary ages.
Botley the Coding Robot by Learning Resources ($64.99)
If your 5 year old has been wanting to code but you’ve been struggling with how to teach them coding skills without a screen, Botley the Coding Robot is your answer! Ready to use right out of the box, Botley 2.0 can be coded to move in six directions. It plays music can even put on a light show when kids put together coding sequences. Botley provides hours of STEM learning without a screen thanks to 16 fun interactions, coding sequences that can be built to include up to 150 steps, and a built-in sensor. Botley is the perfect choice to introduce kids to coding at a young age. This robotic toy has lots of personality and the enjoyable coding challenges aren’t tedious or boring. Best for ages 5+
Make Your Own Soap Kit from Klutz ($15.60)
Klutz’s Make Your Own Soap Kit is a y complete kit for making 10 soaps from scratch. 6 different soap molds lets young chemists melt and mold bright, colorful soaps. Start with a basic star and work up to a two-tone peace sign, fish in the bag, and cupcake! The kit includes coconut papaya fragrance, soap stickers, skin-safe glitter, plus tips and tricks for goof-proof soap making. Plus, while you’re waiting for your signature soap to harden, you’ll enjoy the added soap-based science experiments you can do right in your own kitchen. Best for ages 6+
Magne-Darts from StompRocket ($29.99)
The classic game of darts has been reimagined into a kid friendly version thanks to the makers of Stomp Rocket. Magne-Darts feature safe, kid-friendly magnets and a durable dart board. Dart play reinforces hand-eye coordination, honing their precision and patience, and math skills as kids total up their game-winning points. And what about your walls? Stomp Rocket says their safe, strong magnets stick every time and will not damage walls! Best for ages 6+
Back to the Future DeLorean Set by Playmobil ($49.99)
Playmobil goes back to the future with the iconic DeLorean from Back to the Future! The DeLorean features folding wheels for hover mode, doors which open upwards, an illuminated flux capacitor inside, and illuminated exterior. The playset also comes with Marty McFly and Doc Brown in their outfits from 1985, a plutonium case, skateboard, remote control, walkie talkie, 80s era video camera, 3 plutonium rods, and Einstein, the dog. The plutonium can be inserted at the back of the vehicle. No judgement if you purchase this for your child and plan to play with it yourself. We just might do the same here at Tech Savvy HQs! Best for ages 6+
Speak and Spell ($24.99)
Teach your child to spell without the help of spellcheck thanks to Speak & Spell! If you never had one of your own in the 80s, Speak & Spell was the first educational toy designed to help children learn to spell over 200 commonly misspelled words using a speech synthesizer. This Speak & Spell features classic 80s graphics, sounds, and gameplay and requires 3 AA batteries to work. Best for ages 7+
Throw Throw Burrito ($24.99)
A dodgeball card game? Yes, you read that right! In this new game from the creators of Exploding Kittens, your goal is to collect matching sets of cards faster than your opponents while simultaneously ducking, dodging, and throwing squishy airborne burritos. The cards you collect earn points, but getting hit by squishy flying foam burritos loses them. Designed for 2-6 players and best for ages 7+.
Cozy Dinosaur Slippers from Inminpin ($16.99)
Keep little feet warm during chilly winter days of virtual school thanks to these darling dinosaur slippers. Whether you get them in blue, green, gray, pink, and purple, each pair is fleece lined for warmth and features a non-slip sole and soft cotton insole. Comes in toddler and big kid sizes and best for ages 3+
Freestyle Spooner Board ($44.99)
With the days getting shorter and it getting dark earlier, it’s more difficult for kids to get outside and use gross motor skills after a day of Zoom school. A Spooner Board Improves core strength & stability, balance, coordination, gross-motor skills and is an effective tool for learning skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding. Made in the USA, this 24” indestructible, high quality board is great for sitting, standing, rocking, spinning and sliding. And parents can use it too! Best for ages 5+
Gumball Machine Maker from Thames & Kosmos ($29.99)
What could be more fun than a science kit that’s part marble run, part roller coaster, part pinball machine, and a gumball machine! Early elementary ages will love building their own gumball machine while each segment of track teaches a different lesson in mechanical physics. Kits will explore topics such as simple machines, force, motion, momentum, gravity, Newton’s laws, energy transfer, and more. As gumballs roll down the tracks, they perform cool stunts via a pulley lift, pendulum, funnel, trampoline, pinball launcher, domino slide, and more! Track segments are easily moved to create an almost limitless number of different gumball machines. The kit works with standard machine-size, 16-mm (5/8-inch) gumballs and includes a small supply of gumballs to get you started but ordering an extra carton of gumballs will help complete your holiday gift. Best for ages 6+
Echo Dot Kids Panda or Tiger ($59.99)
The newest Echo Dot Kids Edition comes in two super cute designs- panda or tiger- and unlocks a world of kid-friendly content. Included in the purchase of your Echo Dot is a year of Amazon Kids+ (FreeTime Unlimited) that gives them access to thousands of hours of kid-friendly Audible books, interactive games, and educational skills. Kids can ask Alexa questions, set alarms for morning wakeups or Zoom classes, and get help with their homework. Also use Alexa to play music, read stories, and call approved friends and family. Echo Dot comes with easy-to-use parental controls for setting daily time limits, filter explicit songs, and review activity in the Amazon Parent Dashboard. Best for ages 5+
Designed for kids, these on-ear volume limiting headphones provide hearing protection. The two 3.5 mm ports allow multiple headphones to be connected together for use with one device which means no splitters or special cables are necessary. The included audio cable comes with a universal 3.5 mm plug that connects to iPhones, iPads, tablets, smartphones, and more. Best of all these headphones come with AmazonBasics’s 1 year limited warranty. Available in pink or blue and best for ages 5+
Uno Disney and Pixar ($9.99)
Celebrate 25 years of Pixar movie magic with a special edition UNO card game that comes in a collectible storage tin! The cards and tin included with this special edition are decorated with images taken from favorite Pixar films over the last 25 years that your family is sure to love. The deck also features a unique rule -The Pixar Pop Quiz. The Pixar Pop Quiz can be found on 4 Wild Cards. The player who draws a Wild Card with Pixar Pop Quiz can challenge any other player to name up to 5 characters, and then draw a card for each named correctly! Best for ages 7+
Books for Your Elementary Reader’s Library
Ah, Frog and Toad! I loved these books as a child and enjoyed reading them to my own kids. This holiday celebrate 50 years of Frog and Toad with a gift of this classic book, now available as a commemorative edition. First published in 1970, Frog and Toad stories provide lovely lessons about the give and take of friendship. Young readers will enjoy accompanying the best friends on their adventures as they read these stories over and over again. The 50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition features seven pages of rarely seen bonus material, including archival photographs, sketches, pages from the original book dummy, the manuscript of the first story “Spring” (written in Lobel’s cursive on lined notebook paper!), plus a biography of Arnold Lobel and how he was inspired to write the Frog and Toad stories. Best for ages 4+
Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel by Adam Rubin ($10.52)
We all know dragons love tacos so when the dragons hear there are no more tacos left in the world, this is a HUGE problem! What if the dragons could travel back in time to when there were tacos? Could they bring them back? This is a must-read for any lover of the first Dragons Love Tacos book or well, lover of tacos! Best for ages 5+
Berenstain Bears and their friend, Professor Actual Factual, the foremost bear scientist of his time, discover fun facts about the natural world in three big adventures in one big book. Begin with The Berenstain Bears’ Almanac, presenting a year in Bear Country that’s brimming with holiday celebrations, changes in the weather, and signs of the seasons. The Berenstain Bears’ Nature Guide takes a leisurely stroll through the woods as well as an underwater excursion for close-ups of the plant and animal kingdoms. At The Berenstain Bears’ Science Fair, kids will discover a variety of machines and how they work with plenty of projects, experiments, and interesting things to learn, make, and do. This treasury of knowledge includes a complete almanac of the seasons and intriguing information about animals, plants, insects, and fish — plus fun for the whole family with simple science projects. Best for ages 5+
AGE APPROPRIATE GIFT GUIDES:
- Toddlers & Preschoolers
- Early Elementary Ages (grades K-2, ages 5-8)
- Tweens (ages 9-12)
- Teens (ages 13+)
SPECIALTY GIFT GUIDES:
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-teen)
- Best Gifts for Unplugged Fun
- Best Subscription Boxes
- Must-Have Gifts to Level Up Your Home Office
- Outdoor Adventures
- Gadget Lovers
- Frequent Fliers
NEED MORE IDEAS? VISIT MY PAST GIFT GUIDES FOR ELEMENTARY AGES:
- 2019 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Early Elementary Ages
- 2018 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Early Elementary Ages
- 2017 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Early Elementary Ages
I hope you enjoy this year’s picks and wish you happy and stress-free holiday shopping!
Samples were received to facilitate this post and affiliate links are included. No compensation was received for this post or hosting this giveaway and all opinions are my own. Images courtesy of the companies featured.