EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

What to get the kids…

Posted on: December 6, 2010

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Everyone has ideas of what they would like to buy children for holiday gifts.  I would like to give you some ideas also – based on child development and skill abilities.  They are not a promotion of a product – but an idea of what children would like based on where children are developmentally.

Infants from birth to 1 yr. old: this is a very personal, very intimate stage of life and development.  During this year infants will grow at amazing rates.  Families are their significant attachment and will surround their little one with very personal experiences and environments.  I would always recommend finding out from a family what they would like for their baby.  (But, you can never go wrong with books or music.)

Babies (1-2 yr. olds): mobiles and music boxes, large, soft blocks, cars with people and animals to go with them.   Plastic cups, stackers, nesting toys, shape sorters, cone tubes, squeeze toys, rattles, keys on a ring, bell bracelets, peek-a-boo toys, soft balls of varying sizes, simple rhythm and music toys, soft and washable stuffed toys, baby dolls, puppets, soothing lullabies and fun dancing music toys.  Large-piece wooden (not interlocking) puzzles with knobs, material/plastic or cardboard books – many, many, many books.  Push and pull toys and adult assisted riding toys.  Babies like mirrors (non-breakable) and toys that make sound and music. They learn through their senses, consider textures and color!

Toddlers (2-3 yr. olds): “life-like” baby dolls and all of their props (cradle, high chair, cloths, blankets, stroller), kitchen set and props (dishes, fake food), dress up clothes (firefighter, police officer…), many size blocks and props (vehicles, animals, people…), large and sturdy construction vehicles and toys, trains, riding toys, push and pull toys, outdoor activity toys (ride-ons, balls, games, climbers and slides), toy tools and building set, large pegs and peg boards, large beads to string, sturdy wooden puzzles with interlocking parts, magnet toys, and young science equipment (consider small, household pets children can help with and learn from i.e. fish or hamster), lacing cards, color cubes, counting bears and simple lotto, bingo and matching games, shape sorters, large pattern blocks.  Crayons, chalk, paint, markers, glitter and glue in many different colors and paper.  All things creative! Clay, play-dough and “tools” to go with it. Books, books and more books.  Music and movement support. Toddlers are learning about how their bodies and muscles work and they are busy!

Preschoolers (3 & 4 yr. olds): all of the above and more in-depth, detailed and organized materials and games; mosaics, number & counting games, cards, early letter, number, word and shape books and games, sturdy dramatic play furniture and props, dress up and matching “tools “and props i.e. dr. kit, badges, magnifying glasses, nets, aprons…; smaller people, animals, vehicles and activity centers, challenging outdoor games and equipment, all arts & crafts materials, baby dolls and stuffed animals.  Every kind of book, interlocking & beginning jig-saw puzzles, music and rhythm instruments.

But remember…“The greatest gift you can give to another person is yourself” M. Robinson

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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