Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Winter Vacation from School: Now What?


The holidays are meant to be fun for kids and adults alike, but before you rush out and buy the latest and greatest toys this year, stop and think. You want to choose toys your kids will love, but since these may make up the bulk of his playthings for the coming year, you want them to have some educational value as well.


Don't worry, you can find great gifts that will stimulate his brain without being blatantly educational. Your kids won’t even know the difference!


Our favorite kinds of toys for both learning and hours of fun?


Memory Games: These can be as simple as a few cards with various pictures on them, or more complex versions made from a variety of materials and with dozens of numbers, shapes, colors, and pictures for kids to find. This not only enhances memory, but is a fun way to get more than one child involved for some healthy competition.


Blocks and Stacking toys: Kids can use these to create any number of things, encouraging healthy imaginations while enhancing hand eye coordination and find motor skills. They also begin to learn the difference between sizes. For instance, large blocks are better placed at the bottom and smaller blocks on top.

Sorting games: There are several varieties of sorting games to choose from, many of which offer a variety of ways to play. Kids can sort items based on color, numbers, shapes, letters, and other things. This will help your child improve memory and get them ready for beginning school.



Writing and Drawing Sets: You can choose writing sets that are designed to help children learn numbers or letters, or drawings sets which help their imaginations take flight. Both are excellent options for young children because they provide hours of entertainment, while also improving fine motor skills and a sense of creativity. Additionally, studies have shown that children who participate in the arts also have higher math and science scores than those who don’t. So encourage your Picasso to get creative!

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