When trying to figure out the best gifts for your kids this and every year it is very important to ask your child what they like. Then observe, how does your child learn best. There are seven ways that people learn:
- Spatial – Visually
- Aural – Auditory/Musical
- Linguistic – Verbal
- Kinesthetic – Physical
- Logical – Mathematical
- Social – Interpersonal
- Solitary – Intrapersonal
These are very important because how a person learns determines what type of play is best for them. If a child is very shy and learns best when alone, solitary learning, then getting them a board game will not be as beneficial for their core learning. You may want to get one for socialization reasons but pay attention if your child does not engage as you might expect. Chances are that your son or daughter learns in more than one style and finds many styles favorable but everyone will have a preference. Now to the fun part….PLAYING!
There are different types of play and each goes with a couple of different learning styles. The different types of play are:
- Construction Play – Building toys
- Motor Play – Manipulating the toys to create change within the object
- Logic Play – Puzzles, games, creating images out of pieces
- Make Believe Play – (My favorite) Using objects to create a story line and using one’s imagination
- Sensory Play – Toys that stimulate the 5 senses
- Artistic Play – Painting, music, drawing, styling different toys
- Social Emotional Play – Learning emotions through toys, games where you have to work together
- Science Play – Toys that help you make hypotheses and experiment to figure out the answers
- Language Play – Toys which use language to teach, letters, phonics, pictures
- Numbers Play – Toys which teach using numbers, mathematical games, measuring, and patterns
Discovery Toys has amazing toys for each and every style of learning and play. When children are of school age they have already formed a lot of the base for their particular style of learning. Parents tend to think once they hit the first-grade “learning toys” are no longer necessary. We think of learning toys more for babies and toddlers. This is not the case. They learning toys are just as beneficial. If not more so.
It can be really tough to pinpoint toys which your child will love. Below is a wonderful gift guide for those children who are already in school and love to learn. A lot of these toys are so much fun the child doesn’t even realize they are learning.
Toys for 5-8-year-olds:
Marbleworks – I told you-you would be seeing this again. BEST TOY EVER! I used to play with my brother for hours with this toy. It is a marble run that you get to design. This way you can have a different path every time. There are also sets to add to the starter kit to change up the fun. You can start the marbles at the top and race them to the bottom. Everything about this toy is awesome. Just remember to watch the marbles if you have kids 4 and under in the same house.
Hydro Launch – While this toy is best for summer time fun it can be bought any time of the year. This rocket is so much fun for kids and adults. You get to balance the rocket on the water stream and then water will come out of the top and get anyone brave enough to run under wet as well. It is fun for the whole family and best of all it is an outdoor toy. No screens outdoors!
Explore It! Toys – This is a group of science toys to help little explorers discover the world around them. Kids can make their own nature discoveries with a telescope, microscope and metal detector. Hours of fun.
Toys for 8+:
Mosaic Mysteries – Here is another toy I remember fondly from my childhood. Mosaic mysteries is a game where you get a pattern book, a template, and a bunch of colored tiles. You then put the tiles into the proper order to make the picture. This is a toy for 4-100-year-olds really. This is such a beloved game they came out with a stunning Heirloom edition. My mother and grandmother both have one on their coffee tables for guests. It can really calm a busy mind down.
Sector 18 – STEM subjects are the focus of many children’s world right now. They are the wave of the future. The board game Sector 18 can help children who love math or might be struggling in math improve. Players use any mathematical calculations to combine the three dice. They then use these calculations to capture the numbered posts. It is a bit tough to visualize from words. Trust me it is a wonderful math game, which are tough to find.
Draw, Paint & Stick – If you have a budding Picasso on your hands or just a kid who loves crafts this is a great choice. Kids get to design their own stickers for windows, mirrors and more. Gender neutral (sharks and snakes as well as butterflies) this is a great rainy day activity. Refills are also offered.
Math Keys – If you have a child that is just starting to learn their basic math skills or a child who might be struggling these are the best gift for them. This is an interactive way for kids to learn their addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. You start with the string at the top, wind the string around the key matching the answers and when you are done, turn the key over and see if you got the pattern right. It helps with critical thinking, pattern skills and obviously math! You can buy them as a set or individually.
Remember, you need to be involved with every aspect of your kids lives, one of the most important being play. Exploring, pretending, building, and reading with your kids are all very important actions which give them a solid base for their future. These aspects of their developmental education will shape who they become as kids and eventually adults.
Kristin – The Perfectionist Mom
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