A kid’s eyes shine bright while opening his present. When he sees that his presents are clothes, his bright eyes suddenly turn dim. Kids are not known for hiding their disappointment. But give them a toy as a gift, and you’ll see a display of appreciation that could warm the cockles of any gift-giver. It seems that instinctively, kids prefer something that will engage his mind, not just something that will make him look good.
But not all toys or gifts are equal. There are those that engages him for a long time, and those that amuse him for just a few hours, and then forgotten.
Educational gifts get your child’s attention for a longer time, as they feed his or her stimulation-hungry.
More importantly, the impact of the best educational gifts lasts a lifetime. These gifts give him a head start in reading, math and science. They develop his love for learning, the most important attitude to make your kid grow up smart. A great educational gift even triggers what will be your kid’s lifelong passion.
Because of the internet, you do not have to waste time and energy going through the mall looking for the best educational gifts. You could shop right in your bedroom in your pajamas!
The following are the top 10 educational toy and other unique educational gift ideas that you can find on the internet:
1. Educational Toys
The best toys and gifts are those that make your child learn while he is having fun. This way, learning happens while he plays. And the more he plays, the more he learns! Make sure that the toy you give is appropriate for his age and gender, and that it is safe. Avoid toys that can only be played with one or two ways. The more activities a kid can do with a toy, the better it is. For younger kids, find one that can be opened, closed, twisted, pulled, dragged, formed, changed, preferably all at the same time. For older kids, the best toys are those that stimulate the imagination.
2. Hobby and Science Toys
Brilliant engineers, inventors and mechanics get their beginnings from tinkering with toys when they were kids. Chemists begin by mixing stuff and biologists play with their ant farms.
Hobby Toys help your kid discover his lifetime passion by offering hundreds of educational toys that catches his interest. Examples are science projects, electronic kits, Lego Mindstorms and robot projects, chemistry, biology, anatomy and physics sets.
3. Nature Toys and Pets
Nature toys make your child explore the wonder and mystery of the world around him. These can make him eternally curious and thus be a lifelong learner. Examples are microscopes, telescopes, planetariums, and globes.
Pets are also great gifts. An aquarium can teach your kid about aquatic life, and kittens and puppies can be a great way to introduce your kid to love for animals. Seeds will fascinate your kid when he sees it grow into a plant. Who knows, your kid’s appreciation of nature may be key to his being able to help save the planet in the future.
4. Personalized Gifts
Studies show that children learn when their activities are personalized. When they are a character on a book they read, they are fascinated and their minds open up. Personalized books, music, and toys also improve your child’s self-confidence and positive view of himself.
Babies and kids will love hearing their OWN name sung in songs, printed in books, built with trains, or just hanging on the wall.
5. Computer Software and Games
The best educational software and fun and entertaining and helps your kid achieve success in school. They help build math, reading, and critical skills, as well as instill confidence, joy and excitement around learning. With the best educational software, your kid will beg to learn!
The best computer games are those that teaches him strategy and problem-solving, and not merely “fragging” the enemy. Although “fragging” the enemy is said to develop hand-eye coordination, some psychologist are concerned that the violent nature of these games can desensitize your child to hurt in others.
6. Magazine Subscriptions
Aside from books, magazines can be a great way to start kids off on a life-long passion for reading. Since magazines feature what is current and up-to-date, it is always interesting to your kid.
7. Puzzles and Board Games
Puzzles and games exercise the brain. And like any part of the body, the more exercise your kid’s brain gets, the more powerful and tougher it becomes when faced with challenges. The best puzzles and board games teach your kid how to plan, decide, think and think through a difficulty. Board games, when played with friends or family, enhance social skills. He learns about taking turns, following rules and cooperating with teammates or opponents.
8. Musical Instruments
Many studies have proven that learning music has a profound effect on your kid’s brain. Music is shown to increase IQ, improve school grades, and prepare your kid to learn the advanced concepts of math and science.
Most kids are interested in learning to play guitar, the drums, and the keyboard, although they may also want to take up the violin and brass instruments.
9. Educational Videos
Educational videos have proven beneficial to preschool and above kids. (Videos for kids aged 2 and below are more harmful than helpful) Kids who watch informative and educational shows as preschoolers tend to watch more informative and educational shows when they get older. They use TV effectively as a complement to school learning. On the other hand, kids who watch more entertainment program watch fewer informative programs as they get older.
There are educational movies on the internet where kids of the “You Tube” generation not only watch, but also interact for a great learning experience.
This list will not be complete without books! Books are and will always be your kid’s brain’s best friend. Among other benefits, reading builds the language neural connections in your kid’s brain and expands his chain of knowledge.