4 1/2 years old

Educational Toys Christmas Gift List


It's almost Christmas!!! And I'm sure that some of you have already started your Christmas shopping, but if you're looking for a bit of inspiration to finish things off we've listed a few toys that we absolutely love and that will also keep your children playing and learning.

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We've broken down the toys into the different areas of learning so it may be easier to find something that suits your child's particular interests or areas that you want to focus on or even just to get a variety of different learning toys that are available.

Literacy Development Toys

Of course I am going to say that the best gift to any child has to be books! In particular we're loving this adorable Christmas Book by Dick Bruna which tells the Christmas story in a way that children can understand.  We are also big fans of the Zoey and Sassafras Books which are perfect for children who are just starting to read chapter books on their own.  I tend to buy each of the children a box set or series of books for Christmas, that way they can really get hooked on the characters and want to read the next book and the next (instead of the same book everyday, lol).

We are also very big fans of these Rory's Story Cubes from Asmodee.  They are just one of the simplest and most clever toys out there.  This set of dice has a variety of pictures on each one, all you have to do is roll those dice and come up with a story inspired by the pictures that you have rolled.  You can tell that story out loud or write it down, it's fantastic for building the imagination and getting those creative juices flowing before sitting down to write a story.  They also come in a small box and are perfect for travel, they can keep kids busy for ages making up stories and giggling away the hours on a long plane ride.

Of course we've got to include the Match and Spell Next Steps from Orchard Toys as you know that we are a big fan of their games and this one is just perfect for both of my children right now.  As Ivy is just learning to read it is a great way to help her to identify sounds in words, and as Ethan is now having weekly spelling tests at school it's a great way to get him to slow down and pay attention to the way the spelling of each word.

Numeracy Development Toys

I can not wait to try out Cortex Challenge from Asmodee with the children.  It's a great game for memory and quick thinking.  These brain teaser puzzles range from touch tests, duplicates, logical series, mazes, colour puzzles and more.  It's a great way to get childrens' minds thinking fast and prepare them for quick fire maths activities (like times tables) they'll be having so much fun playing the game and get really competitive trying to be quicker than each other, that they'll forget that they're learning!

Then we've got Money Match Cafe from Orchard Toys which is sure to be a hit with all children as they all love to play shops and cafes.  This reinforces number and money knowledge in a fun way.  They get to use their addition skills to add up the costs of the different items in the cafe and see what they can buy.  It can be played at different levels with easier and harder cards, which is perfect for families with children at different ages and abilities.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World (STEM, Science) Toys

I just know how much so many kids would love this Make Your Own Solar System Kit from Rex London.  It's fantastic because it brings together the knowledge of the planets with the creativity of putting the whole set together.  It's easy to put it all together and even comes with glow in the dark paint, which the kids are bound to love!

And a few smaller gifts as you can never go wrong with a bit of messy play, I am sure that all kids will love this Unicorn Slime from Zimpli Kids.  The kit comes with the slime powder to easily mix up the slime at home as well as a couple of plastic unicorns to play with in it.

Then there's the Snoball Battle Pack of Gelli Snow from Zimpli Kids which also comes as a powder that is ready to be mixed up and played with.  We may not get real snow in London this Christmas, but at least this way the children can get a little bit of snow play in (while staying in the nice warm house!)

We recently reviewed the Electro Hero and Sew and Glow Kits from Tech Will Save Us and really enjoyed them.  These sets are fantastic for curious children who want to learn more about how things work in a really fun and relatable way.  Read our full review for more details.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development Toys

This Sylvanian Families Baby Castle Nursery is not only adorable but is a great way to use small world play to talk about what is happening at school or nursery.  I love to watch my children play with these sorts of toys on their own, but I also love to join in and try to play out different situations with the little Sylvanian children to see how my child will react and usually all sorts of little stories about what has been happening at their nursery or school come out.

This Christmas is another big one for the interactive animal toys like the Little Live Pets and
Fur Real Pets which my two absolutely love.  They just become more and more life like each year and they're a great opportunity for children who don't have real pets to get a glimpse of what it is like to care for an animal.

Creative Development Toys

How sweet is this Learn to Stitch Kit from Rex London which is great for developing children's creativity as well as helping with their fine motor skills and coordination.  The cards are sturdy and the string can be easily threaded through the holes, even for little fingers.

This Play Doh Buzz 'n Cut Hair Set from Hasbro is something that I definitely would have wanted as a child!  The set come with plenty of Play Doh to put into the hair stylist's chair and push through the holes in the little person's head, which you can then trim and style.  It even comes with a real (battery powered) buzzing trimmer for the full experience! We are big fans of Play Doh in this house and this is guaranteed to keep the kids busy for hours!

We are very interested in the new Aquabeads Magical Unicorn Set which is taking Aquabeads to another level with the clips to join the wings to the unicorns and even a display stand for your finished creations.  We can't wait to try it out!

Physical Development Toys

We have also recently reviewed the Meccano Ferrari  set.  It is our first try with Meccano and it won't be our last.  It's so much for young children to get the opportunity to use real tools and parts to put together something that looks so impressive.  Read our full review for more details.

Of course we can't leave out the Lego Harry Potter sets as we are major Lego fans and having sets connected to books that we love is just a perfect match!  There are a variety of different sets available, all great for following instructions and fine motor control, and all really fun!

Christmas is a great opportunity to get some new educational toys into the house, to keep the kids playing and learning thoughout the winter months and to have lots of fun!

Amazon Christmas Shopping List

For quick links to find some of these educational toys on Amazon:

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* This post contains affiliate links and review items, we have been sent these items throughout the year to review them and feel that they are all worthy of our Christmas gift list, all opinions are our own.*

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