Here are my top preschool gift picks for 2013! My goal is to find gifts that will actually be used and not just end up on a shelf in the playroom (or lost under a couch!) Hopefully this is helpful as you pick out gifts for the preschoolers in your life this holiday season!
The LeapPad Explorer Tablets have been super hot items the past couple of years. You were lucky to just find one in stock, much less actually find a good deal on one. Last year, Leapfrog introduced the LeapPad2 Explorer and there are definitely some nice upgrades from the first version! For one, the speed is much faster than the original (which was pretty slow). It also has front AND back camera/video recorders so that’s a nice touch for kids to experiment with! This year, LeapFrog introduced the LeapPad Power which *finally* comes with a rechargeable battery!!
By far this has been the favorite toy of all of the kids in the house during their preschool years (and one they enjoyed as they got older too). The Melissa and Doug blocks hold up very well and have lasted through several of our kids, with plenty more use in them!
I Explore features six maps with menu icons and illustrations to teach different subjects. The US map teaches state geography and fun facts about all fifty states. The World Cat and World Dog maps introduce a variety of pets from all over the world. The World Music map plays world music and says hello and goodbye in a variety of languages. The Solar System Map teaches the solar system and the order of the planets, while the Prehistoric North America map lets you check out what it was like in North America during the time of the dinosaurs. For kids that are a little older (or even little ones who know their way around an iPod) you can use the iTikes app along with I Explore. The app brings the maps to life with hundreds of facts, colorful animations, and interactive 3D.
The PlasmaCar is another HUGE toy favorite this year and I have yet to talk to a parent who doesn’t love it! The thing that I love the most about the Plasma car is that you can use it outside OR inside and it’s easy for a 3 year old to get the hang of. The PlasmaCar doesn’t have any pedals or brakes… you just turn the steering wheel to go forward AND to steer!
I want to know why they didn’t make girly LEGOS sooner!! Not that there’s anything wrong with girls playing with the primary-colored LEGOS, I just think my oldest girl would’ve been way more into them when she was younger if they would’ve been pink and purple! My youngest daughter loves anything that has to do with princesses and castles so this is perfect for her!
What kid doesn’t love having their own suitcase to take to grandma’s house? Better yet – their own suitcase that they can ride on too!! The Trunki suitcases are also made by Melissa & Doug so you know that they are great quality!
MEGA Bloks are always a favorite of my kids when they’re preschool age. They come in either classic colors or pink and are actually a great price right now for 80 of them!
We love UNO in our house, but the cards are tough for the little ones to hold and keep up with. So I was really excited to see this new UNO MOO game come out! It teaches them the same concepts as the original UNO but the pieces are much easier for little hands to keep up with. It’s a really fun game for the whole family to play together (but probably not a game you would want to play if there are not preschoolers in the house too). 🙂
Here’s another Melissa & Doug toy that’s a favorite at our house! This set includes 10 brightly painted building blocks that feature fun and familiar childhood objects including a dog, train, fish, flowers and more. The blocks come with 30 small triangles, squares and ovals that replicate the fun pictures so you can teach shape recognition skills.
Maybe this one is more of a gift for the parents than for the kids, but the kids will love it too! You set the clock to a certain time in the morning (like 8:00 am) that you want the kids to get out of bed at. If it’s before that time that you set it to, the light on the stoplight will be red which tells the kids to stay in bed! Once the time that you set it to rolls around, the light will turn green and your kids know that it’s time to get out of bed! I’m thinking this would’ve been really helpful for us to have when we got rid of Daylight Savings Time a couple of weeks ago!!