Guide to Purchasing Educational Toys This Holiday Season

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If you're asking yourself these or similar questions, and perhaps want to please both the parent and the child in your life, here at DEI, we recommend giving educational toys as holiday gifts. Educational toys make excellent gift choices because they have multiple benefits for children, providing entertainment and also building skills for the future. But how do you select the best educational toys this holiday season?

First, the toy must be fun. If a child is not moved to play with a toy, the toy provides no educational benefits! Fortunately, the best educational toys, recommended by researchers, parents, and teachers, turn out to be the most fun, because they give children a chance to exercise the skills they are already working to master. At the appropriate age, children are naturally fascinated by:

  • Wire and Bead Toys. These classic toys are a favorite for ages 18 month - 6 years. Children develop fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and perceptual/language skills (“green,” “yellow,” “up,” “down”). Also a great counting tool!
  • Mazes and Puzzles. These also contribute to motor skills and hand-eye coordination, as well as imagination and spatial skills. Some focus on useful subjects like forming letters, counting/math, and geography. Interactive toys are opportunities to practice language and build social skills like turn-taking. Sturdy wooden pieces and the use of magnets help prevent pieces from being damaged or lost.
  • Activity Tables and Play Centers. Children are drawn to return to these for the multiple educational experiences they provide. Play cubes are another effective option, or choose a wall panel to promote learning, decorate a room, and conserve space all at the same time.

We stock many of these toys because our customers love them for their waiting rooms. When children are happily engaged, the dining or wait room experience is enhanced for the whole family. We hope these educational gift ideas for children have the same effect for your families and friends!

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