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A Guide to Educational Christmas Gifts for Children 0-10 years

With Christmas less than a month away, it’s time to get shopping for Christmas presents. In addition to all of the fun and exciting presents your children will be getting this year, perhaps you also want to get them something educational. But how? Just the thought of anything remotely educational over the Christmas holidays is probably enough to send your kids running for the hills. So why not find them toys that will educate them, without them even realising!

Kerri Atherton, of the British Toy and Hobby Association, said: “If you want to spark an interest in a particular educational subject area, then educational toys can enhance children’s understanding of it by providing a fun and entertaining play experience to learn in. Educational toys retain children’s interest for the subject by engaging them in a way they naturally enjoy.”

Here are some ideas for educational toys this Christmas!

Ages 0 – 2 years

1. 56 piece building blocks
Encourage learning with this set of building blocks of different shapes; featuring numbers, letters, pictures and colours to encourage imaginative play and improve the hand-eye coordination skills of children. Use the blocks to make up sums, words, pictures and stories to inspire learning at play time. 56 piece building blocks, £16.99, Educational Toys

2. Kid O Sort a Shape House
Inspire children to learn the names of different shapes and colours, as they match the solid blocks to the cut-out shapes of the play house; all colour co-ordinated. Children match each form to the coloured cut-outs to assemble a chimney, the windows and doors, and successfully build the play house. Kid O Sort a Shape House, £28.95, Great Gizmos

3. Light and Sound Drum
One for all the senses; children can roll or bang the drum to discover fun sounds and brightly coloured lights. The drum stimulates the senses and encourages crawling and walking, making it great for physical development and hand-eye coordination skills. Light and Sound Drum, £15, Early Learning Centre

Ages 3 – 5 years

1. Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
The Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set has won two awards since being released in January. The toy introduces children to maths, engineering, science and technology using ‘Colby’, a robot mouse, for hands-on learning. Children program the mouse to a sequence through maze formations to get the cheese. Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set, £50, Mothercare

2. Pop to the Shops
Great for ages five and up, this interactive shopping game introduces children to personal finance. By handling fake money and coins, children learn through practical activities. In the game, children are shopkeepers, while the objective is to complete a shopping list without over-spending, they pick up a card and move from shop to shop buying items on the card until they have collected everything they need. Pop to the Shops, £10, Orchard Toys

3. Fisher-Price Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar
Suitable from ages three to six years, the code-a-pillar introduced children to the basics in coding. The toy can be sent on different paths and challenges children to configure segments so that it can reach destinations set up in the room. Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar, £51.99, VERY

Ages 5 – 8 years

1. Brainbox Maths Memory Game
Developed by a primary school teacher with over 30 years experience in the classroom, BrainBox Maths Memory Game is designed to improve your child’s memory, a fundamental tool in learning. It’s also designed to make the sometimes difficult concepts of mathematics fun and easy to remember for children. Brainbox Maths Memory Game, £9.99, John Lewis

2. LeapReader Reading and Writing System
A good introduction to reading and writing for your child. Use the interactive pen to guide letter strokes and sound out words while reading along with the story, children touch pages or words to hear them read aloud, sound out words and play words to build vocabulary and comprehension. It also gives stroke-by-stoke guidance by tracing letters, numbers and words on special paper for mess free writing. LeapReader Reading and Writing System, £29.99, Smyths

3. Smart Globe Discovery
Children use the smart pen on this educational globe and learn all about the population, capital cities, languages and countries by simply pointing to an area of their choice. There is more than 250 countries to explore with three activity panels and a local map for extra information about the surrounding area, with a relevant political map. Smart Globe Discovery, £59.99, Oregon Scientific

Ages 8 – 10 years

1. Thames and Kosmos Electronics Learning Circuits
Great for those aged eight and over, this electronic learning circuit easily snaps together, introduces children to electronic symbols, and teaches them how to read circuit diagrams. Each block is brightly-coloured, with many uniquely shaped to assemble the circuits. Projects include a police siren, lie detector, rain warning system and logic circuits. Thames and Kosmos Electronics Learning Circuits, £45, Bright Minds

2. Lego Architecture Studio
Reviews describe this architectural studio as ‘Lego heaven’. It comes with 1,210 white and transparent building bricks and a guidebook created in collaboration with renowned architects, featuring 272 tips and techniques to inspire creation. The concept behind the toy is to introduce children to how architectural foundations are laid, set up and supported in the context of Lego. Lego Architecture Studio, £149.99, Lego

3. Mechanics Laboratory
Sharpen your child’s mechanics and motor skills with this model dune buggy, with a fully functioning motor engine. The toy comes with all the tools needed and over 250 parts that are all interchangeable with other models in the range. When the toy has been built, the electric motor inside can be activated to power your buggy. Mechanics Laboratory, £32, Mulberry Bush

For more educational gift ideas, and access to the original article, please click here.

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