It's time for the holidays, and that means your kids have probably made a long list of gifts they would like. For most children, this list includes all the latest "hot" video game, a phone and / or a tablet along with a few toys mixed in. Major tech companies want you to believe there's nothing wrong with screen time, but studies show differently. While some screen time is okay, it's important to mix in a few educational gifts that have nothing to do with technology.
Take a look at some of the best gifts out there.
For Toddlers and Little Tikes
Art isn't just fun, it's one of the best things you can teach your child. Research shows that art promotes creative thinking and works as a great stress reliever. Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Paintbrush Pens & Paper allows children to express themselves without destroying your furniture. Want to make your little tike feel like a real artist? The MÅLA Easel from Ikea is affordable and durable, allowing your child to create a new project every day.
For the tiny tikes, toys that promote dexterity are always a good choice. The Melissa and Doug First Bead Maze is a classic toy that will help your child grasp and grab. Plus it also teaches problem-solving, fine motor development, and hand-eye coordination.
Older Kids and Tweens
As your child approaches the middle years, one of the most valuable skills they can learn is problem-solving. Board games can be great tools to teach your kid problem-solving and strategy. One of the best games for critical thinking is chess. The Super Mario Chess Collector's Edition Board Game is a great way to get kids who may not be thrilled about chess to take an interest in the game. Also, you can never fail with a good book, and Harry Potter is one of the best. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first book in the series and a fairly quick read. If your kid falls in love with the book, there are six more books to keep them occupied.
Gifts for Teenagers
Teenagers can be hard to please. How do you get them interested in educational gifts when it seems like all they want to do is spend time with their friends and scroll through their phones? While Christmas shopping for a teen can be challenging, all is not lost.
It may not seem like a journal is an educational gift, but journals allow teens to express their thoughts and creativity. When you give them a blank canvas and tell them to write whatever their heart desires, who knows what they will come up with. The Moleskine Classic Notebook is a beautiful and simple book. The lined pages allow teens to write, draw, and create. What’s more, these gifts usually aren’t very expensive.
If it seems like your teen's head is always in the stars, why not get them a telescope? While stronger models will be more expensive, there are several affordable options available. The Celestron - 50mm Refractor Telescope Science Kit comes with a telescope, microscope, and binoculars. Don't forget to check for deals for these big-ticket items.
Ways to Save Money
To save money on puzzles, books, journals, or any of the educational gifts, check out the websites that provide discount codes and special promotions. For example, if you decide to buy some of these gifts, especially the more expensive items, from second-hand sites like eBay, you can find promo codes, cashback offers, and special deals that will help you save money on your purchases. Regardless of where you buy your gifts, look for ways to help you save money.
Surprise your kid with something educational and fun this year. Educational gifts don't have to be boring, you just have to be creative. When your kids discover the world beyond the screen, they'll see all the options that are available.