GREENWOOD, Ind. — With Christmas rapidly approaching, many of us are buying some last minute presents. While we love buying toys our kids want, we also feel pretty good about getting them some gifts that hold some educational value. That’s why our education expert, Jennifer Brinker, is suggesting some top educational gifts at a variety of price points.
Dustin Grove: So let’s start off at a modest price-point with some good educational gifts. What if we are looking at the $10 mark or less?
Mrs. Brinker: There are so many great options out there. Obviously, at the top of that list would be books. You can obviously find books at multiple places. I would go to Amazon and check out all of the options. Another great inexpensive option for this year would be a board or card game. I know that Candy Land and Clue can get old after awhile, but playing games is a great way to bond with your child while they are learning to take turns, count, use critical thinking skills. Puzzles are a wonderful gift, as well.
Dustin Grove: Those are some great ideas-what about something around the $25-$50 mark?
Mrs. Brinker: Again, there are some great options out there. As a former social studies teacher, I find that kids really struggle with geography and it isn’t really the most exciting topic. Uncommongoods.com has some really cool items from scratch-off maps where you learn about countries as you scratch them off, to coloring maps printed on table cloths. There are a lot of great science activity sets out there. You can purchase some rock tumblers, chemistry sets, multiple items like this will boost your child’s interest in science. One thing that is often not looked at as educational but really is are Legos. They really improve critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and if you buy the Legos that don’t come as specific sets, they encourage creativity as well.
Dustin Grove: Okay, last but not least, for any parents or grandparents out there looking to drop some dough on a present, what would be your recommendation?
Mrs. Brinker: Again, it is all about finding something to what the kiddo is interested in. I know that snap circuits are very popular with kids. These cost about $70 and help your child understand electricity. Lego actually has a Mindstorms kit that cost between $350-$500 and are wonderful for kids interested in robotics and programming.
Dustin Grove: Final advice?
Mrs. Brinker: Just keep in mind as you are shopping that there are a lot of opportunities out there. Even ask your child if they ever play with anything particular at school that they enjoy. That might be a good place to start.