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Mrs. Brinker's fun and educational gift ideas

While you want your kids to get toys they love at Christmas, you’d also like them to be somewhat educational.

INDIANAPOLIS — If you are still looking for last-minute gifts for the kids, 13News Education Expert Jennifer Brinker shared some ideas on 13Sunrise Sunday that are both fun and educational.  

Parents can relate. While you want your kids to get the toys they love, you’d also like them to be somewhat educational. 

Mrs. Brinker recommends books and games that teach skills as well as toys that encourage thinking.

Books 

Mrs. Brinker recommends giving children books. If you aren’t sure what they are interested in, get them a gift card to a local bookstore. It will be a fun activity to shop for what they want after Christmas is over. You can also check with your child’s school librarian for suggestions because they probably have some good ideas of age-appropriate or grade-level-appropriate books that your kids would love.

Games

Games are a great option. They teach skills to little kids like counting, sorting, taking turns and even how to win and lose graciously. 

"For little kids, you can stick to some classics like Candy Land, Uno, things like that," said Mrs. Brinker. "Once they get older, there are a lot of fun games like Ticket to Ride, which works on geography skills as well as critical thinking skills."

A fun game that is getting more popular is Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza-this game that costs less than $10 on Amazon and works on reflexes and thinking quickly. 

One Night Werewolf is another favorite of older kids. Players have to work on deductive reasoning skills and storytelling.  

"There are so many options out there," said Mrs. Brinker. "The best thing about games is that it will also lead to time together with your family, which is always a bonus."

Busy hands

Legos are a solid choice for kids of various ages and interests because they help kids with spatial reasoning, following directions and being creative at the same time. Plain blocks are good, too.

"Speaking of creativity, art supplies are a good idea, as well," said Mrs. Brinker, who suggest kits for painting and sewing and "anything you can think of."

"Wow" factor toys

"Robotics and programming have gotten really popular with kids," said Mrs. Brinker, "and you can buy everything from the Lego Mindstorm robot to snap circuit kits."

"I am a big fan of giving a gift that is an experience," she said. "Maybe a family subscription to the Indianapolis Zoo or Children’s Museum would be a good option. These are gifts that will keep giving throughout the year."

College fund

Last but not least, you can always fund the child's Indiana College Choice 529 plan, or a similar plan in their home state. It is a gift that will certainly pay off someday, so you might think about getting a smaller gift to unwrap on Christmas, and make an investment in their future.

Watch all her suggestions from 13Sunrise in the video player.

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