Buying gifts can be stressful, getting just the right thing for the people that you love. And little ones want EVERYTHING! Which, of course, is impossible. Or they want just that one special gift that is absolutely impossible to get…also impossible. But let’s try changing the stress of gift giving by looking at it as an opportunity to give our kiddos something that they will absolutely love but also that will help them along in life. After all, play is how children process the world around them, learn and grow! So, here are my top 5 ultimate gifts for preschoolers this Christmas season. (And did I mention that I’m a pediatric occupational therapist? So, I am pretty good at this promoting function in preschoolers stuff.)
Side note…This post contains affiliate links, which means that I will get a little bit of moula if you decide to buy one of these products. However, I have chosen these toys for their intrinsic value, unrelated to monetary compensation. I would not steer you wrong…promise!
If you want EVEN MORE ideas for what to give the preschoolers in your life this Christmas, I have you covered. Over the past several weeks I have been compiling an entire ebook on the subject, and it is your TOTALLY FREE!
I really cannot figure out the fascination with this toy, but every single preschooler that I have ever seen try this game absolutely LOVED it! Seriously, they ask for me to bring it back again and again. There are so many ways to learn from this toy because it comes with a variety of discs for working on various skills. You can focus on sorting by color or shape, counting, and, of course, promoting fine motor skills and hand strength in the process.
Wikki Stix are one of my all time favorite toys for preschoolers. You will never find them missing from my occupational therapy bag because they are always a winner with the kiddos. They are inexpensive and versatile too! I love that they can go with you anywhere, in the car, to the restaurant you have been dying to go to but weren’t sure how you were going to entertain your little one, to grandma’s…you get the idea. This set even comes with a carrying case. There are lots of sets of accessory cards which you will find so handy for teaching kindergarten readiness skills like learning the alphabet, counting, identifying shapes, etc. I have listed one for you but feel free to browse Amazon for even more.
My occupational therapy evaluation room has a kitchen set, and it is the first place that kids go to explore. There is just so much to do! (Do you know how many pretend sandwiches I have eaten over the years 🙂 A chef’s kitchen like this one makes any playroom complete. It is great for a boy or girl, offers opportunities for imaginative play and is a great way to imitate things that kids have seen their parents do. This particular kitchen is really nothing special, I just like the looks of it. You really can’t go wrong with any set on Amazon.
Time that kids spend in the bath is ideal for introduce toys that promote learning. Generally, they are relaxed and having fun. We have all seen the alphabet letters that stick to the wall and bath soap crayons. This is something new which promotes a different set of skills, motor planning, fine motor coordination and problem solving. And then there is the sensory element. I have never met a kid yet who isn’t in heaven pouring water in and out of containers. It is their happy place.
One of our favorite family activities when the kids were little was to set up a tent in the living room, make some popcorn (or smores over the stove), and read favorite stories by flashlight. Sometimes we slept in the tent, but mostly we just imagined that we were in a different place and had a great time. The boys used their imaginations and made up stories. This camping set is an absolutely amazing gift for kids of any age and is a bargain. In my ULTIMATE PRE-K GIFT GUIDE there is also an explorers’ kit that would make the perfect accessory.
Each year we go to our stockings last after all of the Christmas gifts have been opened. It is like putting a cherry on top of the sundae. And so I have included a little something to stuff that stocking with. I absolutely love these stickers. They are great for the imagination, body awareness and visual perception skills.