October 23, 2013

Toys That Get Kids Creating!

As a teacher, I'd often get asked about certain 'kid products' and whether or not they had any educational value. Now that I'm also a parent, I am always on the search for a fun toy or gift that will help my children develop healthy bodies and minds. 

I decided to put together a list of toys that encourage kids to learn, grow, and explore the world around them (and boy, did I have fun choosing my top ones!). 

Each week, I will share one of these lists:

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*** Click on the links to see current prices and customer reviews.

1.Magnetic Doodler- This mama loves her no-mess art stations! This makes a great addition to our car trips. My favorite part? The pen is attached, so no more tearing the house apart or doing yoga moves in the car to find it! WooHoo!

2. Car Assembly Kit- With this kit, you can create your own car that really moves by using wound-up rubber band propulsion. Get two and you have an instant race!

3. Washable Window MarkersYou should have seen the look on Little Man's face when I handed him a marker and told him he could draw on the windows. Heehee- he was either thinking My mom has finally lost it! or What kind of damage could I do with these babies?!

We've practiced our ABC's on our windows, drew Thomas the Train (over and over and over), and created masterpieces....then we just wiped it off with water and started all over again!

4. Kiwi CrateWith a Kiwi Crate subscription, kids will get a different craft kit in the mail each month with a new project to complete. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

5.Super SaxofluteOh man, Foster a creative love of music with this fun toy. Kids can create  a different instrument each time they assemble the pieces....and you never know what sound that shape will produce!

6. Fleece Knot-a-Quilt KitI love that this is not only a gift that could entertain for hours (seriously, that's a lot of knots!), but it can also be used for years to come for Family Movie Nights!

7. Aquadoodle: TravelWe were the super lucky recipients of an Aquadoodle Travel Mat at my son's last birthday and it has made our road trips go much more smoothly! With just a simple marker filled with water, kids can create pictures, which disappear after a few minutes. The marker leaves a dark, solid line with just a slight touch to the mat, so even my 1-year old can color to her heart's content...without Mama stressing out over potential scribbles ending up on my couch. (Do you know how hard it is to remove scented marker from a tan couch?! Ask me how I know.)

8. Build-a-RoadWhat I love the most about the wooden railway sets is how the pieces can create a different path every time you play. This Build-a-Road is the car and truck equivalent. I can see these roads traveling up and over my couch and straight through the kitchen!

9. MarbleWorks Marble RunOh, how many hours did my siblings and I spend playing with this game when I was younger. And guess what? It's still a hit at our house today! One great thing about this toy is that there are all sorts of little add-ons and fun pieces you can purchase as a small birthday gift or stocking stuffer in the future.

10. Domino Race SetA toy that perfect for both boys and girls, these dominos could be set up in a countless number of configurations. The add-ons that come with this set really take this to the next level.

Check out the rest of this series for more great toy and gift ideas that are teacher recommended:

Toys That Get Kids Outside!
Toys That Get Kids Moving!
Toys That Get Kids Thinking!
Toys That Get Kids Creating!
Toys That Get Kids Reading!
Toys That Get Kids Imagining!
Toys That Get Kids Exploring!

Many of you are teachers or parents...do you have a toy you'd recommend that encourages creative play?


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