Holiday Gifts: Are Educational Toys Always Geeky?

Article first published as Holiday Gifts: Are Educational Toys Always Geeky? on Technorati.

In Lemony Snicket’s, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, a Christmas story, we are told, “It is very frustrating not to be understood in this world. If you say one thing and keep being told that you mean something else, it can make you want to scream. But somewhere in the world there is a place for all of us, whether you are an electric form of decoration, peppermint-scented sweet, a source of timber, or a potato pancake.” And somewhere in the world, kids can get educational toys and not hate you for it!

With Chanukah just around the corner and then Christmas, I thought parents might want to know a few of my favorite science toys that are great gifts and will be your child’s favorite thing. They might even say THANK YOU!
Check out Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 from Elenco available at for $23.20. I have used these circuits in several classrooms over my thirteen years of teaching. Students from 2nd grade through 6th grade love these circuits. After 3 to 4 class times of using them, they always ask can’t we do it again!

Another great gift that won’t make you cringe every time your child asks for more screen time is Zoombinis. This game teaches logical reasoning and at $7.04 on it is a real steal! For this game, you create a tribe of Zoombinis. They are each slightly different they have different eyes, hair, glasses. Through reasoning and figuring out who can cross the bridge or ski down which slope, you and your child will be doing logical reasoning and having fun!

I have used the Zoombinis with children from Kindergarten to Third Grade, but to be honest I love it also! It really is fun to move the Zoombinis along on their journey.

I would also recommend you pick some gifts that cost you nothing in money. Give your child a coupon for a night to read with you. Create a ritual of reading and sharing books.

Since your child loves to be online, find some sites you can enjoy together. Check out this site for finding simple machines that I use in class with second grade, Simple machines.

I also highly recommend putting Arnold back together again. I use this site with my Kindergarten and Fifth Grade classes when we study the human body. My nephew who is in Seventh Grade used it recently and enjoyed it also.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

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4 responses to “Holiday Gifts: Are Educational Toys Always Geeky?”

  1. My son and I LOVE Snap Circuits Jr.! It's a wonderful introduction to electronic circuitry. We make it even more fun by removing a piece (which makes the circuit stop working) and have my son figure out what's missing and how to fix the circuit to make it work again. Hours of fun for the whole family! (Including my 5-year-old.)

  2. Thanks for your comments! I am glad you like them! I agree adults enjoy them as much as the kids!
    Thanks for reading and writing!
    Happy Holidays!

  3. From DV: "I love your blogs. I love the book and product recommendations on both sites! I purchased the snap electronics kit for my friend's son
    and I think he will love it."

    Thanks so much for reading our blog and for all your comments! Lisa

  4. What ever it is I love educational; toys.

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