Preschoolers are such a cool age – big enough to graduate from baby toys, not quite ready for the tiny pieces of big kid toys – but bursting with creativity, exploring pretend play and interested in figuring out how everything works. So creating a gift guide for them was incredibly fun! These toys are pure joy – think brightly colored, open-ended and safe for hours of boredom-busting this winter and beyond.
Preschool Building & Technology Toys
(clockwise from top left)
1. Playmags: These magnetic tiles, triangles, windows & letters are so fun to play with – our local library has this set and they’re fascinating for kids and adults. (I maybe played with them for most of our visit!) This set has 44 pieces and is on sale for half off at Amazon.
2. Fisher Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar: Attention little coders! Already conquered the iPad and looking for a new challenge? Time to learn how to program your own toys, baby Einstein. Experiment with rearranging the click-together segments to figure out how to make the caterpillar move in the direction you want – think hours-long obstacle course building perfect for cold winter afternoons.
3. Learning Resources Candy Construction Building Set: So good for creative building – the toy is so open-ended they can build whatever sweet things they can dream up with pieces shaped like chocolate bars, candies, gum drops, licorice and peppermint sticks. Reviewers are raving about the wide range of ages that are interested in playing with this! It’s on my list for next year when the kids will be 3 & 6 and the short one stops eating all the non-food things.
4. Modular Tree House and Building Walls: Amazing handmade wood building toy made by a couple in Seattle! Choose from Castle, Treehouse or Regular House. I can see why these are part of the NY Museum of Modern Art educational program. 4 peg dolls included for the holidays!
5. Janod Kubix Marble Run 50-Piece Set: Marble runs are like preschool (and big kid) nirvana. Watching the instant cause & effect of their construction ideas and seeing their own Rube Goldberg contraptions work is sweet victory. And they’re learning creative problem solving and engineering skills on the job! This set’s design and color scheme is so playful and fun.
Preschool Outdoor & Pretend Play Toys
(clockwise from top left)
1. Snow Cone Snow Tube: Picture them zooming down the sledding hill on this fun reminder of summer! (And all the energy that will burn, yesss)
2. Gummy Bear Night Light: I kind of want one of these soft, squeezable gummy bear lights. You squeeze their tummy to turn on/off, and it has an option 1-hr timer, awesome for bedtime. (My kindergartener just saw these on my screen and squeed. Good for grade schoolers, too!)
3. Pals Socks: Socks with a message – “purposely mismatched to start the conversation with kids about making different kinds of friends” but even better, they’re adorable! So many cute options to choose from, my faves are the unicorn/dragon, lion/zebra and bear/bee. Little sizes have grippy bottoms, always important around here. Also in grown-up sizes!
4. Kid Made Modern Friendly Fields Fort Tent: Such a fun tent! I’m in love with the colorful modern illustrations from Todd Oldham. (Will always have a soft spot for his craft segments on MTV’s House of Style! #tbt)
5. Learning Resources New Sprouts Camp Out Play Set: This little set is so fun for pretend camping indoors this winter – the lantern even glows in the dark! We have a few play food sets from this brand and they’re such high quality.
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