Educational Gift Ideas

Model-RocketsWith the holiday season rapidly approaching, many of us are stuck with the dilemma of choosing gifts for kids. Sure you could go out and buy the most popular video game or this season’s trendy Barbie doll, but do these gifts really hold much meaning? Lets face it, children often play with a toy for a few minutes, forget about it, and move onto the next thing. This year get them something they can use over and over with their friends, along with providing an educational experience.

These toys listed below are both fun and educational toys that are great for children of the ages 7-15. One of the main selling points of these fantastic gifts is the passion they entice into the youth. Often once children are introduced to these toys they will build a hobby base around the toy. After years of interest in a hobby, the hobby usually turns into a career.

Telescope – Many children are perplexed by the vast blue sky above us. With a telescope children can explore space from their own backyard. There are three types of telescopes, refracting, reflector, and the catadioptric, each one has its pros and cons. The most common is the refracting, which is a long tube with an eye piece at one end. It is important to research the different types of telescopes to determine which one will be the best gift.

Rocketry – Building model rockets is an experience just about every child gets to do either through school, scouts, or summer camp. The best part about building model rockets is the control over the construction the children have. They choose the design of the rocket, build it themselves, choose rocket engine size, press the launch button, and locate the rocket after it floats back to earth. A high percentage of children who have the chance to build model rockets go onto careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Legos – Just about every kid has some variety of Legos growing up. What you can create with Legos is only limited by the imagination. These toys are a great way for kids to learn design and architecture, all while playing with toys. These building blocks can be bought in bulk, or in boxed sets, and just about every toy store will carry the popular toy.

Listed above are just a few examples of toys that are academic along with entertaining. There are many more types of toys like these, so take the time to browse them all. Next time you are looking for an engaging and educational gift, consider one of the above items. The gift you pick for a child could change their entire future.

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Danuta Smoluk is a teacher with over three decades of experience teaching both children and adults. She specializes in teaching the Polish language to English-speakers. She has a master's degree in primary and early childhood education from WSP Słupsk (currently Pomeranian University in Słupsk) and had her degree validated by University of Toronto. Aside from education, she also has an interest in real estate and home improvement. She has planned and supervised many house renovations. She loves interior design, cooking, and gardening.

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