Christmas and Hanukkah are less than one month away and NJ parents are busy searching for the perfect gifts for their toddlers and preschoolers. Think your kid already has everything under the sun? We’re here to help with some great ideas that will spark the imagination and bring a smile to their faces. Read on below for seven fabulous suggestions and visit our Holiday Season Guide to find additional gift guides.
Short on Space, Big on Imagination
For budding chefs who want to “cook” alongside mom and dad, the Splish Splash Sink and Stove from Little Tikes lets them flex their culinary imagination and clean up afterwards. Portable and easy to clean, the sink features a working faucet that pumps water into a sink with a real drain. The unit comes with the sink/stove combination, faucet, sink stopper, frying pan with spatula and service for two including flatware, cups and plates. From the splash of the water to the click of the knobs, this fun toy engages your child’s senses and imagination.
Where to Buy: www.littletikes.com
Musical Movers and Shakers
Kids dance along to the beat on this Giant Colorful Keyboard. The colors on the keys correspond to different musical notes and can sound like a piano, guitar, saxophone, xylophone or accordion. This musical mat plays six songs, including classics like “Happy Birthday” and “Row Your Boat.” Little musical maestros can record their own tunes and play them back. Measuring six feet long, the keyboard is perfect for duets or that all-important solo.
Where to Buy: www.hearthsong.com
Interactive Fun for Busy Little Hands
Looking for something to keep those little hands busy? Gears! Gears! Gears! from Learning Resources offers hands-on construction fun with a twist. Kids don’t just build structures, they create moving machines with colorful gears, cracks, connectors and interlocking bases. Spark their imagination while boosting fine motor skills and encouraging problem solving. This deluxe building set gets kids sorting, grouping, counting, designing and constructing, all while having tons of fun!
Where to Buy: www.toysrus.com
Pretend Play for Animal Enthusiasts
Foster compassion for animals with this Deluxe Pet Doctor Kit, perfect for little animal lovers. Kids can play veterinarian and heal the sick puppy with the array of tools, including syringe, tweezers, otoscope, stethoscope, mirror and scissors. Transport the puppy in his crate, brush his fur and mark his stats on the tiny clipboard. The crate holds the puppy and all tools when not in use. This cute and affordable gift provides hours of role-playing fun for preschoolers.
Where to Buy: www.amazon.com
For the Little Chef Who Wants to Cook Along
Saturday morning breakfast will never be the same. With the Flip & Serve Pancake Set from Melissa & Doug, your little chefs can “fry up” two golden-brown pancakes on a pretend skillet, then serve them with the enclosed utensils. And don’t forget the fixins! The set includes wooden chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas and pats of butter to top the pancakes. Once the pancakes are just right, breakfast mavens can serve them up on a thick paper placemat with a gingham design.
Where to Buy: www.melissaanddoug.com
Perfect for Puzzle Lovers
“I spy with my little eye” is a refrain often heard on car trips. I Spy Preschool Game combines your child’s love of puzzles with important skills like listening, memory and cooperation. Kids match riddles with pictures and the pieces interlock so only correct answers are possible. There are multiple ways to play the game so it can be adapted to suit your child’s ability level. The variations include a matching game, a listening game, a rhyming game, a reading game and a memory game.
Where to Buy: www.amazon.com
Create Memories with a Book and a Cuddle
Introduce your kids to a childhood classic this holiday season. Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day tells the simple but beautiful tale of a young boy waking up to discover the first snowfall. Follow along with his adventures in the snowy city as he makes tracks in the snow, creates snow angels and attempts to save a snowball. Add in the Snowy Day Plush Doll to create the perfect cute and cuddly gift set for your little bibliophile.
Price: $26.50 for both
Where to Buy: www.amazon.com (book)
and www.amazon.com (doll)