Gift Guide to Educational & Fun Toys for Young Children

This post is based on the 6 Ohio Early Learning + Developmental Standards & contains affiliate links.

We’re 30 days away from Christmas!!!

Call me crazy but I haven’t even started shopping yet! (Well except for that crazy blow out sale Bath + Body Works had). So for the rest of the week I’ll be under my favorite blanket with a glass of wine of course, my family’s Christmas list + my laptop, making money while spending it.

When I initially started thinking about my family’s wants + needs, it prompted me to think about the things my childcare babies may want + need too. Since we are in the midst of a pandemic + I’m an avid online shopper anyway, I went right to my online home. Amazon! They’ve always been an amazing resource, but since March, they’ve been my go to (+ retail therapy outlet) as I’m sure they’ve been for countless others as well.

Being in the childcare industry since 2004 has made me approach toy buying from an educators perspective, so I rarely buy anything without a purpose. Which is why today, I’m helping you buy the child in your life Christmas gifts with intention. (Click on each picture for more details).

Language & Literacy

Exposure is everything when fostering a child’s language and literacy skills. In our childcare program, I intentionally expose children to various learning modalities to help them learn how to express themselves and communicate with the world around them. Here are a few helpful tools that teach just that.

Social & Emotional Development

Creating the space for a child to thrive in their social + emotional development not only builds their confidence + helps them become aware of + navigate through their own emotions, but it also helps them to create lasting friendships by instilling empathy for others. Check out these awesome gifts. (When getting books for babies, invest in board or video books. You’ll thank me later).

Physical Well-Being & Motor Development

Young children are known to have A LOT of energy! And since they learn best through play, help them stay healthy while building their fine + large motor skills. Other great gifts include ball pits (age appropriate of course), child sized basketball hoops + any type of coloring utensils.


I’ve said it before + I’ll say it again. Children learn best through PLAY!! If you want to teach a child something new, buy tools not toys. 

Approaches Towards Learning

Big ideas are often sparked by the smallest things. Giving children the space to learn at their own pace, according their own learning style promotes creativity + engagement. Take at look at these great gifts.

If you find anymore tools or toys with a purpose as I like to say, let me know so I can add them to the list. Have a great Thanksgiving & happy shopping! (don’t forget to make money while you spend it!)

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