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Recommended Gifts - Preschoolers

Crocodile Hop Floor Game

This floor game is a fun way to get your child to move their body while also practicing directions, colors, shapes, and numbers. 

Inside Trampoline

Does your child jump on the couch? All kids need to jump. Kids with sensory issues especially need to jump. This trampoline will fit into any living room to give children a safe place to jump. I like this trampoline because it is has six legs instead of four, which makes it sturdier and safer. The springs are covered by a oversize pad to keep little feet safe. Of course, parental supervision is still essential.

Kidcraft Dollhouse

Dollhouses are terrific for imaginative play. They're wonderful to help kids play out the emotions related to family issues ("Whoops....the pterodactyl just carried off the baby...too bad") and parents can even use them to initiate that kind of play. And many kids simply love them. 

Outfoxed Cooperative Game

4 to 7 year olds just love this wonderful cooperative game! Teaches basic logic, develops decision-making and memory skills.  And it doesn't take too long to play!

Melissa & Doug Cutting Food Box

This is one of my favorite toys for toddlers and preschoolers.  They cook, play house and restaurant, serve each other food, and pack bundles of food to run away to the forest. Cutting the food is so satisfying.

This set contains eight pieces of wooden food, a cutting board and a wooden knife. Food makes a fun CRUNCH sound when sliced. With 25 pieces, it's also a great way to introduce the concepts of part, whole and fractions. Comes in wooden box with slide-on lid. 

Age recommendation:  Some 18 month olds are ready for this kit, some aren't.  It will depend on whether they're likely to put small pieces in their mouths.  Older toddlers will love it, as will preschoolers.

Easy Playhouse Fairy Tale Castle

Kids love playhouses and they are great to have indoors.  You can make one yourself from cardboard, of course. But sometimes it's worth it just to set up a pre-made playhouse and start them playing.  I love that these come ready for kids to draw on and decorate.  Even if you reinforce with duct tape (often a good idea, especially for a birthday party or rambunctious three year olds), you can cut the duct tape when you're done, fold it up, and store it.  Pull it out again in a couple of months for another round of imaginative play.  

Air Hover Soccer Ball

The Air Hover Soccer Ball is the perfect way to get your kids to move their bodies. The ball works inside or out and easily glides over any smooth surface. That means your child can turn any floor into a soccer or air hockey field!

Anti-Nausea Seaband for Children

The Anti-Nausea Seaband is a wonderful remedy for kids who get motion sickness. Your child can use the band in the car, on a plane, or on a boat. 

Blocks: 60-Piece Standard Unit

Every toddler and preschooler should have at least one wooden block set in their toy collection. (My kids used them until middle school). These blocks invite hours of open-ended play. They are also a wonderful way to develop creativity and math concepts. 

Breathe Like a Bear

Breathe Like a Bear is a beautiful way to teach your child breathing techniques for self-regulation. The practices can be used anytime, anywhere and will help calm and also energize your child. 

Chewable Necklace

Does your child chew on his collar or sleeve when he gets anxious or excited? The solution is chewable necklaces! These necklaces provide needed sensory input and are also fun to wear.

Child-Sized Table and Chairs

Every child needs a child-sized table and chairs for drawing, building and working on projects.  If you keep it in or near the kitchen, your child can be near you but happily absorbed in his own "work."  Toddlers and preschoolers also prefer eating at child-sized tables instead of on booster seats or in high chairs, so if your child is eating without you, a child-sized table is usually a better option. This kind of table is also great if your child has a bedtime snack while you read their bedtime story. When my son was small, we had one in his bedroom and one near the kitchen, and used them both daily.

Cleaning Set

As Maria Montessori first told us, children love to clean, when they have child-sized tools they can handle. Great way for your toddler or preschooler to "work" alongside you as you do housekeeping, and a natural way for children to transition to real participation in the household.

Wooden Rainbow Stacking Toy

These gorgeous blocks lend themselves to creative play, whether your child is driving trucks under a tunnel, building a fort for his animals, or looking for gold at the end of the rainbow. Highest quality, long-lasting and guaranteed to be used for your child's entire childhood.

Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Building Set

This is a great building set that encourages your child to think critically and use problem solving skills while they create their own set ups. 

  • Kinetic Sand

    Kinetic sand is a wonderful sensory activity that kids can play with inside or out. Watch your child's creativity spark as they enjoy hours of open-ended play.

    Magna Tiles

    One of my favorite toys for preschoolers, Magna Tiles are great for open-ended imaginative play, while also laying the foundation for math skills!

    Ooze Tube

    The ooze tube is a great calming tool for all ages of children (and adults too!). 
     

    Parent and Child Puppet Set

    Puppets are invaluable to act out scenarios with children, from planned separations to potty training. Every home needs a "parent and child" puppet set to facilitate these "stories" and these dolphins are plush, adorable, and non-gendered.

    Peaceable Kingdom Hoot Owl Hoot!

    This is a fun cooperative game that focuses on the play while practicing strategies and problem solving! 

    Pit Balls in Reusable and Durable Storage Bag

    These balls will keep kids busy for hours. Just dump them in a kiddie pool or playpen to create your own ball pit.

    Sensory Play Table

    All kids need sensory play! And if you have a child who craves tactile experience -- Are you constantly trying to stop her from touching everything? -- she NEEDS a way to get her hands into textures. Solution: A play table to keep messy play contained.

    Note: This table has a space for both sand and water, which allows kids to mix them. I love that, because it makes the sand the right texture to build castles. For cleanup, just drain the water, let the sand dry, and put the sand back into its own side. You can also put sand on both sides, water on both sides, or introduce other sensory objects like shaving cream, small animals, ice, pasta or beans.

    Here's a great link from "Play-At-Home-Mom" with lots of ideas for using sensory tables:
    http://www.playathomemomllc.com/2011/10/sensory-bintableplay/

    Sit 'n Spin

    If your child loves to spin, this wheel is a great safe way to give your child that spinning input he craves, while building core muscular strength and stability.

    Sensory Bed Sheet for Kids

    If you have a sensory seeking, restless child who has a hard time self-soothing to sleep, this may change your life. Weighted blankets can be terrific to calm kids who need that extra security, but they sometimes have a way of sliding off a restless child. This wrap slips over the mattress like a pillow case, so it can't come off. 

    Spill Proof Paint Cups

    Kids love to paint, and like all art, it's therapeutic. These cups make painting very easy on the parents. The screw on lid will not accidentally come off, so spills are eliminated. And because the seal is airtight, the paint can be left in the cups without drying out! That means you can buy paint in cheaper large bottles, pour smaller amounts into the cups, and eliminate the chore of washing the cups in between. You can just leave the easel set up, with a splash mat under it, and painting becomes no big deal. Set of four, with colored lids (red, green, yellow, blue).


    Standing Easel

    Every child needs an easel. This one is well-built, with great features.

    Tumbling Mat

    Every child needs a padded Tumbling Mat. It can be unfolded to allow rambunctious play inside. It fosters motor skills. It keeps kids busy in physical play, so they sleep better. Babies can use it to learn to crawl and walk, toddlers, preschoolers and older to roughhouse and practice tumbling and gymnastics.



    Magic Cabin Take-Along Posable Pocket Fairies

    These are sweet fairy dolls that are great for encouraging imaginative, open-ended pretend play. 

    Wooden Shape Sorting Clock

    Another terrific Melissa & Doug toy! This toy will grow with your child, beginning with fitting the shapes, proceeding to learning numbers, and eventually to understanding how to tell time.


    Kids Audiobook Player & 5 Cards My First Classic Stories Collection

    Help your little one listen to audio books while you're busy with their sibling. Builds imagination, autonomy, and love of books, and you never have to worry about screen-intake.

    Sensory Sox

    This sensory sock is the perfect place for your preschooler to relax and get the sensory feedback they need. 

    Fabric Tunnel

    Crawling and tunnel play are excellent for muscle and motor skill development in toddlers and children. Tunnels lead to hours of fun and physical play! This tunnel collapses flat for easy storage and portability.

     

     

    Weighted Lap Pad

    This 3lb Lap Pad helps your kids stay calm and less anxious.

    Playfoam

    Preschoolers are free to express their creativity with this amazing sensory material.

    Monkey Noodle Stretchy String Fidget

    These fidget boodles are so fun to manipulate and provide much needed sensory and tactile stimulation.

    Balance Stepping Stones

    These balance stepping stones are a fun physical activity for kids! They practice balancing skills, jumping, and creativity. They can also be used inside or out.

    Magic Doodle Mat

    This extra large water drawing doodling mat encourages hours of creativity your kids will love!

    Sensory Stepping Balance Buckets

    This bucket set is a fun way for your kids to move their bodies while promoting gross motor skills, balance and coordination. 

     

    Sensory Swing

    This sensory swing can be installed indoors or outdoors and gives kids of all ages a safe place to self regulate. 

    LCD Writing Tablet

    Encourage endless creativity in your kids with this writing and drawing pad! Erase and start again or lock the screen so there's no accidental deletion. A great way to be creative without wasting paper!

    Kids' Toy Storage Organizer

    An organized play area makes it easier for kids to choose which toys to play with and can lead to a more peaceful family dynamic! This toy storage can make organizing your child's toys easy to do and easy for them to see and choose the toy they want to play with.

    Cash Register

    The cash register is a wonderful addition to pretend play. Not only will your child practice recognizing and using US money, they can also practice math skills while engaging in open-ended, creative play.