Time for another “MPMK Gift Guide Glimpse”… For those of you not exactly sure what I’m talking about, this is a day when we highlight one of our favorite sections of the:
Because I realize that our MEGA gift guides are a lot to take in- detailed descriptions and age recommendations of over 400 toys, books, games, and more divided into 15 themed guides takes some concentration to get through.
I’ve heard from several moms in fact, both via email and in real life, who have already spent a good hour or two immersed in them.
So this year, I’m trying to help you navigate the guides by highlighting some of my favorite parts. My hope is that it will help you find the perfect gift for under the tree!
Today we’re talking kindergartners.
This is such a fun age to shop for because they’re still young enough to be totally thrilled about something great and they’re old enough to play with some really innovative and fun stuff!
Here’s a glimpse at the 20 most exciting gifts your can give a kindergartner:
The Very Best Toys for Kindergartners (5 – 6 years old)
- Snap Circuits Jr $19.25 (5+ years), Snap Circuits $40.99 (8 – 15 years), and the Snap Circuits Student Electronics Training Program, down this year from $199.99 to $134.09 (8 – 15 years, younger with parental help)
This clever kit is the all-time-best-seller on our gift guides and another multi-award-winner that takes advantage of kids’ natural interest in building toys (like LEGOs) to teach the principles of electricity. The components aren’t intimidating, snap together simply, and can be used to create a bunch of cool projects. The standard set comes with 60+ pieces to create over 300 different electronic projects. The pieces include snap wires, slide switches, an alarm circuit, a music integrated circuit, and a speaker and are numbered and color-coded to make identifying them easy. These components combine to create working circuit boards just like the ones found inside televisions, radios, and other electronic devices. (Note: there is a conversion setthat turns Snap Circuits Jr into this bigger set when your kids are ready to move up.) For bigger kids, you’ll definitely want to check out the reduced priced Snap Circuits Student Electronics Training Program as well as the Alternative Green Energy Kit and Snap Circuits Lights – justconnect any MP3 player and be amazed as your music creates a mesmerizing light display. No two songs will ever produce the same light show. Includes prepunched patterns for motor, strobe light, and color-changing LED, lighted and glow-in-the-dark fans, strobe integrated circuit, color organ controlled by MP3 player, voice, or finger. Builds over 175 experiments.
- Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Kit $11.59 (3+ years), Dueling Double Stomp Rocket Kit $14.95 (3+ years) and Ultra Stomp Rocket $14.50 (8 – 16 years)
My kids both got to play with this at science camp this summer, during their study of physics, and fell in love. They both, my son especially, get a little hyper in the afternoon and I knew we’d all love having this around for them to stomp to their hearts content in the backyard. Lucky for us, we got one for C’s 6th birthday and I was absolutely right. The concept is simple, stomp (or jump) on the launch pad to send a foam tipped rocket up to 200 ft in the air. I like that both sets come with 4 rockets so the kids get to launch multiple times before running around to pick them all up and do it all over again. Obviously the glow-in-the dark aspect of the Jr. Glow Kit is pretty cool. Siblings will love going together, and not having to take turns, and hosting friendly competitions with the Dueling Double Stomp Rocket Kit. In summary, these simple battery-free toys are multi-award winners and get great reviews. Plus they’re cheap – gotta love that!
- Educational Insights Magic Moves Talking Electronic Wand $19.99 (3 – 10 years)
Normally I’m not big on electronic toys with lots of sounds and lights, but when said toy can help my kids get rid of all their pent up energy inside on a stormy day, it becomes my new best friend. This inexpensive magical wand uses 90 silly commands (sway, creep, stomp like a dinosaur, leap) and 26 songs, along with a light show to get kids moving. This is one of those rare toys that’s great for siblings of different ages to play together. It will keep the bigger kids interested (who doesn’t like having the mic and being the star of the show?) while developing listening skills in the younger set along with enriching their vocabulary and ability to follow directions.
- Mini Micro Scooter $63.99 (3 – 5 years)
Hailed as “the quality choice in 3-wheel scooters for young children” this scooter for bigger little kids has more than it’s fair share of rave reviews and awards (the Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio Gold and Platinum Award Seals for Best Toy, the Parent’s Choice Approved Seal, ‘Best Pre-School Scooter’ by Toy Report, ‘Best Outdoor Toy’ by Learning Express Stores and was featured on the NBC Today Show as part of its ‘Best Toys for Summer’ series). The key is the “learn to steer” design and back brake, both of which grant preschoolers an extra element of stability. Also, the Mini can be ridden inside while learning (or waiting for Spring) as the quality wheels, made especially for Micro, are non marking.
- Fashion Headbands Kit $16.79 (5 – 9 years)
This expansive kit gets lots of kuddos for being high quality, easy to use, and having a nice, big supply of materials included. Parents report that girls will spend hours designing, crafting, wearing and gifting their creations. This kit is a tried-and-true winner that will give your daughter lots to do and result in a set of cute headbands (that may even save you a little money).
- Crayola Inspiration Art Case $24.99 (3 – 12 years)
This 150 piece art set gets great marks for everything from it’s special looking case that keeps all the components snapped in place to the quality of the art supplies inside. If your child is getting serious about art, this gift will show them you are proud of their burgeoning skills and it’s sure to thrill. My son and daughter seem so much more motivated to create since they received their own art case- and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the attractive case has them always picking up their art supplies and taking care of them with pride.
Boogie Board 8.5-Inch LCD Writing Tablet $39.99 (4 – 12 years)
I had never heard of these awesome writing/drawing devices until a friend’s sister (who is also an elementary school teacher) told me about how crazy popular they are. Much like amagnadoodlefor older, more tech-savy, kids, these ultra thin and light “tablets” are a great way to encourage sketching and writing at home or on the go. And the price absolutely can’t be beat. Kids use the stainless steel stylus (or anything else) to write or draw. The board will retain an image indefinitely without power until it is erased with the touch of a button – and a friendly flash from the liquid crystal display. Comes in lots of bright colors so each kid can have their own, easily identifiable board.
- Twistz Bandz Rainbow Loom $12.99 (5+ years)
Billed by many as “the runaway toy of the year” a few years back, this award winning loom is the most exciting thing to happen to kid jewelry since the advent of the friendship bracelet. Using a special loom and the multitude of colorful twistz bandz that come in this kit along with a myriad of video tutorials available on YouTube, kids will spend hours happily creating with this fun kit.
- Learning Resources Pretend & Play School Set $25.89 (3 – 6 years) – This is such a popular toyand it’s no mystery why. Kids absolutely love playing school, especially when they have awesome props like this, and parents love how it fosters a love of learning. We bought it for my 4 and 6 year olds last Christmas and they play with it ALL THE TIME. From the manufacturer, “Part of the Pretend & Play line that fosters healthy early childhood development by helping kids interpret and imitate the world around them. The 149-piece set includes tri-fold board, grade book, stickers, hall passes, dry erase board, hand pointer, crayons, double-sided calendar, double-sided map, and more.” From a reviewer, “I gave this to my 6 year old last Christmas and it has been one of the most-played-with gifts ever. She is now 7 and she still pulls this out and plays with it all the time. She loves to play school with her younger brother. This set is perfect for 5-8 year olds. Highly recommend!”
- Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper $14.95 (3 – 10 years)
The key to a good indoor toy is it’s ability to wear a child out without requiring a lot of space to do so. This soft pogo jumper is an Amazon #1 Best Seller because it does just that. It will keep the kids happy (and get them good and tired) and you won’t have to worry too much about them knocking over your stuff (or each other).
- No Stress Chess $13.59 (5+ years)
When my kindergartner came home from school one day asking me to teach him to play chess, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I was excited because, despite spending a lot of our time together on sports-related activities, I have great memories of playing chess with my dadgrowing up. On the other hand, I was afraid he was a little young for it and might get frustrated and give up on the game all together. Enter “No Stress Chess”. This genius game uses cards to teach young kids how to play in stages. The cards tell you which piece to move, so even children (and adults) who have never played the game can jump right in. The moves for each piece are on the cards as well as on the game board and the first stage makes the game about chance, not skill – you simply draw a card and do what it says, perfect for learning how the pieces work. Once that is mastered, you can draw 3 cards at a time and decide which one you want to go with to introduce some strategy to the game. Finally, when you’re ready to play chess for real, just get rid of the cards and flip the board over to a traditional chess board.
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Share the list with your mom friends (they’ll thank you!) and don’t forget – you can also check out all 15 of our 2016 Gift Guides here or check out the one that you can use the most below:
All 10 of the MPMK Gift Guides, organized by your child’s interest, including:
Plus, our five guides organized by age: