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Top 5 Gifts We’re Buying For the Kids In Our Lives

TLI staff members spend a lot of time thinking about what helps kids learn so naturally, we’re always ready to gab about the best holiday gifts for learning. Here are a few of the things we’re buying for the kids in our lives

  1. Gifts For the Budding Scientist

Science gifts are all about getting kids to observe the natural world. To offer tools for exploration, put together a simple nature box with an unbreakable magnifying glass, a kid-sized insect net, or a simple flower pressing kit. For an entirely whimsical gift, order acorn cap candles for just $10 or see if you can make your own. 

A subscription to Ranger Rick, a kid’s nature magazine published by The National Wildlife Federation, is a favorite gift for Chief of Staff Marissa King. The magazine is packed with great animal photos, snippets of information, and a strong environmental message.  For older kids, Executive Director and former science teacher Jo Lein likes Britannica’s virtual reality experiences .  Gifts for Pretend Play 

2. Gifts for Pretend Play

To get the kids in your life developing new skills and vocabulary through pretend play, add a few wooden toys to your holiday gifting. Executive Director Jo Lein likes the themed toys from Melissa and Doug for toddlers to pre-kindergarten age children. Her current favorite is the usable cleaning set with it’s own storage rack. 

We’re also impressed with wooden pretend toys like this sewing machine from Bella Luna Toys or the Magnolia’s Kitchen Aid look-alike mixer for kitchen play. 

  1. Gifts for the Little Builder

For hours of building fun and endless geometry experimentation, Director of Leader Programs Nina Fiterman-Blue suggests Magna-tiles, a pricey but long-lasting gift for kids of all ages. For a wooden building options, try Haba blocks ball tracks or castle theme blocks. For fort building, grab a set of Waldorf Clips to easily hold blankets and fabric in place while building motor skills. 

  1. Gifts for the Budding Artist

Nina Fitzerman-Blue, Director of Leader Programs, likes to keep it classic with paint or chalk. For an art teacher-approved gift, check out 3-in-1 Woody sets that act like wax crayons, watercolors, and window paints in one package. Even older kids will love the zen-like quality of Buddha boards that just require water to paint and disappear a few minutes later. 

  1. Gifts for Little Readers 

Books are always an appropriate gift–any age, any interest, anytime! Nina Fitzerman-Blue recommends the Dahl collection for ages 7-9. For more ideas, get in touch with your local bookstore (we love Fulton Street and Magic City Books here in Tulsa) or look for book round-up lists based on topic. 

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