Christmas 2018 is just around the corner.
And now the rush for finding the best Christmas gifts for preschoolers begins.
But don’t worry. I can help you.
Shopping for toys (or anything for that matter) can be overwhelming with so much selection.
There are hundreds of different blocks to choose from, for example.
Or how are you even going to begin trying to figure out what doll to by your nephew. Yes, I said Nephew, here’s why!
Perhaps you should invest in the newest tech gadgets for 3 year old’s.
After all they will turn that little preschooler into a prodigy, and if not that at least she will be a grade or 2 ahead of the kids who weren’t so lucky and didn’t get that great toy.
That last sentence was meant to be read with a sarcastic tone.
If you are new to Seeme & Liz, I am not a fan of battery operated toys for young children.
The ones that do all the talking and “teaching”. And with good reason!
So you won’t find any very “techy” toys on this list – actually there is one that made it. Some will require batteries while many won’t.
If I have already written an article about a particular toy or group of toys, I will make sure to link to it.
If it is a new toy to Seeme & Liz then I will provide some information about how the toy can help with your preschoolers language development and learning.
These toys have been chosen for the quality, value and of course because they will facilitate a child’s language development and learning.
For the sake of this article, preschoolers are children ages 3 and 4. The toys listed are in no particular order.
11 Exceptional Christmas Gifts For Preschoolers
Ready, Set, Bodies (Alex Toys)
This would make a great gift for an inquisitive 4 year old. Or for a child who loves arts and crafts.
Ready, Set, Bodies is a hands on kit that comes with 8 activities for children ages 4 and up to participate in.
By making these crafts children can learn about different functions of the body, including stretching a piece of tape over a paper cup and then tapping on it to simulate a heart beating.
They can also build a skeleton, breath through a straw into a paper bag, which they can decorate, to simulate breathing and make a braille alphabet chart.
This kit will help boost your child’s understanding of concepts, logical thinking and vocabulary.
Cozy Coupe Vehicles
My kids loved their Little Tikes Cozy Coupe car.
The only reason we got rid of it was because they were getting stuck in it all the time (they are meant for 1-5 year old’s, not a 7 and 9 year old!)
The Cozy Coupe line of vehicles includes cars, trucks, police and fire trucks and shopping carts.
There are many benefits to ride on vehicles such as the Cozy Coupe ones.
To see how they can benefit your child from a language and learning perspective click here.
KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen
A kids play kitchen is my Number 1 Recommended Toy!
Every child should have one.
Because I love toy kitchens so much, I have written the following articles about them!
The 5 Best Kids Play Kitchens: They Will All Encourage Language and Learning! – This article is packed with speech and language tips!
The Uptown Espresso Kitchen made this list because it is great value for the cost (just over $100 on most online retailer websites).
It also has a sleek modern look and should fit with the style of most homes, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be hidden away because it’s an eyesore.
And KidKraft is known for their high quality children’s toys.
We had a KidKraft play house that was a hit in our backyard.
Cash Register (Learning Resources)
A toy cash register can be an accessory to a play kitchen or it can be used on it’s own.
My kids have this cash register and use it with their play kitchen, but also without.
It works well for older children too since they can use it to work on money concepts as well as doing some addition and subtraction in a play situation that parallels ones they have seen in real life (for example, going shopping with an adult).
A cash register is a fun way to extend the pretend play and role playing.
Children can take turns being a cashier and bagging groceries or being a waiter/waitress in a restaurant and ringing in orders.
Melissa and Doug Dress Up Clothes
Dress up clothes are a great way to encourage more pretend play!
And they also make wonderful Halloween Costumes. But the opposite is also true.
If you have Halloween costumes laying around, they can be used for creative and imaginative play.
Be sure to take a look at the learning benefits of dress up clothes for children and why costumes shouldn’t be packed up once Halloween is done.
Dress up clothes for kids can also be used in combination with toys such as a Cozy Coupe car, play kitchen, etc.
My kids have several of the Melissa and Doug costumes.
They all come with some accessories and are very well made.
I recently did a review of this toy.
You can read all about it here.
The Code-A-Pillar is meant for children ages 3-8.
I am not usually an advocate of these techy toys for preschoolers, however I do feel that the Code-a-Pillar would make a great gift for the child that already has a lot of the other toys I am mentioning.
PLAYMOBIL Take Along School House Playset
Pretend play is an important part of childhood development.
It’s one of the reasons that it makes up such a large portion of this website.
The PLAYMOBIL sets have some great themes, including this School Playset!
When children first begin participating in pretend play, they often role play situations they are familiar with.
This is why many children love playing “house”, “school” and “doctor”.
These are all routines children know a lot about.
Guidecraft IO Blocks® Building Toy
This toy offers a great spin on traditional blocks.
I love that they can connect together in a variety of ways to create an assortment of different figures including vehicles, buildings, etc.
These blocks will help facilitate fine motor and problem solving skills as well as spatial concepts.
All of the IO Blocks® building toys sets can be used in combination with one another.
The IO Blocks® sets also come with an augmented-reality app.
The app has 3D instructions that children can use if they need some help with building.
The instructions can be paused at anytime so children won’t have to feel rushed.
Melissa & Doug Fold & Go Wooden Barn
Toys don’t need to be big to be fun.
The Fold & Go Barn is a perfect example of this.
It’s a great size for little hands and can easily be packed up with the animals and other accessories stored safely inside.
This barn is so simplistic that when you see it next to some of the other toy barns and farm sets out there you may think that they forgot to finish the product.
But this is the beauty of it.
There are no batteries needed, it’s not covered in bright colors, letters, numbers or words. It’s an empty slate that can be whatever an imaginative child wants it to be.
Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House
Did you know that children who start doing chores at a young age may just be more successful as adults than those who didn’t?
Here’s some information from a 75 year longitudinal study to back up that claim!
While sweeping and washing the floor might not be age appropriate for 3 and 4 year olds, they certainly can be made to feel as though they are helping with this “Let’s Play House” set by Melissa and Doug.
It can also make a great addition to a playhouse or play kitchen to extend the pretend play that is going on!
You can use this set to talk to your child about the importance of cleaning and what each item in the set is used for (NOTE: all items can be used for light cleaning, except for the mop which isn’t meant to get wet). Introduce new vocabulary such as “bristles, dusting, dust pan” etc.
I did notice that some of the older reviews of this product were negative, advising the product was poor quality (which is not typical of Melissa and Doug toys).
However, if in fact this cleaning set was made poorly, it seems that it has been improved based on the more recent reviews. You can read the reviews here.
B. Doctor Kit
Going to the doctor can be scary for a young child. But when you have a pretend play doctor’s kit around, children can step into the shoes of a doctor.
I love all of the B. toys!
They are well made and perfect for young hands and minds.
A doctor’s kit allows for hours of role playing, but it can also teach skills such as empathy, taking another person’s perspective, problem solving and prediction.
Introduce your preschooler to new vocabulary such as: stethoscope, syringe, blood pressure cuff and otoscope (that has a hole through it so you can look into an ear).
This kit comes with 9 pieces and a carrying case!
And it is safe for children as young as 18 months (most doctor kits are recommended for 3 and over).
Now You Can Start Your Christmas Shopping For Your Preschooler!
This list could easily have over 100 Christmas gifts for preschoolers.
But that would be overwhelming and probably cause more frustration than anything else.
Children do not need many toys.
Rather it is about the quality of toys a child has access to.
By quality I mean how the child uses it to play and consequently learn.
Speaking about quality, be sure to head over to the website Bonnie and create your free account to be notified if any of your kids toys have been recalled!
Bonnie is a free service that will notify you if a product you have purchased has been recalled.
This isn’t only for toys either. It includes just about any kind of recall, even groceries!
I have carefully chosen these toys because they are wonderful from a learning perspective.
You may have noticed that none of these toys claim to teach preschoolers academic skills and that is because young children don’t truly learn from these types of toys.
Childhood development involves so much more than early academics.
And here’s why I feel this way!