Fun educational gifts for the festive season

5 min read   •   November 18, 2021
Jacqui Smit – Copywriter

As the year draws to a close, the holidays are in sight! It will soon be the festive season, a wonderful time of relaxing, celebrating with family, and, most importantly (from a child’s perspective), gift-giving! As parents, you want to do the best for your child, and choosing appropriate and beneficial gifts for your little ones is no exception.

Presents for kids do not need to be just about keeping them entertained – they can also be used to further their education without them even knowing it! If you are at a loss as to what the children in your family might want or what suitable children’s gifts might benefit them most, take a look at these fantastic options:

1)    Books

At first glance, books may seem like a rather dull gift – but this could not be further from the truth! The right book for the right child is a perfect way not only to encourage them to practise their literacy and reading skills, but it is also a fabulous present that will allow them to learn, visualise, and fantasise!

There are a plethora of age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction books for children of every age and inclination. Chat to your child and find out what genres they are interested in to make sure you get them the perfect book they can engross themselves in while you make the necessary festive season party preparations, or just take a much-needed break!

Read more: Raising Readers: Tips for Parents

Optimi Home’s Optimi Plus has a wide range of books for the little ones in your life, from fun readers for the Foundation Phase to a large selection of for-fun reading material for children of all ages.

2)    Puzzles and board games

Although we live in the smartphone and tablet age, nothing beats an old-school, hands-on puzzle or a board game! Apart from allowing children to practise their logic and problem-solving skills, puzzles and board games are a great way to keep kids busy. They are also fantastic for wholesome family time as the whole family can play and bond together.

There are age-appropriate puzzles and board games for children of every age, making finding the right game a figurative piece of cake! Options to consider include classics like Monopoly (perhaps best-suited to older children), 30 Seconds, Cluedo, and so many more.

Read more: Benefits of playing games with kids

You can also consider educational kits that seem like a puzzle or a game to children while teaching them invaluable academic skills! One such kit is the Foundation Phase Maths Kit for Grades R – 3, which comprises 13 educational aids that function as toys while helping learners develop crucial mathematical skills like pattern recognition and counting.

3)    Educational computer and video games

While many parents have a knee-jerk reaction to hearing the phrase ‘video games’, the truth is that there are plenty of productive video games on the market. Playing these games can help children improve their ability to develop strategies and work in a team with other online players. There are also many video game platforms, making it unnecessary to purchase additional gaming hardware as there are games for every type of device – even your phone or iPad! Some great examples of educational computer games include Minecraft and even classics we might have played when we were younger, like The Oregon Trail and Reader Rabbit.

Read more: Video games: good, bad, or both?

Educational software does not just need to be a game, though! Many great educational computer programs teach children fundamental mathematical and language concepts in a fun way that children will not even recognise as teaching! Cami’s online and offline computer programs are an excellent option for learners to practise their mathematics, spatial reasoning, literacy, and more in a fun, interactive way.

4)    DIY models

Many of us grew up building and constructing toy trains, model ships, and other kinds of functional models, and these are still very much in vogue! Models that children build themselves are a great way to practise their motor dexterity while flexing their creative muscles. Toy models have come a long way since we were kids ourselves, and, nowadays, the models available for children are incredibly advanced and interactive beyond anything we could have imagined at their age!

A great option to consider for the children in your life is Resolute Robotics’ wide range of robotics kits, designed to enhance children’s 21st-century skills. The kits allow children to build their very own robotic and bring it to life through a combination of age-appropriate coding and engineering techniques. There is a product for every age, from the Novice course for kids in Grades 1 to 3 to the Master course for teens in the FET Phase (Grade 10 to 12). Check out the Resolute Robotics range here or buy your kit on the Optimi Plus store.