Are you looking for ideas for birthday gifts, holiday gifts, educational toys, or just new things to help teach and engage your preschooler? You’ve come to the right place!
As an Early Childhood Special Educator, I am a big believer in play-based learning. Kids learn best through play. I have created these lists to help you find toys that will help your child learn and grow through exploration, imagination, and creativity. I hope you will find them helpful, and if you have anything you’d recommend to me, I’d love to hear it in the comments!
The things that I am recommending are either products I have owned, or used in other places like schools I’ve taught at, play places, libraries, etc. If I have not personally used them, then I did my best to find products that are from brands that I trust with high ratings, and I will write comments stating that.
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Vestibular and Proprioceptive Toys
Kids learn so much through pretend play. The more opportunities a child has to pretend, the better. This develops the brain, and helps a child learn things like cooperation, problem solving, empathy, personal responsibility, social skills, motor planning, sequencing, and the list goes on. My two favorite brands are Melissa and Doug and Learning Resources, so I’ll have a lot from them.
As I look at my list of toys, I realize how many toys I have and have had over the years. Let’s just say my daughter was lucky that I was a preschool teacher long before she was born, it’s the only way she had access to so many toys.
I have a kidkraft kitchen. The doors are falling off, but it’s probably because it’s 14 years old. So it’s really lasted a while. It was a hand me down from my nieces and probably broke during one of our cross country moves. I would once again recommend looking on FB Marketplace for a kitchen. There’s always a bunch when I look.
These are my favorite books to use in my preschool classes. They are generally books that have a good rhythm, and kids are able to “read” with you because they are simple or have repetitive phrases. They are also good books to use with adaptive devices.
I don’t have time to add every single book I love, but I will try to highlight some of my favorites.
If you’re looking for some ideas for kids that are in elementary school (instead of preschool) here are some of my recommendations. I use some of these as activities to work on Executive Functioning Skills.