My girls love creating and doing all sorts of crafts and activities. They love building forts, playing with color, helping me cook in the kitchen and designing their own crafty creations with paper. Here are some toys my girls received for the holidays that encourage learning though play! We can easily include these kid’s activities in our preschool routine at home.
Sparkle Drill & Bolt Designs
Design & Drill SparkleWorks by Educational Insights encourages kids to practice creative thinking and motor skills while learning how to drill colorful, child-size bolts into the glowing activity board. My girls love creating their own designs or following the 12 included patterns. They can easily drill each bolt into the board and watch their design glow!
The bolts are also glow in the dark, a fun extra effect! The light-up activity board can be turned on or off with the flip of a switch and has a sound activation mold that responds to music or your voice. My 3-year-old can easily drill the chunky glittery bolts onto the board with the battery operated drill. Design & Drill SparkleWorks is a fun educational activity that feels a lot like playtime!
Scented Nail Polish
Did you know doing manicures can easily be a learning experience? It can! My girls are old enough to try painting their own nails, which helps them fine tune their motor skills. Painting nails also teaches kids how to follow directions, use caution to not spill or drip the nail polish and practice patience as they wait for their pretty fingernails to dry. We’ve especially enjoyed using Piggy Paint scented nail polish which comes in a variety of fragrances within darling little gift sets. Scented Piggy Paint fragrances include strawberry, chocolate, banana, blueberry, and apple just to name a few.
Best of all, Piggy Paint is naturally formulated with ingredients that are as “natural as mud!” Piggy Paint is perfect for little girls who love beauty products and enjoy decorating their nails with glittery color, without exposing kids to unnecessary chemicals. For increased durability, it’s helpful to top Piggy Paint nail polish colors with a natural Piggy Paint protective clear coat. What’s not to love?
Walkie Talkies for Kids
My girls enjoy going on adventures, even if they are just exploring the house. My kids love talking to each other using GeoSafari Jr. Walkie Talkies by Educational Insights, a fun way to share secret messages from opposite ends of the house. Kids can use these walkie talkies within a range of 300+ feet (90+ meters). The simple design includes speakerphone-action, no-slip rubber grip and built-in sound effects.
These walkie talkies taught my girls how to use a communication device and learn the steps required to speak to each other from a distance. Kids can press the leaf shaped button to “make a call”, which makes a sound on the other walkie talkie. Once the other child presses the leaf shaped button to receive the call, the kids can speak to each other continually using the speakerphone feature. This walkie talkie design makes it much simpler for young kids to talk to each other, without needing to press a button to talk each time. GeoSafari Jr. Walkie Talkies are simple enough for my kids and their cousins ranging in ages 3 to 6 to use and enjoy.
Art & Science Activities
My daughter had fun showing me how to use her Crayola Magic Scene Creator. This glowing screen comes with markers and motion cards which create seemingly animated scenes when placed on the screen! The light-up activity screen has tiny black and white contrasting lines which continually move upward when turned on, making the holographic activity cards appear to move as the lines pass behind the designs.
Kids can draw their own pictures and add the animated characters and designs into their scenes. The Crayola Magic Scene Creator comes with 70 Motion Cards and 6 Gel FX Markers. This artistic activity set is fun to use and gives kids’ art a “magical” effect. When my girls ask about how the designs are moving, I can explain to them the science behind how it works!
Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush is another fun science-inspired art set. Kids can create colorful art without the mess using the clear Color Wonder paints that only work on Color Wonder special paper. The Magic Light Brush even lights up to match whatever paint color my daughter is using.
When kids dip the brush into the green paint pot the brush turns green. Try the blue paint and the brush changes to blue! The Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush comes with 6 classic colors and 18 sheets of Color Wonder Paper. Kids can easily create colorful art without making a mess on skin, clothing or the table top. I also train my girls to use the paint carefully and not waste it, a great opportunity to teach kids to take care of their special art supplies.
Ocean Sensory Box
When we are not doing art or going on adventures, my kids enjoy playing with a themed sensory bin and exploring sensory textures. This Ocean Exploration Discovery Box by Revelae Kids includes a variety of miniature sea creatures, sparkling gems, bright crystals, tiny white shells and colorful aquarium plants. My kids enjoy scooping up the water beads and collecting the colorful acrylic jewels within this ocean-themed sensory bin. Kids can use the miniature creatures such as star fish, octopuses, fish, sharks and dolphins to create a detailed underwater scene alongside the ocean plans and sensory water beads.
The water beads come in small seed-like balls and need to be soaked in water for 8 hours before use. Water beads are non-toxic and are super fun to squish and scoop. The Ocean Exploration Discovery Box is a good teaching opportunity to train kids to be gentle and not smash all the water beads or throw them on the floor. I also train my kids to wash their hands before playing with their Discovery Box sensory bin. Clean hands help to keep the sensory textures, tiny animals and miniature gems clean and usable for a long time.
If our Discovery Box does get dirty with use, I can easily wash off all the animals, gems, shells, and plants and buy more water beads at a very affordable price. Revelae Kids themed sensory bins are great for teaching toddlers and preschoolers fine motor skills, encouraging independent play and helping to increase kids’ attention spans. Everything comes in a play box with a lid for easy storage. Discovery Box sensory bins do have small pieces and they are recommended for kids ages 3 and up.
Do your kids love creating, crafting, exploring, coloring, practicing new skills and discovering new things? These kids’ STEM toys and sensory activities are helpful to fill long afternoons with constructive play and encourage creative learning!
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, DIY projects, photography, homeschooling my kids, traveling, and serving people. I’ve previously worked as a graphic designer, web designer, journalist and barista. I started Create. Play. Travel. to share some of our creative projects and family adventures. I hope you enjoy the highlights of our creative family life!