Did you know that working with your child at home can increase his or her intelligence? Kids who love reading later in life often credit the books that their parents read to them as children. They can also trace their intelligence back to the way they played during their younger years. Instead of letting your kids play video games for hours, encourage them to play with some of the hottest educational tools available. The top 10 gifts that will make your kids smarter in 2017 are suitable for kids of all ages as well as both boys and girls with different interests.
1. Magnetic Tiles Fire Truck Set
Any little kid who loves hearing the fire trucks race by will love this set, which lets that child build a fire truck from magnetic tiles. Those tiles give kids the option of building a red truck, an orange truck or one that uses both colors. It comes with two little firefighter figures that can ride inside or on top of the truck as well as a ladder. Designed for preschool students and kids over the age of three, the set also comes with a realistic light that flashes different colors.
2. Zometool Crazy Bubbles Kit
If your kids like blowing bubbles, treat them to this bubble kit that will test their imagination and their creativity. This unique kit comes with more than 50 small balls and other components that snap together to form different shapes. Each of those balls has small holes around the edges that change the size and shape of the bubbles blown. Kids can even make large bubbles that they trap inside their designs. The kit, which is best for kids six and older, works with store-bought and homemade bubble solutions.
3. BRAIN GAMES Nine Men’s Morris Strategy Game
BRAIN Games encourages kids to test their intelligence and strategy skills with this little game. Made from real hardwood, it comes with nine pegs in yellow and nine pegs with a blue top. Kids take turns trying to come up with the best strategy to win the game. As there are only six open spaces when the game starts, it’s a little harder than it looks. The lid lifts off to reveal storage for all those pegs inside too.
4. Tiggly Shapes: Educational Toys and Learning Games for Kids
Many parents now give their young kids an iPad or a tablet and download apps that supposedly help kids learn, but this set comes with real tools designed to boost your child’s intelligence. It comes with three different apps that you can download for free to any iPad. Instead of just swiping or touching the screen though, kids use the included toys to play those apps. The movements they make with those toys can help them develop and improve their motor skills.
5. VIAHART Brain Flakes 500 Piece Interlocking Plastic Disc Set
While many kids love building with LEGO blocks, those sets are often expensive and limit what they can do, but this interlocking plastic disc set lets them express their creativity in hundreds of different ways. Your kids will get a large plastic jar that contains 500 pieces in a variety of brighter and more neutral shades. They can follow the included instructions to make some designs, but the manufacturer encourages kids to use those pieces and come up with their own designs too.
6. Educational Insights Design & Drill Activity Center
Kids as young as three can improve their motor skills and learn colors with this activity center set from Educational Insights. Its also helps foster creative thinking skills and can assist with coordination development, which is especially important for preparing kids for STEM classes. The included electronic screwdriver uses three AA batteries and lets kids “drill” through bolts in bright colors. Your child will also get 20 cards with different activities listed on the front that work with the included tools.
7. TINKERTOY – Wild Wheels Building Set
Your kids will have just as much fun playing with and building this set as you did playing with TINKERTOYS as a kid. The 76 included pieces all work together to make wheels and vehicles of different sizes, and kids have the option of building their own or using the included directions to make some of the designs seen on the box. It teaches critical thinking and decision making skills to preschool children.
8. Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards
Teach your child pattern recognition, colors and other basic skills with this patterned set from Melissa & Doug. The set comes with five boards, and each board has its own pattern that requires kids pick the right block in the right color from the included blocks to recreate that pattern. Using this set regularly will help kids improve their fine motor skills and develop better hand to eye coordination.
9. K’NEX Education – Simple and Compound Machines Set
K’NEX toys are popular with kids who enroll in STEM classes later, and this K’NEX set is perfect for kids nine years old and up. This set comes with all the parts necessary to build simple machines like a Ferris wheel or a vehicle. The wheels that come with the set lets their creations come to life and actually move. An included teacher’s guide offers ideas for projects your kids can make too.
10. Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks With Wooden Storage Tray
Simple wood building blocks like this set from Melissa & Doug help foster the creativity that your children already have while encouraging them to improve their motor skills. The 60 pieces in the set let them come up with their own construction projects and buildings. Each piece, which has a smaller design to fit smaller hands, has sanded edges to prevent injuries. An included wood storage tray encourages kids to put their toys away after playing.