Even this year, when everything we know about school has been upended, entering first grade remains a major milestone for kids— that and the holidays. By age 6, kids start to grasp the concepts of cooperation and sharing. They understand the importance of friendships, group play, as well as, some good ole jingle bell. And while they continue to have tantrums, they are able to better regulate their emotions and communicate their needs and feelings. The best christmas gifts for 6-year-olds help them with their development and encourage their love of learning and discovery.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children has some clear guidelines on the types of toys that will resonate with 6-year-olds.
The Best Toys and Gifts for 6-year-olds
- Toys that help with problem-solving, like puzzles and building blocks.
- Toys that facilitate pretend play, like transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture, dress-up clothes, dolls with accessories, puppets, and sand and water play toys.
- Toys that help kids create stuff, like art sets and modeling clay.
- Toys that encourage physical activity, like balls and bikes.
A love of science is just one slime experiment away. Let you kid play mad scientist with this 18 piece set featuring multiple science-themed activities. If you're itching to get something with the STEM label, this one checks that box too.
Kids work on their creativity and develop their spatial and problem-solving skills with these 3,000 precision-cut micro jigsaw pieces in 15 different colors. They can design whatever they want, or follow templates.
Imagine having an idea, say, a cow-dragon. Or a candy-fish. And seeing that flat idea come to 3D life. That's the beauty of the 3Doodler. The 3D pen lets artists bring their creations to life, using a variety of colors. The plastic hardens fast, thus allowing kids to literally create anything they can think of in 3D.
Encourage your budding Annie Leibovitz or Ansel Adams to view the world a little differently with this easy-to-use starter camera for kids. Your kid can drop this on the ground, throw it down, kick it around (not that we encourage these things but hey, we're realists), and it will hold up. It's an actual digital camera with a 2.4 inch color LCD screen and can take photos and videos and, of course, selfies.
In first grade, kids are getting their first taste of writing and storytelling. So activate their inner author and artist with this comic book set. They get a 24-page blank comic book, plus stencils, stamps, and markers.
We're all stuck at home this holiday season. And that's where dope set comes in. It's hours of educational good times, as kids make their own lip balms, soaps, perfumes, and bath bombs. And they get all the tools they need.
A portable, rolled-up piano that encourages kids to experiment with sound and rhythm. The rainbow keys make learning music that much simpler, and it has a record and play back functionality so kids can share their masterpieces with parents.
This set includes one laser peg and 66 tinted interlocking building pieces. Kids built whatever the hell they want and once the whole thing is connected to a power base, it lights up. It's an open-ended kit that is compatible with Legos, so it never gets tired.
A surprise toy we can get behind. Kids soak the shells in water. Then, they chisel away the sediment to reveal the creatures hidden inside each shell. And then they identify and classify each creature using the included guide.
A very cool audio player designed specifically for kids, this one either plays back custom content that you create, or content cards from the brand's curated library. It's Bluetooth-enabled, and the content cards run the gamut from storybooks to music to podcasts to math classes. If you're away, you can record your own card reading a book to your kid.
What exactly are Cubelets, you may ask? They're small blocks of hardware, with software inside. Each Cubelet is unique, so how kids connect them will change how their robot behaves. They use the app to manipulate the robot and change what it does.
One of the coolest Lego sets we've ever seen: Kids can build both Kevin and Stuart, and then rebuild Kevin into Bob. And each Minion has a very detailed intricate playroom on the inside.
The goal here is twofold: First, seafaring adventurers find weapons, cannons, and other things to help defeat the Kraken. Which brings us to goal number two....when kids do defeat the Kraken, his jaw will pop open, coins will fly out and the elusive, coveted treasure chest will be revealed.
This is not your grandma's marble maze. With 194 cubes and 5 types of exits, it can built and rebuilt and rebuilt over and over and over again.
Science isn't just what happens in a lab. It's seeing a leaf close up. Or figuring out that a drop of water isn't just a drop of water. This hardy microscope has 40x, 100x, and 400x magnification, as well as 4x, 10x, and 40x objective lenses and a 10x ocular lens made from optical-grade material.
Space cowboy archeologists dig through 26 different levels to dissect the alien and find the gem hidden inside. Best of all, it comes with its own dissection tray to keep keep the mess nicely contained.
The goal here: Build tricked-out motorized vehicles and machines, which can be controlled via an infrared remote control. Kids get 182 pieces and three motors that can be combined to make complicated creations in up to 10 different configurations.
This modeling clay won't leave unsightly stains on your couch, dries in 24 hours, and is entirely pliable and moldable. It's a great way for kids to get creative, without trashing your house.
The updated version of Botley still lets kids engage in screen-free coding. And he's still just as cute. But he now has night vision and does sweet 45 degree turns.
Dogs. Cats. Unicorns. Dragons. Mermaids. Or ... cars and houses. Kids get 85 translucent, colorful 3D shapes, including 14 square pyramids, 18 triangular prisms, 40 cubes, 6 hexagonal prism and 7 rectangular prisms, to build whatever they dream up.
This super-cool gift for 6 year olds gives Lego builders a play experience that combines the endless possibilities of LEGO construction bricks with a continuously updated augmented reality game app. Once kids are done building the ghost lab, they can scan the LEGO model with a phone to make it come alive and see crazy things happen.
Part chemistry set, part magic kit, this kit shows kids the science behind the magic. Magicians make powders change color, create a test tube crystal ball, and even come up with glow in the dark bubbling concoctions.
A fantastic coding kit that works without screens or devices.Instead of having to download apps and sync anything up, kids lay down a sequence of physical code cards to program the robot to move around, activate its output gear, light up its LEDs, play sounds, and be a general badass.
Zoobs are cool because they're made up of gears, axels and joints that snap, click, and pop together, allowing kids to build all manner of creatures, cars, and creations.
A creative treasure trove, this kit comes with a trio of wooden robots and everything kids need to customize them.
Kids will tap into their creative side with this soap crafting kit. When you mix glycerin with soap powder it becomes soft and moldable like clay, so kids can shape it into the creatures of their dreams, decorate them with waterproof googly eyes and other accessories, and then use them during bath time.
Sometimes all it takes to spark a few hours of imaginative pretend play is an accessory. This reversible cape doubles as both a king and a knight, so the possibilities are endless.
This fun STEM toy marries science and creativity, as kids work to first build a skeleton and then add layers of modeling clay to the outside. You can decide to create a gator, shark, chameleon or, perhaps the coolest, a hybrid creature of your own design. The instructional guide also includes impressive animal factoids.
Open-ended play is the best play and with this set, kids can build the roller coasters and cars of their fantasies.This killer set includes a motor, which powers whatever your kids build. Speaking of building, kids get 529 parts, including different sizes of connectors, rods, and wheels that click together for whatever configuration they want.
Five games fold into one convenient base and carrying case. Kids can kick a soccer ball that will never go missing as it's attached by string to the base, set up the net for a game of volleyball, try their hand at swingball or tailball, or throw the disc back and forth.
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