You bought WHAT for Christmas?

Maybe you don’t have children and you’re at a loss for ideas for gifts.

Maybe you do have children, but you’re tired of giving endless toys that don’t promote thinking.

Atlas Educational has some ideas.

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Top 8 Educational (and FUN) Christmas & Holiday Gifts

1. Drawn to Life– Sit back and relax when they play this video game. It’s a critical thinking skills game that incorporates drawing and adventurous video game play. But, it’s more than just an adventure; more than just a drawing game. Help create the world by drawing the solutions-literally. Draw your character and parts of the world or  select from various provided clip art. It’s lots of fun for artists and non-artists who can create using their minds to solve problems.

2.  Apples to Apples– Board game meets creative thinking. Players choose several cards and compete to justify why their card matches the word given. It’s a great reinforcement for vocabulary skills, synonyms/antonyms, and creative thinking. I’ve played it with kids as young as 6 and adults will enjoy it too. MENSA winner.

3.  UNO/ SET /BLINK– All three are games that were traditionally introduced to gifted children. Math is based on identifying patterns and categorization. UNO, SET, and BLINK do both. They offer a variety of ways to play, a variety of themes, and are fast-paced fun for any age.

4.  Cooking/Baking Ideas– Whether it’s baking cookies or making a meal for 4, baking and cooking are excellent learning opportunities. These days taking some time to double a recipe is a fun way to learn math, reading, and time management.

5.   Anything by THINKFUN– These activities appear easy and they all start out that way gradually building your child’s critical thinking skills. From cute little frogs to traffic jams to solitaire chess and perceptual block games, ages 5 & up will enjoy these mind stretching portable activities. I’ve personally taken them on long car trips and they come in convenient sized bags. Winner of many educational game awards.

6.   Paper– Sounds too easy; doesn’t it? Is the child a marker and large sketchpad kind of kid, or a small sketchbook with Manga influenced colored pencils? Either way, you’ll get creativity and design from paper and writing tools.

7.  Origami– Who doesn’t like origami? Sure, you might get frustrated trying the really hard paper folding techniques, but they sure were engaging; weren’t they and I bet you never realized all of the geometry you were learning.

8. Legos– Yes, I know. Everyone knows about Legos and how much they can suck in a jumpy kid into building and following directions; but did you ever realize how much spatial understanding goes into building Legos at an early age? TONS. They are SO educational from a research-based standpoint; and watch creativity continue after they’re done building when it’s playing time. Did you know there are used Lego sites? Bricklink & Bricks and Minifigs are some pretty big sites to check out when you need extra pieces or when you’re ready to clear out the toy box for more.

So, why not consider one of these gifts? Why not know that you’re not only making a kid happy for Christmas, but also improving his mind?

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