When it comes to shopping for holiday gifts for kids of all ages, parents are always searching for entertaining gifts that are also educational! This week toy expert/educational specialist Meredith Sinclair joined me for an interview to dish on six must have holiday gifts for kids of all ages that are both educational and entertaining!
Candace Rose: What’s new in tablets for the little ones?
Meredith Sinclair: “Tablets are on a lot of kids wish lists this year. You don’t want to give them your tablet, you want one that is specifically designed for them. The first thing I’m going to show you is the LeapFrog Epic. It is for kids from three to nine. It grows and adapts right along with them and it’s the safest Android based tablet out there. LeapFrog actually did a survey that showed that less than half of parents ever put the parental controls on their own devices and they end up giving them to our kids…so we don’t want to do that. The LeapFrog Epic is perfect for this age because it’s got educational contact and it gives parents peace of mind knowing that they’re not going to stumble into something they shouldn’t.”
Candace Rose: What do you recommending for family fun and games?
Meredith Sinclair: “Board games have always been a favorite way to get family and friends together, right? So, Hasbro has a new twist on this, it’s the Hasbro Family Fun Pack. They have adapted four classic games: Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Risk and Scrabble into interactive video games. What I love about that is I have older games and they love video games and I love traditional games, so this sort of helps us combine those two and all play together. It’s great for family playtime.”
Candace Rose: How can you make bedtime more magical and educational?
Meredith Sinclair: “This is how you do it, you use Storytime Theater. This brings stories to life. All you have to do is have your child put their press and play piece onto the screen, and instantly their story comes to life projected on the wall, tells them the story. What I love is that there are eight stories in the series and there are three different modes. There’s a read to me mode that narrates the story, a read to myself mode for those emergent readers that helps them read at their own pace, and then a bedtime mode that tells the story and then projects this beautiful starry night sky that automatically turns off after 10 minutes. It’s perfect for magical bedtime.”
Candace Rose: What’s a great way to excite kids who love to create great works of art?
Meredith Sinclair: “I have a son who loves to color and draw and create artistically. He’s getting a little older now, and I’m loving that he’s totally digging this Color Kaboom Airbrush Studio. What’s great is it really gives kids the sense and feel of doing airbrushing. They have stencils in it, they have the black paper that really makes all of the colors pop. You can put it on paper, but you can also use fabric and other materials to airbrush on. My child was just obsessed with those, he used them over and over again, so it’s great for getting your kids to be more artistic.”
Candace Rose: Is there a great LEGO set you love this holiday season?
Meredith Sinclair: “Absolutely. LEGO every year comes out with a new set in their Winter Village series and this one is their sixth one – it’s the Winter Toy Shop. Just like every year, this year’s got charming accessories like a Christmas tree you can really decorate and a Frosty the Snowman that you can put together, and carolers that you can sing along with. What I love about it too is if you collect these every year you end up with this beautiful winter village that also encourages people to jump in and play.”
Candace Rose: What’s a good way to get children involved in the holiday spirit?
Meredith Sinclair: “Minted.com is one of my favorite sites. It’s typically known for their stationary and home decor, but this year it’s a place where you can take your children’s original artwork, upload it and then it can be created into these beautiful one of a kind pieces of art that they can then give grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends. It really gives their art a whole new life in these beautiful pieces of artwork or you can use them for holiday cards. You just do the same thing, upload their picture and then they transform them into these stunning holiday cards, so you can still do that over at Minted.com.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you Meredith! Where can we go for more information?
Meredith Sinclair: “All you have to do is go to ThunkNews.com/KidsGifts.”