Top Ten Christmas Gift Ideas By Sheila O’Reilly
I am so excited to share my top toys for Christmas from TickiT Education! For any of you who follow me on Instagram, you will already know that TickiT Education toys feature most days in our play set ups. This is the joy of open-ended toys! Children never tire of a toy that can be used and played with in countless different ways.
To kick off my gift list, one of my girls’ most played with toys:
- The Rainbow Architect set:
My girls (ages 4 and 7) have been playing with these nesting geometric shapes for over a year and they are still reached for constantly. The building and stacking possibilities are endless with this set. They have been stacked to build towers, houses, animal homes, zoos, play parks and ball runs; used flat to make shape pictures and animal enclosures, used for colour sorting and pattern making, for shape play and exploring the properties of shapes and for sorting/comparing sizes.
More recently I added:
2. The Natural Architect Panel set to their collection:
This set is a wonderful addition to the Rainbow Architect set. It allows for even more building opportunities and the panels are also useful for all sorts of shape play. My eldest has traced around the panels to make shape pictures and made shape imprints in her play dough.
Next on my gift list has to be:
3. Wooden Minibeast Blocks:
These blocks are so well-loved here. They are durable and chunky, perfect for little hands. I love that they are double-sided with a clear photographic image of a wide variety of insects and bugs from around the world. My youngest was absolutely fascinated by these blocks when she first received them and would spend ages pouring over them and asking me to name each one. Thankfully the set comes with a minibeast checklist which I definitely needed to consult! The blocks are also free-standing and perfect for incorporating into small world and imaginative play. My youngest loves popping some into her basket when we go out for walks, hoping that she will spot some of her favourite bugs in real life!
A great combination with the Minibeast blocks is the:
4. Easy Hold Magnifier:
This is the perfect magnifier for taking on adventures outdoors! It has a solid rubber wood frame with handles that are easy for toddlers and children to hold.
My girls absolutely love finding bugs to compare with their wooden blocks and using a magnifier to get a closer look.
Next on my list is:
5. Wooden Sorting Fruit and Vegetable Crates:
This set of five stackable crates contains 20 different fruit and vegetables from watermelon to aubergine! There are four colour matching pieces in each crate and they all have a hole for threading activities. The set comes with two laces with a chunky wooden threading end on each, perfect for young children beginning to develop fine motor skills. My girls love making fruit, veg and rainbow necklaces with their sets! As well as being a great resource for threading, colour matching and promoting healthy eating, the sets are brilliant for role play and oral language development. My girls love playing fruit and veg shop, weighing items, counting money to pay and give change and playing different roles- shopkeeper or customer.
Alongside the fruit and vegetable crates, the
6. Fruit and Vegetable Match is a great addition:
This set of wooden tiles has 14 pairs of fruit and vegetables, with clear, photographic images on each side of the tiles. A picture of the whole fruit/veg on one side and a picture of the corresponding sliced image on the reverse. My girls love to play with this set. There are numerous games which can be played including matching games, memory games and sorting activities. My girls discovered a vegetable that they were unfamiliar with through playing with this set and I had to buy an aubergine so they could explore a real one! Neither was impressed with the taste when I added it to their dinner😅.
7. Rainbow Gel Number Fish:
A very popular recent addition to our Tickit toy collection! The rainbow gel fish are such a fun resource for exploring numbers to 20. I love that the corresponding numerical dots are on the reverse of each number fish. They are bright and colourful and the gel-like beads are wonderful for sensory play. My girls love pressing and squeezing the fish! There are all sorts of activities you can do with these number fish including colour recognition and exploring colour mixing, counting, patterns, number recognition, sequencing, number bonds etc. They also work well with a light panel for exploring the transparency of the gel beads.
Leading on from the gel fish, the next two items are on my current wishlist!
8. A3 Rectangular Light Panel:
9. A3 Exploration Light Tray:
The A3 light panel is such a fun, sensory resource for exploring colours, lights and shapes. The panel is slimline with rounded edges and easily stored when not in use. There are three light level settings and it is easily wiped clean. There are lots of fun resources that can be used with the light panel including the rainbow gel alpha boats and number fish. Sensory squares and rainbow blocks also look completely different when used on the panel. Children will be fascinated exploring their toys on the light panel and seeing them from a different perspective.
The A3 extra large clear container is designed to fit the A3 light panel perfectly or it can be used as a stand alone tray for all sorts of play. The tray fits A3 paper perfectly so a variety of messy art and craft projects could be completed in the tray and it can be easily wiped clean. When used with the light panel, it adds a new and exciting dimension to toys and play. My girls would love to explore illuminated colours, textures and liquids and also see how different their toys look when placed on the light panel. Exploring shadows would also be a fun activity!
My final choice for this Christmas is:
10. Wooden Four in a Row:
Another one currently on our wish list, this game is brilliant for exploring patterns, developing problem-solving skills, improving fine motor skills and encouraging cooperative play. I love that it has a wooden frame and wooden counters and it is a great size! Perfect for indoor or outdoor play.
I hope you have found my Top Ten list useful for your Christmas shopping this year. Don’t forget to tag @tickit_education
and use #tickitplay to share your play and learning ideas.
I wish you all a very happy, safe and healthy Christmas! Roll on 2021!!