Below, Please Touch Museum shares holiday gift ideas for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-aged children.
Holiday shopping season has begun! Each year as Black Friday approaches, families ask Please Touch Museum for gift recommendations for young children.
For 2023, we’ve compiled a list of great toys that will help young children develop cognitively, physically, and emotionally as they learn through play. Take a look at our recommendations below. Keep in mind that every child develops at their own pace, so the listed ages are just suggestions.
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2023 Gift Ideas for Young Children
from the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia
Looking for a first ride-on toy? The Radio Flyer Scoot is a solid option!
The convertible pedals allow this toy to grow along with your toddler who will use it first without the pedals and then grow into using them as they develop the gross motor skills needed to do so.
This wooden ramp racer playset is designed with Montessori learning principles in mind including experiential learning, movement, observation, and free choice. Placing the racers on the ramps also helps develop fine motor skills.
When you introduce this toy to your toddler, be sure to let them explore and play on their own. This set has so much room for curiosity and creative play that it is sure to occupy your toddler for countless hours.
These washable crayons are the perfect way to introduce coloring and drawing to your toddler.
Designed especially for little hands, they help even the youngest children explore their creativity while giving a head start on developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
We know how much kids love playing at the Bassetts Ice Cream Stand in our Roadside Attractions exhibit! This playset from LeapFrog lets them continue the play at home.
The set helps develop fine motor skills through assembling ice cream combinations while also building memory and sequencing skills. It also offers plenty of room for imaginative play!
Every toddler needs a set of magnetic letters and numbers. Moving and arranging the magnets is an ideal introduction to discovering how letters and numbers work.
Look for a set that has a simple font with bold colors. While thematic shapes or patterns may seem cute, they can be a distraction that gets in the way of learning and processing the basic shapes. This set features soft, thick foam that also supports sensory and fine motor skill development.
A set of Magna-Tiles is a must have! Let your child’s imagination run wild and give them the freedom to explore pattern relationships and principles of cause and effect.
If this is your child’s first set, the classic 48-piece set is a great choice. There are also many themed sets to help stimulate imaginative play. No matter which you choose, hours of creative construction await!
This flexible and highly customizable construction set offers patterns to follow at first, if needed, but then the sky is the limit for what you can build. While having fun, kids will also be developing spatial reasoning and fine motor skills.
Remember playing with Lite Brite as a child? Today’s Lite Brite Touch offers all of the creative fun without the hassle of inserting, removing, and putting away the pegs — and still offers the chance to develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
The touch version makes an especially good toy for fostering creativity during car-rides or other travel.
This challenging pattern-matching game system supports the development of critical thinking skills as kids practice pattern matching and use trial and error strategies to find the path to success. It’s great for individual play but can also support shared play and problem solving.
This popular card game is fun for the whole family! As each player turns over a card, auditory processing, pattern matching, and hand-eye coordination skills are challenged to see who reacts fastest.
Competitive game play also helps develop patience and good sportsmanship skills. Don’t be surprised if it also leads to hilarious family fun!