At Bright Horizons®, your child will be safe, well cared for, and supported by professional trained teachers who love what they do. Bright Horizons’ curriculum is age appropriate and custom designed to encourage curious, happy, and confident children at every age and stage.
Through Bright Horizons Smithsonian Discoveries, children will have the opportunity to participate in a series of project challenges: Collections, Music and Sound, Buildings and Construction, Self-Identity, and Patterns. Each project challenge begins with children engaging with artifact images from the Smithsonian®, offering additional learning opportunities as teachers observe and reflect on children’s interests and ideas.
Children see patterns all around them — in their homes, schools, and more — and they start recognizing and associating them with thoughts, feelings, and memories at a very young age. Hands-on exploration gives children the opportunity to design and create their own patterns; it helps them make sense of what they see in their communities and the world around them; and it helps them understand why patterns are important.
Giveaway: For a chance to win a classic set of Magna-Tiles (value $50) — the original 3D magnetic building sets for ages 3+ that engage young minds by fusing together math, science, and creativity — simply leave a comment below naming your child’s favorite toy or game. This giveaway will run through Friday, October 21, 2022, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!
This post and giveaway are sponsored by Bright Horizons, however, I only promote places, programs, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.
[Note: This is a guest post written by Kimberly Stephens, founder of Red Jellies, a fully independent review service that helps you discover the very best books and toys on the market.]
Everyone wants to give thoughtful children’s gifts, but many of us don’t have time to spend wading through product reviews or shuffling their kids through the mall.
That’s where Red Jellies comes in! We provide truly independent, easily accessible advice on knockout children’s items based on our rigorous product research and testing.
Our mission is to help you find quality gifts without spending a gazillion hours typing “best toys for X-year-olds” in Internet search engines or losing hours of time reading online product reviews. We scour the market so you don’t have to.
To get you started, we selected a few of our very favorite toys by age. For even more gift ideas sorted by age, category, or product type, check out the Red Jellies website.
All kinds of easels, reviewed!
Best Toys for New Babies Teddy Bear
MSRP: $25 Why We Love It: Ultra soft, super cute, 18-inch teddy bear. This Gund plush makes for an adorable nursery decoration and eventual first lovey.
Pirate Rattle & Teething Set
MSRP: $16.95 Why We Love It: With a crinkly pirate’s hat, interesting stripe pattern, and (pleasantly!) musical parrot, this rattle and teething set is stimulating and engaging.
Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds Spinagain
Fat Brain Toys
MSRP: $29.95 Why We Love It: This crowd-pleasing stacking toy helps develop eye-hand coordination. The fast spin is an extra (mesmerizing) bonus!
Manhattan Toy Co.
MSRP: $20 Why We Love It: 15-inch, super soft doll with embroidered features, removable clothes and diaper, and a magnetized pacifier. Perfect first doll.
Ultimate Alphabet Train
MSRP: Around $50 Why We Love It: Great for riding or pushing, this colorful toy train is perfect for little ones one the verge of walking. Includes alphabet blocks, a walkie-talkie, and a storybook that teaches singalong songs.
Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds Wooden Farm Magnets
MSRP: Around $24 Why We Love It: Adorable magnets spark creative play and develop gross motor skills as little ones move them around to create farm scenes. Highly durable.
MSRP: $29.99 Why We Love It: Durable, lightweight tea set for four encourages pretend play. Made from recycled materials. Dishwasher safe.
Camper Van Playset
MSRP: $50 Why We Love It: Camper van, interior table, and detachable surfboard offer a variety of pretend play possibilities. Four peg figures and a dog. Pricey but high quality.
Best Toys for 3-Year-Olds Day at the Beach
Build & Imagine
MSRP: $39.99 Why We Love It: Awesome building and pretend play combo. Use illustrated magnetic pieces to design the surf shop and cafe. Comes with two characters and 42 magnetized accessories.
Mini Deluxe Scooter
MSRP: $89.99 Why We Love It: Let’s get moving! Littles steer this well-made scooter by leaning in the direction they want to go. Smooth ride. Adjustable T-bar height. Develops balance and coordination.
Fire Chief Costume
Melissa & Doug
MSRP: $29.99 Why We Love It: Cute costume inspires independent and cooperative play. Well-made, durable, and machine washable.
Best Toys for 4-Year-Olds Color-a-Cape
MSRP: $21.99 Why We Love It: A great art project that leads to dramatic play.
MSRP: $26.99 Why We Love It: A beautiful 3D wooden puzzle that promotes problem solving and spatial reasoning. With 48 challenges of varying difficulty, it continues to engage kids as they grow.
MSRP: $13.99 Why We Love It: Draw cards and match colors to complete the most snakes. Boosts matching, spatial logic, and turn-taking. Great first game.
Best Toys for 5-Year-Olds Quadrella Xcellerator
MSRP: $149.99 Why We Love It: Different colored blocks have different functions, encouraging spatial reasoning and logic as little engineers construct marble runs. Includes model design suggestions.
Blue Orange Games
MSRP: $24.99 Why We Love It: A twist on the classic tic-tac-toe game: larger pieces can “gobble” smaller ones! Builds memory and strategic thinking. Quick play.
Fossil Hunter Lottie
MSRP: $24.95 Why We Love It: Calling all paleontologists! This high quality doll is ready for the dig. Small size convenient for travel. Bonus that Lottie looks like a kid (no makeup, jewelry, or high heels).
Best Toys for 6-Year-Olds Go Go Gelato
Blue Orange Games
MSRP: $19.99 Why We Love It: Little shop owners must plan ahead to match their customers’ gelato orders by passing scoops between cones. Great beginning logic game with sweet components.
MSRP: $64.99 Why We Love It: High quality inline skates for youth rollerbladers. Adjustable length allows skate to grow with your little one’s feet.
Fort Building Kit
MSRP: $129.99 Why We Love It: Little adventurers build the forts they’ve always imagined with this high quality kit. Excellent for planning and motor skills. Note: Fabric not included. Use blankets or sheets.
* * * * *
Giveaway: For a chance to win your choice of one toy from a selection provided by Red Jellies, simply leave a comment below telling me what item tops your child’s holiday gift wish list. (Easels, marble runs, math games, and more are among the selection from which the winner can choose for a prize that’s age appropriate for their child.) Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too! This giveaway will run through December, 17, 2017, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!