Horizon Kids ToysThere is nothing wrong with giving your child the latest gadget or the hottest toy as a gift but you might consider gifts created with child development in mind. Children of all ages benefit from getting books but we know that books are not the only way to stimulate a child's mind. Children learn through play and when we offer them toys and games that are designed to enhance certain skill sets we are ensuring that they learn and grow even as they are having fun. At Horizon Education Centers, we provide time for structured learning and time for play. Here are some ideas for gifts to keep your child thinking:

Young toddlers (18 mos. - 2 years)

At this age children really want to do the same things they see adults doing so toys that allow them to imitate you like toy garden equipment, toy cooking equipment and toy cleaning machines are great. Toy animals, toys that talk (be prepared for lots of repetition) and dolls and figures that are designed for toddlers are also good gifts.

Toddlers (2-3 years)

A child's motor skills improve as they age and they can handle toys that they were not able to work with at early stages in their development. At the age, you can give your child interlocking blocks, tool sets, and building blocks. This is the time when children really begin to relish their independence and welcome the chance to show how they can complete tasks on their own.

Preschoolers (3-4 years)

At this age children understand more about money, so gifts like a toy cash register, play money, and games that involve numbers and counting are useful. This is also an appropriate age for toy musical instruments, games that involve memory, and simple puzzles. At this age, the toys and games can be a little more challenging, as long as they are not so difficult that they frustrate your child.