Friday, September 21, 2012

4 Perfect Gifts for Grandchildren from Creative Grandparents

Christmas is coming and finding just the right toy for your grandchildren, young and a little older, can be a trick.  Grandparents need to be creative, frugal and (best of all) fun.  Here are some ideas for you.

I went to the mall today.  Here are a few that I spotted.  These are all available on Amazon or online at other places,  I have included links for your convenience:
  • iPad Protective Cover:  The one I saw had handles on the side that allowed the child to grasp the iPad and move it around.
 iGuy by Speck Products
Animals in Africa, 1000-Pieces Augmented Reality Puzzle by Ravensburg
  • Augmented Puzzle:  Parent magazine says this is one of the best toys for 2012. Your can download an app on an iPhone or and iPad that will bring the puzzle to life.   I am getting this for my family.
This groundbreaking new “augmented reality” line of interactive puzzles come to life with a free downloadable app that uses the camera function of your iPhone or iPad2 to animate the scene. 

  • Rocking Bowl:  If your grandchild is a toddler, we all know that keeping them active in the house can be a challenge.  Parent magazine also recommended this one.  The bowl is big enough for two toddlers to rock in and has rounded corners to cut down on injuries. One person that commented said that it rocks and soothes upset children too.   I liked this one too. 

 by WePlay
  • BuckleyBoo:  My daughter-in-law was bemoaning the fact that so few of this type of toy is available.  It is all about manipulation.
Thoughts on toys for girls...the Goldie Blox Toy:
The girls toy aisle at Target is still all pink. Actually it kinda reminds me of Pepto Bismol.  I am the grandmother of 7 granddaughter so I know that girls are NOT all about pink princesses and curvy dolls.  At least in our family they aren't. When I counted the toys that were the best of 2012 in Parent Magazine, most of them were toys that boys would love but girls might not be that excited about.  I don't know what the unknown quality is but it is missing.

I suppose that is why I was so interested in the article I found online by Rebecca C. Rosen of The Atlantic. It was called Can a Kids' Toys Bring More Women Into Engineering? The article opened with this:
Bob the Builder. Jimmy Neutron. Lego Man. Sid the Science Kid. Handy Manny.
The science-loving, tower-building cartoon heroes popular among kids today are all boys, or -- I suppose, in the case of Lego Man -- men.(Can a Kids' Toy Bring More Women Into Engineering? - The Atlantic)
Did you know that all of the engineers...well at least 90%...are men.  So when Debbie Sterling became an engineering student at Stanford, she noticed that she was in the minority by a 9:1 ratio.  You can see why she began to wonder "why"?  Sterling thinks now that it may have to do with the fact that the majority of the toys that foster engineering intelligences are in the "blue" aisle at the toy store while the "pink" aisle is devoted to pink dolls and princesses.  So she designed and is now marketing her Goldie Blox toy on Kick Start. The color is pink but the purpose is clear. She wants to give girls the self image that allows them to be problem solvers and be able to find a toy that helps in the "pink" aisle. She almost has enough money to go into production. Here is a video from the Kick Start page.

But while we are waiting for this toy to become available, we need to be looking for other manipulative that inspire concepts in math, science and engineering, something that will influence girls to ask for the toy for Christmas. If you have any wonderful ideas, let me know.

Have a wonderful day!


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