This year my girls, aka master product testers, helped update the annual TinkerLab Gift Guides. After plenty of research, we added in new favorite books, games, and toys for little makers, artists, engineers, and mathematicians. Ultimately, we hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do. These guides are by no means exhaustive, but that would be overwhelming, no? Instead, these lists are here to help as a quick and easy place to start for your creative holiday shopping.
I’m an enormous fan of our many local mom and pop book and toy stores, and I would encourage you search these out locally. However, I’m also a sucker for the convenience of online shopping, so if you click on any of the images below, they’ll take you to Amazon for easy ordering.
To make your online shopping experience even better, be sure to scroll to the bottom of this email to see how your TinkerLab purchases will help children in Yaounde, Cameroon this winter.
Picture Books about Art and Creativity.
Harold and the Purple Crayon was one of my childhood favorites, and The Big Orange Splot was my husband’s. We’re so happy to have these on our kids’ shelves along with some of these newer titles. Click here.
Creativity Games for Families.
Yes, that’s a game about Bob Ross. 😉 If you’re looking for a long strategy game, Pandemic is amazing. My 8-year old wants to be sure you seriously consider Big Picture Apples to Apples if you have pre-readers in your family. Click here.
Picture Books about Math and Science.
Bedtime Math is seriously one of my favorite ways to sneak math into my kids before bedtime. They also have an app, with daily math stories, which is unreal. My kids highly recommend The Girl Who Thought in Pictures and Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers in Space (the whole series has stunning illustrations) and The Magic School Bus series is fun and packed with interesting facts. Click here.
Engineering and Building Toys for Kids.
Marble runs, Lego, and wooden blocks are staples in our home. The games and toys in this gift guide will keep little builders happy for hours on end. My kids recommend the wooden marble run. Click here
Family Game Night.
We’re a game-loving family and there are so many fun games in this collection! My personal favorite is Dixit. It’s so creative, entertaining for adults, and easy for even the youngest children to play. My girls adore Sushi Go (I haven’t been able to get into it) and Mancala. Well, they actually love all the games in this list, so you really can’t go wrong. Click here.
Favorite Preschool Art Supplies.
Last but not least, my book, TinkerLab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors, makes for a really cool gift when paired with some of the art supplies from our list of favorite preschool art supplies. These supplies are perfectly aligned with the interests of little ones. Top picks are washable paints and markers, playdough (you can also make your own!) and all the tools to go along with it, and fat brushes with an easel. Click here.
TinkerLab’s Giveback Promise
You can feel extra good about purchasing with our Amazon links because 25% of our Amazon income from now through the end of the month will be used to purchase art supplies for the Parents’ National Education Union (PNEU) School in Yaounde, Cameroon (pictured above). PNEU’s arts and crafts teacher, Bello Buba, reached out to share the art projects their children are working on. In Cameroon, 2.8% of the GDP (Gross domestic product) is spent on education (compared to the U.S.’s 7.3%). The children in the PNEU school have limited resources and our investment will help them create art with new tools such as paint, paper, glue, and scissors.
Thank you for all of your support, and wishing you a wonderful day.
p.s. If you have a copy of my newest book, Creative Adventures in Cursive, will you hop over to Amazon and give it a 5-star review? You don’t have to write a long review, just a few words is all it takes to help the book stay fresh in Amazon and reach more families who care about helping their child celebrate cursive writing. Thank you!