If you have kids in your life, the holiday season is a magical time. Few forms of gift-giving are as gratifying as shopping for children, who engage in play with great passion and know more than anyone else how to keep the focus on fun. Encourage this enthusiasm with gifts that pair entertainment with education in new and creative ways. At Launching Success, we can help you choose innovative and engaging gifts that help kids become lifelong learners while taking adults along for the ride as well.
For babies, it’s all about learning while doing. Bright colors, appealing materials and simplicity are the name of the game. For the youngest among us, a My First Rainbow is ideal for free play. Each of its arches is devoted to a different color (standard colors or pastel), helping to teach babies about colors and get them started down the childhood path of stacking any and everything in sight. Even better, the My First Rainbow’s arches are made from smooth silicone, and double as a teether.
When the founders of toy company La la boom learned that the average lifespan of a child’s toy is six months, they decided to find a better, more sustainable way. Their brightly colored Snap Beads—which come in sets of various sizes as well as Sensory Balls and Beads, Rainbow and Beads, and more—are specially designed to keep kids busy from 10 months through 3 years old. Whether they’re identifying colors and shapes, putting together a chain of Snap Beads or trying to find a treat hidden inside one of the beads, they can do it all with the same durable, entertaining set of La la boom toys.
Jumpstart the creativity of the budding builders in your family with Plus-Plus toy sets. The award-winning toy has invented a building block that is genius in its design and simplicity: it comes in one shape and two sizes and can be used to build anything your child’s imagination can come up with, in 2D and 3D. No need to buy various sets with an endless array of sizes and shapes. All Plus-Plus sets are compatible with all others. Plus-Plus Go! sets even come with wheels so your little speed-racer can build the hot rod, crazy cart or fire engine of their dreams.
Many kids dream of building their own robot and this holiday season you can help make that dream reality with a Kids First: Robot Factory and Robot Safari kits. Each kit gives kids the opportunity to build not just one but eight different robots, each with its own set of attributes and movements, all with parts designed for smaller hands. As they bring their robotic creations to life, kids learn basic mechanics, improve their reading ability and learn to follow constructions. And no one will blame you if you “borrow” the building kit and build your own robots after the kids have gone to bed.
Kids are masters of play-acting, inventing elaborate scenes and scenarios that occupy them for hours and days at a time. If you have an amateur Robin Hood in your life, equip them with a Faux Bow 4.0. This bow-and-arrow set is safe, sturdy, and designed with a soft grip perfect for little hands. It comes with six soft-tipped arrows, to allow your archer-in-the-making to launch an arrow up to 100 feet away without having to worry about anything other than improving their accuracy. Safe for kids and teens.
Kids and adults can get in on the action with the Balance Jousting Set. The setup is simple: opponents stand on balance boards, get their “boppers” (which look like giant, super-squishy Q-tips) ready, and when it’s go time, joust away at each other until only one person remains on their balance board and is declared the winner. A great indoor and outdoor activity appropriate for kids and adults, this toy is perfect for positive redirection: You can stop sending your feuding offspring to their rooms and send them to joust it out instead.
If your little artist is also an animal lover, provide them with their very own Klutz Mini Clay World Pet Adoption Truck to pass the time creatively. The kit has materials and instructions for sculpting, building and baking 15 furry and feathered companions from oven-bake clay, along with grooming supplies to get them ready for adoption. Once they’ve been created, the adoptable companions can be housed for display in the durable chipboard truck that comes with the kit.
Chameleon Kidz! Art Portfolio 14 Marker Creativity Kit: This multi-use, multipurpose gateway to artistic freedom comes with pens, posters, stencils and an airbrush to keep kids ages 6 and older engaged in exploring their creative impulses. The kit is a great introduction to the Chameleon Kidz Color Blending system, which features 14 water-based markers and seven mixing chambers, allowing for 91 different color-blending combinations and endless possibility for tones and gradients. Kids can put the pens to work on the eight magic reveal posters and two stencils that are included and then store their works of art in the customizable art portfolio.
Few traditions have stood the test of time quite like family game night, and the holidays are an excellent time to work new games into the rotation.
For folks who like the suspense of stacking games, a new spin on classic Jenga is a great way to spend the time between the end of Christmas dinner and before dessert. Much like regular Jenga, removing and replacing blocks from a tower is the objective of Jenga: Godzilla Extreme Edition. Unlike standard Jenga, Godzilla looms over the tower, coming closer with each turn and roll of the dice. If he gets too close, the whole thing comes crashing down.
Also in the stacking realm is Buildzi, which offers six different games with one set of building blocks for kids ranging from 6 years old to adult master stackers. The 32 multicolored interlocking shapes appear simple but within them contains endless fast-paced, high-energy stacking action. Play one-on-one or in teams, and engage in a little friendly stacking competition or opt for the “I rule this world!” variation.
Few games are more fun than air hockey—and few homes have room for a full-size air hockey table. That’s where Klask enters the scene. Using an innovative yet easy-to-operate system of pins and magnets, you can use your Klask “striker posts” to send the yellow game ball into your opponent's goal. Just be sure and avoid the pitfalls of the mini magnets and, like in air hockey, accidentally knocking the ball into your own goal is always a hazard with Klask. The first person to reach six points wins and, best of all, Klask is compact enough to set up just about anywhere.
When the kids get a bit older, you can up the degree of difficulty—and the hilarity—with a game like Telestrations Upside Drawn. In this madcap competition, one player operates the pen and does the drawing and the other player is in possession of the board. To further complicate matters in the name of fun, the drawings are created upside down. There may only be one winner, but everyone is sure to have a great time.
Whether you’re gift-shopping for a baby, an artist, a future engineer, an active youngster, or a whole family, Launching Success can meet your needs for gifts that are innovative, educational and, above all, just plain fun.