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THe best learning gifts for preschoolers

Is Santa looking for some fun learning gifts for your preschooler this holiday season?

Give Santa a helping hand with this ultimate list of learning gifts for preschoolers. It includes our tried-and-true favorites, from math to literacy to gross motor to music.

I promise, we’ve tried every item on this list and we love them ALL.

Do you need help organizing your gifts this holiday season?

I get it — the holidays are crazy. That’s why I made this cute set of printables to keep track of your holiday expenses and gift ideas.

This Holiday Gift Guide has lots of printables to keep track of your gift ideas for everyone on your list, as well as extra sheets to keep track of miscellaneous expenses. Best of all, it’s free!

Building Toys

Building toys are the ultimate learning gift for preschoolers because they are so versatile. Fine motor skills, executive planning, creativity, and imaginative play — it hits all those skills and more. But most importantly, my kids really, really love them!

Magnetic Tiles

magnetic tiles learning toy for preschoolers

This is it, you guys. This is my kids’ #1 favorite toy If you buy nothing else, let it be a big set of magnetic tiles. We’ve had them for over two years and they STILL get played with nearly day.

Do yourself a favor and buy a big set with plenty of tiles along with a few expansion sets, like this racing set or this expansion pack with extra cars and curved pieces.

It can also help to get a few extra stabilizer pieces for those super-tall creations — we’re always wishing we had more of these bases.

If you already have a set of magnetic tiles, there are some smaller sets that make perfect stocking stuffers, like this set of magnetic people or this set of extra magnetic cars (this is the most desired part of our collection, for sure!)

Marble Run

marble run toy learning gift for preschoolers

This marble run is one of our special time toys.

My four-year-old still needs a little help connecting the pieces, and we have to monitor to make sure the marbles don’t get lost (because we have a baby in the house). But as a result, this set has led to some really special family evenings after the baby is in bed. It is an awesome STEAM toy.


LEGO learning gifts for preschoolers

You can never go wrong with LEGO.

If your preschooler is ready to move beyond Duplo, check out this kit. As a bonus, it comes with this cute and practical giant LEGO box to store all the pieces.

Grimm’s Rainbow

Grimm's Rainbow learning toy for preschoolers

I won’t lie, the Grimm’s Rainbow was more for me than my kids. It’s just so stinking beautiful and I love how it looks in the playroom. You can stack it super high or use the pieces to build unique creations.

My kids use it to make mazes for their cars, to build giant bridges, and to create fences for their animals. This is a lovely open-ended toy for your playroom.

Subscriptions for Preschoolers

What preschooler doesn’t love to get mail? I like that these items keep things fresh in our house, and when we’re finished, we can recycle them — aka, no clutter!

Personal Magazine Subscription

Highlights High Five Magazine - subscription for preschoolers
National Geographic Little Kids -- subscription for preschoolers

A subscription to Highlights High Five or National Geographic Little Kids is a surefire winner for any preschooler.

We subscribe to both, and my daughter is SO excited when these arrive each month. They are interactive and engaging, and they’re perfect to throw in my purse when we’re headed to a doctor’s appointment.

Kiwi Crate

Kiwi Crate is the ultimate learning gift for preschoolers.

The kits come with three easy-to-do projects, and I love how most of the projects are low- or no-mess.

We always buy the subscriptions that come with an extra book, and we have been so happy with every single crate!

Ivy Kids Kits

My absolute favorite subscription box for kids is Ivy Kids Kits. My daughter loooooves it.

This kit includes a picture book and 10+ related projects, from art to math to science to literacy. The projects are flexible and work for little kids and big kids. They also allow you to add extra materials for a sibling for just $5.95 a month.

This is a great gift for grandparents to give to their grandkids! (hint hint, Nana & Pop-Pop.) They also ship to APO/DPO with no problem, which is great for us Foreign Service folks.

Musical Toys

We’re saving formal music education for the elementary years, but in the meantime, we have several musical toys around the house to pique curiosity and develop musical awareness.

These are some of our favorites. For more ideas, see my post about creating a pre-k music education curriculum.

Symphony Toy

symphony toy - music gift for preschoolers

I absolutely adore this musical symphony toy (and so do my kids). Children add instruments to the stage to hear the different instruments play the music, and they can also adjust tempo and volume. I also love that there are a few non-Western instruments on the board.

Mini Piano

mini piano for preschoolers

I just about died when I saw this adorable mini-Grand Piano. We bought it for our kids this year and they have SO much fun with it.

If you have a budding Schroeder in your home, this is the gift for them.

Literacy Toys

There are so many great ways to help support literacy at this age. At this stage, we aim for letter familiarity through casual, repeated exposure to letters, sounds, and letter formation.

While I bought all of these toys as part of our homeschool pre-k, I’ve been surprised how much the kids ask to play with them every day.

Alphabet Boards

magnetic alphabet board - learning and literacy gift for preschool
magnetic number board - preschool learning gifts

These magnetic alphabet boards come in upper case, lower case, and numbers. I bought them on a whim, but my kids LOVE them. They also make great travel toys.

My husband drilled a small hole in the pen and another one on the board and connected them with string to keep the pens from getting lost, but obviously you’ll want to supervise your kids if you use that hack to avoid strangulation risks.

Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix alphabet set - learning gifts for preschoolers

Have you discovered Wikki Stix yet? They are super-fun bendy wax sticks that can be used to create all sorts of things.

This kit comes with letter boards for literacy practice. This is another toy that is great for travel since it’s so low-mess.

Science Toys

I find it really helpful to have a few science toys around for both planned and impromptu science experiments. All of these have been winners in our homeschool pre-k AND our everyday explorations.

Magnet Lab

magnet kit - science toys for preschoolers

The Learning Resources Super Magnet Lab Kit is SO much fun. I set my preschooler up with a tray full of various components and let her explore at her leisure.

We’ve also used these magnets in art projects and formal science experiments. This is a staple in our house!

Lab Kit

preschool lab science kit - holiday gift for preschoolers

We received this preschool science kit as a gift, and we use it every week. In addition to traditional experiments, the test tubes and test tube holders are excellent for making potions, and we use the droppers and funnels for water play.

We keep these items in a basket on our bookshelf, and I find myself reaching for various tubes and bottles and droppers several times a week!

Gross Motor Learning Toys

I am a FIRM believer that gross motor activities are a critical learning opportunity for kids. Large cross-body movements develop key neural pathways and provide valuable input to their vestibular senses.

In other words? Get moving!

Stomp Rocket

Stomp Rocket - gross motor toy for preschooler

The Stomp Rocket — so simple, so much fun. It’s a STEM-toy in disguise — by adjusting the angle of the rockets and the force of your stomp, you can vary the path of the rocket. This has given us HOURS of fun.

Stepping Stones

Stepping stones - gross motor gift for preschool

I love how sturdy and versatile these Stepping Stones are. They are a permanent fixture in our garage, and are regularly incorporated into obstacle courses and games of “don’t step in the lava!”

Math & Logic Games

We play so many math and logic games in our house, and I’ve been amazed to see how quickly my preschooler has mastered counting, matching, problem-solving, and subitizing.

Any of these would be a great addition to your game cupboard.

Tiny Polka Dot

Tiny Polkadot - math game for preschool

Surely, you’ve heard of Tiny Polka Dot, the deck of math cards for kids. Our family can vouch for how much fun it is. I also like how the games grow with your kids — there’s something for preschoolers and something for older kids, too.


Little Red Riding Hood Smart Game

We own pretty much every SmartGame ever made: Smart Farmer, Snow White, The Three Little Piggies, AND Sleeping Beauty. They’re great for family game night, and it’s fun to mix them up.

Our favorite right now is Little Red Riding Hood. Most of these games can be played independently (which is awesome), but they’re more fun when played together!

Which Learning Gifts for Preschoolers Will You Pick Up This Year?

As a family who homeschools part-time, I’m always on the lookout for a good learning gift for my preschooler.

But obviously, gifts should be FUN! I promise that the gifts on this list will tick both those boxes: learning and excitement.

What are your favorite learning gifts for preschoolers?

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