Here are a few of my favorite things you can get for the older kids that work not only work on a variety of skills, but are kid tested and approved for lots of fun!
Project Kid-do you have a crafter on your hands? If you do, Project Kid is a perfect gift for them. This book is filled with over 100 activities that can be completed using many items in your home. Kids can learn how to weave, make pom poms and design many things to decorate the home or bedroom. I love the Rubber-Band art and Puff-Pain Window Clings projects and plan on doing these with my older kids at work. To make this an even better gift, go through the book and pick out an activity you think the recipient will enjoy and buy all the supplies needed to complete it to give with the gift to get them started.
Diggin Wobble Deck-this gross motor gift is designed to get kids up and moving around. It is also great for working on improving executive functioning skills such as following directions, memory and focus/attention. Essentially, this is a balance board and Simon Says game combined. The board has five numbered, colored edges and each one has a sound associated with it. It will call out numbers, colors and sounds a child has to shift their weight so that part of the board touches the ground. There are three modes and multiple difficulty settings so kids can be constantly challenged.
Fashion Design Kits-Creativity for Kids by Faber Castell has some amazing craft kits and I especially love the ones they have for older kids. This kit comes with all the supplies needed to design and create a dress. I like this one because it includes a 12" dress mannequin that you can put your dress on once it is completed. Not only does it come with fabric samples and thread but all kinds of fun embellishments so a kid can be as creative as they want. Great for not only working on all kinds of fine motor skills, but also great for working on executive functioning skills and encouraging creativity. Follow this link to see all the different fashion and fiber sets you can choose from!
Spirograph Deluxe-I remember spending hours and hours playing with my Spirograph sets as a child
Make Your Own Comic-Lulu Jr. is an amazing company that has created products that encourage creativity, builds self-esteem and strengthens literacy and writings kills. This awesome comic book kit gives kids the chance to write, illustrate and publish their very own book. Once their story is complete and they have finished filling in all the pages, they send it in to Lulu Jr and they will print the comic out so it looks like a real comic book! What could be more motivating and exciting for kids than to see something they have created turned into a real book?
Little Bits Kits-for those kids who are interested in learning more about science, engineering and building things, look no further. The base kit comes with 10 color-coded modules that when snapped together, can make over 150, 000 circuit combinations. There are other kits to choose from which allow you to do different kinds of engineering activities. Kids are encouraged to design tons of different circuit sequences and come up with imaginative uses for those circuits including making a dimmer switch, a motorized car and a night light.
So here are a few of my top picks for the bigger kids you may have to shop for. While I know that many of the kids say they are too old for toys, I don't believe that you are ever too old to get toys at the holidays! Do you have any other great gifts that you like to give older kids in your life? I would love to hear from you about what has been a hit with your tweens. I am just a click away and love hearing from you all and getting new ideas!
If you are still shopping and looking for more ideas, be sure to check out my complete 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. You will find dozens and dozens of toys and games here for children of all ages.