We received product in exchange for this post, but all opinions are my own. Affiliate links are included.
I don't think that playtime should always be educational. While I know some people do, I think kids should be able to just run around and be crazy sometimes. With that being said, I do believe that education is an important aspect of play. We've found some great products from GALT Toys that really bring out the fun, but sneak a little learning in there too.
As you know, Charlie is really working on his alphabet skills at preschool (and home) and loves anything he can do with them!
GALT Toys has some awesome puzzles that we picked out for Charlie. We picked the Alphabet Puzzles and the Opposite Puzzles. I love both of them and I know they're going to be a hit with him as well! While these aren't the types of puzzles Charlie normally does (he loves to do 100 piece puzzles and can knock them out in no time), these will let him work on some skills he is tuning.
We picked up a game for Charlie that I'm sure will be a hit. Pirate Pursuit is a game for all the pirate loving kids ages 3-7. It will help Charlie working on counting and taking turns and I'm sure he'll let his imagination go wild with a pirate story! Wind up the pirate galleon, then fill your loot bag with coins from the treasure chest before the pirates catch up with you. This can be played with 2-4 players.
And of course, GALT has some great products for little ones! Although we don't need to get squishy and soft things for Owen all the time now, they have them too!
Owen is a big fan of animals these days and like most babies (yes, I can still call him a baby), loves putting things inside other things! The Fill and Spill Barn comes with the barn that has a removable 2-piece roof and 8 animals: dog, pig, duck, rooster, cat, sheep, cow and donkey. All of the pieces are made with wood from renewable sources. This is aimed at ages 12m+.
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For more great gift ideas, visit the Holiday Gift Guide!