9 Great Places to Find Educational Gifts for the Holidays

This is the time of year for gift-giving, and it’s not a surprise that I like to give my children educational gifts mixed in with the toys. The great thing is there are lots of fantastic places offering educational games, activities, books, kits, and crafts for every age group. Here are some of my favorites!

qwirkle41. Mindware – Brainy Toys for Kids of All Ages

This catalog specializes in toys that encourage strategy, critical thinking, and other cognitive skills. Standouts include Qwirkle (pictured), an award-winning game for the whole family, and original coloring books that feature three-dimensional, geometric, and kaleidoscopic designs.

2. Learning Express Toys

This fun company has a wide array of great toys, including science kits, a microscope set, art activities, blocks, and many hands-on toys that stimulate imagination and creativity.

3. Montessori n’ Such

Not only does M n’ S have a vast selection of Montessori-type materials (matching cards, objects, and animals for sorting and classification), but they also have wooden toddler and preschool toys, as well as hands-on activities for astronomy, geology, and biology.

4. Acorn Naturalists – Resources for the Trail and Classroom

This store has a lot of great nature items that you can’t find anywhere else, including materials for studying animal tracks, life cycles, the seasons, and weather. My kids love the 2-way magnifying viewer and the animal puppets.

archiquest15. Museum Tour

Browsing the Museum Tour catalog or website is like walking through the world’s largest museum gift shop. Amazing toys, games, and activities of every kind are featured. Topics include space, physics, architecture, and history. I’m partial to the ArchiQuest creative building system (pictured) which features wooden blocks printed with beautiful detailed designs inspired by architecture around the world.

connectagons16. HearthSong – Toys You’ll Feel Good About Giving

This catalog features beautiful, high-quality toys and activities. I love the award-winning Connectagons building set (pictured) and a wide array of science kits and activities.

7. Michael Olaf Montessori Company

This perennial favorite of Montessori schools worldwide features all the “stuff” that makes Montessori classrooms such a feast for the senses. Colorful mobiles, wooden rattles, and tiny chairs are part of the delightful offerings for 0-3; educational posters, art cards, and books about the history of language and math are featured in the 6-12 catalog. They offer some of their products for online purchase, and you can request a catalog to see their full line of products.

crystal18. Young Explorers – Creative Educational Products

This catalog emphasizes hands-on, intriguing toys and activities that make science fun. I like the Smithsonian Crystal Growing Kit (pictured) and the Snap Circuits Alternative Energy Kit.

9. For Small Hands – A Resource for Families

This helpful catalog has everything you need to make your house a Montessori home. From tiny pitchers and vases to child-size brooms, gardening tools, and aprons, everything is high-quality and supports the Montessori philosophy of independence.

Any more great places to shop, or ideas for fantastic educational gifts? Please share!

Just a note: I have not been compensated in any way by any of these companies. I’ve ordered from each of them, many more than once, and have always been pleased with the products and the customer service. If you have questions about products, shipping, or availability, please contact that specific company directly through their website.

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13 Responses to “9 Great Places to Find Educational Gifts for the Holidays”

  • Palmy said at November 17th, 2010 at 1:23 pm :

    Thanks for these links!

  • Lori Bourne said at November 17th, 2010 at 2:28 pm :

    You are very welcome!

  • Museum Tour said at November 17th, 2010 at 3:14 pm :

    Hi Lori,

    Thanks the endorsement! Much appreciation.

    We just posted some coupons if your readers are looking for a good deal!


    Jennifer Costello
    Museum Tour

  • Lori Bourne said at November 17th, 2010 at 4:28 pm :

    Wow, thanks for stopping by, Jennifer! I will have to use one of those coupons myself 🙂 Love your catalog!

  • Ann Killeen said at November 17th, 2010 at 4:28 pm :

    Thank you for including our For Small Hands catalog in your list of places to buy from this holiday season. We appreciate your notice of our wonderful selection of practical life products. The Montessori community is a small one and it is wonderful when we are able to reach out and support one another.

  • Lori Bourne said at November 17th, 2010 at 5:26 pm :

    Hi, Ann! Thank you so much for stopping by. Anytime I have ordered from Montessori Services or For Small Hands, I have been so pleased with the quality and the customer service. Thanks for doing a great job!

  • Alex Freeman said at November 19th, 2010 at 8:56 am :

    Thanks for including HearthSong among your top 9 places to find education gifts. I’m glad you like out products and find them appropriate for your audience.

    I wanted to make sure you are aware of HearthSong’s sister Brand, Magic Cabin. Magic Cabin products are geared towards imaginative play and things in line Montessori philosophy. I recommend you take a look around when you get a chance; I think you’ll find that Magic Cabin is another great resource for your readers.

  • Lori Bourne said at November 19th, 2010 at 2:57 pm :

    Thanks for stopping by, Alex! Magic Cabin looks like another great place for beautiful toys and activities. I’m glad you mentioned it.

  • Colleen said at November 22nd, 2010 at 1:49 am :

    Super list of where to find cool gifts. Thanks for sharing, Lori.

  • Lori Bourne said at November 23rd, 2010 at 8:14 am :

    Hi, Colleen! So glad to help. Hope you find some great gifts!

  • Stephanie said at December 7th, 2010 at 2:05 pm :

    Hi Lori,
    I think the parents of my students might find this post useful…can I send them a link?

  • Lori Bourne said at December 7th, 2010 at 2:28 pm :

    Hi, Stephanie! Yes, absolutely! Great idea 🙂

  • Barbara said at December 7th, 2011 at 2:23 pm :

    Thank you Lori. Museum Tour appreciates your endorsement. If your readers are looking for discounts, we have some nice coupons online.