Fun and educational Christmas gifts for children

Christmas is just around the corner and it is time to think about what to give to your children. If the gifts you give them are didactic as well as fun, your kids will be learning and developing their skills while enjoying their free time.

The toys and games your children use to play with and have fun say a lot about them. Their playing styles shape their personality in a great way, and parents are responsible for this. The playthings you give your kids will outline their way of having fun both in their childhood and also further along in their adult life.

Here are some Christmas gift ideas that will educate and entertain your kids, check them out:

Memory games
Memory games help kids to improve their concentration and attention. They are advisable for all children but particularly recommended for hyper-active kids that have problems focusing. The "Original memory game", "Animal match-up" or "Who is it?" are common board game options to give this Christmas.

Jigsaw puzzles as presents will also improve memory. The good thing about puzzles is that they can be given to children of all ages � it all depends on the number of pieces.

Numeracy games
Many popular games such as Ludo, Monopoly, Sudoku or Domino are based on numbers and mathematical operations. The reason for this is that, after all, maths is a fun way of challenging our minds.

There is a wide range of numeracy based games available to make your children have a fun and entertaining time � as well as educational.

Aside from traditional games, there is also a wide range of numeracy-based PC games that you could give to your kids. Children love computer and videogames so this could be a good way of introducing them to the fun part of maths.

Language games
Language skills, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, foreign languages... the good thing about language games is the wide diversity they offer. Scrabble, Articulate, Perplex City and Last Word are only some examples.

Educational films
This idea aims to point out how effective audiovisual stimulation for children is. It works very well for kids at all ages because videos and movies generally "hypnotise" them - you must have noticed it already!

The key here is to make the most of this inevitable attraction and give them educational films to watch. They don't need to be slow and boring documentaries - the important thing is that films are made for a young audience and introduce to children new knowledge of different countries or cultures.

Furthermore, you could take advantage of today's DVD possibilities and buy or download a movie that your child knows in English, but in another language. This will help their language skills improve.

Strategy games
Strategy games, such as chess, Risk, Backgammon or card games offer children the possibility to train their strategic intelligence and tactical skills.

General knowledge
Board games that include questions of general knowledge - such as Trivial Pursuit or Smart Ass - will improve the cultural skills of all their players � adults included. As long as the difficulty level goes accordingly to the players' age, games will be fun and also educational.

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