If you've got a brainy little boy or girl on your holiday shopping list, take a look at our educational gift ideas!
Ni-Hao, Kai-lan: Super Happy Day by Leapfrog. Kids learn addition, subtraction, shapes, and social skills by completing mini-quests and then spending time sharing and helping others, by making dumplings, helping Rinto race, and playing dress-up with Kai-lan. (Ages 4-7. $24.99. Available at Toys "R" Us, Walmart, and Target)
Educational Insight's Hot Dots Jr. features a unique set of interactive cards that quiz your preschooler in addition, subtraction, word problems, and shapes, as well as colors, letters, and patterns. Guided by Ace, the talking, teaching dog, your child will be prompted to tap his answers on to the flashcards;Ace's direction encourages independent learning.(Ages 3-6; $12.99 pen, $14.99 per set of cards; www.educationalinsights.com)
Racin' Mathematics tests your child's skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as they advance through 12 levels of difficulty and earn points and cups in the bonus rounds. (Ages 7+. $14.95. Available at www.franklin.com and www.amazon.com)
Fraction of the Pizza Game: Players dish up a delicious looking pizza pie-and get plenty of hands-on practice with fractions. Draw fraction picture cards and match them to numeric fractions on the game board. The first player to match up all of their fractions wins the game. For 2-4 players.($24.95. Available at www.lakeshorelearning.com)
3-In-A-Row Multiplication Multilevel Games is a fast-paced partner game for reinforcing multiplication. The game mats gradually increase in difficulty, so children can practice at just the right level. Just spin the built-in spinner on the game mat to select two numbers, find the product, and then cover the answer with a chip. ($24.95. Available at www.lakeshorelearning.com)
The Best Multiplication Songs EVER! CD, created by Dr. Corey Green, is filled with simple and familiar tunes with lyrics that help kids learn their multiplication tables. There are also music-only performance tracks that allow kids to practice the "lyrics" on their own, which helps with memorization. (Ages 6-12. $14.95. Available at www.abligio.com)
Ditch the gadgets and let your little ones play with this durable, modern version of an ancient mathematics tool. The Ten-Row Abacus engages children in both visual and hands-on learning. Ten colorful rows of sliding beads help early learners understand counting, addition, and subtraction. Includes activity guide. (Ages 5-13. $16.99. Available at www.learningresources.com)