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Holiday gifts to learn with

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By GreatSchools Staff

Roylco® Scents Sort Match-up Kit

A new game to test your olfactory senses. Let your nose lead the way with a unique matching game! Explore a world of rich and wonderful smells. Smell a scent and then match it to the correct picture card. Set includes 30 distinct scents, from apples to flowers to freshly mowed grass. A variety of games and challenge levels keep children learning and having fun! The scents are in solid form and stored in self-sealing cups so they will last for years. Each of the double-sided picture cards contains a colorful illustration and is printed on plastic for years of use. Each set includes 30 scent cups, 30 picture cards and a comprehensive teaching guide. This is a good product for children and adults with special needs. Ages 4 to 8. ($39.99)

From National Parenting Center, Seal of Approval winners, 2008:

Planet Earth DVD Board Game

A visual feast and a entertaining board game may be the best way to describe the newest interactive DVD game from Imagination. The original presentation of this game, from the stunning Hi-Def movies right down to the playing pieces thoroughly impressed our testers. The Planet Earth brand is familiar to many for its breathtakingly beautiful photos and video, and it is all on display in eye-popping splendor. The educational component is superb and the lasting impact of the beautiful imagery is remarkable. The game play is quite straight forward and the video instructions ensure that everyone is on the same page. This is a great family game night package. Ages 8 and up. ($29.99)

Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock & Nightlight

A number of our parent testers expressed initial reservations about a child's clock that promises to teach children how to tell time. Upon seeing the adorable design of this wonderfully innovative clock and giving their children a chance to experience the method employed by America Innovative, those reservations quickly faded. They watched their children interact and quickly learn all about time, using games and a terrific face that lights up and the clock itself glows different colors. Children not only "got it," but they were eager to learn and show off their new knowledge. When they proudly announced that they had stayed in bed until the light turned green and it was 7:00 a.m., parents were on board and ready to proclaim this clock a winner. Ages 3 and Up. ($39)


Not every child begins their bicycle riding life on a tricycle; in fact, many parents are of the school of thought that the sooner children learn balance, steering and coordination, the sooner they can transition to a "regular" bike. Our testers were impressed with the solid construction and quality of the Skuut and the fact that it is easy to assemble with straight forward, clear instructions. There are no pedals or training wheels, but as children push off and scoot (or Skuut) along, they pick up the concept of finding a balance point. Ages 2 to 5. ($89.99)

MetKids section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Call 1-800-662-3397 for customer service.):

Silk Screen Factory

Would you like to create colorful, silk-screened masterpieces like those by Pop artist Andy Warhol found in the Museum's collection? This extraordinary kit makes it easy to learn a popular, and easy, stenciling process. Just snap the silk into the frame, slide in the stencil, and print. Perfect for transforming T-shirts, bandanas, cards, and more, the creative kit includes a bandana, 14 stencils, four brightly colored inks, silk sheets, and easy-to-follow instructions. Ages 7 and up. ($26)


With Magneatos, kids can now experience the thrills of magnetic construction in a bigger-sized format that is designed for small hands and huge imaginations. The strong magnetic balls and rods are a snap to put together and create an endless array of neat geometric configurations. The unique extra large size and bright colors of Magneatos can help kids develop fine motor skills and teach them about color and form. Magneatos will capture a child's attention and stimulate their imagination for hours on end. Ages 3 and up. ($27)

Comments from readers

"These are great ideas! Thanks."