Giftable Goodies Under $25: Preschool Toys and Games

With the holidays around the corner, we understand that shopping can be stressful and pricey! Here is a list of great preschool gift ideas—all under $25!

Puppet-on-a-Stick™ (set of 3)– $23.99

Ages 4+

Three oversized, easy-to-handle puppets on sticks inspire imaginative play with silly faces, movable mouths and endless possibilities.

Get your puppets here: http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/puppet-on-a-stick–8482-+%28set+of+3%29.do?from=Search#

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game™– $21.99

Ages 3+

This award-winning preschool game develops matching and sorting skills, strategic thinking, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and pre-handwriting skills. To top it off, it’s fun to play with the whole family. What more can you ask for?

Get your copy at your local Target or here: http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/the+sneaky%2C+snacky+squirrel+game–8482-.do?sortby=ourPicks&sortby=&&from=Search#

Magic Moves® Electronic Wand– $19.99

Ages 3+

Nothing gets the kids up and movin’ like Magic Moves! Ninety fun physical commands, twinkling light shows, and 26 musical tunes to get little ones up and moving! This powerful wand not only gets them exercising, but it also promotes creativity and listening skills. Perfect for indoor play on rainy or cold winter days!

Check it out here: http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/magic+moves–174+electronic+wand.do#

BBQ Blitz!®– $24.99

Ages 4+

This burger building bonanza helps work fine motor skills, color recognition, and matching while having a flipping-fun time with the whole family.

Get your grill on here: http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/bbq+blitz!–174-.do?from=Search#

Buck, Buck, Moose!™ Game– $12.99

Ages 4+

Buck, Buck, MOOSE! This fast-action, color-matching card game is perfect for preschoolers! This riveting ranger game will help your little ones with color matching, speed, and sportsmanship.

Check out the forest fun here: http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/buck%2C+buck%2C+moose!–8482-+game.do?from=Search#

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From Inspiration to Conception: Puppet-on-a-Stick

EI toys and games manager Brent Geppert has something up his sleeve — a puppet! Raised on The Muppet Show®, this former college radio DJ and longtime puppet lover puts on nightly puppet shows for his two sons, complete with voices and sound effects.  Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at his award-winning invention: Puppet-on-a-stick!

All kids love puppets, yet most puppets are difficult for kids to operate. I set out to make a puppet that was suitable for little hands: a puppet that would inspire instantaneous puppet show fun.

 

I experimented with various form factors like dry erase, Mr. Potato style pieces, removable hair, fixed hair, bendy arms, no arms, etc. But, after I presented my idea to the team, we all felt that a standalone puppet with no removable parts would be best.

This is the original idea I presented to the team in December 2010.

[First working prototype, January 2011]

I eventually made a second working puppet out of a solid wood ball I purchased at a furniture parts store. After that, I applied a clay skin, added googly eyes, then “bada-boom-bada-bing”: Puppet-on-a-Stick was born!

[2nd prototype, February 2011]

The new prototype was an instant hit with the team.  My manager said, “Make two more faces—and we’ll have a set of three.” So, after some internal “clay-storming,” I came up with two more faces.

These are the final clay and wood prototypes that I sent to our factory for production.

Here are the internal mechanics that we have under “patent pending” status.

[“gray hand samples” from the factory]

These are the puppets that the metal injection molds would be made from.

[Final production images]

Psst! These puppets make great stocking stuffers!