Best Creative Gifts for Preschoolers


As the holidays approach and the kids’ wish-lists starts growing, I thought it would be nice to get some advice from an expert—a preschool teacher. In this post, the last of a three-part series on tips for preschoolers, Kayla Poole was kind enough to share her answer to “What are the best gifts for inspiring creativity at this age?” 

The following items all inspire endless opportunity for creative self-expression. In case it hasn’t been obvious in my previous posts, I believe the most impactful gift we can bestow upon our children is the cultivation of imagination…

1. Paint Your Own Rain Boots Kit, $26.95: What fun! Every kid I know would love this. Size guidelines recommend for children ages 4-7.

2. Wooden Maracas, $10: Because, noise! music! hooray! I love that these are made of wood and painted in such a happy color.

3. Create Your Own Wooden Train, $14: Most preschoolers love trains, so who wouldn’t want to build, paint and decorate their own?! (Also here.


4. Crayon Rocks

, $9.25: One can never have two many coloring utensils. Bonus: The particular shape of these crayons helps to strengthen the tripod grip in young children, which aids in developing early handwriting skills.

5. “Magic” Sand

, $25: Looks and feels like sand but functions more like silly puddy, providing for hours upon hours of moldable fun.

6. The Big Book of Art

, $17: A gorgeous, interactive book from Hervé Tullet. Features artworks that can be mixed and matched into hundreds of different combinations simply by turning a page, all of which are cut in two. Kids who explore this book are typically captivated by the colors, shapes and patterns, and thus inspired to create their own unique works of art.

7. Imaginets

, $30: Magnetic, contained, interactive…I could go on and on. Encourages visual thinking, spatial awareness and shape recognition. Great for the car, or those dreaded hours on a plane with little ones.

8. Play Tunnel, $15: If you have a toddler or a preschooler, you likely know how much they adore hiding and having their own secret space. This fabric tunnel easily pops open and then lays flat when not in use.

9. Cubebot, $15: Maybe it’s just my own students, but robots seem to be cooler than sliced bread to the preschool crowd. This robot, made from wood and inner elastic banding, transforms into a perfect cube and holds many poses.

10. Etch A Sketch

, $15: We all know and love this classic toy from our own childhood, but have today’s young ones been introduced? I recently brought one out in my classroom and the kiddos went wild! [Ed note: Hudson has been loving my old Magna Doodle board

11. Build A Wooden Treehouse Kit, $199: This wooden play tree house is composed of several smaller pieces that can be interlocked and assembled in a variety of ways, enabling unlimited creative exploration. Great for developing fine motor muscles and the concept of architectural planning and design.

Happy shopping! (And a big “thank you!” to Ashley for inviting me to share some of my preschool favorites these past few weeks.)

It’s been my pleasure, Kayla!  Kayla is a full-time preschool teacher and professional portrait photographer specializing in natural, emotive portraiture of babies, children and families. She lives and works in the NY metro area. When she’s not scrubbing finger paint off her classroom walls or chasing toddlers around Central Park, she enjoys yoga, baking and traveling her with husband. Find her here: Website / Blog / Instagram / Pinterest

P.S. Best toys for preschoolers. Best books for preschoolers. And a pinboard of all the past gift guides. I’ll be doing my own throughout the first week of December. 

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