Several years ago, I thought I would help out the parents of my gifted and talented students by writing about some games, toys, or books that I thought might make good purchases during the holiday season. I called the series of posts, “Gifts for the Gifted,” and I have continued to do it annually (except for 2019) every November and December. These gifts are suggestions for any child – not just those who qualify for a GT program. Sometimes I receive a free product for review, but I am not paid for these posts, and I never recommend a product that I wouldn’t buy for my own child. For past “Gifts for the Gifted” posts, including my ongoing 2022 list, you can visit this page. I also have a Pinterest Board of Games and Toys for Gifted Students and one for Books for Gifted Children or Anyone who Loves to Learn.
If you are reading this post and looking for a 2022 Christmas gift, then it is most likely too late to order something online without paying exorbitant fees to get it delivered on time. In that case, you may want to consider purchasing a subscription, instead — something that will keep on giving throughout next year. Here are some ideas:
- Bitsbox — I wrote about this service for students who are interested in coding way back in 2015. My gifted students really enjoyed the free sample we received, and one student convinced his parents to purchase a subscription so he could receive a new box with fun app coding ideas every month. Even my daughter (12 years old at the time) enjoyed playing around with it. If you are gifting a child between the ages of 6-12 who is avid about creating apps, consider one of the many subscription options available here. It is best for children who have access to a device with a keyboard to create the code and a mobile device to test it out.
- Kiwi Crate — I’m actually gifting this subscription to my 3-year old nephew, but you can find options for children from anywhere between ages 0-12+. Each month includes a box of age-appropriate STEAM based projects delivered to your door. As of this date of this post, Kiwi Crate is offering a discount of $15.95/month for any of their plans using the code, HOLIDAY.
If you are looking for other Box Subscriptions that can appeal to students with interests from reading to cooking, this article from Good Housekeeping has even more great suggestions.
- Prodigy Math — I wrote about how much my gifted students enjoyed Prodigy Math several years ago. It is not a “drill” type math program, and the adults who set it up for the children and use the dashboard to differentiate for abilities. My students really enjoyed the interactivity in this game, and the best part is that it is very reasonably priced, even including a free version.
- Storybird — Although my students were using Storybird over 10 years ago, the site has added even more features, such as challenges and classes, since then. With beautiful artwork that students can choose from to create their books, comics, and other forms of written expression, it is an inspiring site for any budding author from elementary to high school. There is even a course on writing for video games. Available for desktop or mobile, you can try it for free before committing. The monthly cost begins at $4.99. Stories can be published online publicly or privately, and you can even pay to print physical books if you love your creation! (See “Book Printing” in the FAQ section here.)
Some other digital subscriptions that may be of interest (but I don’t have experience with them) are: NightZookeeper (another reading/writing app), Outschool (not technically a subscription because you pay per class — but the classes look super fun!), and DIY (an online maker community for kids, which appears to be free as far as I can tell?) You can also visit my article on CoSpaces from 2020.
- Brainspace — This is an interactive magazine that I reviewed on this blog. This magazine for children ages 8-14 works best using a mobile device with the augmented reality app (free) downloaded. You can buy a single issue, or purchase yearly subscriptions and receive 4 issues per year. There is a free demonstration of how the app works with the magazine on the website.
- National Geographic — There are a “Kids” version and a “Little Kids” version of this magazine. My daughter loved the latter when she was young, and my students found the “Kids” one fascinating in our school library. If your child does not have access to this at school, they will enjoy receiving the 6 issues/year in their mailbox.
I’m very intrigued by the Puzzlemania series from Highlights magazine, but I haven’t reviewed them. I did like Highlights as a kid, but I was more delighted by the Games magazine subscription my mother got for me. However, the latter only has a small puzzle sections for kids, while the rest of the puzzle might be frustrating for children who are not yet in their teens. (I actually get this magazine now, and my 20 year old daughter and I solve puzzles together when we have time.)
This article from Fatherly has even more recommendations for magazine subscriptions. I saw several new-tome suggestions that I would definitely consider if my child was younger, such as: Muse, Chickadee, and Kazoo. You can also check outmy blog post about beanz magazine.
How to Gift a Subscription
Since subscriptions purchased right now won’t make it under the tree in time, you can try printing out a picture of the subscription and wrapping that. To make it even more of an experience, print out this free scavenger hunt that leads to the surprise.
Other Last-Minute Ideas
Visit again tomorrow for one more suggestion for 2022!