• Rachel Tidd

Holiday Gift Guide

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Add a little math goodness to your holiday gifts this year! I love sneaking some math into my children's play and our family life with toys and games that encourage mathematical thinking!

Block Play

If you have my Wild Math Kindergarten or First Grade Curriculums then you know that I am a huge proponent of block play! Block play is one of the most powerful ways children can build all kinds of math skills including visual-spatial skills, geometry, fractions, subitizing, quantity, counting, etc.

Magnetic Tiles https://amzn.to/3nzAZuU

I have found the more tiles you have the better! We probably have at least four sets for two kids. The more they have the bigger and more creative they can be. That said we added to our collection over several birthdays and holidays! We have several brands and they are all equally good!

Magnatiles: Pentagons and Rhombus https://amzn.to/395o2oH

I love these because they add more geometric shapes and increase the types of 3D shapes can create! You can also use them when studying polygons.

Playmags Dome set https://amzn.to/35CGl2f

Add curves and spheres to your magnetic tiles

Unit Blocks (minimum 2 sets) https://amzn.to/2IKNd4Z

The classic. Again, quantity makes a difference here. I have found these blocks on Craigslist so keep an eye out and then so you are able to affordably add more blocks to your collection. A large collection is much more attractive to children and they can do so much more with them! These blocks are all mathematically designed based on a single "unit" block. This allows children to use fractions and substitute/trade blocks using fractions without them even knowing!

Other places to get large heirloom quality unit blooks are Community Playthings, Lakeshore Learning, Vermont Wooden Toys. (Not affiliates to any of these)

Many of these companies also sell pieces individually. So if you want more of a particular block you can order them.

In the first photo at the top of the page shows big blocks. They are handmade versions of what are called Hollow blocks. You can find them at Community Playthings or https://amzn.to/3fy80EP.


Mathematically accurate number shaped blocks you can teach all kinds of math concepts from addition to fractions! https://amzn.to/3nW6PSN

Keva Blocks https://amzn.to/3lIbK8S

Great for budding architects. Each piece is the same size and they challenge kids and adults to build in a completely different way than other types of blocks. I find older 7-12-year-olds really like these.

Wood marble run https://amzn.to/2Kn4PEx

Introduce physics and gravity into block play! Do not get if you have young children as the marbles are a choking hazard.

Toys that encourage math-themed play

Balance Scale https://amzn.to/3prFqcR

Weights: Ounces/pound https://amzn.to/3fg6SWf Grams https://amzn.to/2IQYU9K

A classic! Kids cannot resist when you set this out with various materials inside or out!

Learning Resources Pretend and Play Cash register https://amzn.to/3kH9EFc

Inspire imaginative play such as stores and restaurants. Add some play money https://amzn.to/35GQmLP

Learning resources check book


A great way to practice not only how to write a check but writing number words!

Wooden Pattern blocks https://amzn.to/38RjJgl

Inspire your child to make all kinds of patterns and designs. Bonus: You can use these in your homeschool when working on geometry!

Magnetic pattern blocks https://amzn.to/3fbdkxW

Magnetic metal tabletop easel https://amzn.to/3eVPXIg

For some reason, these always inspire the most creative designs and get the most use. I love setting these out for my kids to discover. Maybe it is the magnetic easel that makes them so attractive?

Sidewalk Chalk https://amzn.to/3ozIySA

Hands down the easiest way to do some math outside!

Subscription boxes

Mel Science kits

If you follow me on social media you know my kids are loving the Mel Physics experiment box. I love how they come with everything you need to do three experiments 2-3x! They also have chemistry kits!

There is a great black Friday week deal going on right now! Check out https://affs.melscience.com/click?pid=427&offer_id=11 (affiliate)

Universal Yum box

We integrate this with geography. We all love tasting the different snacks and learning more about the featured country! It is kinda like traveling in a time when we can't travel!!


Favorite Board Games That Integrate Math Skills

Sleeping Queens https://amzn.to/38Rkg1P

Yahtzee https://amzn.to/2IR9vS8

Blokus https://amzn.to/2UC1jb8

Set https://amzn.to/3pIp13W

Balance Beans https://amzn.to/3lKWaJU

Zeus on the Loose https://amzn.to/3lEVSnL

Tiny Dot game https://amzn.to/35NAIyt

Prime Climb https://amzn.to/2INBlPG

Payday https://amzn.to/2IMDF9u

Money Bags https://amzn.to/3fbIG7r

Haba Secret Code 13+4 https://amzn.to/2L9DjdU

Need more math game ideas? See my posts for grades K-1, grades 2-3, and upper grades.

Favorite Board Games

All games encourage mathematical thinking and other important skills. We love pulling out games during the dark cold winter evenings during winter. Here are some more advanced games (longer, more in-depth) for your next family game night!

Ticket to Ride Europe https://amzn.to/3fdIMLK

Ticket to Ride First Journey https://amzn.to/3lTSLaY

Splendor https://amzn.to/3nDp3s0

Catan https://amzn.to/3kL3hRc

Catan Jr. https://amzn.to/3oyxaGO

Forbidden Desert https://amzn.to/3lMIHB8

Stratego https://amzn.to/3nFPIVc

Santorini https://amzn.to/2Kn92bj

Above and Below https://amzn.to/2Ko0ssQ

Carcassonne https://amzn.to/38RC790

Imhotep https://amzn.to/3lOON3W

Other Ideas

Moveable Alphabet https://amzn.to/3mVxnn2

Great to pull out for reading, spelling and phonics. We have had and used this for years!

I hope this guide has been helpful for you this holiday season. I know I always struggle to find good ideas for gifts that are not junk and will stand the test of time!

For more of my recommended games, math materials, and more visit my Amazon storefront at www.amazon.com/shop/wildmathcurriculum

*Wild Math participates in the Amazon Affiliate Program.

Interested in learning more about Wild Math Curriculum or would like to purchase it as a gift for a friend, family member or teacher? Find out more by visiting www.wildmathcurriculum.com/shop.