I’m a huge fan of Mastermind Toys. It has always been my go-to store for birthday and Christmas presents. They are Canadian owned and operated and have been selling toys for more than 30 years in the greater Toronto area. Recently, they have expanded to 48 locations in five provinces: Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia—and are still growing!
Not only am I lucky enough to have one close to my house, but the clincher for me every time is the complimentary gift wrapping. I can easily pop over on my way to a party, know I’ll find something the kids will love, and leave with an artfully wrapped packed. The staff are always super friendly and welcoming. It makes shopping an enjoyable experience, which is a tall order these days.
In addition, Mastermind Toys have teamed up with one of my personal favourite organizations, Me to We. The Tie on Some Goodness Campaign gives back to help children both locally and around the world.
The Gift of Learning: The Best STEM Toys for Christmas
If you haven’t heard of these magnetic building toys, you are surely missing out. These toys make it easy for little hands to build and create to their heart’s delight. The magnets make it easy to clip together and change up their creation as they please.My son has been begging for these for the better part of a year.
I first discovered this building set in my school’s kindergarten class. Every time I walked by as the kids were doing centers, they were always building with these. They couldn’t get enough! At home, kids can build large structures to create their very own fort. Simply throw a blanket over top and voila! – instant refuge.
Magnetic Wooden Blocks
Another magnet toy that makes it super easy for little builders. These wooden magnets are different from Magnaformers as they are all rectangles and cubes. This makes it easy for all of the pieces to come together in creative design.
This marble maze is super fun for kids to create a complex maze for marbles to pass through. It would be a great toy to set up as part of a obstacle course. I can think of so many creative building challenges like: create a maze for the marble to travel 15 feet or create a maze for the marble to travel over a tub of water and under a bridge. The possibilities are endless!
Straws and Connectors
I’ve been buying this gift for my friend’s children for years. This is another toy I discovered in the kindergarten classroom. It never seems to get old for kids. The bendable straws make it easy to build large forts or intricate buildings and structures that are more complex.
Science Wiz Sets
I love these sets for the science wiz kids out there. It’s an accessible way to introduce kids to science concepts at an early age. The price point is also totally reasonable!
These kits were a lifesaver over summer holidays. As I worked to write my research papers, my son would work away at mining crystals and gems for at least an hour at a time. He loves finding buried treasure and I love that it has the added bonus of teaching him the payoff of hard work and patience.
Crystal Growing Experimental Kit
After digging out the crystals in his rock kit, my son wanted to make some crystals of his own. As soon as he saw these in the store he immediately wanted one. To extend this activity further, pick up a journal for your kids to sketch the crystal at various stages of growth!
What other STEM activities do you love?
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If something above has caught your eye, check out the 2016 Mastermind Toys Gift Guide. A portion of the proceeds from the purchase of select toys featured in the Gift Guide will be directed to local and global initiatives for children’s education through the Me to We Charity.
We are also very happy to announce a GIVEAWAY for a $100 Mastermind Toys Gift Card! (Canadian residents only). Enter below for your chance to win! Winner will be drawn on Dec. 8 and will be notified by email. Winners will have 24 hours to respond to claim their prize. Good Luck!
XO The Good Enuf Mommy