November 29, 2018

Parents: Ignore fancy packaging to find appropriate holiday gifts for talented children

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Parents trying to find suitable gifts for their gifted and talented child must look beyond nice packaging or impressive features.

Kristen Seward, associate director of the Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute at Purdue University, said appropriate toys and games provide gifted children with many of the experiences that characterize high-quality curriculum in their schools.

“But just because a toy comes in an impressive package or with motorized parts doesn’t mean it will engage them in critical and creative thinking challenges or in collaborative problem-solving tasks,” she said.

Seward conducts research in gifted education and supervises youth enrichment programs as part of the GERI program in the College of Education.

She said parents should remember that school-age children with high ability can master toys and games that are recommended for those three to four years older.

Among the gifts that Seward recommends are:

* Brain Quest workbooks. Various prices. https://www.workman.com/brands/brain-quest.

* Chibitronics Chibi Lights LED Circuit Stickers STEM Starter Kit. $30. https://chibitronics.myshopify.com/collections

*The Universe in a Nutshell” by Stephen Hawking. Various prices. https://www.penguin.co.uk/company/publishers/transworld/bantam-press.html 

Writer: Brian Huchel, 765-474-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu

Source: Kristen Seward, 765-494-7252, ksseward@purdue.edu

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