Your elementary child is connecting with the world in a whole new way, so gifts for the elementary child can be a fun way to open doors into that world.
At this age, children are much more focused on the results of their work, not just the process, so elementary children typically love making things. With good-quality art or craft supplies and a little instruction, the elementary child is proud to create useful and beautiful things. In the classroom, the Montessori guide gives a very short lesson sharing how to use tools that a child hasn't used before, and then shows the child where tools and supplies are kept, so that the child can access them at any time.
Consider a great book with easy instructions along with jewelry-making supplies, watercolor paints and paper, or needle-felting tools and wool. If you choose to buy a crafting kit, be sure it includes good quality tools and enough supplies for more than one project. The goal here is to give your child all the tools needed, and bit of instruction, to develop a skill that they can use repeatedly, over years. Here are a few examples of materials.
Elementary children have a rapidly-developing brain that is helping them to think more abstractly. In the classroom, elementary Montessori guides share information in the form of stories that inspire the child's imagination. Students this age can now imagine things far away in space and time, so information about the solar system or ancient history are typically very interesting to children of this age. Consider gifting your child a trip to the local planetarium or dinosaur museum. Books about outer space, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, or dinosaurs are also likely to be a hit. Here are some examples:
Greeks and Egyptians
- Elementary-aged children can understand much more complex processes, so thinking about how things work is fascinating to the child at this age. Think science experiments and books about science and engineering. Additionally, elementary students are beginning to be able to choose their actions and develop their character in a much more deliberate way. Here's a list of books about scientists that also emphasize the value of perseverance and independent thinking.
The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World
The Boy who Harnessed the Wind
Papa’s Mechanical Fish Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor
A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin
Got younger children, too? Check out the Guideblog's top picks for infants and toddlers, and our favorites for preschool/kindergarten-aged children.