• Books
  • December 04, 2022 4 min read

    Little ones can be tough to shop for! Our friends at Kids & Company are sharing their ideas for top gifts this holiday season.

    Check out their Mastermind Toys picks and find out how you can win a free month of childcare, courtesy of Kids & Company!

    Whether it’s the holidays, a birthday, or just a Tuesday, sharing a new toy with a child can create memorable moments of growth and learning. At Kids & Company, we believe that through play, all areas of development are fostered.

    With holidays around the corner, we’re sharing our 2022 Toy Guide, curated by Kristine Grant, Kids & Company’s Director of Learning Environments. Kristine, along with her team of educators, is responsible for shaping the education of our roughly 10,000 children nationwide. She and her team hand-select the toys that are found in each of our classrooms and have their pulse on exactly the type of toys that promote childrens’ learning and development. Below you’ll find her top picks for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.


    1. Rainstick—for the sound lovers. More than just visually appealing, this rainstick will introduce your child to music through the soothing sound of simulated rainfall. At Kids & Company, we like to introduce music and rhythm early. It has been shown to help a child’s brain develop faster, particularly with learning language, sounds, and speech perception.

    2. Deer One Baby Animals Book—for sensory exploration. This interactive soft book is a great addition to your child’s library. Our infants are always putting things in their mouths, and not only is this book safe to be mouthed, with all the different textures, it’s great for sensory exploration and to help infants begin to respond to different stimuli.

    3. Wave Puzzle—for the young creatives . This rainbow-shaped block puzzle offers the challenge (and fun) of developing both fine motor skills and creativity. We love multi-purpose toys and this is just that—older infants can exercise their imagination by using the toy in many different ways: as a puzzle, stacker, or sorting tool.


    1. Stacking Stones—for open-ended play. At Kids & Company, we love open-ended invitations to play, with no right answer and no one right way of approaching a task. It allows children to make their own choices and supports their independence. These lightweight wooden stones provide an opportunity for open-ended play, while introducing the concept of balance.

    2. Shake n' Match Shape Sorter—for learning the fundamentals. This versatile cognitive toy provides an introduction to a variety of learning concepts, while also improving problem-solving skills. Through this one toy, children get to explore different colours, shapes, and even sounds.

    3. Wee Baby Dolls—for pretend play. By the age of 2, you may notice your toddler start to participate in pretend play. With props like these dolls and their bottle or pacifier, your child can act out different parts of their own daily routines which helps them to make sense out of what they observe, and experiment with social and emotional roles. At Kids & Company, diversity is one of our core values. We love that these dolls come in different skin colours and genders, and can be used to teach children about what makes each of us unique.


    1. Magna-Tiles—for the inventors. STEM toys are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math based toys geared towards curiosity, learning, and education. (At Kids & Company, we include art and reading, STREAM, to further encourage our preschoolers to be creative, curious, and improve their critical/innovative thinking skills.) These translucent magnet tiles are an amazing open-ended STEM building set that allows children to use their imagination to build objects like pyramids, shapes, or rocket ships, while they learn about math and spatial relations.

    2. Brio Farm Train—for the task-oriented. This quality wooden train set offers children the opportunity to explore through imaginative play. An older child will be able to play-out so many different story-lines with this one toy; building the tracks, folding down the ramps, loading up the animals, and transporting them. Endless opportunities for play!

    3. Snow and Sand Artist Kit —for outdoor play. This set includes everything needed to make cool creations with sand or snow—from shaping and forming designs with buckets and molds, to adding colour. This kit will get children playing outdoors, which creates new opportunities for social interaction and collaboration, and promotes physical activity and a life-long love of active play!

    Our partner on this blog, Kids & Company, is Canada's leading provider of child care, with over 120 locations across Canada and in the United States. This year marks their 20th Anniversary! And with so many years of experience in the field, comes a ton of innovation in how they cater to their families; through in-classroom webcams, an app that provides daily updates for parents, a from-scratch menu, and wonderful, highly qualified educators.

    Kids & Company is giving away a first month of childcare, FREE! Click here for the details and to enter for your chance to win.

    This giveaway is open for submissions as of December 1, 2022 and closes at 11:59 PM EDT on December 15, 2022.
    • This offer is available to new registrants only, who have not started care with Kids & Company or paid a deposit prior to being contacted as a winner.
    • This offer is non-transferable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.
    • Preferred location and start date is subject to availability.
    • Winner must register for full or part time care by January 31, 2023, to redeem this prize. Care must start prior to February 28, 2023.
    • Winner must pay registration fee and deposit as is required.
    • Winner will be selected at random and contacted via email to claim their prize.
    • Winners will have 7 days after they are contacted via email to claim their prize.
    • If we are unable to reach the selected winner after 7 days of sending the email, the winner will forfeit their prize and a new winner will be randomly selected.
    • The contest is open to Canadian and US citizens ages 18 and older, excluding residents in the Province of Quebec in Canada.
    • We reserve the right to update, change, and replace these terms and conditions at any time without prior notice.

    Written by Kids & Company
    Introduction & edits by Melania Fedyna, Senior Copywriter & Voice of Play

    Melania Fedyna
    Melania Fedyna

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