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The holidays are a great time to give kids with learning and attention issues gifts that are both entertaining and educational. These skillbuilders are so fun your child may not realize they’re good for him!

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Brothers playing chess together
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Strategy and Logic Games

Help your child practice thinking strategically by playing board games such as Attack! or Risk. A chess set can be a great way to work on using the kind of logic that can be helpful in math class. And a Rubik’s Cube can help your child develop critical thinking and spatial understanding.

Family and friends putting together a world map puzzle
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Memory Games

Memory, Concentration and Simon are fun games for grade-schoolers that can help build memory skills. These games can also help kids practice picking up on social cues, since the players need to learn to take turns. The rounds in these games move fast, which makes them a good choice for kids with attention issues.

Close up of a young child putting together a puzzle
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Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles might seem old-fashioned, but they can be great for kids with learning and attention issues. Piecing together a puzzle tests your child’s memory, visual understanding and planning skills. And working with family members to complete a jigsaw puzzle together can be fun for your child—and teach him social skills. Start with a small number of pieces for a younger child and up to 100 pieces for a teen. If your child completes the puzzle and wants more, you can get him something more challenging.

A young girl working on an arts and crafts project in her room
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Arts and Crafts

Materials or kits for creating art or craft projects can encourage your child’s creativity, build his ability to concentrate and improve his fine motor skills. Duct-tape art is popular among kids now, so you might want to consider giving your child a kit that uses duct tape to create wallets, bags and other items. For younger children, good gifts include modeling clay or a loom for weaving bracelets and potholders.

Close up of a boy playing a video game
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Nintendo Wii Games

The Nintendo Wii has a variety of fun games that can help kids develop gross motor skills. Want your child to get up and boogie? The Hip Hop Dance Experience and Just Dance are good options. Wii Sports lets kids practice moves that are used in boxing, bowling, tennis, golf and baseball. Nintendo’s Family Game Night has Wii versions of classic family board games like Battleship and Boggle. There are also Wii games that are more traditionally educational, such as Reader Rabbit for preschool and early grade school.

Close up of a family playing a word game together
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Vocabulary-Building Games

Games like Scattergories and Apples to Apples can help tweens and teens build their vocabulary and get creative. Grade school kids often enjoy word games like Mad Libs. As you’re shopping for holiday gifts, keep in mind that practicing these and other popular games at home with you can help prepare your child to play them at school or with friends.

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10 Holiday Stressors for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

Holidays can be a time to make memories and spend time with family. They can also be a time of stress for kids with learning and attention issues. Here are 10 stressors to look out for, and ways to help.

2015 Guide to Holiday Toys: What You Need to Know for Middle-Schoolers With Learning and Attention Issues

Tweens and young teens can be hard to shop for, especially if they have added challenges. This guide lays out some of 2015’s hottest toys, according to forecasts by major retailers like Amazon, Target and Kmart—and what to consider for kids with learning and attention issues.

Understood does not endorse or receive financial compensation for the sale of any of these products.

About the Author

Portrait of Erica Patino

Erica Patino

Erica Patino is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.

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Reviewed by Laura Tagliareni, Ph.D. May 09, 2014 May 09, 2014

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