Community Playthings is a commercial website with its science and its heart in the right place. While they sell equipment to day care and school sites, they take the time in their ads to talk about the best free gift a young child can get: learning through experiences that their mamas give them the words for.
Play gives a child the most memorable experiences. Once a mom gives the gift of words by naming the stuff and the play, those memories become part of a word bank that makes the child smarter and smarter. There is no better gift a child can receive from his parents.