GIFTS THAT WILL STIMULATE YOUR CHILD'S MIND
Have a child on your gift list?
Fun with science
Mazes and puzzles
• Create-a-Maze, by Learning Resources, was named 2015 Game of the Year by Creative Child Magazine and was recommended by Parents' Choice in 2015. This open-ended game engages all ages from 5 years old to adults, and is designed to build concentration, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills. Thinkfun's Gravity Maze offers more complex challenges, using a game grid, marbles, and challenge cards. MakerStudio Winches Set is an award-winning combination of a puzzle and building toy, designed by engineers for youngsters who have an itch to truly understand mechanical principles.
• For children who love building with words instead of gears or blocks, a new game has attracted Silver Honors from Parents' Choice. Play on Words can be played by individuals or teams and requires no setup or game board. Another well-loved classic in the word category is Magnetic Poetry, which continues to roll out new kits in an ever-growing list of themes.
• Games have been stretching young minds forever, but today's offerings display unprecedented innovation. The Parents' Choice gold medal-winning game is a charming offering called Bugs in the Kitchen — a game for up to four people of all ages. This addictive game demands strategy and logic as players direct an actual robotic bug on paths around a playing board. For something completely different, nurture mathematical thinking with the fast-paced logic game Dimension.
• In an increasingly digital world, there's novelty in receiving "snail mail" and packages right at your doorstep. For children who love surprises and want to learn more about the world, there's Little Passports. This monthly box subscription offers three age-appropriate packages for children 3-12 to explore world themes, countries, and culture. Each box will contain souvenirs, maps, activities, postcards, and more — all packaged in a world traveler's mini suitcase.
It's important to provide young people with challenges that engage their hands and their social skills as well as their minds. We hope this list sparked some ideas for gifts that can open your child's mind to a future rich with potential.