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27 Gifts For Kids That'll Foster Imagination

These may not be on their list, but they should be!

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2. Or a spy or fire fighter costume as "real world" dress-up options.

4. A rocket ship playhouse canopy your kids will be over the moon for!

landofnod.com

Promising Review: "We purchased this for my 3-year-old and both he and my 5-year-old love it (as does the dog who thinks it is his bed). We go to Mars, the moon, and do all sorts of other explorations. We also purchased a NASA astronaut costume and together they are perfect for pretend play. This is larger than I expected but it's so cute that it doesn't bother me." —Cami2222

Get it *exclusively* from Land of Nod for $99.97

6. A set of animal hand puppets so they can create a puppet show that'll put Avenue Q to shame.

amazon.com

Promising Review: "I bought these animal friends hand puppets for my little princess. She absolutely loves them!! She usually covers both her hands with animal puppets, and then runs around the house making noises associated to the animal, or just sits and talks to her new hand puppet friends. They are incredible quality and can accommodate various hand sizes into the working mouths." —Michelle

Get them from Amazon for $22.95.

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8. A Hatchimal toy that may bring up questions about where babies come from because it hatches from its shell, grows up from baby to toddler to kid, and then becomes an interactive pet. You've been warned!

walmart.com

Promising Review: "My grandchildren loved their Hatchimals! They play with them every day. I'm very happy with the product" —Lauri

Get it from Walmart for $59.82.

9. A dream tent to give them sweet dreams because it fends off nightmares and monsters. Or at least that's what you plan to tell them.

mydreamtents.com

Promising Review: "I bought two tents. The kids did not want to sleep in their own beds, so I thought I'd give the tents a try. They worked! The kids love them. They play in them during the day and love crawling into them at night. Great idea!" —Tinker

Get it from Bed Bath and Beyond for $19.99 (also available in winter wonderland).

10. A mermaid or shark blanket to make your kids feel like characters in The Little Mermaid or Jaws! That's pretty much my best dream and worst nightmare in one sentence.

11. A 100-piece magnetic tile building set so your little ones can get creative with their engineering skills.

playmags.com

Promising Review: "My 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter play with these every day. They always come up with new ideas for what they are making and they don't need instructions on how to make it. These have held up to years worth of daily play and toddler throwing. They are indestructible. I love that they are so small when sorted and put away. It's such a great creative and clean activity. Get as large of a set as you can afford." —Jacob D. Gerber

Get it from Amazon for $52.99

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12. Or a 500-piece jar of Brain Flakes for a more versatile building toy that won't be limited to buildings and castles.

amazon.com

Promising Review: "I love these! I bought these as a gift for my grandchildren and they love playing with them! I love watching them use their imaginations and seeing the things they make with Brain Flakes!" —Cyndi Brewer

Get them from Amazon for $15.55

13. A modeling clay set because your child could be the next Michelangelo!

amazon.com

Set Includes 24 dough colors (0.7 oz. each), 20 pairs of googly eyes, 10 black noses, 17 fruits/vegetables/animals molds, 5 ring mounts, 3 clay cutting tools, and an idea book.

Promising Review: "My 9-year-old has a blast with this stuff. It's so cool. You can make intricate little creations with this stuff. It dries like foamy stuff. I have never seen anything like it. The box has so many colors and they last a while. Even though my child lets hers dry overnight there is still a lot of the product left for more creations. This is worth the money and will keep you children entertained for hours!" —Kristy Schroeder

Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

14. A dollhouse that'll be the perfect backdrop for the soap opera-esque story lines your kids create with their dolls.

amazon.com

Set includes a three-story dollhouse and 17 pieces of furniture.

Promising Review: "I got this for my 3-year-old daughter. She loves playing with her dollhouse. It is a good size, large enough that two or three kids were all playing with the dollhouse at the same time. I liked that it came with furniture. It is also large enough to fit a Barbie-sized doll. Assembly wasn't bad. It took two people about an hour and a half to put together." —Kad08

Get it from Amazon for $94.94 (or a smaller tabletop version for $50.97).

15. A set of water pipe bath toys to transform dreaded bath time into something they actually look forward to.

amazon.com

Set includes five colorful plastic pipes.

Promising Review: "I bought these for my 4-year-old. She loves playing in the tub and she's been playing with the same toys for a long time with nothing new. This set has definitely increased her interest in playing in the tub! She can stack them over one another or in any position she'd like and come up with multiple different 'designs' of how the water will flow. It's sort of like science in the tub. I'm so thankful I found these! They are made with sturdy plastic as well, and the suction cups stick very well to the tub or the wall." —Larissa

Get them from Amazon for $9.99.

16. A custom drawing made into plush doll to bring your little artist's creations to life.

etsy.com

Message the shop owner with your drawing to discuss a custom plush doll. Prices vary depending on amount of detail.

Promising Review: "Wonderfully amazing shop! The owner helped me all the way through. I needed a drawing of a dolphin made into a plushie and she made time for me so it would be done and arrive before my niece's birthday! It's so amazing how she sewed the plushie to look exactly like the picture! I am very happy my niece is also very happy. She squealed when she opened her package! It was actually the hit of the pool party! I recommend this shop to everyone. It is amazing! Thank you!" —Kathy

Get it from Lil Foxxy Creations on Etsy for $50+.

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18. A Bilibo toy that'll truly put your kid's imagination to the test because it is straight up an oddly shaped bowl with a couple holes in it. But hey, according to the nearly 1K Amazon reviews, kids love it and find tons of fun uses for it.

amazon.com

Promising Review: "I love a good multipurpose, open-ended toy and this is definitely one. This is fun for my 5-year-old and my 18-month-old. They use it to sit in and read a book, to sit in and spin around, to carry toys around, to look through the holes, to stand on, and as a bed or a bath for dolls. And these are only the uses they have found for this toy so far and we've only had it for five days. My husband suggested we buy two more so each of our children has one, especially because they stack neatly for storage." —Nobody of Consequence

Get it from Amazon for $28+

20. A board game dinner plate to turn mealtime into adventure time.

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22. A create your own comic book kit for gathering your child's drawings and stories into a real book you can sell on eBay once they become the next J.K. Rowling.

bit.ly

Set includes pre-formatted blank pages, a set of markers, a pencil, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, instructions, inspiration and tips, and a prepaid envelope to mail in your comic book. Once mailed out, it'll take four to six weeks to receive your professionally bound comic book.

Get it from UncommonGoods for $30.

24. A double-sided art easel for kids who show the artistic promise of a young Bob Ross.

melissaanddoug.com

Get it from Jet for $51.99 or from Melissa and Doug for $79.99 (get all the accessories including chalk, paint, paint brushed, and easel paper from Jet for $25.55 or Melissa and Doug for $34.99).

25. A set of reusable rocket ship stickers to transform an ordinary box into an outer space adventure!

27. A retro play kitchen that'll inspire your budding chef to cook up some killer dishes.

bit.ly

Set includes a play kitchen, two pots, a mixing spoon, a spatula, salt and pepper shakers, and an oven mitt. You can personalize it with up to 20 characters for free!

Get it from My 1st Year for $90.59.

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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