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    27 Fun Gifts For Your Kids That'll Secretly Teach Them Something

    Watch out, these gifts will make kids so much smarter than you are.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A crystal-growing kit that'll make the scientist in your little one bloom.,

    This kit includes a paper tree form, tray, terraforming solution, and instructions. The tools in The Copernicus Toys Cherry Tree will teach children about basic chemical reactions while the blooming buds can stimulate their imagination.

    Promising Review: "We totally didn't expect how fast this little tree would bloom! In less than an hour the tree had little pink blossoms forming! I suggest for the prettiest, and possibly sturdiest, tree you take the time to separate and arrange the limbs artistically. Great fun and a cheap price." —B Family Shopper

    Get it from Amazon for $8.47.

    2. A DIY electro-dough kit for the bright electrician in your home.

    This kit includes battery packs, lights, buzzers, cut-out shapes for dough, and runs on AA batteries (dough and batteries not included). This clever set will teach you and your children how basic circuitry works.

    Get it from Technology Will Save Us for $29.99.

    3. A Bilibo, the master of all open-ended play, can show you just what your child's imagination is capable of.

    The Bilibo is designed specifically to stimulate a child's imagination. Without clear direction or rules (although kids will quickly love to sit and spin in it) children can make this toy whatever they want it to be. This limitless design will help child development through imaginative play.

    Promising Review: "This simple little toy has been used daily since I gave it to my kids. They sit in it, rock in it, spin forever in it, use it as a stool, as a hat, as a drum... they have come up with tons of ways to be silly with this thing. It's brilliant and I am so glad I found it!" —spinaz

    Get it from Amazon for $26.45+ (available in eight colors).

    4. An insultingly adorable food truck which is sure to have a line down the block (well, the bedroom) at lunchtime.

    This food truck playhouse encourages interactive and imaginative play and will help your child develop social skills, imaginative thinking, questioning, and reasoning through role-playing techniques.

    Get it from Pottery Barn Kids for $149.99.

    5. A GoldieBlox dunk tank that'll help your powerhouse princess show off her engineering side.

    This GoldieBlox set comes with 55 pieces, a 10-page storybook, and two additional build ideas (but the blocks can easily be used for creating unique designs). GoldieBlox sets are made for girls and boys, with an emphasis on helping young girls recognize that engineering is something every girl can enjoy.

    Promising Review: "SUPER! My 5-year-old old absolutely LOVES it! It took a while for her to understand what the different pieces are and how they should work, but she figured it out and is now creating all kinds of awesome things. This is a great toy that helps to cross gender stereotypes and develop a child's creativeness while not pigeonholing them." —Pop ina Bottle

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    6. A needle felting kit for the kid in your home who wants a pet so badly they'd even make one.

    This kit includes wool, a safety mat, design instructions, felting needles, and eye buttons. It is intended for older children as it uses a needle to create the form of the cat. This is a satisfying craft that can be followed directly or adjusted to create unique designs. It will refine hand-eye coordination and artistic abilities.

    Promising Review: "My 11-year-old asked for a needle felting kit and I ordered this. She loved it!" —Shanda

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in six different animals).

    7. Playon crayons to help your youngest child grasp any art project.

    Playon crayons are made of non-toxic paraffin wax and designed for toddlers to easily hold, which will help develop fine motor skills in our youngest artists. The unique shape also makes the crayons stackable and easy to spin, opening up imaginative play for children as they draw.

    Promising Review: "These crayons are great! My nieces and nephew all love them. They are great first crayons and I love that they can stack for additional entertainment." —Susie

    Get them from Uncommon Goods for $10.

    8. A box of kinetic sand, because your Caribbean Christmas was cancelled but you still wanna feel some sand between your toes (be sure to grab the sand tray to keep your toe-beach in one place).

    Made from 98% sand and 2% Polymers, this sand is gluten-free, non-toxic, and safe for children three years of age and older. Playing with sand can boost your child's sensory exploration and creative thinking skills. Playing with kinetic sand will do the same, with far less mess.

    Promising Review: "This feels just like regular sand, only perpetually slightly moist; like that ideal beach stand. It's perfect for building castles and other structures, or just squeezing between your fingers. It sticks to itself, but not to you, and is actually far less clingy than 'real' sand. Serious fun for kids of all ages. This is a unique and awesome toy that encourages imagination, hands-on sensory exploration and creativity." —SW

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    9. A Star Wars origami activity book to get you and your kids even more pumped for The Last Jedi.

    This book includes tools and fun tips on how to draw and create characters while teaching basic origami concepts, helping your child develop strong spacial reasoning skills.

    Promising Review: "My son loves this book. He loves to doodle and this has combined his love of Star Wars and drawing. As a mom I am very happy to see him reading and drawing. We plan to purchase the whole series." —LAD

    Get it from Amazon for $6.76+ (available in paperback or hardback).

    10. A rainbow stacker that'll make your child's room (and their playtime) bold, bright, and beautiful.

    Made of sustainably harvested wood and non-toxic dyes, Grimm's building blocks are mixed with shapes that encourage difficult building block strategies. Rather than just standard square blocks, this set includes varied sizes of flat, circular shapes that allow the block set to grow in difficulty and use as your child's imagination grows and develops.

    Get it from The Land of Nod for $49.

    11. An electronic LittleBits kit can help your child understand basic circuitry and give them the skills needed for jobs that haven't even been invented yet.

    The Gizmos & Gadgets Kit comes with 15 electronic building blocks, detailed instructions for 12 projects, and mounting boards/tools to create interactive inventions. The LittleBits sets are designed to build science, technology, art, and math skills.

    Promising Review: "My kids are eight and nine and they love this kit. They have built odd little vehicles and machines with it and really understand the circuitry required to make them work. The instructions are super easy for kids to follow and the LittleBits website has some great project ideas for future activities. It's interactive, creative, and tactile. This is the new Lego. I've got a couple future engineers on my hands now." —Groovy Mom

    Get it from Amazon for $199.95.

    12. A spaceship balance bike for helping your astronaut confidently soar down the street.

    Balance bikes are designed for children who would normally be considered an appropriate age for tricycles or training wheels. Instead of a bike with training wheels, balance bikes move easily over rough terrain and can teach young children how to properly balance. This will give them the skills and confidence to immediately transfer to a two-wheeled bike with pedals when they have outgrown their balance bike.

    Promising Review: "My 3-year-old loves this bike and we've been very happy with it! Putting it together was very simple, We love the hard wheels because we never have to worry about pumping up the tires. Our son is not the most coordinated and yet he is thriving using this bike!" —Travel Maura

    Get it from Amazon for $88.99 (available in six colors).

    13. A Sun Art kit, because sometimes the only tools your artist needs will come from the nature around them.

    Sun Art kits will teach your children about the power of the sun. Simply by using solar energy and water, your child will be able to create shadow images of any solid object they place on the sun-sensitive paper.

    Get it from Walmart for $10.37.

    14. A beginners embroidery kit so your kiddo can create on a different kind of canvas.

    This embroidery kit will teach your older kids many different stitches with its simple instructions. It can either be a teaching tool for children who have sewn simple patterns before and want to refine their skills, or it is simple enough for an older child to use without prior experience.

    Promising Review: "Brilliant starter kit! I've been looking for a modern starter-level embroidery kit for ages and this is perfect. Simple stitches, but a good variety of them. The quality is top-notch." —TheJediNinja

    Get it from Hawthorn Handmade on Etsy for $20.58.

    15. A charming children's show that just may give your kids sign language super powers.

    Signing Time is a show made to open the world of communication for children of all ages and abilities. Simple signs are easy for infants to learn before verbal language, freeing them from some frustrations of early communication. For older kids, the Signing Time series is a fun way to learn a new language. The show features children of all ages, races, and abilities so that when your child is allowed TV time, they are seeing a diverse and honest representation of the children in their playground.

    Promising Review: "I have never taken the time to write a product review before but this video is so amazing I had to. We have a 9-month-old girl who was starting to become frustrated by her inability to verbally communicate. We have never allowed her to have any screen-time so we were nervous about the video, but alas, she loves it. It's the perfect length for a small baby to watch. By the second time she watched it she was signing, 'milk' before her bottle time. By the end of the first week she had mastered 'milk' and 'baby.' By the second week she had learned, 'more' and 'food.' We are loving watching her as her brain processes these new words." —Neily Buff

    Get it from Amazon: babies and toddlers for $18.99 or bigger kids for $14.99

    16. A puzzling brainteaser the whole family will wanna JumpIn on.

    JumpIn uses a plastic puzzle board and a booklet of assorted challenges to help develop planning, logic, and problem solving skills.

    Promising Review: "Wonderful little game! My 9-year-old loves it and it really makes her think! It makes me think, as well! I love that the pieces are all very durable and that they all store neatly away inside the clear plastic lid. A great game for quiet time." —Malinda E. Miller

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    17. A mini construction bench to give your favorite builder (hint: it's not Bob).

    This child-sized construction bench encourages educational role-play and uses switches, knobs, and screws to help develop fine motor skills.

    Get it from Pottery Barn Kids for $45.

    18. An activity chair made for a baby but designed with a more sophisticated aesthetic.

    This comfortable activity chair has multiple surfaces and sounds to enhance your baby's senses and keep them learning while (occasionally) sitting still.

    Get it from The Land of Nod for $129 (available in two colors).

    19. A card game so cute you won't know if you'll wanna play it, eat it, or tuck it in at night.

    Sushi Go! is a fantastic game for the entire family. With durable cards and adorable images, this game will reinforce probability, visual discrimination, and strategic thinking.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.34.

    20. A solar system kit to encourage your child to seek out the stars (and, um, planets/dwarf planets/whatever we are calling Pluto these days).

    This set will help your youngest kids learn the names of the planets and their place in our solar system. All nine planets are easy to hang up and glow in the dark!

    Get it from The Land of Nod for $25.

    21. A set of magnetic wooden blocks, because the toys children love most are gonna be the ones they make themselves.

    Using sustainable magnetic wooden blocks, this Tegu set will be perfect for unscripted play and let your child create 3D objects that they can easily move and interact with. This will help their spacial reasoning and fine motor skills.

    Promising Review: "Tegu is the only brand to buy if you want quality magnetic building blocks. My son's children love playing with them. I bought each of them a set in these colors so they can go wild building. The magnets enable them to easily set the wooden pieces atop each other without tipping over easily. Unlike tiny Lego pieces, I do not have to help the kids use these blocks." —Elaine D.

    Get them from Amazon for $49.99+ (available in five colors).

    22. An anatomy set that'll teach your kids all about their bodies, from their heads to their shoulders, knees, and toes (with some muscles and vessels added in).

    Melissa & Doug's magnetic anatomy set was designed to help children understand their musculoskeletal system in a charming and approachable way.

    Promising Review: "My 3-year-old and 5-year-old love this activity. We used it as part of an anatomy study unit in our Montessori homeschool." —H. Minutaglio

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    23. A DIY snow globe for kids who wish Frosty could stay around forever.

    This kit includes a plastic globe, polymer clay, snow globe stand, glitter, foam sheets, and instructions. It will be a fun way to enhance your child's artistic abilities and teach them about the scientific method. How fast will the snow fall? What happens to the wet clay when we bake it? These questions (along with many your child will think of on their own) can be answered while you create your globe.

    Get it from Pottery Barn Kids for $19.

    24. A geode kit, because sometimes kids need a way to let out their destructive side.,

    This STEM science toy includes four unique geodes, a magnifying glass, adventure guide, activity booklet, geode display stand, and safety goggles. It can be used to teach children about the scientific method, different aspects of earth science, and geology.

    Promising Review: "I put one rock in each child's Christmas stocking. They were excited to break the geodes open and discover that inside each one was a spectacular crystal. Each is different enough to be especially interesting and unique. The included booklets were an added bonus. After all the festivities, everyone lay on the floor reading and learning about the geodes while working the fun activities together. It was a great time." —KT

    Get it from Amazon for $19.95.

    25. A food chopping toy your little chef is gonna love.

    This adorable set comes with soft wooden produce attached with velcro. They can be "chopped" using the gentle wooden knife. This fun role-play set will let your child confidently work alongside you in the kitchen while refining their fine motor skills.

    Get it from Pottery Barn Kids for $24.

    26. A tummy-time pillow so your baby can cuddle with the cuttlefish.

    Tummy-time strengthens neck muscles and promotes motor skills, but it can also be a frustrating time for babies. Using this darling ocean scene during tummy time will help distract your baby from discomfort and will entice them to keep moving so that they can play with all the cute ocean creatures, fine-tuning their motor skills. As your child grows, they can learn about the sea creatures in this scene and use this pillow as adorable decor.

    Get it from The Land of Nod for $69.

    27. And a classic wooden doctor's kit for your at-home pediatrician.

    Doctor's kits are a classic role-play toy that help children better understand their own childhood check-ups. Roll play encourages imaginative thinking, social skills, questioning, and reasoning. This beautiful kit includes a stethoscope, medical bottle, ointment gel, syringe, reflex hammer, thermometer scan, thermometer, tongue depressor, and prescription with a doctor's carrying case. Each item is made using renewable sources and non-toxic paint.

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99.

    Enjoy watching your confident kids show off their stuff!


    Reviews here have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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