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Toys Games

Space Pod Playhouse

If any of your kiddos are even slightly interested in space, you’re kind of obligated to get this Space Pod Playhouse. It’s a kit, so it’ll take a tiny bit of elbow grease to construct the “four-foot cosmic cruiser” (75 plastic fasteners and tools are included). Who knows, you may encourage a career in astronomy or engineering. 55 cardboard panels printed with all sorts of details help encourage playtime.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $75.00
Available from: Uncommon Goods

Fredericks And Mae Kites

Kites! by Fredericks And Mae! Sold on Areaware! Gah! Excuse the excitement, but what better thing to do on a windy day than fly a kite? There’s two different triangular kites and three different windsocks, so pick the one that makes you happiest. There’s a Beach Bundle (includes 2 Kites and 3 Windsocks) for maximum fun.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $36.00 -172.00
Available from: Areaware

Klein Reid Brass Top

This is a sort of gift for someone who has everything. It’s a toy, so it’s hard not to spin it around, and it’s beautiful, so even when not in use, it’s a lovely little thing to look upon. Precisely turned, hand-polished and signed, each top is gift boxed with with chamois and care and spinning instructions.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $138.00
Available from: Klein Reid

Puzzle in a Puzzle

Puzzles! Put one out on your coffee table and you’ll be able to sneak in contemplation time, because who can resist putting together a few puzzle pieces? Featuring imagery by photographer KangHee Kim, these puzzles play with the eye, as each image shows a mirror within a scene, and the puzzle itself is divided along the mirror’s perimeter, creating two different puzzles in one. Complete them together or apart. Kinda fun, right?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $20.00
Available from: Areaware

Snake Blocks

You’ll have fun twisting and turning these colorful Snake Blocks to make all sorts of interesting shapes and patterns. 24 wooden triangles are held together with an elastic band, and you have your pick of a large or small version. It’ll keep your hands busy when you’re brainstorming (or waiting for an idea to hit, as is often the case).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.00 - 48.00
Available from: Areaware

HeartShapes Blocks

February is just a couple of days away, so you know what that means… Valentine’s Day is looming (barf). If you have to get something for your significant other, consider the HeartShapes Blocks from Zoe Miller and David Goodman. The set of 50 wooden pieces are boxed in the shape of a heart, but can be configured into plenty of patterns; it includes an illustration sheet of designs to try out.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $100.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Lego Architecture

The phrase ‘fun for the whole family!’ keeps running through my head when I look through the whole of Lego Architecture. And, in fact, building any of the well known structures and monuments will be fun for your whole family, as everyone can participate. Some of my favorites are harder to find and a bit more expensive (Villa Savoye, Farnsworth House, etc.), but look around and see if there’s one or two that might scratch your Lego itch. They may even be collectible further in the future, so, it’s an investment, really, right?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $29.99+
Available from: LEGO

Good Luck Charms

Thank goodness, now there’s a less gross version of the wishbone. This one is wooden and made with magnets, so you won’t have the waiting and… well, like I said before, the gross part of bone breaking. Ick. Let’s retire that part, shall we? There’s also a wooden Clover and Feather, should you need more luck. Bookmark these for thoughtful little gifts to friends and family.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $12.00
Available from: Areaware

Papercraft Halloween Masks

If you still haven’t figured out your Halloween costume, you could always download one of these Papercraft Masks from Paperstatue. There’s quite a few to choose from, so you can go with a nonthreatening Red Panda Mask or with something more disturbing like the Rabbit or Ram Mask. Last minute procrastination won’t haunt you anymore, that’s for sure. Happy Halloween!
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Purchase Information:

Price: $6.75
Available from: Paperstatue

Dymaxion Folding Globe

You may be familiar with Buckminster Fuller’s 1946 patented a map of Earth, as it presents no visible distortion of the relative sizes of land masses. Designer Brendan Ravenhill has taken Fuller’s projection (and architect Shoji Sadao’s hand drawn 1954 Dymaxion Projection) and turned it into a magnetic folding globe, which means we all have something to do with our hands next time we’re waiting for a brainstorming session to strike. Fold it into a geometric globe or unfold it to see our planet flattened out.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00
Available from: Areaware

Fredericks & Mae Star Dominos

$38 is much better than $80, which is what these dominos used to cost. I think that means that they’re entirely affordable, and very worth snapping up before another price change. Fun fact: the name ‘domino’ is from the pieces’ resemblance to Venetian Carnival masks known as Domini, which were white with black spots. There’s also plenty of other games from Fredericks & Mae, ranging from $12.95 (playing cards) to $320 (bocce!).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $38.00
Available from: Fredericks & Mae

Haptic Lab Kites

Please tell me you plan to fly a kite before the end of summer. After all, with Haptic Lab’s colorful array of Diamond and Delta Kites, you know you’re tempted. The patterns are pretty wonderful and they’re quite affordable. And, besides, what in the world is more important than taking some time off to go outside during these last few days of summer and throw a kite into the air, watch the wind catch it, and then hold on to it as it takes flight into the bright blue sky?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $42.00
Available from: Haptic Lab

Tangram 3D

Okay, do you like tangrams? You know, the traditional puzzle of seven geometric 2D pieces that you rearrange to make bigger shapes? If so, you’ll be happy to see that there’s a colorful, magnetic version that’s appropriate for all ages. Show off your designs upright, and keep them close at hand on a shelf or desk so you can mess around with them when your brain needs a break.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: Luminaire

New York Times Custom Front Page Puzzle

Yep, you can get the New York Times in a puzzle. Chances are you’ll want to commemorate a special date- you’ll be able to get any front page since 1851- so have a think about which day you’ll choose. Maybe it’s a birthday or anniversary, or maybe it’s the day someone special got a promotion or graduated. Maybe bookmark it for a future gift?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $44.95
Available from: Uncommon Goods

Happy Birthday Crank Music Box

Here’s the perfect little (and inexpensive) birthday gift: the Happy Birthday Crank Music Box. If you’re more into composing your own original tune, you may like the Make Your Own Music Box Kit– it comes with an instruction booklet. There’s also lots of other melodies (You’ve Got A Friend, If I Only Had A Brain, Wedding March, etc.) should the occasion be something other than a birthday.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $9.00
Available from: Kikkerland