Toys Games

Soft Blocks

Bookmark this block set as a gift for your favorite little one, and save yourself the trauma of going into a toy store. This 30 piece set is waterproof (they float – think bath time) so kids from 3 years and up can safely throw them around without hurting anyone… or the furniture, as might be the case. And, who knows, maybe you can practice your construction skills alongside the little future architect/designer and learn a thing or two about unedited creativity. Also available in color.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $32.00
Available from: arango

Tybee Jump Rope

Jump Rope for Heart! Perhaps you participated in the American Heart Association’s program when you were in grade school*, and perhaps your older heart could be a tiny bit healthier than it is right now as you’re sitting reading this page on your computer/tablet/phone. How many minutes could you jump rope without collapsing in a sweaty mess? If you had this Tybee Jump Rope you’d be at least motivated to try, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Made from turned walnut handles, leather cord, and paracord in the USA and available in blue, black, red, or rainbow.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $65.00
Available from: General Manufacturing

SOCCKET

And you thought the soccer ball was just a soccer ball. Well, thanks to the company Uncharted Play it can be much, much more. The SOCCKET is soccer ball that harnesses and stores energy. Thanks to a pendulum-like mechanism inside the SOCCKET, a mere 30 minutes of play can generate a simple LED lamp for 3 hours. Innovative idea, isn’t it? An off-grid power source is obviously needed in many areas of the world, and by pledging $99 or more, you’ll help get more of these where they need to be- and you’ll receive your very own SOCCKET (with LED Lamp) to use. Spread the word.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $99.00
Available from: Kickstarter

MaKey MaKey

Use fruit for your keyboard! Tech-smart or not, there’s fun to be had with this simple circuit board kit. Turn almost anything into touchpads/keyboard/controller by attaching the included alligator clips, then connect to circuit board and computer. Think of it as an invention kit- might be a good way to familiarize yourself or others with electronics. See the video to see how it all works- and what possibilities await you.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $50.00
Available from: Uncommon Goods

Tatlin Color Magnets

This is getting filed under toys instead of desk accessories, as the fun potential is much higher than the somewhat boring/functional office usage. They’re simply a set of 288 cardboard magnets, to be placed on your magnetic board/wall or fridge, for making shapes, animals, landscapes or whatever else your imagination wants. Share them with the kids or keep them in your office space, up to you.
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Purchase Information:

Price: £29.00
Available from: SCP

Stick-lets

And just when you thought you were too old to enjoy the outdoors, Stick-lets comes along. Sure, they’re meant to help kids get back outside and build forts with sticks, but who says you can’t enjoy them too? Be sure to share with others (team building, anyone?), and stay away from trees and branches that don’t belong to you- that could cause some problems- but other than that, have fun. Made from 100% silicone, each Stick-let stretches to meet your construction needs, whether you use natural branches or wood dowels. On the count of three, what’s the first thing you’d build? (One..two…three) a TIPI! Other answers are acceptable, of course. Need it be mentioned that this could be an excellent gift?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $11.99 and up
Available from: Stick-lets

PuzzleMap

This certainly isn’t the only puzzle that features a major city, but it is one of the few that looks like it came from somewhere other than the dollar store. Maybe you don’t want to spend $20 on a puzzle, but consider the fact that putting together pieces of a city might just etch that city into your brain, making it easier to get around whether you live there or if/when you plan a visit. Also, in my experience, puzzles are always surprisingly nice to have at family gatherings, giving hands something to do while conversation comes and goes.

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More information:

View PuzzleMap here

Woodmobiel Starter Kit

Is it crazy to think that the little ones in your life might enjoy this Woodmobiel Starter Kit? Wooden parts and real tools will put their creativity to use, and maybe you’ll even have some fun helping out. With the starter kit, you can build about 9 different life-sized wooden toys (instructions included) with the 25 pieces and fasteners, or if you want to go big, there’s also the standard kit ($265) with 43 pieces (plus fasteners) that will build about 20 toys.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $146.85
Available from: creativebrains

Tree Tops

Did you know that tops are one of the oldest recognizable toys found on archaeological sites? These set of 5 Tree Tops by Karl Zahn are both toy and holiday accent, so leave them out on a coffee or dining table for any and all to take for a spin. Made from Schima Wood, a genus of evergreen trees. Also available in a natural finish.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00
Available from: Arango Design

Wooden Beginner’s Guitar

Have you always itched to play the guitar? Or perhaps you know of a younger human who would like to learn? Either way, Loog Guitar is where you’d be wise to start. They have three versions of a small Beginner’s Guitar (Classic, Rectangle, and Triangle) all of which have three nylon strings so as to not overwhelm first learners. Assembly is required, but it only takes 15 minutes and will help you or a younger one understand and connect with the instrument, perhaps lessening the likelihood of it being tossed aside once the newness has worn off. You may also purchase the pieces of the kit separately, or add on some accessories like a Pickguard set, a cardboard Guitar-stand, or a Mini Headstock Tuner.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $149.00
Available from: Loog Guitar

Maharam Memory Game

Who doesn’t remember playing a memory game in their younger years? Such fun can be had again with Maharam’s set of nicely patterned cards. It’s a little harder to find nowadays, but YLiving and highbrowfurniture currently have it in stock. It’s worth pointing out that all age groups can play this together, making it a good family activity during the holidays. Each card features one of 36 fabric patterns designed by different Maharam artists.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $36.00
Available from: YLiving

Elemental Blocks

What better gift than the gift of science? If you’ve any young children on your holiday list, think about these Elemental Blocks from Uncle Goose. And, if the elements aren’t the right sort of subject, there’s quite a few other block sets that could benefit a young mind: Braille Math or ABC Blocks and several Foreign Language options.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $34.00
Available from: Uncle Goose

United States Flashcards

I picture these simple United States Flashcards being used before touch-screens and other hi-tech devices. Why not bring back some old-school schooling? Might make a nice gift to your favorite niece/nephew/child (if they appreciate flash-card variety games) or, hey, be selfish and use them decoratively. The Alphabet Flashcards are equally appealing (shown below).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $42.00 - 68.00
Available from: Michele Varian

MONUmini Architectural Models

Have you seen these MONUmini Architectural Models by Another Studio? Whether you’re fond of London’s landmarks or not, the tiny models are pretty detailed, and any one of them could make a great gift for someone who has a soft spot for England’s capital. Each kit has a sheet of etched stainless steel pieces (you fold and lock together), step-by-step assembly instructions and a short building history, all of which is held in an envelope that can be mailed as a souvenir or gift. Battersea Station and Tower Bridge are available from A+R ($28 each); those two plus the Post Office Tower (aka the BT Tower) and Barbican Tower are available straight from Another Studio (£ 15.00 each).

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Purchase Information:

Price: $28.00
Available from: A+R Store

Tangram

Did you (or do you) ever play around with tangrams? Take a look at this version from Iacoli & McAllister. Simple and severe (in a good way), the seven flat shapes are rendered in laser cut birch ply with black and white no-VOC paint. It’s the sort of thing that you could leave lying out on a coffee or side table as a graphic sort of art piece, ready for a spare moment when you are able to sharpen your mental skills. Need it be mentioned that this could be an excellent gift?
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Purchase Information:

Price: $58.00
Available from: Future Perfect