Toys Games

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

Tokyo Puzzle

Puzzles! Why does it seem that kids and older people are crazy about puzzles and most of us young-to-middle-aged folks dismiss them as a pleasant pastime? Perhaps because we see ourselves as too busy? Hmm. Time to fix that.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $25.00
Available from: nest

National Flag Play Cards

Do you have a decent knowledge of the various flags of the world? Maybe you’ve been caught unawares a time or two (or ten), but that can all be fixed with this set of playing cards. 52 different flags are shown on the cards, so you can play your card game and learn at the same time. That’s not all the flags, mind you, but it’s a start; the CIA has a Flags of the World Factbook if you care to see more.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $12.00
Available from: neo-utility

Stack-a-doodle Crayons

Lego-ish crayons? Of course! Why, that might just be the perfect prescription for getting those creative juices flowing again. Get a few packs and distribute around the office accordingly. Need I remark that these would be equally amusing to children? Maybe get a dozen packs instead, that way you’re prepared for any age group and all situations.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $7.49
Available from: Perpetual Kid

ArchiBlox

Do you know a budding architect? Do you still enjoy playing around with building blocks? Either way, bookmark these building blocks of the achitectural classics. Each piece is magnetized to the base, allowing you to place blocks in whatever way you see fit. Pop Deluxe has both the ArchiBlox Chateau de Chambord and Neuschwanstein models (each $16.99), while Amazon has all three (specifically the Notre Dame model for $16.93).

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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.99
Available from: Pop Deluxe

Bauhaus Spinning Top

I think you need this, and now. What better way to distract yourself from the droll everyday office life than with a fun, vivid, spinning top that demonstrates color theory? Plus, it’s a reproduction of an original Bauhaus design, so you can say ‘Bauhaus!’ whenever someone comments on it. And, if a spinning top isn’t your thing, consider it as a gift (6 years old and up).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $55.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Roman Numeral Dice

Stay familiar with Roman numerals by using this set of dice. You might even rattle your opponents as not everyone can easily add up numerals, especially compared to the dots found on usual dice. History moment: according to Wikipedia, “the oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000-year-old backgammon set at the Burnt City (Shahr-e Sūkhté), an archeological site in south-eastern Iran.”
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Purchase Information:

Price: $4.95
Available from: Spoon Sisters

Fredericks & Mae Kites

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height… How long has it been since you flew a kite? Years? Decades? Change that answer to ‘days’ by considering one of these kites by Fredericks & Mae, or, if $64 is a bit too high for your taste, make your own.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $64.00
Available from: MATTER

Tsumiki Chalk Building Blocks

How fun are these chalk building blocks? The kit includes 7 wood blocks, a set of 6 dustless colored chalk sticks, a mini eraser and chalk sharpener. Whether you (or your favorite kids) draw windows and doors for homes and buildings or just your craziest patterns, the blocks will certainly be a new way to engage a little imagination.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $64.00
Available from: A+R Store

Classic Games Set

Let the games begin, or rather, que les Jeux commencent*! Dominoes, Chess, Pick-Up Sticks, and Checkers. The four classics all pack up neatly in this box that you can take on the go- the chess board is on the bottom of the box and the checker board is on the bottom of the lid. Could be a good thing to have on hand for your next road trip, or maybe just for those lazy summer days outside (of which you’ll have plenty, right?).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $27.00
Available from: Cursive New York

Upcycled Jump Rope

Jump rope! Get in shape with a jump rope made from 100% reclaimed mountain-climbing rope and rubber handles. Since the materials are reclaimed, no two will be the same. A 6.5 foot (single) length is sold at Branch Home, but should you need a 10.5 foot (double) length, go directly to Urban Infant.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $18.00
Available from: Branch Home