Guest Picks: Geeky-Cool Gifts for Kids
Boost your kids' brainpower this holiday season with toys that aren't just fun — they're truly smart choices
I may be an artist at heart, but I still hold a hearty fascination for all things slightly geeky and technical. I've found that it's my curiosity factor, a childlike quality that I should always encourage in my kids as well. These DIY kits and science-infused toys are just the ticket to keep the youngest members of your families happily learning and playing this holiday season. How? These gifts are cool first, with a bit of science and learning thrown in on the back end for good measure. — Mari from Small for Big
Build your own rabbit, then race it around with your friends. This is a perfect gift to keep kids occupied on a slow winter vacation day.
Sometimes I secretly make these ideabooks just for me. I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to play with wacky science kits like this glowing putty and slime set.
This may be meant for your adult geek's wallet, but all the kids I know would be just as fascinated with this credit card lightbulb. I may want one for my own bag.
This is such a fabulous and timeless gift for the crafty kids in your life. The real tools will get them started on some great make-your-own adventures.
If you know a kid who loves cartoons, movies and do-it-yourself explorations, then this projector is the perfect (and affordable) gift. I admit that I'm curious to try it myself.
If I were in high school again, and my husband was my boyfriend, we would use these decoder rings to pass all of our notes. Or would we text them now?
For the younger "geeks" in training, this first words spinner has tons of word and letter combinations. I can see some great guessing games coming out of this simple toy.
Did you ever make these as a kid? UV-sensitive paper, some intriguing objects and a little sunlight create some amazing silhouette art.
I may have my daughter give this to my husband for Christmas — then they can have fun building it together.
These are beautiful DIY paper toys. Build several blocks, then mix and match them to create your new animals. They have gorgeous patterns and colors.
My three nephews are all in love with the Perplexus toys, and there are now four different models. I hear they're highly addictive. Perhaps I'll take a moment to play with one of theirs this Christmas.
Forget the old-school model car kits (and the plastic bits), and upgrade to these high-tech-looking aluminum dinosaur models. I can see the kids polishing them up now.
The low price on this make-your-own telescope kit is killing me. The craftier kids can go ahead and decorate it too.
Stunts, tricks and general coolness will follow the older kids who take on this cycle. Part unicycle and part coolest tricycle ever, the boys in my neighborhood will go crazy riding this down the street.
This looks like a super fun family game night choice. I imagine lots of laughter as it falls down — just keep it away from the bowl of popcorn!
Perfect for the tricksters in your household, this little card deck will help your tikes appear smarter than you — well, more often than they already do.
This is perfect for backyard adventures, hikes at the park or general geek mayhem anywhere (bathroom stalls — OK, maybe not). This portable microscope is the ultimate in geek cool.
Explore the wonders of physics with a real world example: the catapult. The wood construction and timeless look just add to its charm.
For the tech-obsessed kids in your life, this set creates some truly awesome remote control machines. A gift like this will keep their brains' gears moving and growing too.
A self-contained ecosystem (with little mini organisms) that requires no upkeep? Now that's a first pet even I could keep alive. Well, I hope so!
Next: 5 Ways to Keep Toys Tidy
Next: 5 Ways to Keep Toys Tidy
Ideabook updated on Dec. 8, 2012.
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