Holiday shopping for your kids? Are you brainstorming long and hard to get some gift ideas while still saving money? If you’re OK with some funky gift suggestions, be sure to read on because on the next couple of paragraphs, we’ll be highlighting a few products that we’ve found online that aren’t only fun! Some of them are even educational!
A lot of these toys come from offbeat and novelty shops such as Vat19, ThinkGeek, and others, all of which always present their products with ultra-witty descriptions and videos (especially Vat19). Let’s check out what pieces made it to this round of gift ideas.
Magic 16 Magnetic Puzzle Ball [$11.99 on Vat19.com; ages 3+]
Think of this puzzle ball as 3D Tetris around a sphere, where the purpose is to arrange the 16 colored magnetic pieces around the ball so they’ll completely cover the inner green ball and form a shell.
There are 4 solutions that are printed in a sheet inside the package in case your child has tried his or her best in solving the puzzle. The coolest part is that all the pieces fit inside the green ball for easy storage and portability.
Here’s another 3D brainteaser that uses a 20-faced shape with equilateral triangles. Your child must first insert the numbered yellow buttons on the many holes of the plastic icosahedron. After that, he or she shall stick the white plates so that the sum of dots matches the yellow buttons.
Since the yellow buttons can alternate randomly, there are numerous configurations and thus, unique ways to solve the puzzle.
Strange Attractor Magnetic Thinking Putty [$14.99 on Vat19; ages 14+]
Silly putty of this caliber is not like regular silly putty. This putty is infused with magnetic particles that will make it stick to paper clips, other magnets, and more. As if that wasn’t versatile enough, your teen can also manipulate it, bounce it, mold it, etc. and handle it like there’s no tomorrow.
The putty is available in black or silver.
Magical Growing Christmas Tree [$4.99 on Vat19]
Now your child can have his or her own mini Christmas tree! Not only that, they can actually see this tree grow to 6’’! That’s right, a few pieces of cardboard will transform into a bushy Christmas tree that your child can then decorate.
The magic lies in a special liquid that your child will pour on the plate where the cardboard pieces are stationed. The miniature tree will come to life in 6 hours. Pretty neat, eh?
The Original Slush Mug [$9.99 on Vat19]
Have a child that refuses to drink some healthy juice? This slush mug turns your child’s naturally-sweetened beverage into a Slushee in 6 minutes.
This doesn’t even have to be an exclusive gift for kids – It’s suitable for individuals of any age.
LEGO Digital Camera [$59.99 on ThinkGeek, shipping only within US; ages 7+]
Does your child absolutely love LEGO blocks? Here’s something different: A fully functional 3 MP digicam that sports a 1.5” LCD screen and offers 128MB of internal memory storage. Oh, and it’s made with red, blue, yellow and green LEGO bricks! Your child can even transfer photos to a computer via USB cable.
LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 [$229.99 on Amazon; ages 10+]
Some middle and high schools actually have Robotics teams where children and pre-teens can build MINDSTORMS robots, learn about teamwork and prepare for district- and state-wide competitions. If your child’s not in in one of these schools, these LEGO Mindstorms might be a good idea (though admittedly expensive) as they help unleash a child’s logic thinking and creative skills.
The LEGO MINDSTORMS consists of a microcontroller brick and programming software to help your child build a robot that can move, complete tasks with its sensors and do anything else that your kid programs it to. You could say it’s sort of like proprietary Arduino for kids. The cool thing is that many of the children that join the Robotics teams or build MINDSTORMS robots not only develop their analytical skills, they also get exposed to science and engineering basics at a young age.
You can see additional MINDSTORMS robot models on the official website.
What cool gifts for kids have you found online? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credit: Gorilla – Shutterstock