It’s time for our annual holiday gift guides. Find everything from STEM monthly subscriptions, to creative building projects, and exploratory learning. It’s all here with the 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids. ART DICE
Just a roll of the illustrated art cubes and next thing you know, a bespectacled unicorn is chasing a UFO on a palm tree-dotted desert island. The creative combinations are endless with these playful beechwood cubes that solve the classic kid’s question: “What should I draw?” Designer Eric Siegel’s wife, Molly, is an art teacher who made prototype dice to generate drawing prompts for her class. Eric’s set of six cubes offers 36 icons to inspire drawing fun for sleepovers, road trips, or rainy days. The icons are etched into the wood to ensure years of use. Made in Chicago. Uncommon Goods, $12. MAGNA-TILES, BLACK
altech Magna-Tiles are 3D magnetic building tiles that are designed for open ended play and to captive the minds and creativity of young children. Amazon, $49.99. MAGNA-TILES, ICE
Magna-Tiles are 3-D Magnetic Building Tiles by Valtech since 1997. Each tile has magnets along it’s edges. The secret is the unique ability to attract even when the tiles are flipped. They always connect! Sized just right and easy to use, Magna-Tects develop fine motor skills as they start by stacking, making flat patterns, and 3-D Shapes, and with time, create complex Magna-Tiles Creations. Amazon, $49.99.
Find age-appropriate projects that make learning about STEM fun! Choose your subscription length and the first crate will ship within 2 days. Your child will tackle new projects that build their creative confidence. KiwiCo, $19.95 per month. STOP MOTION ANIMATION KIT
Learn some of the magic behind stop-motion animation with this comprehensive construction / production kit. Stop-motion animation utilizes the principle of “persistence of vision” to create the illusion that inanimate objects are moving through a series of still photos displayed continuously like frames of a movie. A collaboration between a popular toy company and a UK animation studio, this kit pairs the imagination-fueling fun of a building toy with an easy-to-use stop-motion camera and software to edit individual frames together and share your results. The figures you can create lend themselves to the incremental posing of the stop-motion process, while the camera and software will have you shooting and sharing the antics of your own unique characters in no time. Uncommon Goods, $60. LONG DISTANCE TOUCH LAMP
Light up a loved one’s life—across town or across the country—with two or more of these in-sync lamps. When you turn one on with a simple touch of your hand, its mate emits the same ambient glow, no matter where it is and who is on the other end: Parent or grandparent, niece or nephew, or long-distance significant other. Each person sets up their lamp via Wi-Fi, then reaches out and touches the lamp whenever they want to let their loved one know they’re thinking of them. No need to choose a color: with every touch, the lamp cycles through a rainbow of them, one at a time. Uncommon Goods, $75-$150. 90-PIECE ECO-BRICK SET
Eco-bricks are eco-friendly, natural, wooden bricks made from cherry wood. Eco-bricks are designed to inspire your creativity and are 100% compatible with plastic bricks. The wooden surface allows you to paint & draw to personalize your creation. Store your 90-piece Eco-brick collection in an artist pail storage container, so it is easy to carry on trains, planes, cars and picnics! Houzz, $35. CUBEBOT
Julien is an intermediate Cubebot® puzzle. Made from wood and elastic, Julien can be positioned to hold dozens of poses. When it’s time to rest, Julien folds back into a perfect cube. A classic toy for all ages that will endure generations of play. Purchase Julien with his friends, Cubebot and Guthrie, in the Cubebot® Challenge Bundle. Areaware, starting at $9.