Holiday gifts for kids that inspire creativity, critical thinking

Give the gift of creativity and critical thinking this year.

Give the gift of creativity and critical thinking this year with these toys, games and kits.


Uncle Goose ABC classic wooden blocks (ages 2-7)

There’s nothing quite as classic or cherished as a wooden block set when learning your ABCs. This one is made with basswood and non-toxic inks. $39.99; kiddingaroundtoys.com


Think & Learn Code-a-pillar (ages 3-6)

Get a jumpstart on coding with this caterpillar-shaped toy, which comes in eight segments that kids can connect in a variety of combinations to make it move in different directions, as well as light up and make sounds. $50 (requires four AA batteries); fisher-price.com


Barbie STEM Kit (ages 4-8)

Biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, art and design come into play as kids engage with this Barbie set, which comes with seven different models with which to build such items as a washing machine, hammock and greenhouse. $24.99; target.com


Osmo kits (ages 4-12)

For iPad households, Osmo’s kits come with games and puzzles that encourage counting and multiplying, spelling, drawing, creativity and critical thinking. More games, not included in the kits, cover topics like coding. $99-$189 depending on the kit; playosmo.com


CogniToys Dino (ages 5-9)

With this interactive dinosaur-shaped toy, kids can practice spelling, play games, ask questions and even meditate. It’s cloud-based and Wi-Fi-enabled, so you don’t need a screen to engage with it. $99.99; cognitoys.com


LittleBits Rule Your Room Kit (ages 8-12)

This kit encourages budding inventors, with instructions and pieces included that let them make their own interactive artworks, burglar alarm, trigger-activated safe (perfect for protecting piggy banks and diaries) and more. $99.95; littlebits.cc


Solitaire Chess (ages 8 and up)

Fans of chess — young and old alike — will enjoy this one-player logic game, which comes with chess pieces and challenge cards that range from easy to hard that you play against. $19.99; thinkfun.com


da Vinci miniMaker (ages 14 and up)

Get an introduction to 3D printing and develop STEM skills in the process with this printer. Kids can download more than 5,000 free 3D models from XYZprinting’s online gallery, in categories such as art, fashion, gadgets, education and toys, which they can then make with its non-toxic PLA filament. $249.95; us.xyzprinting.com


3Doodler Create (ages 14 and up)

For more experiments in 3D printing, there’s 3Doodler. The latest generation of its 3D pen, which expels a heated plastic that immediately cools into a solid structure, lets users unleash their creativity and make art, scale models and more. $99.99; the3doodler.com

Meredith Deliso