I’m always on the lookout for cool and unusual kids’ holiday gifts, the kind that convey a fondness for and knowledge of the recipient, as well as a desire to give them something truly unique and worthwhile. Looking for something with a lot of play value that won’t already be under the tree? Check out these choices.
Pssst. Know a spy in training? They’d enjoy 4M’s Spy Science Secret Messages kit. Future cryptologists can learn how to send top-secret messages by writing on X-ray paper, using invisible markers, utilizing a cipher wheel, and more.
Insect Lore’s Giant Butterfly Garden lets kids (and adults) witness the wonder of the butterfly life cycle, from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. See-through mesh with zippered entry allows easy access for care and feeding, and keeps butterflies inside until you set them free.
The Perfumery Science Kit, from Scientific Explorer, allows kids to create, design and mix their own perfume, enjoying a science and art that dates back to 2000 B.C. The kit comes with instructions, vials of various scents, and ideas for experimentation, so that kids can become their own mini olfactory factories.
I don’t know many kids who wouldn’t want this Expresso Cafe and Playhouse from Serec Entertainment. The cute 7′ x 4′ playhouse easily fits eight kids. It features a front entrance with a swinging door and a roll-out patio for role playing, inside and out.
Seeking a fun, holiday themed gift? Smart Snacks’ Gingerbread House Shape Sorter features a sweet and brightly colored cottage with six holes that match six chunky candy shapes. In addition to being fun, shape sorting toys are great for teaching and enhancing early learning skills.
No need to stop the fun when bath time comes! Construction Squirters, from Alex, allow for fantasy, dramatic and water play. Alex also offers Squirter sets in Pirate, Piggy and Doggy themes, as well as lot of other toys for creative bath play, from toys that let you make music and art, to shapes that stick on the wall for storytelling.
Since you’ve got to wear a helmet for bike and roller-sport safety, you might as well customize it. Wipeout’s Dry Erase Helmet lets you do just that. Helmets come in a variety of colors and include dry erase markers in assorted neon colors and a stencil kit with eight fun shapes.
The award-winning game SET (Enterprises, Inc.) is one of my family’s long-time favorites. It’s fun, challenging, and different each time you play. In addition to the original card game, SET now offers online daily challenges, as well as an iPad version.
Most kids (and adults) are fascinated by magic. My First Magic Kit lets you perform your own. Watch a picture magically paint itself, make candy magically appear in an empty box, and much more. Have fun and amaze friends with this art that has been performed throughout history.
Enjoy your holidays!
This post originally appeared on Bookboard.com.