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Gifts for the Little Learner

While we’re finding our most creative and productive inner-elves throughout the holiday season, the kiddies in our lives are learning, playing, and plugging in. Here’s our roundup of smart, creative, and constructive toys for tots in the “know.”

Kiwi Crate
Encouraging kiddies to tinker, create, and innovate, these fun-loving kits build STEAM-skills with hands-on projects while inspiring the next generation of scientists, artists, and inventors. (Photo above.) Swing on over to STORY to pick up the Pinball Machine Crate for tots ages 5+, or the Awesome Animation Crate for kids ages 9-16.

Once Kids
Like your regular plastic bricks, but made from biodegradable eco-friendly wood, these handcrafted blocks are 100% compatible with leading brands like LEGO – but can also be painted, colored, stained, and carved (and won’t last forever in a landfill when playtime is over). They’re intended for kids (big and little) over the age of 3.

GoldieBlox
Disrupting the pink aisle, these kits introduce girls (ages 6+) to engineering with fun projects – from a movie machine, to a zipline, to a scooter ramp, and more – using STEM skills. More than just “toys,” GoldieBlox is a community of inspiring girls changing the world one block at a time.

Tegu
Pack playtime with potential using these responsibly-harvested Honduran wood block sets with embedded magnets. While kids (ages 3+) construct monsters, helicopters, and anything else they can imagine, you can rest assured that Tegu is bringing world-class working standards to the region where they operate.

LittleBits
Inventors of all ages will delight (and design) with this modular electronics platform for building gizmos, gadgets, and more. The magnetic pieces mean no soldering, wiring, or programming required, and the growing online library of modules expands both the community and creative potential. Grab the Rule Your Room kit for kids ages 8-12 or the Synth Kit for kids over 8.

Curious ABCs
This #PitchNight discovery created by NYC designer and dad Kevin Lindberg is equal parts artwork and learning tool, featuring rich illustrations that form letters beside intricate montages for the curious young colorist. (He’s pictured at #PitchNight, below!)