11 Gifts for the Curious Kids in Your Life

No matter their age, you want to find gifts that will keep the kids in your life entertained, stimulated, and give them a sense of accomplishment—even during playtime. Luckily, these 11 gifts will do all of that, and will encourage their curiosity to grow.

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1. RACE ACROSS THE USA; $22

Race Across the USA
Young Explorers

Want to get kids excited about the next big family road trip? Or give them some talking points about their favorite aunt’s home state? This board game helps them understand the geography of the U.S., as well as trivia on each of the 50 states and the major landmarks and capitals.

Find It: Young Explorers

2. ROOT-VUE FARM; $35

Whether they join FFA or not, kids can get a head start on understanding horticulture with this indoor garden system. Plant any root vegetable—carrots, radishes, onions, etc—and watch them obsess over the underground view of their harvest.

Find It: Young Explorers

3. DROID INVENTOR KIT; $100

This is definitely the droid you’re looking for. Recommended for kids in grades 3 to 8, this customizable robot comes with an app that defines more than a dozen missions for kids to send their creations on. And for any Star Wars fans, the Droid makes 20 different sounds, just like from the movies.

Find It: littleBits

4. SPEEDY RACER BILINGUAL LAPTOP; $26

Speedy Racer Bilingual Laptop
Imagine Toys

Kids ages 3 and up can play games, make their own music, and work on language, math, and memory skills with this activity-filled laptop. Plus, the English/Spanish component will help enhance the child’s fluency in both languages.

Find It: Imagine Toys

5. BIKE CHALK TRAIL KIT; $20

Bike Chalk Trail Kit
Uncommon Goods

Think beyond the coloring book. By attaching thick, non-toxic chalk to the back of a bike, kids can work on increased spatial awareness, collaborative drawings with friends, and may perhaps have a greater appreciation for the large-scale, colorful work of a Basquiat or Pollock.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

6. ROCKET SCIENCE DRESS; $30

For little girls who want to shoot for the stars, this Katherine Johnson-inspired dress illustrates her human-calculator abilities as drawn out on a chalkboard. Rocket propulsion simulation, gravity loss equations, etc. You know, the basics.

Find It: Svaha

7. 3DOODLER 3D PRINTING PEN SET; $43

3Doodler 3D Pen Set
Amazon

This wireless pen allows kids to freestyle draw in the air—the eco-plastic filament cools in place quickly, giving kids plenty of practice with spatial reasoning without the costs of a full 3D printer.

Find It: Amazon

8. A COMPREHENSIVE CURTAIN CALL OF BROADWAY COSTUMES; $29

A Comprehensive Curtain Call of Broadway Costumes
Pop Chart Lab

For musical-obsessed kids, this curtain call of famous costumes can serve as a checklist for any Broadway productions they haven't seen (or, more likely, memorized the cast recording and seen the movie version of) yet. Perennial children's favorites like Annie, Grease, and Wicked are included, but you might want to have an answer ready for when your preteen cousin asks to watch Cabaret.

Find It: Pop Chart Lab

9. THE PLAY GYM BY LOVEVERY; $140

The Play Mat by Lovevery
Amazon

Specially designed by experts to stimulate infants for their first year, this play mat grows with your favorite baby. It has five developmental zones in addition to 24 different stage-based activities—like teethers, mirrors, and colorful flash cards. And, when baby becomes a toddler, the mat converts into a tent fort for further imaginative play.

Find It: Amazon

10. STOP MOTION ANIMATION KIT; $60

Stop Motion Animation Kit
Uncommon Goods

Budding animators who need to fine-tune their skills (and patience!) will spend hours moving these silly characters around slowly, photographing their adventures, and editing the film into mini-movies.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

11. PRESCHOOL KIDNOCULARS; $15

Kidnoculars
Young Explorers

Kid-proof and specially designed for tiny hands and faces, these binoculars can help preschoolers get to know the world around them. Play a game like “I Spy” and have them find squirrels in trees, clouds in the sky, or all those Cheerios they spilled behind their bed.

Find It: Amazon

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Here's To Dad: 27 Father's Day Gifts He'll Love
iStock
iStock

Whether he's Pops, Dad, Papa, or something else, let's face it, the father figure in your life probably knows best. This Father's Day, show your appreciation for those hard-earned life lessons with one of these gifts that he's guaranteed to love.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. MOUNTAIN PINT GLASS; $45

mountain glassware
North Drinkware

Portland-based company North Drinkware is known for stunning hand-blown glassware featuring replicas of mountains. The Oregon Pint captures the likeness of Mount Hood—the highest peak in the state at 11,250 feet high. There are also models for mountains in Washington, California, Colorado, and more.

Find It: North Drinkware

2. EAGLE CREEK ALL PURPOSE DUFFEL; $200

Designed in collaboration with three National Geographic Explorers, this duffel—which has 60 liters of space—is tough enough for the most adventurous dads. The pack unzippers to two large compartments, divided by mesh, that allow for easy organization and locating of whatever items are inside. Its moisture-wicking straps can be configured so dad can carry it as a duffel or wear it as a backpack, and weatherproof fabric allows it to be wiped down inside and out.

Find It: National Geographic

3. WHISKY STONES; $20

Whiskey Stones
Whiskey Stones

Instead of regular ice cubes that water down spirits, make sure Dad has whiskey stones. He can stick these handcrafted soapstone cubes in the freezer for four hours, pop them into his glass, and enjoy a cold, stiff drink.

Find It: Whisky Stones

4. OLUKAI KAHU; $90

It doesn’t get more comfortable than these kicks, which have a removable footbed with a gel insert, a drop-in heel—so dad can wear them as either shoes or slides—and a breathable nylon upper. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will go to the Ama OluKai Foundation, which supports charities that honor Hawaii’s cultural heritage.

Find it: OluKai

5. IF YOU CAN READ THIS BRING ME A CUP OF COFFEE SOCKS; $10

coffee socks
Courtesy of The Perfect Pair, Etsy

For the father figure who loves his coffee and can be regularly found kicking back on a recliner: Help him send a message from the comfort of his chair with these socks that feature a plea for caffeine on the bottom. Bonus points if you bring him a cup of joe on Father's Day.

Find It: Etsy

6. DAD MAGAZINE; $10

Dad Magazine
Amazon

Dads are the source of endless internet fodder, from well-crafted dad jokes to heart-warming anecdotes from real-life fathers. This book-length parody magazine stemmed from the fake Dad Magazine covers that creators Jaya Saxena and Matt Lubchansky published on The Toast, the now-defunct feminist site edited by Daniel Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe. The periodical bills itself as being "for dads, by dads" and features pitch-perfect satirical articles on classic dad-friendly topics like tools, golf, and grilling.

Find It: Amazon

7. DARN TOUGH SOCKS RETRO CREW LIGHT; $20

These calf-high socks—which are mostly made of merino wool—wick moisture away from the skin and dry quickly. They’ll keep dad’s feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and thanks to the wool’s antimicrobial qualities, they won’t stink. Best of all, they come with a lifetime warranty.

Find It: Darn Tough

8. SPORT-BRELLA RECLINER CHAIR; $43

umbrella chair
Amazon

This outdoor recliner chair has a large built-in umbrella so dad can relax in the shade at the beach, by the campfire, or on the sidelines of your soccer game. In addition to three adjustable positions, the chair includes a detachable footrest, cup holder, and built-in bottle opener.

Find It: Amazon

9. PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE; $11

Paddle Your Own Canoe cover
Amazon

In his first memoir, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living, actor Nick Offerman (who made us laugh as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation) instructs readers on the finer points of woodworking, cooking meat, and growing facial hair. He also shares his philosophy on life, what it means to be a man, and tales of growing up in Minooka, Illinois.

Find It: Amazon

10. MOUNTAIN KHAKIS TATANKA SHIRT; $65

If your dad loves National Parks, this is the shirt for him. Made by the Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based Mountain Khakis, this 100 percent cotton jersey shirt comes in green or blue and features a pattern of little bison—including a few that are giving too-close tourists the boot.

Find It: Mountain Khakis

11. TRUNK CLUB; $25 STYLING FEE CREDITED TOWARD YOUR FINAL PURCHASE

clothing
Trunk Club

Dad can't be trusted to pick out his own clothes? Give him the gift of a box of swanky threads, curated by a personal stylist with Nordstrom's Trunk Club for Men. All he has to do is chat with a stylist online, answering questions about what he likes to wear. Then, a box will be shipped right to his door full of pieces for him to try on. He can return what he doesn't like for free and keep what he loves. A $25 styling fee is credit toward his final purchase.

Find It: Trunk Club

12. CREATE-A-DRAWER FROM BASIC OUTFITTERS; $60

Basic Outfitters clothing in drawers
Courtesy of Basic Outfitters

Don't forget socks and underwear! The Create-a-Drawer from Basic Outfitters (which you might recognize from Shark Tank) is a one stop shop for restocking on wardrobe basics. Put together a box of up to 17 pieces, including boxers, briefs, socks, undershirts, Henleys, hoodies, and sweatpants, for $60. With a wealth of classic colors and fun patterns in soft fabrics, there's something for every dad. Trust us: Basic Outfitters let us curate a box to sample and it was easy as can be to find things suited to the dad in our life.

Find It: Basic Outfitters

13. BLAIR'S "ORIGINAL" DEATH HOT SAUCE WITH SKULL KEY CHAIN; $13

hot sauce
Amazon

If your dad has a high tolerance for heat, challenge him to try the impossibly hot Blair's Original Death Sauce, which comes with a skull keychain.

Find It: Amazon

14. TRAVELAMBO SLIM WALLET; $12

Travelambo RFID Front Pocket Minimalist Slim Wallet
Amazon

If dad has been using the same worn out billfold since 1987, it's probably time for an upgrade. Travelambo's minimalist wallet is designed to hold everything he needs in an impressively slim frame.

Find It: Amazon

15. SELF-CHILLING BEER GLASSES; $40

Pint Glasses
Wayfair

Each of these pint glasses comes with a chilling cone that you put in the freezer for 30 minutes and then screw into the bottom of the cup. The cold core will keep dad's ale at the perfect temperature despite the summer heat.

Find It: Wayfair

16. WIRELESS MEAT THERMOMETER; $40

Ivation Long Range Wireless Thermometer
Amazon

This wireless meat thermometer allows dad to kick back with a beer and still monitor the grill from up to 300 feet away.

Find It: Amazon

17. SMOKER BOX; $50

smoker box
Williams Sonoma

This smoker box is the perfect addition to any culinary dad's grilling collection. He'll love experimenting with different smokey flavors.

Find It: Williams-Sonoma

18. DYSON COOL TOWER FAN; $399

Dyson 300906-01 Air Multiplier AM07 Tower Fan
Amazon

The uber-modern Dyson Cool tower fan is completely bladeless, using Air Multiplier technology to cool dad off. It's also quiet, easy to clean, and features a sleep timer.

Find It: Amazon

19. "HONESTLY" ABRAHAM LINCOLN MUG; $18

"Honestly" Abraham Lincoln Mug
Fishs Eddy

If your dad is a history nerd, he'll love this quirky mug from Fishs Eddy.

Find It: Fishs Eddy

20. HAMILTON AND BURR DUELING SHOTS; $18

Dueling Shots Hamilton and Burr
Fishs Eddy

These American-made "dueling" Hamilton and Burr shot glasses honor blasts from the past. Plus, they're cheaper than tickets to Hamilton.

Find It: Fishs Eddy

21. STANLEY CLASSIC GROWLER SET; $48

Stanley Classic Growler Set
Amazon

Perfect for camping or backyard BBQs, this set comes with a 64-ounce vacuum-insulated growler made of stainless steel that promises to keep beer cold for a full 24 hours. It also includes four tumblers in different colors so no one gets their drinks mixed up—if Dad feels like sharing, that is.

Find It: Stanley

22. SOG SYNC II BELT BUCKLE MULTI-TOOL; $80

belt buckle multi-tool
Sog

Fashion meets function in this multi-tool, which includes pliers, a ruler, a screwdriver, a wire crimper, scissors, a blade, and a three-sided file, among other tools. It folds down into a belt buckle and can also be clipped on a pack.

Find It: Sog

23. OTTERBOX TROOPER LT 30 COOLER; $300

coolers
Otterbox

This leak-proof cooler—which comes in three colors—has a puncture resistant nylon exterior, a wide opening to make getting food or drinks easy, and straps that allow it to be carried either on the shoulder or as a backpack. It can be opened with one hand and will keep ice for up to three days.

Find It: Otterbox

24. LEATHERMAN COLLECTOR’S EDITION PST; $275

multitool
Leatherman

Dads who love Leatherman will want this multi-tool, which is based on the brand's original 1983 design. The 4-inch-long, 5.2-ounce tool has 11 tools, including four screwdrivers, pliers, a knife, and an awl; it comes with a wooden case, a leather sheath, a collector’s coin, and a t-shirt—not to mention a certificate of authenticity signed by Tim Leatherman himself.

Find It: Leatherman

25. COAL HEADWEAR THE FIELD HAT; $26

baseball cap
Coal Headwear

These adjustable ripstop cotton hats pair funny phrases with classic illustrations, a great fit for the Pop who loves his dad jokes.

Find It: Coal Headwear

26. BEER TASTING FLIGHT; $49

beer flight
Gilt

Dad will cherish this wooden set that includes space for up to four drafts and a chalkboard for marking what's on tap.

Find It: Gilt

27. 100 ESSENTIAL FILMS SCRATCH-OFF POSTER; $35

pop chart movies scratch off poster
Pop Chart Lab

This scratch-off poster from Pop Chart Lab features 100 classic films making it the perfect gift for film buffs with a den full of meticulously organized DVDs and Blu-rays.

Find It: Pop Chart Lab

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Courtesy of Bob Ross Inc.
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9 Gifts for Anyone Who Loves Bob Ross
Courtesy of Bob Ross Inc.
Courtesy of Bob Ross Inc.

Do you know someone who's obsessed with The Joy of Painting host and happiest artist of all time, Bob Ross? Spread the good vibes and get them one of these awesome gifts.

1. HAPPY LITTLE TREES SHIRT; $20

happy little trees shirt
Courtesy of WilddChildWear

Nab this cute tee of one of Ross's most beloved phrases in one of seven colors, including yellow and mint.

Find It: Etsy

2. BOB ROSS SOCKS; $12

Bob Ross socks
Amazon

Get inspired from head to toe with these crew socks, which are available in both men's and women's sizes.

Find It: Amazon

3. QUOTE COASTERS; $12.50

Bob Ross Coasters
PeachyApricot

Bob Ross truly had a way with words. Snap up these handmade rubber coasters, emblazoned with some of his most joyful quotes.

Find It: PeachyApricot

4. BOB ROSS CHIA PET; $16

Bob Ross Chia Pet
Amazon

Bob Ross's most distinctive physical feature was, of course, his 'fro. And with all that volume, it seems obvious that he'd have his own Chia Pet. We think he'd want this happy little growth of sprouts to color your windowsill.

Find It: Amazon

5. HEAT-SENSITIVE MUG; $16

Bob Ross Heat Changing Mug
Amazon

Pour some coffee in this heat-sensitive mug and watch the canvas go from black to a calming nature scene.

Find It: Amazon

6. BOB ROSS FUNKO; $10

Bob Ross Funko
Amazon

Would seeing a Bob Ross miniature on your desk or shelf spark joy? Funko added the painter to their collection in 2017, and they also have versions of him with a raccoon and a giant paint brush.

Find It: Amazon

7. HAPPY TREES PINE-SCENTED AIR FRESHENER; $10

Bob Ross Air Freshener
Amazon

Hang this air freshener in your car and you'll be able to enjoy the piney scent of happy trees even if you're nowhere near a scenic, Rossian landscape.

Find It: Amazon

8. THE BOB ROSS COLORING BOOK; $13

The Bob Ross Coloring Book
Amazon

This official Bob Ross coloring book is full of authorized reproductions of Ross's own paintings, plus plenty of quotes from his well of wisdom.

Find It: Amazon

9. NO MISTAKES JUST HAPPY ACCIDENTS T-SHIRT; FROM $20

Bob Ross shirt
Amazon

Wear Ross's life philosophy with pride with this 100 percent cotton tee.

Find It: Amazon

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