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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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11 Geeky and Unusual Blankets to Keep You Warm
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Wrap yourself up in one of these quirky blankets.

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. STAR WARS; $20.99

Star Wars blanket

This 45-by-60 inch polyester throw—which features a storm trooper, Yoda, R2-D2, and Darth Vader—is the perfect blanket for the young Jedi in your life.

Find It: Amazon

2. POCKET BLANKET; $30

Despite being 63 inches long, this blanket can be folded up to fit in the palm of your hand—making it great for impromptu picnics and beach hangs. It’s water-repellent and puncture-proof to keep you safe from whatever twigs or puddles lie underneath.

Find It: Amazon

3. BLAH BLAH BLAH; $199.99

Curl up with this Scottish lambswool blanket and tune out the world. The woven blanket is covered in connected “blahs” that honor the times you just stop paying attention. It’s also reversible: One side is white and the other black.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

4. TORTILLA BABY BLANKET SET; $48

Make yourself a little baby burrito with this clever tortilla-themed swaddling blanket and hat.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

5. ALICE IN WONDERLAND PAGE; $75

Before you get wrapped up in a good novel, wrap yourself up in this book blanket. This literary throw features Alice and the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland along with a passage from the title. It’s made with cotton and acrylic yarn so it has a little stretch.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

6. HARRY POTTER MARAUDER'S MAP; $34.62

Solemnly swear you are up to no good while wrapped in this blanket that resembles the Marauder’s Map that made its debut in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Luckily, you don’t need a wand or secret password for it to work.

Find It: Amazon

7. TARDIS; $29.95

This fleece blanket is shaped like the TARDIS from the beloved television show Doctor Who. It will go great with your TARDIS slippers, pajama pants, and mug.

Find It: Amazon

8. PERIODIC TABLE; $89.25

period table blanket

How many times have you desperately needed to consult the periodic table in the middle of the night but had no way of doing so? Probably never, but you still might need this science-inspired throw. It’s 75 percent cotton and 25 percent polyester and promises to keep you warmer than an exothermic reaction.

Find It: Zazzle

9. WESTEROS; $34.99

Westeros blanket

Sleep under a map of the Seven Kingdoms (plus Braavos, the Flatlands, and more from across the Narrow Sea) from Game of Thrones. The polyester throw is perfect for staying warm while watching HBO (or planning an invasion).

Find It: Amazon

10. SPACE INVADERS; $33.97

This officially licensed fleece blanket is dedicated to the classic arcade game Space Invaders. It's delightfully retro and will look great next to your old Atari.

Find It: Amazon

11. STAR TREK; $17

Let the Enterprise shuttle you to sleep with this officially licensed polyester blanket. The print is only on one side, with a white underside.

Find It: Amazon

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