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Many of these gifts can be found on Amazon and if you aren’t already a member of Amazon Prime, join with a free one month trial to get your gifts on time (it is easy to cancel before the month is up).
Some of these are digital items. If I will see the person face-to-face I print off a picture, roll it up and tie it with a piece of ribbon.
1: Daily Brain Game calendar
Daily brainteaser fun!
2: Set Game
A game of shapes and colors and patterns – and sets – for all ages. Everyone place at once and it is a lot harder than it sounds!
3 : Traveling between the lines coloring book
For teen and tween girls who love coloring – learn geography while you color.
4: Snap circuits
This set was one of my daughter’s favorite gifts. There are more sets for older kids too.
5: Bepuzzled jigsaw puzzles
Make the jigsaw puzzle (not the picture on the box). Read the included mystery story. Study the jigsaw to figure out whodunnit.
6: Thinkfun’s Rush Hour
This is a great single person thinking skills challenge. Figure out how to move your ice-cream truck through the traffic. A Junior version is also available (just bought it for my niece)
7: Top Trump cards
Lots of different themes to choose from – similar to “War”. Try to win all the cards by selecting the best attributes of the card you are holding. Good stocking stuffer.
8: Choose your own adventure
Read the story – but at the end of each page you choose what path to take.
You can find lots more here
Fantastic building toy – follow the instructions or build your own devices.
10: Pandemic board game
A cooperative strategy game where everyone works together to prevent a Pandemic.
11: Lego Technic Gokart
Lego Technics adds an extra dimension to regular legos and it is a great way for teens to learn practical science.
12: Gravity Maze
Use critical thinking skills to solve each puzzle. This is another game you play on your own.
13: Escape Game
If your teen loves Escape Games, here is one you can play at home!
14: DVDS of movies that have some educational value
Select a DVD that teaches history or geography or science – while it entertains. There are many great movies that teens will love and be educated by. Here is a selection of mine of PG and PG-13 titles. Please suggest more in the comments.
15: Zoob BuilderZ STEM challenge
A student told me about these – another cool building tool!
Vocabulary has never been so many fun than when you are trying to guess a word before everyone else. A fast-paced game where everyone plays at once.
17: Steam Gift Card
Most video games have an educational component. You have to use strategy, memory, and smarts to win. And Steam is a website where you can buy thousands of different ones so the perfect gift for anyone who likes any type of video game
18: Catch Phrase
If no one in your family owns this you are missing out on a fun group game. Pass the device around a circle and whoever has it must describe the phrase they are given. Everyone else (or everyone on their team depending on how you play) tries to guess. All the while the time is ticking – can you get someone to solve it so you pass it on before time runs out?
19: 3D Jigsaw Puzzles
3D Jigsaw Puzzle add a whole new level of fun to regular ones – and complexity of course!
20: Catapult kit
Your kids first build these catapults – and then challenge each other to see who is the better shot.
Can you describe the word(s) on the card without using any of the 5 Taboo words? A fun game of giving clues and guessing other people’s clues.
22: Nancy Drew Phantom of Venice PC game
Nancy Drew PC games are SO much fun. According to the reviews they do work on newer computers as well as older ones. This one is set in Venice and you get to help Nancy Drew solve clues and uncover the truth.
23: Framed App
Gift this app to a tween or teen who loves solving puzzles. You have to order the frames of a cartoon so that the required outcome is achieved. It is very unique. Both I and one of my daughters have played it and loved it.
24: The Moscow Puzzles
25: Magazine Subscription – Discover
Magazine subscriptions make great last minute gifts. Discover, Popular Science and Popular Mechanics are all ones teens will enjoy as they aren’t hard to understand.
Any more great idea? Leave a comment!