clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Vox’s gift guide for curious kids

If you buy something from a Vox link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

We've gathered together gifts for curious children of all ages — presents that stimulate exploration and wonder and are still downright fun. (Many of our picks are awesome for adults, too.) —Susannah Locke, Allison McHenry, Jen Trolio, Kim Stiens

Sophie the Giraffe

This massively popular French toy is still the No. 1–selling teether on Amazon. Amazon/$21.24

Magna-Tiles starter set

These tiles are great for the burgeoning builder. Their magnets make them fancier than plain old blocks and more user-friendly than Legos. For ages 3 and up. Amazon/$49.99

Press Here

This book, which the New York Times rightly described as "elegantly conceived," has a clever take on interactivity that requires no batteries or weird patches of fake fur. Ages 4 to 8. Amazon/$9.09


These mini programmable robots double as educational toys by helping kids learn to code. And there's a new Marvel/Avengers tie-in line, too. For ages 5 to 18. Ozobot/from $59

Opinel Le Petit Chef set

Get kids in the kitchen early with this knife and peeler set from the French knifemaker Opinel that features guides for correct finger placement and a guard for preventing cuts. Amazon/$38.99

The Pocket Scavenger

This book encourages kids (and adults) to find a series of ordinary objects and modify them in surprising ways. Amazon/$10

Laser Maze

Use a series of lasers plus transparent and reflective surfaces to solve a series of increasingly challenging puzzles. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Amazon/$15.99

Project Runway Fashion Design Challenge set

Includes fabric, beads, thread, sequins, markers, a dress model — everything a fashion designer needs. Amazon/$99.92

Student microscope

Comes with 10 premounted slides and 50 blank slides for the budding biologist, plus a book for sparking kids' own ideas. Well-made, with five magnification settings up to 1,000x, this isn't a toy that will break or be forgotten next week. Amazon/$74.00

BubbleSort Zines

These zines accessibly and inclusively illustrate computer science concepts. Though they were written with teens in mind, they seem great for smart middle schoolers and curious adults too. Available in digital and physical formats. BubbleSort Zines/From $8 each

Note: Affiliate marketing links are automatically generated by Vox Media’s partner Skimlinks and are created independently of our editorial work.


The conspiracy theories about Kate Middleton’s disappearance, explained

Today, Explained newsletter

Giant worms, dour nuns, and Timothée Chalamet: The world of Dune, briefly explained


Dune: Part 2 explained, for someone who has no idea what Dune is

View all stories in Culture

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.