Around this age, kids are super into their friendships; they’re also fired up by toys that tap their imaginations. And they’re likely becoming real readers. Strategy games, books, and toys that skew a little more grown-up are all winners.
No baby stuff here! Artistic ingénues will love this sophisticated coloring book that features line-drawing illustrations from real-deal creatives like Keith Haring, Shepard Fairey, Keita Takahashi and more, all waiting to be colored in by the kid who’s just a little too cool for school.
For the animal loving little whose parents just aren’t down with pet life, it’s musical Meowzies to the rescue! These virtual pets have fluffy tails and make real kitten sounds; they even play games and do tricks. Best of all, they never, ever wake you up in the middle of the night with that disgusting hairball-hacking noise.
This enduring game — updated with touchscreen technology — is fun for the whole family, but given that one’s success depends on a super-sharp memory and lightning-quick reflexes, kids might have the advantage. Sorry, mom and dad. (And hey, if your ego needs a pick-me-up, next time play Scrabble.)
This awesome camera will introduce kids to the strange and exotic world of printed photographs. Of course, it’s not totally old school: it’s a Polaroid, after all, so there’s no trucking to the FotoMat to pick up your prints and wonder if the guy at the counter is now privy to the details of your family vacay. There’s also a mirror next to the lens, because selfies. (Nothing worse than wasting film on a bad duckface.)
Naval warfare in the comfort of your own home… What could be better? Kidding. This classic strategy game is a great way to spend an afternoon with a pal, no violence, politics, or large bodies of water necessary.
Real-life superheroes are infinitely cooler than pretend ones, and this collection, which features the true stories of Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, and Albert Einstein, will inspire and entertain kids who love hearing about people who are larger than life. Throw in a cape, and they’ll be in heaven.
The classics never go out of style (though the same might not be said of Air Jordans), and this basketball and hoop will help ballers hone their skills while turning any room into a court. Which may or may not be a good thing.
The good news: This game — draw a card, and then bounce ping pong balls to recreate the card’s pattern on the game board — is addictively fun, and will keep kids happily entertained for hours. The bad news: If they get too good, they’ll be coming home from every county fair with a school of goldfish.
The View-Master gets a 21st century-refresh here, taking kids into the realm of 360-degree virtual reality. With a built-in phone adapter to connect to the app, Google Cardboard compatibility, and a headphone jack, kids can immerse themselves completely into a world without homework, kid sisters, or peas.
Who run the world? Beyoncé knows what’s up, and this beautiful book of true stories about the lives of one hundred amazing women surely will inspire your favorite young lady to do something awesome with her own life—and your favorite young man to recognize just how incredible girls and women are.
Is it a strategy game disguised as a war game, or Capture-the-Flag in board game form? Who cares! For kids who are into any of the above, this game — unchanged in fifty years and as engrossing as ever — will be a hit.
This internationally-beloved game of skill and strategy is perfect for little thinkers who have a wee (or big) competitive streak. And their kids, too. Ba-dum-pum.