If you are raising a child who is gifted, you understand the joys and challenges of raising a child who looks at life from a different perspective. Keeping your child entertained can be an ongoing challenge. Use this Gift Guide of Games and Toys for Gifted Kids to find activities that will keep your child engaged and interested.
It wasn’t until I was raising a gifted child that I learned the ways that gifted children think differently. Our kids don’t just grasp concepts more quickly – they actually learn and think in a different way from typical kids.
Years ago my son said to me, “Other people see a door knob and use it to open the door. My mind is so busy trying to figure out what the doorknob looks like inside and how it works, that sometimes I forget I’m supposed to be opening the door.” This was such a helpful explanation for me to understand why my child sometimes acts the way that he does!
Gifted children are intense on many levels. They tend to have stronger emotional intensity too, which brings challenges for us as parents. If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend you check out these two books: Raising a Gifted Child and Smart But Scattered.
Now let’s get to the fun – games and toys for our gifted kids!
Gift Guide of Games and Toys for Gifted Kids
The following are all games, toys, and items we own and our gifted son (currently 16 years old) recommends. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something for your gifted child from this list.
The Game of GO: The Traditional Eastern Game
Described as this, “To most western players, the game of Go is an enigma. Invented in China 4,000 years ago, it has no proper analogue in the West. It’s like chess, but endlessly more complex.”
The rules are amazingly simple but the strategy is not. This game reminds me of a higher-thinking Mancala. If your family is new to Go, I would suggest a book about strategy such as How to Play Go for Beginners, and you can also find many tutorials on You Tube.
Hanayama Teaser Puzzles
Of all the games and puzzles we’ve bought for our gifted son over the years, these Hanayama Teaser Puzzles continue to be a favorite. The puzzles come based on level of difficult, and there are 20+ different designs. Once solved, our son continues to use them as a fidget toy, so they are valuable beyond one use. At about $10 each, these are a great stocking stuffer.
H&H Hanayama Cast Metal Brain Teaser Puzzle (Level 5)QUARTET Hanayama Cast Metal Brain Teaser Puzzle (Level 6)NEWS Hanayama Cast Metal Brain Teaser Puzzle (Level 6)SPIRAL Hanayama Cast Metal Brain Teaser Puzzle (Level 5)DONUTS Hanayama Cast Metal Brain Teaser Puzzle (Level 4)
Rubix Cube Varieties
D-FantiX Yongjun Yileng Cube Fisher Cube 3×3 Speed Cube Puzzle BlackD-FantiX Shengshou Mirror Cube Set Mirror Block 3×3 Speed Cube Bundle Puzzle Silver Golden Pack of 2D-FantiX Shengshou Mirror Cube 3×3 Speed Cube Unequal Puzzle Silver Black 57mm
This kids’ delivery kit gives kids the chance to be creative in the kitchen. This is for the younger set (ages 5-10) but even my older ones enjoyed the recipes and had fun testing out the new tools that come in each set. Click here to learn more about Kidstir kits.
Kids will love building a model rocket and then launching it in a safe place in the neighborhood. Most kits are not that expensive, and some will do fun extra stuff like take photos from the sky.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It is a capable little computer which can be used in electronics projects, and for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word processing, browsing the internet, and playing games.
Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online.
Both Rasberry Pi and Arduino provide basic parts and the sky is the limit for what can be created. Your child might need direction for projects that can be created. There are multitude ideas on You Tube, and also check out
Learn Electronics with Arduino: An Illustrated Beginner’s Guide to Physical Computing (Make)DK Workbooks: Raspberry Pi Projects WorkbookCanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit – 32 GB EditionArduino Uno 3 Ultimate Starter Kit Includes 12 Circuit Learning Guide
Basically all Legos are awesome as far as our family is concerned. Check out the following Lego sets that are especially great for kids who need an extra challenge.
LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313 Robot Kit for KidsThe LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Idea Book: 181 Simple Machines and Clever ContraptionsLEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 Building and Coding Kit (847 Pieces)LEGO Technic Getaway Racer 42046 Building KitLEGO Technic Ultralight Helicopter 42057 Advance Building SetLEGO Technic Power Functions Motor Set 8293LEGO Technic Display Team Jet 42044 Building Kit
Drones have come down significantly in price over the last several years are are fun for kids and adults alike. Many of the controls are highly sensitive so teach your kids to use a gentle touch. Also be sure you are flying low enough not to interfere with airplanes in your area.
DROCON Scouter Foldable Mini RC drone for kids with Altitude Hold Mode, One Key Take off Landing, 3D Flips and Headless Mode Quadcopter Easy Fly Steady for BeginnersEACHINE E010 Mini UFO Quadcopter Drone 2.4G 4CH 6 Axis Headless Mode Remote Control Nano Quadcopter RTF Mode 2 (Green)Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone 2.4Ghz 6-Axis Gyro 4 Channels Quadcopter Good Choice for Drone TrainingJJRC H36 Mini 2.4G 4CH 6Axis Gyro Headless Mode Remote Control RC Quadcopter RTF One-key Return (Black)
Suspend is a fun game for families. All ages can play, but kids who love strategy will especially appreciate this game. A word of caution – this game does require a steady hand, so if your child struggles with fine motor skills Suspend could cause some frustration.
Many gifted kids love puzzles, and these 3D puzzles create extra challenge.
Cinderella’s 3D Castle 200 Piece PuzzleWREBBIT 3D Hogwarts Great Hall 3D Puzzle (850 Piece)Original 3D Crystal Puzzle – Deluxe Pirate Ship BlackRavensburger Eiffel Tower – Night Edition – 3D Puzzle (216-Piece)
I picked up this Laser Maze game on a whim one day while shopping at Target, and I’m so glad I did. I discovered Think Fun has a whole world of toys that are great for helping kids use their brain while having a good time. Designed to teach kids the basic skills of computer coding, Laser Maze can be played independently and has 30+ patterns for kids to solve.
Bonus Gift Ideas!
Here are a couple more game ideas for gifted kids. We don’t own these games but they came recommended by a friend who has a daughter who is gifted.
Quarto – Award winning abstract strategy game
Machi Koro – A city building board game
What games and toys do your gifted kids love? Share in the comments below.
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