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Top 10 Toys for Gifted Children

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Tired of buying toys for your gifted child only to have the toys sit on the shelf or in the closet? Gifted children can quickly tire of the typical children's toy. They need toys that challenge them to think and hold their interest. The games and toys here are ten of the best for gifted children. They are truly smart toys for smart kids!

1. Set: The Family Game of Visual Perception

Set is an all-time favorite of gifted kids. The object of the game is to find sets of three cards by following specific grouping rules. Each card has one of three shapes on it (a squiggle, a diamond, or an oval). The card can have one to three of those shapes on it and the shapes will be one of three colors displayed with one of three patterns. Gifted children are usually quick to pick out the sets from the twelve visible cards. It is a great game for the whole family.
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2. Cranium Cadoo for Kids

This board game is a 2001 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner, and it's no wonder it received that award. It combines elements of some traditional favorite games like Charades, Name-That-Tune, and Trivial Pursuit, and adds elements of drawing and sculpting too! Players draw cards which tell them what task they must complete before the musical timer goes off. The game is fun for the entire family, from the youngest to the oldest. Any number of players can join the fun starting with at least two.
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3. Qwirkle

Qwirkle, a game for two to four players, consists of 109 wood blocks. The idea is to create rows and columns of matching colors and shapes. It requires both deep and quick thinking strategies and challenges -- perfect for gifted kids! It's for ages 6 and up.
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4. Apples to Apples

Another multi-award winning game: Family Fun Toy of the Year Award and Mensa Select Award, among others. This game is for four to ten players, with a recommended age of 12 and up. Cards have either a noun or an adjective and players must match one of each card. A judge then decides on the "best" match, but throughout the game, players take turns being the judge! Some younger gifted children could play the game, but there is also a children's version. It's fun for the whole family!
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5. Mad Gab Game

Mad Gab is a hilarious language game based on sounds and pauses in speech. Players have to read a phrase from a card and their opponent must guess what the "real" phrase is. While the sounds are basically the same in each phrase, the sounds are broken up with pauses in between different sounds! "Dew Wino Hue," for example, is actually "Do I know you?" The game is for 2 or more players aged ten to adult. Gifted children who enjoy language love this game.
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6. Rush Hour Traffic Jam Logic Puzzle

This game is great for those gifted children who love to solve problems and work out puzzles, and that includes just about every gifted child out there! The object of the game is to get from point A to point B, but you have to get through a gridlock, which you do by sliding cars and trucks to make room. Only one person at a time can play this game, so you might want to get more than one! Everyone in the family will have fun, from the five-year old to the adult.
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7. Capsela Construction Kits

Children who like to know how things work will love the Capsela Construction kits. They can construct working models powered by a small battery. Gears, wheels and see-through interlocking parts allow children to build illustrated models or create their own. Those gifted children who enjoy science will love these construction kits as well. The pieces are easy to work with so children as young as 7 will have few problems putting models together and seeing how everything works. These toys are hard to find these days, but some of them can be found at the I love the 80's Web site.

8. Rokenbok Construction Sets

These construction sets allow children to be junior engineers as they build various working models like garages, conveyors, and elevators. The basic starter set can be expanded with several expansion kits that stretch children's creativity and problem solving skills. Remote control trucks add to the fun. Even the adults in the family will enjoy building models. The recommended age for Rokenbok construction sets is six and up.
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9. Kapla Planks

The best description for this building set is simple, but complex. The set consists of flat planks of wood, all the same shape and size. That's the simple part. Those pieces, however, can be combined and stacked in a wide variety of ways, allowing children to build just about any kind of structure and to build it quite high without it falling down. Kids can be creative while they learn about balance and even architecture. Adults will love these building planks as much as their kids do.
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10. Home Planetarium

This plantarium projects over 300 stars and constellations onto the walls and ceiling of any darkened room. Gifted kids who are fascinated by space will enjoy using the planetarium to learn and identify those stars and constellations. Parents are sometimes disappointed by home planetariums when a room doesn't look like a real planetarium, but children love looking at the lighted dots that represent stars. This planetarium comes with a CD and an illustrated book of the universe.
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