The 20 Best Toys for Gifted Children in 2020

Keep their minds entertained with these smart picks

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"This board game has more than 300 challenges that test your child's spatial awareness and critical thinking."
"Fun for middle schoolers and up, this game guides your child through building a kingdom and tests their strategic thinking."
Best One-Player Game:
SmartGames IQ Blox at Amazon
"This travel-friendly game tests your child's cognitive skills with over 120 different challenges."
"If your child loves riddles and mysteries, this book of logic-based puzzles is sure to keep them occupied for hours."
Best for Preschoolers:
SmartMax Start XL at Amazon
"Get preschoolers interested in building and design with these fun magnetic bars and spheres that can be shaped countless ways."
"This robot serves as an intro into the world of coding for kids as young as 6."
"For visual learners, this chemistry model kit can provide a fun way to learn the atomic structure of different molecules."
"For kids who are ready to take the next step in coding, this robot can be built six ways and programmed to do a variety of tasks."
"Sometimes the best toys for gifted kids are the classics. The Rubik's Cube is perfect for puzzle lovers looking for a challenge."
"Kids can build this music-playing robot from the ground up from laser-cut pieces of wood, then ask him to play a tune."
"Kids can play this shape shifting game on their own, or compete with friends and family to beat the clock on over 200 puzzles."
"Competitive kids will love this two-player game that's a logic-race to see who can get their car out of the traffic jam first."
"This flashcard set is a great educational gift for preschoolers and kindergarteners who are always looking for a new challenge."
"As beautiful as it is challenging, this pattern-based board game is sure to bring out the competitive side of your whole family."
"Young kids can learn critical thinking and spatial reasoning from this set of seven 3-D puzzles."
"As kids learn new programming skills, they can practice on this robot, which responds to drawing, scratch blocks, or JavaScript."
"Get a car-loving grade schooler interested in science with this construction kit that lets you build a four-cylinder car engine."
"This exploration kit lets kids teach themselves about circuits and electricity without dangerous tools, like soldering irons."
"Puzzle-loving teenagers will find this science-based board game a fun challenge."
"Kids as young as 8 will love this world-building game that combines puzzles and competition."

Best Overall: Educational Insights Kanoodle Extreme

This top-rated board game challenges kids to solve more than 300 challenging puzzles in 2D, 3D, and even sliding 2D configurations. All you have to do is set up the puzzle and place the remaining pieces, but the more complex arrangements will leave you scratching your brain! It’s a great exercise in spatial awareness and critical thinking.

Best Board Game: Renegade Game Studios Architects of the West Kingdom

Architects of the West Kingdom is a hit with board game lovers! This board game requires strategy as you play a royal architect, helping to build the Carolingian Empire. You can construct buildings and work on the cathedral, but you’re also forced to make moral choices that can help (or hurt) you at the end of the game. It can even be played in solo mode.

Best One-Player Game: SmartGames IQ Blox

This compact game is perfect for kids to play in the car. The goal is to fill in the game board with the colorful pieces, working around the “walls” on the board. IQ Blox comes with 120 challenges and helps improve cognitive skills in gifted kids.

Best Logic-Based: Puzzle Baron's Logic Puzzles

Puzzle Baron’s Logic Puzzles book is filled with more than 200 logic-based challenges. You’re given a backstory and list of clues, then left to deduce the correct answer—you can even increase the challenge by recording your completion time and comparing it to the average, which is listed on their website.

Best for Preschoolers: SmartMax Start XL

Children ages 3 and up will have tons of fun with this magnetic construction kit! It comes with 18 short bars, 12 long bars, and 12 magnetic balls that toddlers can use to create all sorts of designs. The pieces easily stick together, and they’re big enough for little hands to hold comfortably.

Best STEM: Ozobot Bit Coding Robot

There’s no better way for kids to develop STEM skills than with the cute Ozobot Bit Coding Robot. They can either draw with a marker and watch the robot follow their commands or use the app-based programming editor to write real code for their robotic friend.

Best Chemistry: Dalton Labs Molecular Model Kit

This chemistry model kit is ideal for kids who love science! It includes 178 pieces that they can use to create 3D models of molecules and help visualize atomic structure. This fun kit will come in handy all throughout their schooling—some reviewers say they even used it in college.

Best Coding: Robobloq Robot Kit

Coding is an in-demand skill right now, and gifted kids will have a blast learning real programming skills with this robot kit. They can build the robot six different ways, then control it using drag-and-drop programming on the associated app, making their creation play music, avoid obstacles, and more.

Best Retro: Winning Moves Rubik’s Cube

The Rubik’s Cube is an iconic toy that’s perfect for gifted kids. This colorful puzzle is a 3-by-3-by-3 cube with twisting sides, and the goal is to have each side a solid color—however, it’s a lot trickier than it seems with 43 quintillion possible moves. This particular model comes with a stand, as well, so kids can display the completed puzzle.

Best Puzzle: ROBOTIME 3D Puzzle Music Box Craft Kit

With this wooden craft kit, children can build Orpheus, a robot-shaped music box that plays a tune and lights up. The kit takes about five hours to complete for those who are new to model construction, and the company offers a wide variety of other 3D model kits, too.

Educational Insights RiddleCube the Game

This affordable game challenges children to improve their spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills. It includes four shape-shifting cubes and 200 puzzles that they can either tackle on their own or race against friends to compete.

Think Fun Rush Hour Shift

This is a twist on the best-selling logic game Rush Hour, reconfigured for two players. You’ll take turns moving cars on the board according to the cards in your hand, trying to get your Hero Car across the board first. Work quickly before the grid shifts, though! Thinking & Problem-Solving for Pre-K–Kindergarten

Kids in preschool and kindergarten can strengthen their critical thinking, verbal reasoning, patterning, sequencing, and more skills with the help of this flash card set. The fun puzzles on each of the 72 cards are ideal for helping them prepare for gifted child testing, and there are sets available covering other topics, as well.

Plan B Games Azul Board Game

Reviewers can’t get enough of Azul, a strategy-based game with beautiful, brightly colored tiles. The whole premise is to place your collected tiles on the board in specific patterns to earn points while trying to stop your opponents from getting points, and it can get quite competitive as everyone tries to outwit their opponents.

Gamie IQ Challenge Set

Keep kids entertained for hours with this seven-piece puzzle set, which is ideal for kids around 5 years old (though reviewers say they’re quite advanced and suitable for older kids). The set includes several puzzle balls, as well as a wooden cube puzzle and metal ring puzzle, that kids can practice taking apart and reconstructing.

Sphero BOLT App-Enabled Robot

This advanced app-controlled robot ball teaches kids coding skills as they program it to complete various activities. It can be driven using the associated app, and what’s great is that there are various ways to code the robot, including drawing, using scratch blocks, or writing in JavaScript, making it suitable for a range of skill levels.

Smithsonian Motor-Works Advanced Science Kit

Older children (8 and up) who are interested in science, engineering, and cars will relish the chance to build their very own four-cylinder engine. This STEM-focused kit includes everything needed to build a motor, including spark plugs, pistons, and more.

Snap Circuits Pro Electronics Exploration Kit

This popular electronics kit lets kids learn all about circuits without the need for tools or soldering. It comes with 75+ snap-on modules that kids can arrange on the board to create real, working electrical circuits as they complete more than 500 cool projects of varying difficulty.

CMON Gizmos

In this unique board game, players take on the role of inventors, working to create complex machines. You collect energy marbles from the 3D marble dispenser, which allow you to purchase new additions for your invention. Whoever builds the best machine at the end of the game wins!

Blue Orange Planet Board Game

This award-winning board game lets you create your very own planet! Players each have a 12-sided 3D plant core, and throughout the game, you race to populate your planet with various ecosystems. It’s quick and fun to play, and Planet even won the Mensa Select award.

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