Sure, all parents think their kids are smart. If you want to stimulate the quantitative and inquisitive side, here are a few things to get started down that road. Good luck.
There are a ton of chemistry kits out there, some more scientifically appealing than others. If you want to steer the kids away from creating their own flavor of sugary soda, consider the various kits from Green Science ($14.95-$18.95). With eco-friendliness in mind (including the packaging), users can learn how to use potatoes or lemons to power a clock or learn how to create a spinning top generator. Want to bring in some of the old classics? The Rubik’s Cube ($14.95) is still popular and widely available. But now it’s also available in four-by-four ($24.95) and five-by-five ($36.95) versions–for those who think that solving the original cube in under two minutes’ time is getting boring.
For the parents who want their kids to be thinking all the time (and we mean all the time), try putting some Potty Paper ($5.95) in the bathroom. While on the porcelain seat, solve word hunts printed on the toilet paper rolls or study instructions on how to fold an origami crane. If the kids aren’t into it, at least they can literally wipe their you-know-whats with the paper.
Great thinkers may look to other great thinkers for inspiration. Perhaps a special-ordered, bicentennial edition Charles Darwin bobblehead from the UH Manoa Library holiday gift shop will do the trick. In celebration of Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of his publication of On the Origin of Species, this limited-edition toy is definitely a collectible.
While technology is becoming increasingly cool for all types these days, a personalized thumb drive (from $16.99) gives one a fashionable tech edge. Choose the color, memory size, and text or image to laser print on to the drive. With such a tailored electronic toy, the youth will be more likely to keep track of the small device, whether it carries photos of summer vacation, college application essays or the next breakthrough dissertation in feminist theory.