The holidays are all about children, but that doesn't mean they can't be good for children, too. Don't just get your kids apps for their iPads, get them something tangible. And get them something that can really help them in the long term.
Here are 12 great gifts that could make your kids smarter.
Buy now: Disruptus
Disruptus is a work out for anyone's brain, even yours. When it's your turn, you have one minute to take two objects and create something new out of them.
So, for instance, you could take a staircase and a book and make a bookcase, turn contacts into camera lenses or make a door knocker out of a high heeled shoe. Innovate and win!
Buy now: GoldieBlox Craft-Struction Box
Introduce your kids to STEM and spark their creativity with this engineering construction set equipped with over 275 pieces.
Buy now: Suspend
These wires and weights are a great way to teach your kid (aged eight and older) about the laws of physics.
Buy now: 100-Piece Clear Multi-Color Magnetic Tiles Set
Go simple and classic with a set of magnetic tiles to boost your kids' imaginations. Children can use the tiles to build whatever comes to mind: a castle, a truck or an abstract tribute to you to demonstrate how much they appreciate the present.
Buy now: 15-Piece Super Player Rhythm Set
Playing music makes everyone smarter. Get your child some rhythm instruments, usable for anyone at least three years old. With a 15-piece set, the whole family can get involved.
Plus, if they join a band later in life, your kids will thank you for having made them cooler.
Buy now: The Empathy Toy At-Home Set
For how simple this game is, its lessons are profound. To play, both players get blindfolded. One has to configure their pieces in a certain shape, and then, through verbal descriptions only, help the other player mimic it.
The puzzle can only be solved once the players understand each other.
Buy now: Build Your Own Kaleidoscope Kit
This way, your kid can figure out the mechanics of something you probably don't even understand yourself.
Buy now: Mastermind
Set a secret code and let another player try to use deductive reasoning and logic to solve it.
Buy now: World Globe with Magnifying Glass
Don't know where Turkmenistan is? Learn while helping your kids not repeat your mistakes.
Buy now: Basic Roominate
This the future of the doll house. With Roominate, kids innovate to build much more elaborate structures than older generations used to.
Buy now: Chess set
Go classic with one of the world's oldest and best strategy games. Who knows — maybe your child will be the next Bobby Fisher.
Disclosure: These items have been handpicked by our editorial team. CNBC has affiliate relationships with some retailers so in some cases, if you purchase an item from one of our gift guides, we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchase. This holiday season, the proceeds will be donated to the Council for Economic Education, which supports economic and financial education.
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