Tablet Tools

Looking for an iPad game that actually challenges kids to think? Consider the Osmo Genius Kit ($99.99). It comes with a special dock and sets of tangrams, letters and numbers. Five apps work with the device's camera, so kids can match patterns, spell words shown in pictures and solve math problems. It was one of Time magazine's Best Inventions of 2014.

Available at Marbles: The Brain Store, 121 Easton Town Center, B-104, Columbus 43219; 614-948-7800; marblesthebrainstore.com.

Success Stories

Give someone on your list a dose of inspiration with stories of real-life role models. Girls Who Rocked the World: Heroines from Joan of Arc to Mother Teresa ($10.99) by Michelle Roehm McCann and Amelie Weldentells of 46 women who made an impact as teenagers (or younger). Boys Who Rocked the World: Heroes from King Tut to Bruce Lee ($9.99) by Michelle Roehm McCannexplores how 46 men succeeded before age 20.

Available at the COSI gift shop, 333 W. Broad St. (Downtown), Columbus 43215; 614-629-3109; cosi.org.

Heavy Metal

Think of it as a next-generation Slinky. The GeoFlux ($17.99) by Geospace is billed as an "amazing mesmerizing interactive spring toy." In reality, it's a stainless steel band formed into a series of connected metallic rings. Spin it on an arm or a stick, pass it to a friend or just display it as a funky sculpture.

Available at geospaceplay.com.

Maker Space

The Rule Your Room Kit ($99.95) by littleBits lets kids learn STEM skills while fending off nosy siblings and adults. This DIY maker kit has the workings to create eight different inventions, including a burglar buzzer, trigger-activated safe, creepy eyeballs and a pop-up puppet.

Available at some Barnes & Noble locations, at barnesandnoble.com and littlebits.com.

All Aboard

Fans of the board game series Ticket to Ride will be happy there's now a version for ages 5 and older. Ticket to Ride First Journey ($29.99) lets players collect trains and claim routes while checking out North American destinations. For two to four players.

Available exclusively at Target stores and online at target.com.

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