Toys for Your Future Artist

Although most of us think of Picasso primarily as a painter, he was also a sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet, and playwright. In celebration of his varied interests and artistic media, we offer the following to encourage creativity across disciplines.

1. Wee Society - Wee You-Things Blocks

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These building blocks are whimsical, instructive, and made in the USA. Players can solve puzzles, create caricatures, and build structures to their hearts’ content (ages 3+).

2. Play Shapes

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From designers Zoe Miller and David Goodman, these asymmetrical blocks encourage your young artist to think outside the box when creating new structures (ages 4+).

3. Crayon Rocks

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Your child doesn’t need to master a tripod grip to create beautiful drawings. With these large and easy-to-grasp Crayon Rocks, any young child can express herself on the page (ages 3+).

4. 50ct Connector Pen Bucket

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This set of fifty felt-tip markers will get your child drawing and coloring. The latches on its caps will also enable your child to build angular structures and explore sculpting (ages 6+).

5. Colossal Art Set

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This 4’ x 1.5’ art kit has everything your little artist could ever desire — markers, colored pencils, water colors, paintbrushes, and pastels (ages 3+).

Books for Your Future Artist

Author/artist Monica Dengo treats handwriting as an art form in her book titled “Pick Up Your Pen.” The book “Art and Max” illustrates how art encourages new perspectives. “Chuck Close Face Book,” an autobiography in which artist Chuck Close answers questions from curious fifth-graders, is a story about overcoming obstacles to create art (ages 8+).

Apps for Your Future Artist

MoMA Art Lab lets players create works of art in the styles of the greats. It also offers inventive tools to create sound compositions and collages (ages 7+). Family museum memberships are one of the most overlooked and undervalued gifts. Use the Children’s Museum Association comprehensive search tool to find children’s museums around the world.

And with our own nod to the "unboxing" phenomenon, the cardboard box, some crayons, and scissors will fuel imaginations and power creativity long after the holiday hubbub subsides.

Check out more educational gifts for kids handpicked by Noodle and Parents' Choice!

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