Who says educational gifts are for kids and students only? You should never stop being curious or loose your sense of discovery whether you’re at work or at play. The good news is, there’s an educational aspect to just about any game out there. Whether on a small or a large scale, games and products that stimulate our interest and get our brain thinking are educational whether they are labeled as that or not.
For many people who get lost in the day to day routine and lose their purpose and excitement in life, adding something that exercises their brain with a sense of play could be the answer to a better mood and maybe even a newly discovered hobby. While there are many educational games and products out there that are suitable for kids, not many are labeled as "educational" and brain stimulating for adults. Next time you’re searching for the perfect gift for a loved one, throw in a semi-educational but fun product in the mix! There are thousands of great innovative products on the market, but we’ve picked eight ideas we love that might make your search for that perfect gift a little easier:
We all remember that semi-boring periodic table from high school… Thankfully, this deck of cards gives us a new perspective and awakens our interest in taking a look at it again- with some enthusiasm this time. It has bold images of what each element looks like finally giving us a more exciting visual of what we’re learning. Yes, this is a perfect learning tool if you’re struggling to pass that chemistry test in school, but there is also no reason why this shouldn’t be a fun tool for adults that want to awaken their memory. This great way to learn includes scientific facts and data on the back of each card along with stories that will help you remember them better. And speaking of memory, provided also are some additional cards that suggest activities and study tips as well as an explanation of each one of the elements and their arrangement. In the words of Uncommongoods, “ get yours before they Argon!”.
Aristotel's Numbers Puzzle
Math might not be something you choose to practice in your spare time, but if you bring a sense of play to it, it will do wonders for your brain. Scientists say there are long lasting benefits to exercising your brain with math, and The Aristotle’s Numbers Puzzle will add a little more excitement to something that is notorious for not being “fun” for most people. So how does it work? It is a puzzle made out of antique-looking wood comprised of number tiles which are meant to be aligned to give the same total in each row. Once you start exploring all the different combinations of numbers, math starts to be a little more fun- and guess what? Your brain is benefiting from it at the same time. Plus, it’s kind of nice to keep your mind off the daily grind, and give your brain some well-deserved, smart playfulness.
The Lucky Gardner DYI Green Terrarium
This gift is definitely for the nurturing soul. Although it might not come across as educational right away, you’ll definitely learn a thing or two about plant biology in the process. First of all, it is imperative to mention that this product is entirely handmade in the US- New York to be more specific, and we love that! The best thing about it however, is the uniqueness of each individual terrarium which is fully determined on each user. It feels great to put something together with your own hands and then watch it grow into a beautiful little landscape that is unique to you. The beauty of this product is that it makes such a sweet, thoughtful gift and the size and look is just perfect. If you live in the city or a more industrialized area, this cute little glass terrarium will allow you to personalize your own mini-conservatory. A proprietary mix of soil along with the seeds, embellishments and full instructions are included. How is this educational? You will learn about what is biologically necessary to plant and grow a green living thing- How much light it needs; how much water it feeds on; its behavior as it grows.
Hudinni’s Tricklock Puzzle
Since we’re on the topic of puzzles, this one is definitely one to make you scratch your head- Or maybe not, if you’re the brainy engineer in the family. This is a gift that will inspire some intense logic and critical thinking. Why? Well because this baffling lock looks just like any old one. It even comes with a key! The problem is that the key won’t do you much good with unlocking it- but your brain will. Concentrate and you’ll be able to unlock this padlock while giving your brain an intense workout. We love this gift because it is small and charming but has the unique power to really make you think. Its versatile nature makes it a perfect gift not only for those close to you but also for coworkers and acquaintances. It also reminds us of Houdini’s magic and its lasting impression on modern society!
If you are familiar with “escape the room" games, Codex-Silenda is a similar concept but in physical form. It comes from an independent inventor and it is one of the more intricate and unique puzzles on the market. It is made of beautiful wood-work and comes in the format of a book with 5 pages. Each page has intricate puzzles that need to be solved in order to unlock the next page. What we love about it is the meticulous attention to detail and high quality work behind every component of the book. It is every mechanical engineer's dream game that includes a variety of different problem solving skills and critical thinking. The puzzle-book is not yet available on the mass market, but you can pre-order one by pledging on the maker’s Crowdfunding page until it is manufactured and readily available (hopefully). Either way, it is worth the wait!
Perplexus 3-D Puzzle
We had to include a marble maze puzzle on this list! This one caught our attention because of its intricate nature. It has 125 barriers including some that you probably won’t find in your average labyrinth puzzle. It give the impression of a computerized game by offering so much variety when it comes to its barriers. Although this makes a great game for the teenagers in your family, there is no reason why you shouldn’t pick it up every once in a while and play! Marble mazes stimulate your thinking in a gentle, playful way while exercising your quick thinking and attention span. We love the Perplexus in particular because it's visually pleasing and offers lots of variety all-inclusive in a single space.
Learn to Sew Box
This is a great gift for the ladies in your life! Most women would love to learn how to sew and ultimately make and design their own clothing. It is truly a valuable skill whether you need to alter something or learn how to sew from scratch. The issue with learning how to sew is that there really wasn’t anything on the market that could get you started without feeling overwhelming and requiring lots of time, money and dedication- until now. The Learn To Sew Box has changed the process of learning how to sew from a scary one to a fun one! It is a charming little blue box that includes everything you need to sew an A-line dress from start to finish.
The box is personalized by allowing you to choose from 2 fabric prints and a solid and between three sizes: Small, Medium and Large. The box includes the fabric, your dress patterns (that are simplified and labeled accordingly), customized binding (for finishing raw edges), matching spool of thread, a water soluble marking pencil, a seam ripper and a jar of pins. To walk you through the process, the box includes a simple, visual guide that helps you cut, mark and sew the dress from start to finish while also giving you some tips and secrets along the way. This makes an exciting educational gift for every woman but especially the one that has tried to learn to sew before without success. It is not only brain stimulating but also rewarding, and it could potentially signify the beginning of a new hobby in you loved one’s life!
West Coast Style IPA Beer Brewing Kit
You might be wondering how this might be stimulating your brain… and we’re definitely not referring to drinking the final product. This is a fun, educational “game” for adults that is bound to add some excitement to your daily routine. Why educational? Well because this kit will teach you how to craft your own beer, which is an art in itself. It includes everything you need to brew your own IPA which is bound to teach you a thing or two about aging and chemistry. The kit includes a simple guide with component ingredients like malt extract, grains, high-quality yeast and two types of hops. This kit makes a great gift for your loved ones and yourself- it is rewarding and you’ll never look at beer the same again. Not only is it educational in the fact that it teaches you a new skill, it will further develop your pallet to understand how the taste of beer is achieved. Watching and understanding how the ingredients interact and the purpose of each one of them will teach you a thing or two about beer brewing chemistry.
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Today, allow yourself a few moments to explore and feel inspired because everyday is an opportunity to learn something new. Never stop searching for what makes you truly happy.