Shopping can be a huge hassle, especially when it’s super-hot outside. But you can beat the heat (and the stress) this summer by going to a one-stop-shop for all your gifting needs. (You’ve gotta promise to tell your friends and family all about it if we tell you, deal? Deal.) Well, it’s the Thinkery Store, of course—our onsite gift shop stocked with fun, creative and educational gifts for children of all ages. If you’re looking for the perfect toy to keep your little one occupied all summer long, look no further. Our hand-picked Top 10 Toys of Summer 2018 is a curated selection of some of our favorite finds designed to inspire and delight.
Also, you can feel good about what you buy in the Thinkery Store. All shop sales directly support fun and learning in the museum. That’s right, every single purchase goes toward enriching the Thinkery experience for our guests. Take a look at our Top 10 Toys of Summer 2018, and don’t forget to pick ’em up in the Thinkery Store during your next visit!
The “summer slide” or “brain drain” doesn’t exist when you have a SUMMER Brain Quest Books. These interactive workbooks are filled with fun activities, games and personalized tracking to keep children engaged and prepared for the coming school year. With both indoor and outdoor activities, this workbook includes bonus challenges, curriculum-based exercises and even has a summer reading list.
Perfect for: Little brainiacs ages 4+.
Bamboo Builder Marble Run encourages early engineering and three-dimensional thinking skills. The marble run is compatible with many other Bamboo Builder sets and helps foster innovative creating with balance and motor skills. It’s perfect for promoting visual and cognitive thinking processes and building a strong STEAM foundation.
Perfect for: Busy builders ages 4+.
Open endless possibilities with Hexactly! Hexagons are found throughout the natural world and are considered one of the fundamental building blocks. So why not build with them? Create towers, flowers, snowflakes or use the included challenges to invent and explore.
Perfect for: Shape-smart tots ages 3+.
This summer, Make Your Own Motor Boat with this simple, waterproof motor to expand your imagination and create your own boat—or any other machine you might want. Head outside and the 2-bladed propeller motor can help you reconnect with nature by exploring, creating and playing.
Perfect for: Future (or current!) captains ages 7+.
Build coordination skills (and your imagination!) as you drill in kid-sized bolts. The Design & Drill Take-Along Tool Kit is a self-contained travel case that is easy and engaging for summer trips or an afternoon in the park.
Perfect for: Mini builders ages 3+.
Engineer your own playtime fun with Gears – Machines in Motion! This hands-on machine set provides creative, open-ended building activities while promoting STEAM skills and critical thinking through fun trial and error. Each set also works with other Gears toys, allowing for even greater possibilities.
Perfect for: Eager engineers ages 5+.
Take stop-motion animation to the next level with Stikbot Movie Set! Stikbot has individual bots, a full movie set and even greenscreens for you to use as you animate your figures and build your own movie world. An added bonus? You can animate and share Stikbot videos online, too!
Perfect for: Future movie directors ages 4+.
Create your own special putty colors and effects with Mixed by Me Thinking Putty. The mixing and creating is just the beginning—putty is a great and interactive toy that is helpful for children with sensory sensitivities. All the assorted colors and unique mixes make this an excellent choice for a rainy summer afternoon. Oh, and did we mention that it’s holographic?
Perfect for: Mini-mixologists ages 8+.
Ready to explore all the mini gems hiding in the world? You’ll never forget your First Microscope! This toy has won tons of awards—the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal, Parents’ Choice Silver Award and Toy of the Year Finalist—so how could you go wrong?
Perfect for: Pre-school pioneers ages 3+.
Botley the Coding Robot teaches the basics of coding through active play while promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Ready to use right out of the box, this little robot pairs hands-on, screen-free coding with advanced features that can challenge and grow with you.
Perfect for: Curious coders ages 5+.
BONUS! Planning to travel this summer and need a cool and convenient pack to carry your summer fun? Try out an Animal Packers backpack! These lightweight, washable, eco-friendly, ethically made packs are made locally and are perfect for toddler/pre-schoolers.