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toys for smart kids (ages 3-5ish)

bored99
 
Tangoes Junior
Tangoes Junior
"A variation on the classic tangoes game (which has been around for thousands of years, courtesy of China), this case includes both a set of 7 blocks (with very strong magnets--thank you Rex Games!) and about 10 cards with puzzles to solve. Even 3-year-olds like this one"
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Set
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Set
"Assemble gears in any configuration you can imagine (3D or flat) and turn a single crank to watch them all simultaneously. Fun as young as age 2 (with a lot of help--adult assembles and child turns), these continue being fun as children age."
Namits Junior Game
Namits Junior Game
"A lifesaver on long road trips, but also fun on shorter jaunts around town. It encourages observation, categorization and thinking, by asking questions like "name everything that has a button" or "what are all the things a firefighter does" or "name the things you would see at a wedding.""
Kapla 100 Piece Wooden Building Set
Kapla 100 Piece Wooden Building Set
"Far more versatile than legos, cardboard blocks, lincoln logs, etc., etc... you can (I'm not kidding) build a replica of the Eiffel Tower with these. They're also surprisingly easy to work with and are fun for 3-year-olds to work with (although their constructions are admittedly less complex)."
You've Been Sentenced Game
You've Been Sentenced Game
"Surprisingly fun. In this game, you're dealt 10 word cards (each card has 5 variants on a word, like walk/walking/walker/etc, so you can pick the one that's right for your sentence), and get points for constructing the longest sentence. The hilarity comes with some silly combinations... my early reader was hooked when she created the sentence "the children opened the stinky diaper""