The holiday shopping season is upon us, and it can often be difficult to find gifts for children that are both developmentally stimulating and fun.
The Discovery Center’s gift shop has a wide array of items available for purchase that meet both needs, while also offering some products with local ties, such as A+X Puzzles.
Shoppers who are looking for A+X Puzzles are in luck, as the gift shop is stocked up with puzzles from the Black-owned company, which was started by Topeka native Amanda Wilson as a way to create better representation for the Black community for children’s puzzles. The puzzles are made up of cartoons, rather than pictures, and feature characters of color that are drawn by Wilson. Her puzzles have been sold across the nation.
In addition to being fun, the puzzles are also important tools for developing fine motor skills in children, such as hand-eye coordination, shape recognition and concentration.
For those with a scientific mind, the gift shop has a large assortment of educational gifts, including robotic hands, night sky projection kits, dinosaur bone excavation kits, butterfly nets and a Superhero Science Discovery Kit, which comes with instructions in both English and Spanish.
For children who are more artistically inclined, items such as ballerina doll-making kits, bath blocks, wooden slide whistles and different types of putties – including sea foam and Crazy Aaron’s products – are great gift ideas. There are also containers of slime with various winter-based mix-ins available, including snowflakes, ice bergs and a penguin, as well as instant snow powder. The wintry products tie directly into the Discovery Center’s current exhibit, “Snow-Ventures: A Winter Fun Exhibit!”
Other Christmas gift ideas available at the gift shop include Ty Beanie animals, honey from the Topeka Zoo and plastic dinosaurs and hatchable dinosaur eggs, which also tie into the citywide Topeka Dino Days showcase planned this upcoming spring. The Discovery Center will play a role in hosting the showcase, with its “Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies” exhibit set to run from Feb. 24 to May 30 at the center.
The gift store’s offerings will change throughout the year, so be sure to check out what the store has in stock periodically for even more fun and educational toys, games and kits.
And don’t forget, members get a 10% discount on all merchandise!