Gift Buying Guide

We understand how difficult it can be buying gifts for kids (adults too), especially if they’re not yours. You want your gift to be used and appreciated. When you walk into Brain Storm, some of the first questions we ask you is what grade they are in? What are their special interests? Are mom and dad currently working on improving a particular subject with them?

Brain Storm has you covered! We have complied a list of games/toys based on the developmental skills certain age groups are developing. These items are meant to encourage physical, mental, and emotional growth, no matter what age! Consult our gender neutral, battery free, age specific smart fun guide to get you started!


0-3 Months Old

  • Squeeze Toys
  • Textured Balls
  • Rattles/Teethers
  • Board Books with bright colors & textures
  • Puppets/Stuffed Animals
  • Floor Quilts

6-12 Months Old

  • Tunnels for crawling
  • Shape sorters
  • Noise Makers
  • Non-breakable mirrors
  • Bathtub toys
  • Balls of various size and textures
  • Toys with combinations: flaps, slides, dials, levers.

1-3 Years

  • Push/Pull Toys
  • Ride on Toys
  • 2-12 piece Puzzles
  • Accessories for make believe
  • Musical Instruments: harmonicas, maracas, drums
  • Crafts: coloring with triangular crayons, playdoh
  • Nesting/Stacking Toys
  • Matching Games: color/picture/shape matching

4-6 Years

  • Building Blocks & Materials
  • Floor Puzzles 24-100 pieces
  • Storybooks
  • Pretend Play Sets, trucks/cars/food/role play
  • Crafts: finger painting, coloring books, cutting
  • Fine Motor Activities: lacing and creating patterns   
  • Toys/Games teaching sight words/numbers.

8-14 Years

  • Chapter Books
  • 300+ piece Puzzles
  • Building/Model Sets
  • Classification ID Books/Guides
  • Klutz DIY Art & Craft books: figure drawing, weaving
  • Math & Spelling Games/Activities
  • Visual Perception/Strategy Games: spot it!, set
  • Eye/Hand Coordination: juggling, balancing, magic
  • Physical Movement Toys: kites, bikes, jump rope

High School & College Age

  • Multi-level Strategy Games: Dominon, Ticket to Ride
  • 2-Player Strategy Games: chess, mancala, euchre
  • Hand Fidget Toys: putty, stress balls, kendamas
  • Brain Teasers: Rubix cubes, metal puzzles
  • Intricate Coloring Books 
  • 500+ piece Puzzles
  • Games encouraging Social Interactions/Collaborations: Catan, Forbidden Island, Suspend

Adults & Seniors

  • Any Kind of Puzzle!
  • Adult Coloring Books
  • Mah Jong/Chess
  • Arts & Crafts: painting, drawing, quilting/knitting, DIY crafts 
  • Musically Inclined Activities: wind chimes, piano, instruments
  • Brain Fitness Games: logic puzzles, sudoku, crossword, word searches

Hopefully this guide helps get you started and let’s be real; age is just a construct. No one person grows and develops at the same rate as the next. If you want to play with something labeled for Age 8 (it’s just a minimum suggestion) go for it! “The creative adult is the child who survived.” —Ursula K. Le Guin

*** Special thanks goes to the former Teacher Consultant, Debbie Adams of the TBAISD’s Infant Toddler team for providing assisting in the creation of this guide.