Unplugged gift ideas for gifted and talented children

Parents searching for suitable gifts for their gifted and talented child can look beyond those with a charging cord.

Mom and daughter playing board game

“While there are plenty of fun and educational gifts for devices of all sorts, board games are an excellent way to engage the brain to develop problem-solving skills, apply logic, devise winning strategies and, at times, work as a team, said Kristen Seward, associate director of the Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute (GER2I) at Purdue University.

“Kids and parents can give their eyes a rest from their devices and focus on each other as they play challenging, interactive games,” she said.

Seward, also a clinical assistant professor of gifted, creative and talented studies, conducts research in gifted education and supervises youth enrichment programs as part of GER2I in the College of Education.

She said parents should remember that school-age children with high ability can master toys and games that are recommended for those three to four years older.

Among the gifts that Seward recommends are:

For younger children

Rush Hour® is a traffic-jam logic and problem-solving game. This game was voted Parents’ Choice Best 25 Toys of 25 Years and contains over 40 challenges. In Rush Hour, a sliding block logic game, players have to battle the gridlock as they slide the blocking vehicles out of the way for the red car to exit.

The game is available for $19.99 at https://www.thinkfun.com/products/rush-hour/.

For late elementary aged youth

Forbidden Desert Thirst for Survival Players attempt to recover a legendary flying machine buried deep in the ruins of an ancient desert city. They must coordinate with teammates, use every available resource to survive the scorching heat and relentless sandstorm, and escape with the flying machine before players become permanent artifacts of the Forbidden Desert!

The game is available for $26.99 at https://gamewright.com/product/Forbidden-Desert.

For older youth

CATAN is an expandable board game involving clever trading, strategy/tactical skill and luck. CATAN is the yet uninhabited land, rich in natural resources. Players build roads and new settlements that eventually become cities. Succeeding in this game requires trading for resources you need for your current building projects with those resources you have in abundance. Players who build their settlements in the right places and skillfully trade their resources, increase their odds of winning.

The game is available for $49  at https://www.catan.com/game/catan.

Kristen SewardFor more details, contact Kristen Seward at (765) 494-7252 or ksseward@purdue.edu.