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22 Gifts That Will Make Your Head Spin

Puzzles, toys, games, and gifts that'll really bust your brain.

Margo Gothelf and Sarah Burns

This gift guide is full of ideas that will truly make your head spin. We’re talking puzzles, trivia, and critical thinking board games. You’ll want to have your thinking cap nearby for all of these great gifts.

1. Your World 1000-Piece Puzzle

MudPuppy Your World 1000-Piece Puzzle

MudPuppy

You’ll learn a whole lot from the MudPuppy Your World 1000-Piece Puzzle! This one doubles as a map, pointing out where animals live around the globe. When the puzzle is complete, see if you can find your favorite creatures to learn all about where they live.

2. All Are Welcome Here! 1000-Piece Family Puzzle

Mudpuppy

Mudpuppy

The All Are Welcome Here! 1000-Piece Family Puzzle from Mudpuppy sends a great message about inclusion and positive acts of kindness. This is a puzzle you’ll want to do with the whole family.

3. Pictionary Air

Mattel Games

Mattel Games

Pictionary Air takes the iconic guessing game into the 21st century. The classic board game now works side-by-side with an app, making your pictures digital. Don’t worry, guessing the items is still just as hard.

4. Trivial Pursuit Family Edition

Hasbro Games

Hasbro Games

Think you know it all? Then put your knowledge to the test with this family version of Trivial Pursuit. The family edition includes questions for both kids and adults. See if you can answer all the questions correctly to prove once and for all who is the smartest member of the family.

5. Hot Dogs A-Z 1000-Piece Puzzle

MudPuppy Hot Dogs A-Z 1000-Piece Puzzle

MudPuppy

If you love dogs and puzzles, you’ve come to the right place. When complete, this 1000-piece puzzle shows 26 illustrations of dogs, one for every letter of the alphabet. When you’re done with this one, you’ll want to bring out the puzzle glue and hang it up on your wall.

6. Micro Arcade Tetris

Tetris Mini Arcade

If you would have told any hardcore arcade gamer in the ’80s that one day they would be able to play Tetris on a smaller than the palm of your hand, they would have laughed in your face. But that dream is now a reality with Micro Arcade Tetris. This handheld game has the best qualities of the classic arcade puzzle game, and it can go wherever you go.

7. Kids Musical Crossroads Puzzle

Little Likes Kids Musical Crossroads Puzzle

Little Likes

Puzzles can be fun, but they can also spark a deeper meaning. Case in point: this Little Like Kids Musical Crossroads Puzzle. When complete, the puzzle shows a group of diverse kids rocking out to music together. The company behind the puzzle has made it a mission to represent children of all backgrounds and cultures playing together.

8. Women March! 500-Piece Round Puzzle

eeBoo Women March! 500-Piece Round Puzzle

eeBoo

Commemorate a piece of history with this puzzle. This circular puzzle celebrates the historic Women’s March of 2017 where over 4 million men, women, and children gathered for the largest single-day protest in history.

9. Qwirkle

Qwirkle Board Game Mindware

Mindware

This puzzle-solving game requires players to match tiles of the same shape and color without creating any duplicate pieces. Each tile has a point value, so the more you match, the higher your score becomes. See if you can match all six tiles and create the ultimate Qwirkle!

10. Simon Classic

Hasbro Gaming

Hasbro Gaming

Simon is a classic puzzle game that will put your memory skills to the test. The game starts at a steady pace, making it easier to remember the color patterns. But the better you get, the faster the patterns come in. Stay calm and see if you can master the patterns, beating Simon in the process.

11. The Golden Girls Puzzle

 USAOPOLY

USAOPOLY

Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia will be so proud when you complete this 1000-piece puzzle. You can even leave “The Golden Girls” on in the background if you need a little motivation to finish it.

12. That’s So '90s Quiz

Ridley’s That’s So '90s Quiz

Ridley’s

It’s time to put your knowledge of the ’90s to the test. Split the family into teams and see who can name all The Spice Girls or the singer of the “Macarena.” Millennials, this is your time to shine!

13. Operation

Hasbro Games

Hasbro Games

Operation is all about keeping those hands strong and steady. The game might be simple in concept, but it's still super hard to complete. See if you can master your shaky hand and save Cavity Sam from all of his ailments.

14. ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run

ThinkFun

The goal of ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run is to get the falling marble from A to B using a set of towers. Sound easy? Think again. Each tower comes full of its own obstacles, including ramps and bridges that are designed to trick you. Your critical thinking skills will come in handy to solve this game

15. From Here to There Maze Book

From Here to There Maze Book

Do ups, downs, twists and turns have you going around in circles, or can you find your way through the meticulously drawn mazes in this book like a navigation pro? Take a trip down the winding paths to explore pastoral towns, enchanting castles, and scenic ocean vistas. Renowned illustrator Sean C. Jackson offers up an a-mazing journey through these pages, with single and double page spreads, each increasing in complexity. Solutions are provided, but trust us – it’s more fun to figure it out on your own.

16. Bananagrams

Bananagrams

If word games are your jam, you’ll find this game especially a-peeling. Speed counts, so it's time to think fast, and make as many words as you can, as fast as you can – but especially faster than the other players. Gotta split? Bananagrams is the perfect size to bring along all on your travels, plus it’s fun for spellers of all ages, and skill levels. 

17. Tiger Tribe Top Secret Missions

Tiger Tribe Top Secret Missions

Your mission (should you choose to accept it): Use all the tools in your detective toolbox to solve the most puzzling of cases. Put on your detective hat, and solve all 14 super-duper top secret missions to train to become a top spy, and tell 007 he can take a day off.

18. YAY! Pizza Peg Puzzle

YAY! Pizza Peg Puzzle

Pass the pepperoni, please! With this pizza-twist on the classic peg game, there’s no better way to play with your food. Pop the pepperoni pegs into the holes on the slice, and challenge yourself to reach the last peg standing.

19. Chronicle Animal MahJong Game

Animal Mah-Jong 2

Laurence King Publishing

This contemporary version of the classic Chinese game trades the traditional bamboo and Chinese characters adorned tiles for depictions of vibrant, beautifully illustrated animals. Longtime fans and newcomers alike will appreciate the stunning images; each suit is represented by animals of the land, sea, and air. Makes a unique, and unexpected gift for gaming fans, as well as animal lovers!

20. Electronic Battleship

Electronic Battleship

Take control of the high seas, and plot your ships accordingly – but be warned, for there’s an enemy fleet on the horizon! All the poker-faced, part-strategy, part-luck action of the original, plus lights and sounds to really hit home when you've been sunk. 

21. Think Fun Laser Maze

Think Fun Laser Maze

Step one: Harness the power of lasers. Step two: Master the art of logic. Step three: Conquer the world? Sure it’s a fun and challenging logic puzzle, but Laser Maze is also a hands-on application of practical science. Manipulate mirrors and bend beams to your will with sixty challenges or increasing difficulty levels to test your puzzling prowess. 

22. Tacocat Spelled Backwards

Tacocat Spelled Backwards

Was it a car or a cat I saw? Definitely a cat – but not just any cat – a Tacocat. You don’t need to be a great speller to play this palindromic board game, the hilariously illustrated cards will help players duel to opponents in this game of skill, luck, and trusting your gut.