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Creative Gift Ideas for Creative Kids

Heck with Xbox.

Is it just me or are all of the store ads filled with a bunch of junk that’s just going to rot your kid’s brain? Here are some creative gift ideas for creative kids who want more than just the latest Xbox game.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
Remember those old Polaroid cameras that spit out photos instantly? This is like that, only more modern. Plus, it has a double-exposure mode that lets you get really cool effects. Cost: Lists for $179, but you can find it on sale for under $100, no problem. Note that as with those old Polaroid cameras, the cost of film can add up very quickly. But how can you put a price on artistic achievement, right?

The Populele
Some kids wind up going to schools like Juilliard and Curtis and one day performing at Carnegie Hall. If that’s not your kid, no sweat. This awesome little instrument might be the right speed. It’s a ukulele, which is already one of the easiest instruments to learn to play. But it’s more than that. It’s a smart ukulele. The Populele connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth and then teaches you how to play the ukulele using LEDs on the fretboard. It’s ingenious. Cost: List for $199, but it’s on sale right now for $169.

The Kano Computer Kit
It’s not hard to see that kids who know how to code when they grow up are going to have some real advantages over kids who don’t. Kano makes a clever little computer kit that lets your kid build a computer and then learn how to code on it by making games and having fun. Cost: The standard Kano computer kit is $149. Or $249 with a bunch of accessories.

A Cunningham Piano
I grew up in a house with a piano, and it was life-changing. Really. And you probably didn’t know that there’s a piano company right here in Philadelphia that makes beautiful — and affordable — instruments. It’s an investment, but one well worth it. Cost: A brand new Cunningham 48″ upright retails for $9,890, but you can get it during the holiday season for $5,190.

Crayola Fashion Superstar
A great gift for the budding fashion designer. You get a 62-page book of fashion design templates, 24 colored pencils, 18 markers, and a free app that let’s you design more than 1,000 combinations of outfits. Cost: $19.99.

The Coloring Book for the Super-Intelligent
Philly artist Brett Bender made these crazy abstract coloring books that are as good for grown-ups as they are for kids. I’ve given a bunch of them out to my kids’ friends over the years. They love them. Cost:You can get them on Amazon for $5.95. I’ve seen them in Five Below as well.