2. Kidsonroof Totem Tree
Ages 6 and up
Unleash your child's inner tree-hugger with this highly inventive puzzle. The durable yet biodegradable cardboard kit provides a base for kids to design their own tree, using the leaves provided or attaching their own creations -- pictures, drawings, names from a family tree, etc. Essentially, Kidsonroof Totem Tree offers a blank canvas in the shape of a maple. In theory, there's a nature lesson in this half puzzle, half art project, but what impresses us most is its open-endedness. Given the level of prescription that comes with so many toys these days, an invitation to explore freely is particularly welcome -- and provides an important lesson in creative problem solving.
The bottom line: A high-quality art project that's also eco-friendly.