7 Toys That Foster Creative Play

Create the next Charles or Ray Eames with these toys, newly available at the MoMA Design Store.

Want to turn your kid into the next Ray Eames or Errol Morris? MoMA Design Store—that wondrous place brimming with all things sleek, modern, and covetable—has you covered. Here are seven tools for engendering the sort of creative play that does wonders for a growing mind.

3Doodler 2.0

3Doodler 2.0, $99
Draw in three dimensions with an improved version of the 3Doodler. It boasts a slimmer silhouette, a re-engineered drive system for smoother drawing, and a more energy-efficient system than its first iteration.

El Balancin Stacking Game

El Balancín Stacking Game, $88
Spanish for “the seesaw,” El Balancín is a stacking game that teaches kids about the precarious nature of gravity. The set includes 38 geometric shapes and wood pieces that can be used to build all manner of forms.

Matrix LED Screen

Matrix LED Screen, $4,000
This piece marries natural materials—wood and washi paper—with technology to create abstracted images. Photos and videos are distorted and projected through the grid, turning them into a pixelated experience. Use this to teach your young ones about the early days of digital graphic design.

Robot Night Light

Robot Night Light, $44
There’s no more fear of monsters under the bed with this motion-activated LED night light.

Cubic Dollhouse

Cubic Dollhouse, $40 to $200
With furniture reminiscent of the classic Stokke Tripp Trap chair, Poet sofa by Finn Juhl, and other mid-century favorites, this toy will get your kids on the design-savvy track early on.

Osmo Starter Kit

Osmo Starter Kit, $80
This attachment for an iPad marries the best of digital and hands-on games. With Osmo, kids aren’t just mindlessly tapping at a device—the sensor translates actions onto the screen.

Cubelets Robot Kit

Cubelets Robot Kit, $160 for six or $500 for 20
Cubelets are Lego for the 21st century. Each modular block has a function—like sensors or motion—so you can create a moveable robot that you activate with the wave of your hand.


About the author

Diana Budds is a New York–based writer covering design and the built environment.