Toys for the Soul by Singgih Kartono for Areaware

Made by craftsmen in designer Singgih Kartono's native Indonesia, this set of amusements—matching yo-yo, spinning top, and hole-stick game—embody the simple pleasures of unplugging. $40; areaware.com

Rubberband Ball by Daniel Emma

As easy as it seems, building a rubber-band ball takes strategy. Resting on a chrome-plated aluminum base, this clear resin sphere offers a foolproof foundation around which to begin wrapping your bands. $230; theo-theo.com

Yoshimoto Cube by Naoki Yoshimoto

Before there was Rubik's—three years, to be exact—there was Japanese designer Naoki Yoshimoto's infinitely unfoldable, intriguingly mathematical cube. Manipulating the blocks, though, is more art than science, hence its place in MoMA's permanent collection. $65; moma.org

Tegu blocks

Whether you're an aspiring Giacometti or a recovering Lego freak, Tegu's magnetized blocks, made from sustainable Honduran hardwood, let you work on your desktop sculpting skills. From $55 for a 26-block set; live.tegu.com

Molecule Building Set by Ferm Living

Equipped with these 24 wooden "molecules" and the sticks to build bonds between them, you can construct whatever your heart desires—never mind what the client ordered. $80; velocityartanddesign.com