There’s still some time until Christmas, but it’s never too early to start thinking of gift ideas. Seeing as the youth of today is the future of humanity, you’ll want to get something equal parts fun and educational for those developing minds.

So just image the thrilled look on their face when your favorite youngster pulls (and pulls) a three-meter (10ft) fuzzy green strip out of a box! Granted some children might freak out initially thinking it’s a giant tapeworm, but after they calm down you can explain that it’s actually not a parasite but a giant strip of delicious algae!

Kombu is the Japanese name for a variety of edible kelp. It’s used as an ingredient in a large number of foods from soups to candies and is farmed and harvested in large quantities with a single strip growing from two to three meters.

It’s often sold in much smaller packed amounts, but with the stuffed kombu toy children can learn how it looks in its natural environment. Then they can have fun doing… something… with it.

But that’s not all the food fun to be had courtesy of the maker, Meito. Your child can also learn the proper way to slice up a smiling skipjack tuna. Along with kombu dried and fermented flakes of this fish called katsuobushi make up dashi, the basis for numerous Japanese soups and dishes. Using the stuffed skipjack tuna children can learn exactly which fillets to cut to produce katsuoboshi.

People had a lot to say about these toys online. Here are some of their comments:

“P… Plush t… oy?”

“Wha… What?”

“E, eh…?”

“Huh?”

Both plush toys are actual-size, giving your kids the most realistic experience made of cotton and polyester possible. These stuffed foodstuffs cost 12,075 yen (US$119) each, which is rather high, but you can’t put a price on education… unless you’re a university.

Besides, with the lessons learnt from the Oishi Dashi Nuigurumi (Delicious Dashi Plush Toy) series, you can put your son or daughter to work at a local restaurant in no time. Have fun, kids!

Source: Meito via Hamusoku (Japanese)
Kelp Image: Wikipedia – NOAA