We have three children, ages 3 – 6, and we intentionally limit their screen time. As Christmas approaches, allow us to recommend some of our boys’ favorite non-electronic toys as gifts you may want to consider for the children in your life.
If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that kids can become very addicted to electronics and screens, and will often sit happily with their device and neglect their siblings, friends, and family members who are nearby. These gifts encourage kids to get off the couch and to interact with the real world and the real people around them.
Rubber Band Guns – Boys love guns, and these old-fashioned toys are great. Just lay out the ground rules ahead of time (i.e. only point a toy gun at someone who also has a toy gun, no pointing at faces), and let them go! The rubber bands don’t hurt when someone gets hit, and are safe around the house.
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty – This putty is great! Kind of like silly putty, but better. Comes in lots of great colors, with glitter or without, heat-sensitive, metallic, and more. You can stretch it, break it, squeeze it, etc. Great for kids to use during church or another event where they need to sit still and quiet for a long time.
Melissa and Doug Jigsaw Puzzles / Floor Puzzles – The boys enjoy putting these together, breaking them apart, and putting them together again. It gives them a sense of accomplishment to complete a hard puzzle.
Legos – Our boys love their legos. They inherited a big bin of classic legos from when dad was a kid, plus they have received a few new sets as gifts. The newer sets are great, with step-by-step instructions, but a huge bin with a variety of pieces allows their creativity to run wild.
Magformers – We got these at the recommendation of friends and have had them about a year. They’re a great, safe toy.
Wood Train Set – The classic wood train sets are always fun for boys. If you have an Ikea nearby, that’s another great place to purchase these.
Fishing Game – Ok, maybe this does have an electronic component. But it doesn’t have a screen and the boys love it! This game features little plastic fish that move and open/close their mouths. The object is to “catch” the fish using tiny fishing poles by inserting the hook into a fish’s open mouth. Great fun! The price varies, but it can often be found on Amazon for under $10. Click here to check the current price.
Hungry Hippo Game – Another fun, classic game, with lots of fast action – perfect for boys. Players try to “chomp” as many of the balls as possible before their opponents can snatch them up.
Dr. Seuss Matching Game – Great to increase memory and concentration. Each turn, a player can flip over two cards. If they match, he gets to keep them. If not, they’re turned back over and it’s the next player’s turn. The trick is to remember previously flipped cards so you can make a match on your next turn.
Craft Supplies – paper, glue sticks, safety scissors, decorative scissors, stencils, tape, colored pencils, crayons, stickers, markers, hand-press shapes, etc. Our boys love to sit and work on crafts with these various supplies. Simple craft books are also great with step-by-step instructions for projects.
We hope this list helps you as you think of gifts for the precious boys in your life! We’ll be putting a list together for girls, soon.
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