10 BEST Tech-Free Toys For Kids!

With kids, comes toys!

No matter what age your kids are, you probably have a house full of toys and probably only a small number of those toys are actually played with.

My kids are only young (3 years and 7 months), but still – we’ve managed to accumulate so many toys.  And I’ll tell you something about me and toys.

I don’t like toys that make noise. I actually hate them. Maybe that sounds harsh so let me rewind a bit and explain my reasoning.

Tech-Toys Do Too Much!

The majority of toys that are sold for kids today DO something.

They light up, they sing, they move, they vibrate, they talk – or they do ALL of those things (Advil please!).

I’m sure if you look around your house, you’ll see many of the toys you have fall into this category.

So what? We live in a technology based world, so why shouldn’t toys DO things?

Well, here’s the thing – when toys are DOING, your child isn’t. 

Toys that do all the work (the voices, the movement, the sound effects) don’t require your child to add these things into the play. Your child becomes a passive player.

Think back to when you were a kid.

Most of your toys likely did not require batteries and therefore they didn’t do all of the fancy things that so many toys do today.

YOU had to use your own creativity to have fun. And did you have fun playing with your toys?

I know I did!

Not convinced that battery based toys do more harm than good?

Here’s a few more reasons why you should take the tech out of your kids’ toys:

  • Toys that do specific actions or sounds, limit the type of play your child can do with the toy.
  • Toys that require batteries usually break faster and quickly become dust collectors.
  • Tech based toys often lead to solitary play and are less likely to encourage collaboration and peer play.
  • Toys that do many things (talk, move, light up) can sometimes cause a child to become over stimulated when playing with the toy, which can lead to frustration or tantrums.
  • Tech toys almost always cost more and rarely do they result in more fun (and isn’t that the reason we buy toys for our kids anyways?).

So maybe you’re on board with me now about the reduced tech-toys, but now you’re left wondering, “what will my child play with?

10 Tech-Free Toys (That Will Bring Hours of Fun to Your Kids!)

1. Blanket Fort Kit age 4+

Building forts is so much fun for kids of all ages! I’m sure you remember making and hanging out in your blanket and pillow forts when you were young.

Now you can get a blanket fort kit for kids! This toy is simple, reusable, co-operative and entertaining!

2. Catan Jr. Board Game age 6+

This is a really fun family board game for kids as young as 6 years old but enjoyable for older kids too. This  pirate themed kids game of strategy, bartering and adventure, encourages co-operation and problem solving.

3. Baby Doll age 2+

Dolls will always be classic toys that provide hours of pretend play for kids. Playing with dolls supports emotional development, builds empathy and symbolic thinking. Amazing!

4. Tree Blocks age 3+

These blocks are awesome!

Wooden tree blocks are just like building and playing outdoors in nature. Various sizes and unique shapes are fun to build with and develop early math and science concepts.

5. Kitchen Science Lab age 8+

A science kit is fantastic for kids who love to explore, get messy and figure things out.

Science experiments teach skills such as estimating, logical thinking and literacy, and they encourage kids to ask questions and seek answers!

6. Aqua Doodle age 18 months +

The Aqua Doodle is a great toy for toddlers because it’s mess free, reusable and provides a large surface area to get creative.

Young children are not ready to sit at a desk and colour, and it is appropriate for them to lay on the floor while playing.

Just lay the Aqua Doodle on the floor and let your child go to town with the water filled markers.

Little kids usually go through a lot of paper when they do art projects, so this is also a great environmentally friendly alternative. It’s a big hit in my house!

7. Create a Rocket Kit age 3+

What kid doesn’t love playing in a big box?

I love rockets made out of cardboard. Just like the fort kit, this build a rocket kit lets kids build and decorate their own rocket ship and then of course play in it. It’s a great activity for a few kids to work on together.

Perfect for a rainy day in the playroom or a sunny day in the backyard!

8. Battleship age 7+

This game is sure to bring back memories of your own childhood. It’s a classic game that has held the test of time. When your child plays Battleship they are developing math skills, logical and  abstract thinking, visualization and problem solving.

Oh, and it’s pretty fun if you remember!

9. Indoor/Outdoor Treasure Hunt Game age 4+

Imagine your child comes to you and says they are bored, and you pull out a treasure hunt!

I love that this activity comes with 100 reusable clue cards with so many options to change the level of difficulty for various ages.

Create short or long treasure hunts and spark your child’s imagination! Not only is this so much fun, it’s the perfect cooperative activity that also encourages physical activity.

10. Marble Run age 5+

Great for kids who love to build and create and are interested in figuring out how things work. New creations and challenges can be made over and over again! A marble run keeps kids engaged, busy and learning.

Head-Ache Free and Tech-Free Toys for Kids

All of these tech-free toys will keep your kids busy, thinking, active and playing co-operatively!

If you’re looking for some more beneficial toys and activities for your child, be sure to check out my list of 50 Screen Free Activities as well as this Classic Old-School Toy Guide for Kids!

With summer around the corner, it’s time to ditch the tech toys and let your kids explore their true creativity. What do you think?

Are you ready to go battery free with your kids toys?  Let me know!!

Michele is a mom to 2 awesome kids and also a Special Educator. Watching her kids grow has given her a front row seat to everything she has learned and studied about child development. Now she is sharing her experiences, knowledge and ideas to help other moms to use a developmental parenting approach and be the best parent they can be. Her blog, Mommy with a Chance of Showers is all about the ever changing “weather” that is mommy-hood. When you’re a mom; there’s plenty of sunshine but also a good chance of rain! Each day holds a new memory to be made, victory to be had or challenge to overcome. When you visit her blog you can find great play ideas, FREE mom stuff & special needs resources.  Check out her post How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without Using Bribes and receive 6 Weeks of Free Positive Parenting Tips!

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As a grandmother I love to spoil my grandchildren. I’m always on the lookout for fun and interesting things for them to play with and enjoy. After reading this interesting blog I do agree that tech toys are not always the best choice for developing young minds. The 10 Tech-free toys mentioned are great ideas I will definitely consider for that next surprise gift!Reply to Susan
Michele Thanks Susan! I hadn’t considered how useful this list could be for grandparents too but it’s true- they love to buy all the latest toys for their grandkids!Reply to Michele