Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Great Toys for Kids (without batteries!)

Are you a last minute shopper? Stuck on what to get for the kids in your life? After being a parent for almost seven years, having both a girl and boy, and with three kids, I've got a pretty good idea of what kids like AND actually play with. Here's a quick look at our favorite toys. And bonus, NO BATTERIES NEEDED!  Can I get an Amen from the collective masses?

Gifts for the under 2 crowd

1. Activity Blocks - Noah is almost eight months and this holds his attention for quite a while. Even longer for older babies. They have many things on it to keep your baby and toddler busy.

 2. Stacking/Nesting Blocks - These are perfect for little ones. They love to stack them and also fit them inside each other.

3. Shape Sorter - There are many varieties of shape sorters out there and kids love them. Noah just chews on the pieces right now but around 12-15 months of age, they start showing interest in actually finding and sorting the shapes.

Gifts for kids 2-4

1. Lego Duplo - These Legos are perfect for small hands. They are larger than the regular Legos but not too big so that it's hard to store.

2. Wooden puzzles - These Melissa and Doug puzzles are a huge hit in our house. Cute pictures and very durable. In fact, Alena and Christian will still sit and put them together.

3. Train tracks and engines - There are so many different brands of trains and tracks that it can be overwhelming. Thankfully, many brands are interchangeable. Thomas the Tank Engine brand is the most popular although the priciest, and kids will sit and play for a long time. I like to let the kids build their own tracks throughout the house and they will build for hours.

4. Art Easel -  These are great for kids who love to draw and the double sided easels are fantastic. One side is white board, the other is chalk, and you have a roll of paper. Three ways to draw! Plus, with two sides, there is less fighting between the kids to share writing space. Win win.

Gifts for kids 4 and up

1. Plasma car - This may be the best purchase we have made toy wise. Alena and Christian use theirs daily. I would say that kids under four can enjoy these also (Christian was three when he got his.) Even Noah enjoys getting rides. These cars/scooters are extremely durable and are always a huge hit when other kids come to visit. When Noah gets a little older, he will definitely be getting his own.

2. Legos - I remember spending many many hours of my childhood playing with these. Shoot, even Gabe still enjoys sitting with the kids and building. They last forever. The Legos we have that the kids play with are Gabe's from when he was a boy.

3. Lincoln Logs - These are another one of those toys I remember having and playing with a lot. Alena will use them to build structures for her My Little Ponies and actually plays with them more than Christian (he prefers Legos).

4. Jump ropes and hula hoops - I love these because they are cheap but provide tons of entertainment for my kids. They have spent many a time using the jump rope to limbo, as a snake they're not allowed to touch, a lasso, etc etc. You get the picture, they have many uses.

5. Marble Run - While we do not own this toy, our piano teacher does and this is a favorite toy to keep them entertained while Gabe and I are in lessons. What kid doesn't love building and watching marbles roll from top to bottom and side to side?

 A gift for them all

Let's not forget the gift for ALL ages. Books. They are probably my favorite battery-less gift to give. A love of books is such a great thing for kids (and adults) to have.

So there you have it. Our favorite and most loved toys that do not require battery power. Do you have any to add to the list? What am I missing that you and your kids enjoy?


  1. I still need to get my niece something...hmmm thanks for the ideas!



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