We’ve spent many Christmas mornings surrounded by plastic packaging, a screwdriver, and new batteries. Why a single toy needs to be bound to cardboard by twenty twist-ties and encased in thick plastic is beyond me. My kids would anxiously wait as we wrestled the toys from their packaging with heavy duty scissors and screwdriver in hand. Now that they’re older, we face a new struggle — limiting screen time. So this year, we put together this gender-neutral list of gifts for kids — no devices, batteries, chargers, or downloading required.
For the Little Ones:
- This old school record player was a favorite of my younger brother, who played “My Name is Michael” (his is) over and over again.
- Bring the outdoors in for hours of pretend play with this fun treehouse.
- Replace the iPad with this Etch-a-Sketch to keep the kids entertained during those long drives or waiting periods.
- All you need is a hallway to create your own indoor bowling alley.
- Take Boo and your child for a ride around the city to spot his favorite local spots while reading along with this book.
AND THE big kids:
- My kids have spent hours pouring over the Guiness Book of World Records.
- This over-the-door NBA basketball hoop will let them replay Curry’s highlights in their room (and hoop dreams).
- These magnetic tiles can make anything a child’s imagination can think of, and compact easily for storage.
- Just add plain paper to this art kit for hours of creativity.
- Lego has been a big hit in our house for years. The Lego Advent Calendar lets kids enjoy a little bit of fun on the days leading up to Christmas.
- This sculptural gold puzzle is like a Rubik’s Cube, but when left behind in the living room, is pretty enough to be mistaken for an object de art.
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