Whether you need to shop for Christmas or a birthday, there’s one gift parents and children can both love. Battery-free toys. As a parent of two small children, the sound of silence is priceless.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my children. And, we have several toys that require batteries. But, as parents, everyone needs a break from battery-powered toys. Plus, it’s good for children to use some old school toys that work 24/7.
Just because we live in the 21st century doesn’t mean every toy must require batteries. And, they don’t need their own iPad or video game system either. After all, tech giants like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates raised their children almost tech-free.
So, below are some of the favorite battery-free toys our small children love.
Try These Battery-Free Toys
We’re still at the beginning of our parenting journey, but these ideas can be good through grade school.
If you want your child to build something and use their imagination, try Kiwi Crate.
These “toys” are available from ages 0 to 16+.
It can either be a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription. Our daughter received an annual subscription as her 3rd birthday present. Each month, she looks forward to receiving the box in the mail. And, it’s a different craft each month.
This month’s box arrived earlier this week. The theme was reptiles (picture below). The previous month’s themes were music and colors. Some months, the theme isn’t as exciting (like reptiles to a small girl). But, others are fun like the music box where she got to make a mini-xylophone. Of course, with her parent’s help.
Kiwi divides their boxes into different age groups:
- Tadpole (Ages 0-2)
- Koala (Ages 3-4)
- Kiwi (Ages 5-8)
- Atlas (Ages 6-11)
- Doodle (Ages 9-16+)
- Tinker (Ages 9-16+)
Personally, I think the older kids boxes look pretty cool.
Our children love the play kitchen. My dad made ours from wood, but you can find plenty of plastic play kitchens that are affordable and easy to assemble. Plus, they take up less space than you think.
The kitchen also doubles as a storage place for some other toys. And, it’s fun for when our friends’ children come for a visit too.
Dress Up Box
As a child, we didn’t have a dress up box. But, we still liked to wear different clothing or adapt our regular clothes to be something else. Our daughters have a wooden chest of play clothes and dresses in their room.
We got most of our play clothes from family friends who no longer have young children. So, this can be a source of “free entertainment” if you have friends looking to declutter. Or, you can always thrift shop or set aside some of your old outfits if they work.
Don’t forget to include some props too.
Both of our children love the sandbox for different reasons. Our older daughter is docile and keeps the sand in the box. But, the younger daughter thinks the sand belongs in our yard and driveway. Thankfully, sand isn’t too expensive and we’ve done a decent job of teaching sandbox etiquette.
Pictured above is the sandbox we have. In the colder months and rainy days, we bring it into the garage so they can play and at least be “outdoors.” On warm days, we can easily carry it outside so they can enjoy the sunshine. And, either mommy or daddy can sit in a chair and read a great book.
Two Other Activities Our Children Love
My wife and I love books. We’re passing this love onto our children. Each day, we read several books.
Some of our favorites are Lamplighter Books.
But, you might like these too:
- The Carrot Seed
- Stone Soup
- Hop on Pop (this a great book to teach children to read!)
- Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Books
Instead of buying toys, we ask our family to buy our children books as a gift. We also go to the library to borrow books for free. And, we’ve also kept some our own children’s books from our childhood.
A childhood isn’t complete without a game of Candy Land. We just got the retro version for our family. Our daughter loves the game. We like playing it too as adults. We modify the rules slightly because she’s still young and the full-length game is still outside of her attention span. But, it’s still fun. And, it’s a good break from battery-free toys too.
Which toys do your children play with most? What’s your favorite childhood toy?
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