In our heavy tech-loving world it may seem like the only toys out there make a buzzing or a beeping sound. With two kids ages 5 and 22 months, it has been incredible to see just how quickly they gravitate (and understand) tech. While I appreciate its many benefits, I try not to rely on it for everything related to education and discovery. Some of my kids’ favorite toys are those that actually don’t talk, buzz, or beep, but rather they are those that have no batteries and focus on building everything from hand-eye coordination to literacy to imaginative play and so much more.
1. Musical Instruments: One of the first toys that my daughter received was a solid drum from Plan Toys. Ever since then I have loved the company’s sustainable wooden toys that offer hours of creative play. Some of my favorite musical instruments are the banjo, xylophone, and drum for an instant band right in the comfort of your own home. With a focus on green living and eco-friendly materials, you are sure to discover numerous companies out there that have musical toys for you to start your own family band!
2. Puzzles: Puzzles are a timeless game that can foster comprehension as children figure out exactly where the right pieces go. Whether it’s a rainy day or those inevitable early mornings, puzzles are a great way for kids to understand concepts and new words as well as a great activity to enhance hand-eye coordination and a great way for kids to play on their own. For the younger set, I love Melissa and Doug’s Large Farm Jumbo Knob Puzzle and the First Shapes Jumbo Knob. Older kids will love the Jumbo ABC Chunky Puzzle and the U.S.A. Map Wooden Puzzle.
3. Educational Toys: These days there are numerous platforms that focus on technology for learning. I am a fan of some of those models, but I also believe in incorporating the simplicity of learning through tools such as flash cards, blocks, arts and crafts, and creative toys for kids with a focus on reading, math, science, dramatic play, and music. Lakeshore Learning makes a fantastic collection for kids with one of my favorites being the cool Dino-Dig Excavation Kit where kids can learn all about dinosaur bones.
4. Dollhouse Fun: Playing with dollhouses is a great way for kids to use their imaginations as they create a world that is uniquely their own. I see this through my own daughter as she creates names, jobs, and roles for her dolls while also connecting to various situations in her life and her own emotions. The exciting world of Once Upon a Treehouse offers a beautiful collection of dollhouses that are made of real wood and cotton. Featuring high-quality dollhouses and cute Dollhouse Dolls, some of my favorites are the Raspberry Road Manor, the Custom Cottage, and the Mom Dolls and Baby Dolls that feature wool hair and eco-friendly cotton faces and hands.
5. Play Kitchens: Another fantastic no-battery toy is a play kitchen where kids can pretend to be just like their parents. My daughters can’t get enough of their own play kitchen from Camden Rose as they roleplay being the “mom”, preparing meals and even cleaning up! I love how this can get elaborate with full-on dress-up and intricate details about the meals they are preparing.