Sure, technology and electronics have made our lives a million times easier over the past couple of decades, and on winter days when the kids are snowed in, an iPad or video game can be a total godsend.
But that doesn't mean we want our kids to be plugged in all the time — and there are so many toys out there that kids can have a blast with that won't turn them into zombies.
So this season, give kids the gift of a screen-free holiday with these fun presents.
There's just something about a playhouse that instantly whisks kids to another time and place. The Land of Nod has a bunch of fun portable indoor playhouses, including a Jetaire camper (pictured), various teepees, a horse stable, ice cream truck and much more. (The Land of Nod, $99 and up)
For those kids out there fascinated with Shark Week, Blankie Tails' plush shark tail blanket is the perfect gift to curl up with. And if sharks are a little too scary, the company also has a variety of mermaid tail blankets too. (Blankie Tails, $35)
Everybody loves LEGOs, and this Marvel superheroes set is especially awesome. (Target, $26)
With Lost My Name books, you personalize the pages to the receiver's name and each child’s adventure is totally unique and based on their moniker. For example, a child called Charlie would meet a chameleon, hippo, aardvark, robot, lobster, imp and elephant in the story. (Lost My Name, $30)
Who knew a huge inflatable ball with a handle on top could pretty much be the best toy on the planet? (Toys "R" Us, $13)
It's almost every kid's dream to be a rock star. Singing Machine's little karaoke player will sure make them feel like one. (Amazon, $48)
Feed a child's fascination with outer space with this super-cool remote-control night-light that mimics the appearance of the real moon. It even has moon-landing sound effects and a built-in electronic lunar clock that will automatically match the real moon outside. (Amazon, $38)
Blast from the past! The dolls of our youth are still around, even if they don't look exactly the same. Cabbage Patch Kids have gotten a bit of a makeover, but children still love to squeeze them. (Toys "R" Us, $35)
Radio Flyer makes more than just little red wagons. For kids who like a little adventure, the Shockwave scooter is the perfect holiday gift pick. Made of solid steel with built-in suspension, it will stand up to your child's need for speed and jumps — and the foot brake offers parents a little added peace of mind. (Amazon, $73)
Future foodies will love whipping up treats in an Easy-Bake Oven just like their parents did back in the good old days. But because those little cake batter packets can get expensive in a hurry, don't forget to give them recipes for their own homemade mixes! (Kohl's, $56)
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.
Originally published November 2012. Updated November 2016.
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