Holiday gifts for kids that won’t have them glued to a screen

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.

More: Therapeutic holiday gifts for kids with special needs

So this season, give kids the gift of a screen-free holiday with these fun presents.

1. Portable playhouse

Image: The Land of Nod

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) 

2. Blankie Tails

Image: Blankie Tails

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)

3. An awesome LEGO kit

Image: Target

Everybody loves LEGOs, and this Marvel superheroes set is especially awesome. (Target, $26)

4. A personalized picture book

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)

5. Little Tikes hopper

Image: Toys “R” Us

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)

6. Mini karaoke machine

Image: Amazon

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)

7. Super Moon night-light

Image: Amazon

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)

8. Cabbage Patch doll

Image: Toys ‘R Us

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)

9. Shockwave scooter

Image: Amazon

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)

More: 32 holiday gifts for teachers they won’t trash the minute your kid leaves

10. Easy-Bake Oven

Image: Kohl’s

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)

What are your favorite screen-free gifts for kids?

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

40 Christmas decorating ideas that would make Martha Stewart jealous
Image: rusticcharms/Instagram
Holiday gifts for kids that won't have them glued to a screen
Image: Liz Smith/SheKnows

Originally published November 2012. Updated November 2016.


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