Back-to-school season is officially in full swing, but depending on where you live in the country, you still may be facing another month of school-free kids (yikes). That might mean you’re also getting sick of hearing “I’m bored,” or sighs and huffs as you attempt to limit screen time. There is, of course, an argument for just letting your little ones be bored a bit longer — but sometimes, for the sake of everyone in the house, it’s worth pulling your late summer ace in the hole: a new toy.
But, if you’re looking for hours of entertainment, it can’t just be any toy. Collectible mini-dolls, for example, are wildly popular but are most enjoyable when being opened; it won’t necessarily translate to hours of absorbing play. Similarly, we avoided crafts that can be completed in a few minutes or require mostly waiting. Yes, DIY terrariums are cool, but its the literal definition of watching grass grow. Instead, we found 25 toys that will provide hours of entertainment day after day, all the way up to the first day of school. Most don’t even require batteries. From card games that will hook the whole family to crafts that will build new skills that will last a lifetime, check out all our picks.