High-tech toys have their benefits, but there are many advantages to traditional toys. For instance, old-school toys and games can help kids develop social and fine motor skills, creative and problem-solving abilities and collaboration, and they can even encourage physical activity.
If you are looking for ideas for low-tech gifts for kiddos, check out some of these top options. Everything from the best yo-yos and play sets to the best stuffed animals, building sets and more can help a child in your life learn, grow and have loads of fun.
Even the best yo-yos on the market today aren’t very different from those that you, your parents and even your grandparents enjoyed as a child. And they are still engaging, entertaining and great for growing brains.
Yo-yoing can develop fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. In addition, the activity helps kids learn determination and concentration. A yo-yo also makes a terrific fidget toy to keep young hands busy.
Bricks And Blocks
Legos, Lincoln Logs and other building toys are a favorite low-tech option for kids of all ages. This type of toy is excellent for STEM learning.
Figuring out how to make things improves kids’ problem-solving skills, and encourages them to test ideas and quickly make changes when necessary. In addition, kids learn math skills, such as estimation, balance and comparisons. Plus, they can express themselves by building anything they can imagine.
A marble run is a toy that may have different materials, shapes and sizes, which kids can build in countless configurations. Then, when finished, they can drop a marble into the starting point and watch it run through the twists, turns and obstacles.
Like other building toys, these playthings teach numerous engineering, math and science skills. In addition, kids can develop patience and hand-eye coordination, and learn how to cooperate when building with others.
Kids are often drawn to playing with toy trains, whether you have a small collection of tracks and cars or a train table full of accessories. When constructing or modifying the tracks, they gain numerous skills.
But even younger children who aren’t ready for this step benefit from playing with trains. For instance, they can gain an understanding of concepts like under, around, over and through. You can also use trains to teach them colors, counting and taking turns.
Play Store Sets
Young kids love setting up shop and pretending to be customers or cashiers. Not only can they become engrossed in imaginative play, but they can also absorb some important lessons.
For instance, they can develop math skills by counting groceries or play money. When they stock the store, children can classify items such as fruits, vegetables and canned goods, or they can sort the items by color.
Plush toys may seem like an afterthought, but the best stuffed animals are often children’s favorite playthings. A “stuffy” can be the primary object that makes a child feel safe and secure. As an added bonus, it can help them develop good sleep habits.
As a child grows, they can practice reading to their plushies, engage in imaginative play and develop language skills by talking to the toy they love best. Stuffed animals can be a child’s forever friend.
Kids love to splish and splash in the water. A water table lets them safely explore and play without too much mess, since the table is kept outside.
Young children can learn focus, coordination and motor skills with sensory exploration. Plus, water tables are great fun on hot days.
Sand is another excellent sensory play material. Kids can shovel it into pails and molds to build castles, developing motor and problem-solving skills.
They can drive toy vehicles through it, carving paths and making hills as they learn about math concepts. They can bury “treasure” in it and use various kid-friendly tools to dig until they find it, enhancing social and communication abilities.
A fresh pad of paper and a new set of paints, crayons or any age-appropriate art medium entices many kids to show off their inner artists. Self-expression generates self-confidence, self-awareness and a sense of belonging.
Of course, they can improve their motor skills and learn about colors and shapes. But creating art can also help children develop visual-spatial skills and executive function, which is an integral part of memory, mental flexibility and self-control.
Versatile enough for a child to enjoy alone or for a group of kids to do together, a puzzle is another timeless, low-tech toy that makes a great gift. In addition, problem-solving is a top skill children learn from putting the pieces together.
Kids can also develop cognitive skills, attention span and memory abilities. They can experience the joys of teamwork and the satisfaction of completing a task.
Action Figures And Dolls
Children who play with dolls, action figures and play sets employ their imagination and communication skills. Beyond all that, a recent study shows that they can also develop empathy and social processing skills.
Researchers have found that playing with dolls activates areas of the brain associated with social information processing and empathy. Kids rehearse and use these skills, even when playing alone.
Long before there were video games, children spent hours playing board games. A fantastic aspect of many games is that the entire family can play together, from the youngest child to parents and grandparents.
Board games encourage learning, strategizing and focus. In addition, they can teach teamwork and sportsmanship. When choosing a board game as a gift, consider the child’s age, the number of players likely to take part and the game’s complexity.
Do you have a favorite low-tech gift that kids enjoy?