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Best Toys for Kids: No Batteries!

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I have been talking with my patients about gift ideas for the holidays and I had an epiphany!!  I think this season we should all try to buy children’s toys with the slogan “no batteries required”.  This is a great idea for children of all ages, even for my “almost adult” children.  By going back to basics and skipping the electronics I am certain that there will be more family time, maybe face to face, rather than having your child’s face staring at yet another screen.

So with that in mind I have polled patients/parents on toy ideas that will fit the “no batteries required”. Top of the list would be blocks for toddlers through pre-schoolers.  A good set of blocks will last a lifetime and you can add on to the set each year.  Blocks also work well for both boys and girls and siblings can play together and use their imagination to build towers, forts and cities. Children can easily spend hours with a set of different shaped and sized blocks.

Along the same line as blocks, but for older children are the classic Lego sets. I still have tubs of Lego’s in our house that I hope will one day be used by grand children. What a great way to learn to basic engineering as well as fine motor skills while putting a Lego set together. From beginner to adult, there are sets for all ages.  One of my pediatric partners still loves to build and has the Empire State building and Eifel Tower on display in his office.

Games are always a great gift. The classics like Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Clue and Monopoly. What about checkers, chess and our family favorite (at least mine) Rummikub.  I still love to have “family game night” and the boys will humor me and play a few games before slowly begging off.

What about card games as well, from Go Fish for the preschool child to bridge for the teen (I am still taking lessons!)? The kids all still love to play Spades and Hearts and we also play a lot of Onze during the holidays. Cards work for all generations too and are a great way to keep everyone engaged.

Lastly, what about some crafts. Crayons and markers and coloring books can be just as much fun as fancy Apps for coloring on the I-pad. Learning to color between the lines and hold the crayon are great exercises in fine motor skills as well. Not sure you get the same benefit on the screen version? Teaching a child how to weave, or use scissors to cut strips of paper to make chains to decorate the house for the holidays. There are also some fun sewing crafts too. Good way to teach your child how to hem and sew on a button as well, which are definitely life skills!

So this year, think about trying the “no batteries required” idea. I am sure you too have your old favorites. But, you may have to exchange a few gifts before Christmas???

That’s your daily dose for today. We’ll chat again tomorrow.

 


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About Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Dr. Sue Hubbard is an award winning pediatrician and medical editor for www.kidsdr.com.  She is a native of Washington, D.C. who travelled south to attend the University of Texas at Austin and never left.Read More