5 Screenless Gifts to Activate a Preschooler’s Brain and Body

Preschoolers are always clamoring for our digital devices, but in the name of maintaining a healthy balance between imaginative play, outdoor time, and screen time, gift them with some toys that will exercise their mind, imagination, and bodies. Open-ended toys allow for endless play possibilities that preschoolers thrive on. Toys that get them moving help burn off excess energy, even in the colder winter months. Challenges for the mind help young brains develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Here are 5 toys that are well worth adding to your family’s list of must-haves.

Tegu Blocks— In our home, blocks are always being used in some sort of play from designing make believe worlds to using them for more practical things like weighing down blanket corners for a fort. Blocks are a classic toy because they provide limitless possibilities for a child’s imagination, but what if there were magnets inside your blocks to allow you to build up and out? Tegu’s eco-friendly blocks revolutionize building thanks to their magnetic nature. They stick together and make a satisfying clicking sound and attach to each other in gravity-defying ways to form structures that can be created on the floor or any magnetic surface like a metal filing cabinet in our home office or the refrigerator door. They are as much fun for the kids as they are for adults!

Perplexus Rookie— There’s something very addictive about this maze inside a sphere. Rotate the sphere to move the enclosed ball along the length of track and through obstacles in order to reach the end while practicing hand-eye coordination and spatial skills. Perplxeus Rookie features wider tracks than the Original and other models, making it a great introduction to the Perplexus line. Kids have a tendency to spend long periods of time completely engrossed in moving the ball from start to finish and often take pleasure in being better at it than the grownups in the house!

Plan Toys Play House— This darling three-story house is made with sustainable, eco-friendly wood and features a panel that divides the doll’s living space from the outside. The panel also serves as a two-sided play mat that can be a wall, roof, or garden. Parents will love that it comes with furnished with furniture for the two dolls and doesn’t require screws for assembly, while boys and girls will delight in the endless play scenarios that they can create.

Legos— This classic toy is something that you can never have enough of because of the endless play possibilities. Structures with or without doors and windows that open and close, vehicles, towers, and more!  Giving the gift of Legos ensures that there are always more to add to a child’s collection.

Balance Bike— Riding a bike is hard but not if the skills involved are broken down into manageable tasks. Since learning to ride a bike involves mastering the tricky art of balance and learning to pedal and brake, Balance Bikes are great for giving preschoolers a head start in learning the fine art of balancing on two wheels so they can move right to riding a bike sans training wheels. Look for quality brands such as balance bikes from Skuut and Like A Bike so they will last well beyond your first child for siblings and even be passed down to cousins.

Little girl with gift box via Shutterstock

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