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24 Screen-Free Gifts For Kids That Are Actually Fun *And* Educational

Total win-win.

Hey! While we’re doing our best to make sure the products we feature will arrive in time for Christmas, shipping times are especially tricky this year and can vary depending on where you live, which product you purchase, and more. Shop early and be sure to double check the retailers’ websites for shipping information to ensure that your gift will arrive in time for the 25th!

Here's the thing about educational toys… they're great, but you also want them to be fun! To get ready for the holiday season, I wanted to share some of my family's favorites so far.

My little dude is doing Pre-K full-time remote this year. Because school is done through Zoom, I'm trying to supplement his learning with non-screen toys. But listen, we're all doing the best we can!

I also wanted to ask experts for their recommendations. Anne Gillyard and Jodi Arellano are the founders and professional playroom designers (hello, dream job 👋) behind grOH! Playrooms.

This list has 5 screen-free picks from me and 19 more from the experts at grOH! — all of which can give little eyes a break while still helping their brains grow. ✨

1. This 100 Words Book to help develop vocabulary in English and Spanish.

The 100 Words Book for kids

2. This travel-friendly number and letters toy, which turns ABCs and 123s into a fun memory game.

3. This simple magnetic maze game to help with fine motor development.

A toy that has kids move magnetic marbles through a maze with a stylus

4. This butterfly grow kit to show that caterpillars are in fact VERY hungry and then they turn into butterflies.

A butterfly growing kit that shows kids how caterpillars turn into butterflies

5. A monthly subscription to Little Passports.

A monthly subscription kit that includes a map of the world, as well as cardboard figurines, and a toy suitcase

6. These sweet little dolls that can help foster storytelling and imaginative play.

7. A set of Magna-Tiles — which can actually help your child learn starter principles of geometry.

Brightly colored magnetic tiles for children built into a castle

8. This cute AND classic animal figurine set that can lay the foundation for a life-long love of life sciences.

Children's toy figures of a donkey, cow, rooster, and sheep

9. This classic stable to set the stage for small world play — and work on those fine motor skills.

A child plays with a toy stable with two toy horses

10. This colorful set of building blocks that can help with language development.

A set of brightly colored blocks that look like tiny houses

11. This little kiddie drum — so they can march to their own beat. (And maybe even drum up those test scores later in life. 😉)

A child's drum with two drumsticks

12. This adorable ukulele to start your little rockstar's career, and also build lifelong confidence.

13. A classic Lego collection for your emerging engineer.

14. This cool and incredibly fun scooter — which can help with focus and core control.

15. These retro-inspired toy cars for racing — and conducting starter physics experiments.

A blue and white, retro-looking wooden toy car

16. A marble run set so your kiddo can build, test, and try different ideas.

Two boys play with marbles on a wooden marble run set.

17. A toy cash register to learn all about starter math skills.

A toy cash register with play money

18. These Colors of the World crayons to teach inclusivity through art.

A 24-pack of crayons specifically designed to match skin tones from around the world

19. These mess-free paint sticks that'll help your kids practice making mistakes — an important skill to have!

20. This handy and functional wood model kit, because STEM!

A wood model kit of a mars rover

21. This nature detective set that can help your small scientist spark the curiosity they need in life for other school subjects, like reading.

22. This Kinetic Sand kit to take your sensory bins to the next level.

Two kids make a sandcastle with Kinetic Sand

23. These bath toys to make time in the tub a multitasking event.

24. A tried-and-true train set that doubles as a tool to teach planning and spatial awareness.

A wooden train set with a track, train, station, and trees

For more from grOH! playrooms, visit their website or follow them on Instagram.

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