Keeping kids busy without screens means giving them activities that encourage independent play and get their creative juices flowing. I find open-ended toys and activities are perfect.
- Mega Blox: These are wonderful for preschool-aged kids.
- Duplos: made by Lego, these are pricier than Mega Blox, but are super sturdy and fit onto the lego mats
- Legos: While my kids do love the kits, we love the open-ended creator sets.
- Melissa and Doug fold and go barn: Easy to transport and comes with animals and is my 3 year-olds favorite toy.
- Melissa & Doug Fold and go house: Also easy to transport and comes with dolls and furniture. My kids play with it along with the barn.
- Magnet Tiles: Even I get lost playing with the magnet tile builders.
- Play kitchen: Allows for dramatic play.
- Play food
- Play dough mats (we love the free printable mats from Picklebums) with playdough
- Cardboard box: Thanks to Amazon, we’ve always got these around. My kids love to use washable crayons and get creative!
- Washable sidewalk chalk on your back porch
- Washable coloring table cloth: This provides endless fun for everyone. Just make sure to use extra washable markers and to wash cold in the laundry. You can wash and reuse forever!
- Kinetic sand: Kids can play with it in a tray (to contain any mess) and use kitchen utensils to explore.
- Arts & Craft kit for open-ended crafting
- Easy arts and crafts supplies:
- Pipe Cleaners
- Coffee filters
- toilet paper tubes
- Coloring books: The old standby that never goes out of style. Best if used with washable crayons (since it comes out with just water).
OUTDOOR OPEN-ENDED OUTDOOR TOYS
- Sandbox: I know they’re messy and heaven knows I hate sand in my house, but kids love them—especially paired with some sand toys or old kitchen stuff. Just be sure to have everyone shake off before coming back in the house.
- Water Table
- Sand table
- Outdoor Play House