Screen-Free Fun: 5 Toy Companies We Love

January 28, 2023

When it comes to providing fun and engaging alternatives to screen time for kids, there are endless possibilities of creative and imaginative play that can spark a child's curiosity and offer hours of entertainment for the whole family. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to choose the best toys that not only entertain but also support your child's development and encourage open-ended play. That's why we've compiled a list of 5 screen-free toys and companies we love that will delight kids and parents alike. These toys offer a wide range of options from building, storytelling, and exploring to fostering creativity, cognitive development, and strengthening motor skills.

Tiny Earth Toys - this company wasn’t around when my kiddo was little, but I really wish they were! Tiny Earth Toys allows you to rent age-based, educational toys for your kids. You can curate toys based on your child’s age, from infancy to five years, and have a new set of toys delivered every two months. All of their toys are made of wood (plastic-free!) and designed to meet a child’s developmental needs. Free returns and shipping every two months means that your child has plenty of time to explore their new toys and master skills without getting bored, while also reducing your carbon footprint.  What’s not to love?!

Little Passports - a monthly subscription service, Little Passports aims to inspire every little builder, artist, storyteller, and experimenter with creative discoveries. You have complete control over the age range and even interest area of your box. With activities curated for kids from 3 - 8+ years, in topics including animals, science, exploration, space, and cooking, you’re bound to find something that appeals to your kiddo’s interest.

Magna-Tiles - These magnetic building tiles allow for creative, open-ended play for kids of all ages. I can personally attest that these are worth the investment. My daughter has consistently played with her Magna-Tiles since she was three (and she just turned eight!). From building houses and towers to race car tracks and trains, these are extremely versatile toys that also support cognitive development, boost creative thinking, and strengthen motor skills (and parents…these are fun for you too, with countless ways to engage with your kiddos!).

Lego - Let’s not forget about Legos!  Another creative building toy, Lego provides options for kiddos from 1.5 - 18+ years old with a mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. Their Duplo sets have larger blocks for little hands while regular sets are better for kids 4+. The variety is endless, from planes, trains, and automobiles to the Roman Colosseum and our favorites from the worlds of Harry Potter and Frozen. My daughter loves the Creator sets, which allows you to make three different items from the same set of blocks.  The ability to build, dismantle, and re-build something different keeps her interested, while eliminating the need to consistently buy new sets.  

Mudpuppy - this company offers a wide range of non-digital and environmentally friendly puzzles, games, and toys for children and the young at heart. Mudpuppy believes in creating toys that help kids' unplug and spend less time in front of screens with modern designs that are fun and interesting. Offering a huge range of toys, puzzles, and games, you are sure to find something that your child will love. My daughter recently received one of Mudpuppy’s coloring rolls for her birthday, which is 10 feet of creative coloring fun! She was thrilled to have a coloring project that was different from a regular book. I can also attest that Mudpuppy’s puzzles are equally entertaining and something that our whole family loves to do together!

There are countless options for screen-free toys and activities that can provide endless entertainment for children and families. Whether you choose to rent educational toys, subscribe to a monthly discovery box, or invest in open-ended building sets, these screen-free options can provide hours of fun and engagement for kids while also supporting their development and reducing screen time.


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