Play Essentials

Our Favorite Non-Tech Toys (and the Benefits)

Flashing lights, funky sounds, and vibrant screens. No, I'm not talking about the hottest new nightclub; those days are long gone. I'm talking about toys. The ones that have crept into our living rooms, randomly going off in the middle of the night. Those toys have their time and place, but as a mom of two little ones, I've grown a deep appreciation for quality handmade toys. They promote the use of a child's imagination, support motor skills development, and bring hours of fun. 

Check out our favorite Non-Tech Toys, loved by kiddos and parents alike. 

Little Climber – Lily and River
Toddler girl climbs on Lily&River Climber with the additional slide and rock climber pieces.

This "grow with me" climber is perfect for little ones ages six months to five years old. Your kiddo will love using it as a climber, slide, and bridge or to build forts (a great spot to host a spooky storytime). This climber comes in natural wood and fun color combinations like Under the Sea or Cotton Candy. It's also foldable, making it easy to store away, and the natural wood makes a great accent in any room.

Little girl lays under Lily&River Climber reading while baby sibling sits nearby
Deep Sea Adventure – Manhattan Toy
Rounded 4-quartered wooden Deep Sea Adventure Activity Center is shaped like a jellyfish with knobs and sensory engaging faucets for baby to play.

It's time for an adventure under the sea! This standing/kneeling activity center is a beautiful addition to any playroom. Crafted with purple, teals, and natural wood, this play essential blends perfectly into any space. Your little one will love exploring the many moving pieces of the jellyfish. Divided into four sections, they'll discover sliders, beads, and gears, perfect for developing those fine motor skills. 

Nesting Blocks – Wee Gallery
Little girl sits on the floor playing with black and white nesting blocks from Wee Gallery

Beautifully designed and fun, your baby will love these nesting blocks from Wee Gallery. With ten blocks to explore, your little one will love the woodland designs and numbers. Children can stack the blocks over three feet tall as they order them from largest to smallest or use them as prompts in making up stories or counting up to ten. When playtime is over, they can be packed up discreetly for easy storage.
 

Black and white numbered nesting blocks by Wee Gallery.
Wooden Wobble Board – All Circles
Baby legs balance on the Wooden Wobble Board by All Circles

Another favorite "grow with me" toy, this beautifully hand-crafted toy, is the perfect addition to any playroom. From crawling to 10 years old, the All Circles wobble board is perfect for balancing and developing those gross motor skills. It's also an excellent tool for climbing and imaginative play -- you can use it as a boat or a ramp for a race car, the possibilities are endless. Each Wobble board is made of Baltic Birch and will bring natural elements to your playroom.

Child stands balancing on Wobble Board by All Circles 
Classic 100 Piece Set – Magnatiles
Little girl builds imaginatively with the Magnatiles Classic 100-piece set.

Your aspiring engineer will love these brightly colored magnetic shapes, which are perfect for building. Recommended for ages three and up, your little one will use their imagination to create vehicles, animals, and structures. With 100 pieces in different shapes and sizes, design opportunities are endless. The "stained glass-like" designs support development, as your child learns how to stack items and identify shapes. Most importantly, each tile is made of food-grade plastic, free from BPAs and latex (so they're safe if someone puts them in their mouth). A must-have for any playroom!

Young boy builds with Magnatiles Classic 100 piece set

Author

Jaime Hunter is a mom-preneur, mental health advocate, bing-watcher, and coffee snob. Her passion lies in supporting parents through their journey while being raw and real about the ugly side. The pandemic put her through the wringer. It started with a divorce, followed by the closing of a business. Her silver lining was meeting her other half while navigating the world of blending a family and being a stepparent.  Since reopening her business, she spends her days creating, laughing, and playing (and sometimes crying along with an amazing group of parents).