Five Screen-Free Gift Ideas That Encourage Child Development

Five Screen-Free Gift Ideas That Encourage Child Development

In the digital age that we're in, it is becoming more and more challenging to encourage children to play with tangible toys.  While we agree that kids shouldn't be completely kept from electronics, it is important to limit screen-time. Children, especially young ones, learn best when they are exploring the world around them. Apps and other electronic activities are passive-play based, which means it is very easy for a child to sit back and watch things happening on-screen instead of creating their own play adventures.

Yes, children of today should be exposed to technology and encouraged to learn how to navigate these new devices. However we believe that nothing can replace good, old fashioned active play. Here are five screen-free gift ideas from HABA that kids are sure to love!

Little Friends Play World

The Little Friends Play World from HABA is where pretend play comes to life! With over 30 characters to choose from, children will absolutely love incorporating these darlings into their playtime. Whether children are using the figures to act out scenes from their every day life, or imagining what life would be like down on the farm, pretend play with figures allows them use their imagination to work through and come to terms with different scenarios. For instance, if the first day of school is coming up, your child may find comfort in creating a school setting with their little friends.  Perhaps they may even create a pretend problem that they have the little friends to solve. Children use pretend play to practice for the real world. So when the real first day of school comes along, your little one may just feel a little less nervous because they've already ran through a couple of difficult or stressful possible scenarios during their play sessions leading up to the big day.

Board Games

By teaching important skills like teamwork, self control and problem solving, board games help children learn how to properly function in society. Some games are cooperative, and help kids get acquainted with collaboration and some are competitive and teach kids how to think on their feet, to make quick decisions and how to win and lose gracefully.  Board games are just plain fun, with learning as a by-product. Make Game Night a regular occurrence on your family's calendar!

Blocks + Ball Track Sets

What could be more satisfying than creating an amazing structure, and then watching a ball zoom through it? Combine our open-ended blocks with cool ramps and fun effects, and that's a recipe for a whole bunch of fun! Block play encourages spatial awareness, critical thinking and (no pun intended!) sets the foundation for learning complex math. Most importantly, it is is fun for a wide range of ages and blocks are toys that your child will want to keep in the play room for their entire childhood!

Magnetic Games

HABA has a couple of different types of magnetic games, all of which are great for on the go. The Magnetic Game boxes inspire creativity while introducing children to letters, numbers, seasons and more. The Mazes encourage critical thinking, motor skills and dexterity among other important skills. The best part is, they can be played with alone or with another child, making them versatile no matter who's around!


It's showtime! With over 30 adorable puppet characters to choose from, there is no limit to what you and your child can come up with. Re-enact fairy tales, make up your own stories, tell knock knock jokes to make each other laugh. The key here is communication. Puppet play encourages conversation, helps build vocabulary and improves social skills that are particularly important once your child goes off to school. Is your family puppet professionals? Our doorway puppet theater will take your puppet game to the next level. We're talkin' Broadway level, here!

In a world where digital gadgets and screens are in every pocket, making a point to play with classic, good old fashioned tangible toys is more important than ever before! HABA continues to make toys that not only help children develop important skills for life, but will also last a lifetime.

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