After years of storing our TV in the closet, living in a small home, and losing most of our belongings in an extensive house fire, we have a solid idea of which toys and activities are worth keeping around!

We hope this list inspires you to create a home where your kids and teens develop creativity, imagination, and life skills without letting screens take over.

*As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Preschool

Human Anatomy Floor Puzzle

Human Anatomy Floor Puzzle

Giant floor puzzle. Family favorite.

Solar System Floor Puzzle

Solar System Floor Puzzle

Love the imagery. It’s been used over and over again.

Slice and Bake Cookie Set

Slice and Bake Cookie Set

Pretend kitchen play at its best!

Scoop and Serve Ice Cream Counter

Scoop and Serve Ice Cream Counter

Our kids always loved pretend ice cream.

Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game

Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game

Tried and true.

Play Calculator Cash Register

Play Calculator Cash Register

Kids loved using this with their pretend restaurant or store.

Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head

A classic.

Duplo Legos

Duplo Legos

So great for little hands (and honestly our older kids still love the Duplos).

Lite-Brite

Lite-Brite

Simple, basic, and repeatable!

Band-in-a-Box

Band-in-a-Box

Musical instruments might be noisy, but they beat a screen any day.

Little Adventures Dress Ups

Little Adventures Dress Ups

We’ve loved these dress-ups for years!

Super Hero Cape

Super Hero Cape

Dress-ups for boys, too!

Grimm's Creative Building Blocks

Grimm’s Creative Building Blocks

We’ve loved these quality blocks.

PlasmaCar

PlasmaCar

Perfect for flat surfaces (unfinished basements, sidewalks, empty parking lots, etc). Fun for all ages!

Kwik Stix

Kwik Stix

Easy, washable paint sticks for art projects.

Doctor Kit

Doctor Kit

This kit has so many fun parts. The kids kept busy pretending with this on many afternoons.

Preschool—Quiet Time (or when you need a break!)

Tangoes Jr. Tangram with Portable Carry-Case

Tangoes Jr. Tangram with Portable Carry-Case

Great for quiet time or on the go.

MindWare Imagination Magnets

MindWare Imagination Magnets

Use the magnets and cards to make shapes. Well-worn!

Portable CD Player

Portable CD Player

Small and easy to use for little hands. Yes, we still use a CD player sometimes. NO internet, no worries.

Disney Books/CD

Disney Books/CD

Disney has a TON of books with CD on Amazon at an affordable price. We have a big collection. Keeps kids happy in their room for awhile.

School Age

Usborne Sticker Dolly Dressing Princesses

Usborne Sticker Dolly Dressing Princesses

I think we have owned every Usborne sticker book made. This is one favorite! (They have some great boy books too.)

Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

Our kids have had so much fun over the years singing alone and together.

Motorola Walkie-Talkies

Motorola Walkie-Talkies

Yes, we purchased the pack of 3 and they all get used (inside and outside)!

Air Fort

Air Fort

Just add a box fan and you’ve got hours of fun!

Mega Fossil and Gemstone Dig Kits

Mega Fossil and Gemstone Dig Kits

Our kids LOVE these digging sets. We’ve done multiple different themes and never been disappointed!

Marble Run Super Set

Marble Run Super Set

So many possibilities that have kept our kids entertained!

Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set

Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set

These magnetic wood tiles are seriously so cool.

ROBOTIME 3D Puzzle Music Box Wooden Craft Kit

ROBOTIME 3D Puzzle Music Box Wooden Craft Kit

We love all the new wooden gears sets! Perfect for growing brains and busy hands.

Fiskars Crafts PowerCut Softgrip Shears

Fiskars Crafts PowerCut Softgrip Shears

No, I’m not kidding. These are excellent for cutting up cardboard! Forts or pet houses, anyone?

Snap Circuits Classic

Snap Circuits Classic

The best toys are the ones with multiple uses and keeps kids engaged. This has been a favorite for years!

Magna-Tiles

Magna-Tiles

Kids love to build new designs and sometimes we put it on a clear container and make a light box with Christmas lights. So fun.

PLAYMOBIL Take Along Modern Doll House

PLAYMOBIL Take Along Modern Doll House

Portable house with fun set of dolls and accessories. Playmobil is a Davis family favorite. They have lots of sets to choose from and great for imaginative play!

Legos

Legos

Might seem like a given, but it never hurts to throw it out there. Legos are the gift that keeps on giving.

Gravitrax Marble Run & STEM Toy

Gravitrax Marble Run & STEM Toy

Our son got this last year for Christmas and has spent a lot of time with it!

Turing Tumble

Turing Tumble

Learn how a computer works without a screen! Tyler and our son spend a lot of time together with this one. Check out our review!

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

Our kids have made some tasty meals and treats using this book.

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

The baking version!

Gardening or whittling gloves

Our kids help do a lot of weeding and yard work!

Handy Scoopers

Handy Scoopers

Trust me on this one. Our kid have used these for everything from small snowballs to catching bugs. Perfect outdoor tool!

Roller Blades

Roller Blades

We had unfinished basement for years. The kids kept busy for hours on these things!

Wigs

Wigs

Putting on a play is more fun with a silly wig!

Child's Black Magic Cape

Child’s Black Magic Cape

We’ve had a lot of magic shows over the years.

Razor A2 Kick Scooter

Razor A2 Kick Scooter

We have 3 or 4 of these. Fun for touring the neighborhood with siblings or friends.

KID K’NEX

KID K’NEX

Kids have made a lot of cool creations with K’nex.

Sansa Clip

Sansa Clip

Internet-free music. Kids will clip these on and listen with headphones while doing chores.

Kiwi Crates

We’ve tried many of the Kiwi Crates and our kids love them all! It’s so fun to receive a new project each month and they often offer great discounts on their homepage for your first trial!

Teenagers

Water bottle stickers

Water bottle stickers

Our teens love their water bottle stickers. This brand has a lot of great ones we love.

Hydroflask Water Bottle

Hydroflask Water Bottle

Water bottles that keep water cold. Both of our teens love theirs.

Hand-Lettering: An Interactive Guide to the Art of Drawing Letters

Hand-Lettering: An Interactive Guide to the Art of Drawing Letters

Our oldest has really nurtured a love for hand-lettering. We’ve purchased several books over the years and this is one of her favorites.

Tombow Pen Dual Brush Markers

Tombow Pen Dual Brush Markers

Favorite hand-lettering markers.

Franklin Sports Table Tennis to-Go

Franklin Sports Table Tennis to-Go

Fun when friends come over. Just use the kitchen table!

Yamaha Guitar

Yamaha Guitar

Have a budding musician? Having a guitar or ukelele on hand is great creative outlet!

Yamaha Ukelele

Ukulele

Have a budding musician? Having a guitar or ukulele on hand is great creative outlet!

Google Mini

Google Mini

Great screen-free music option for the bedroom. You can adjust privacy settings. We think the sound quality is better than the Amazon Echo Dot!

Hat

Hat

Dakine is a business in our home town. We support them and love their outdoor products.

Beanie

Beanie

Our teen has this one. Stylish and warm.

Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Camera

Fun for teens to take pics and decorate their bedroom wall or mirror.

Dodge Balls

Dodge Balls

Teens still love a good game of dodgeball!

Hoverboard

Hoverboard

Someone in our house might be getting one of these this year. 😉

Coupons for time with you

Get creative and draw up some coupons your loved ones can cash in. You can find these ones we love here: A Year of Dates

Gift cards for clothes.

Gift cards for clothes

Sometimes enabling the shopping is better than doing it.

Makeup for girls

Makeup for girls

Our teens love Colourpop. Lots of fun colors.

Quadcopter

Quadcopter

Tyler has never outgrown his love for flying things. Awesome alternative to video games!

Football

Football

It might seem super obvious—but everyone can get in on a game of passing the Nerf football.

Wreck This Journal

Wreck This Journal

So fun to do the unexpected. A family favorite.

One Line a Day Journal

One Line a Day Journal

Our teen has been doing this for almost a year. One line is doable!

Jewelry Making Materials

Jewelry Making Materials

Teen girls love making jewelry.

Sno-storm Sled

Sno-storm Sled

Our kids like this snow sled best!

Kid-Safe Indoor Magnetic Dart Board

Kid-Safe Indoor Magnetic Dart Board

This one came recommended by our sister with teen boys!

Raising Readers

Digital Book Marker

Digital Book Marker

We’ve been using these on repeat for at least a decade! Great for keeping track of reading time.

Book Light

Book Light

Our kids got a reading light when they turned 3. Reading in bed soon became a favorite activity!

Rechargable LED Book Light

Rechargable LED Book Light

If you don’t want to deal with batteries, this is a good way to go. I will say I prefer the original only becuause the light seems to stay in place better. But we do go through a lot of batteries, so we like to keep a few of these on hand.

Little Bear Book Set

Little Bear Book Set

Perfect for early readers!

Elephant & Piggie: The Complete Collection

Elephant & Piggie: The Complete Collection

Funny adventures.

Frog and Toad: A Complete Reading Collection

Frog and Toad: A Complete Reading Collection

Classic from our childhood.

Roald Dahl Collection

Roald Dahl Collection

Laughs.

The Little House (9 Volumes Set)

The Little House (9 Volumes Set)

Heartwarming goodness.

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Intriguing.

Bunnicula in a Box

Bunnicula in a Box

Entertaining mysteries.

Beverly Cleary Collection

Beverly Cleary Collection

Silly and fun.

The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set

The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set

Classics packed with wisdom.

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set

Need we say anything? A favorite.

Fablehaven Complete Set

Fablehaven Complete Set

Magical.

Small Favorites

Wood Toy Secret Decoder Disk - Spy Gadget

Wood Toy Secret Decoder Disk – Spy Gadget

A favorite Etsy find, this decoder has kept our kids occupied in many ‘quiet’ places over the years!

UGEARS U-Fidgets

UGEARS U-Fidgets

Perfect small projects that Santa might put in a stocking!

Pop Snap Bead Jewelry Set

Pop Snap Bead Jewelry Set

Our youngest asked for this again after our house fire.

Cat's Cradle Book Kit

Cat’s Cradle Book Kit

Favorite for camping or in the car.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

On repeat for all the kids this time of year.

Crayola Twistables Crayons

Crayola Twistables Crayons

One of our favorite art inventions.

Blank Comic Book

Blank Comic Book

The kids love writing silly stories.

Sleeping Queens 10th Anniversary Tin Card Game

Sleeping Queens 10th Anniversary Tin Card Game

A game we play on repeat.