8 Great Alternatives to Electronic Gifts

That’s right, dads, we’re here to argue there are great ideas for Christmas other than running around buying everything that has a battery and talks back. Don’t worry, we’re not knocking all gadgets and we’re not saying they’re wrong. It’s just that dads have a lot of room for creative gifting that largely goes untapped when we limit our presents to things that light up and beep.

One Dad we know has been gifting his two-year-old grandson with “no battery” toys since the day he was born. Twenty-six months into the experiment, he’s been winning the “favorite grandparent” sweepstakes consistently, and hands down.

Here’s a look at the winning inventory, plus some ideas for the older kids on your list, too. Consider giving one (or more) of these 8 great alternatives to electronic gifts:

1. Cars.

Remember cars? How about those huge Tonka trucks or earth-moving equipment for the back yard? Unleash your child’s imagination, and save the landfill from more batteries too.

2. Wooden Blocks and Legos.

Wooden blocks are for little kids. Legos are for big kids. Simple, sturdy, great for all ages. Build, knock down, rearrange, repeat. You can make everything from roads to houses to skyscrapers.

3. Hands-On Projects.

Science kits (who doesn’t love experiments?), model airplane construction, simple carpentry, scrapbooking. impressive “magic” tricks and more. Fun, creativity, and bonding with dad – all disguised as innocent gifts.

4. Puzzles and Games.

No matter the age, puzzles are timeless, fun, and bring the family together. Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Monopoly, cards, the game of Life. Don’t count these games out just because the kids live in a digital culture. Games = hours of fun and hours of family time for an investment you can afford.

5. Sports Equipment.

Christmas is a great time to encourage your budding athlete. A soccer goal for the yard, one-on-one lessons with a pro, or upgraded gear. Plus, of course, breaking it all in with Dad.

6. Books.

Find books to read together. This gift lights up the imagination while preparing kids for comprehension, writing, and more. So you don’t have to think about it, here are some great books lists by age.

7. Tickets/Season Passes to a Show.

Cheap seats at the matinee or front seats at the game? Passes to a museum, aquarium, or zoo? Always a winner and great for family time together.

8. Family Ping-pong Table.

Ping-pong, darts, air-hockey, Foosball, lawn-darts, bocce-ball and more. The options are endless, as is the fun.

Do you know what your mom wants for Christmas? Then, after you’ve taken notes, ask them to share why they enjoy giving gifts more than receiving gifts themselves.