Let’s admit it: with Xbox, Wii, PSP, online games, and other tech gadgets heavily competing for our kids’ attention, they begin to equate a good game and toy with excellent graphics, challenging levels, and engaging virtual world. Anything less than that is considered inferior.
More often than not, they’d much prefer being cooped up in the house, face plastered on the bright graphics of their game gadgets. And they’re missing the real fun of the best toys. It’s time they realize the best toys don’t always need batteries.
Frisbee. With Frisbees priced anywhere from just $5 to $12 at Amazon, it’s almost a sin not to own one of this nifty flying discs. Let your kids rediscover the Great Outdoors and toss a Frisbee with them. You can even have the dog join you. It’s good exercise too, and an opportunity to bond with them.
Scrabble. Rampant text messaging ruining your kid’s spelling abilities? Scrabble is one of the best toys to combat that. Scrabble promotes creative thinking, vocabulary, as well as strategy. Sit down to a good game of Scrabble (with hot cocoa and cookies) and start outshining your opponent’s words.
Chess. An honorable game, no doubt. Every kid should be taught how to play chess as it not only involves tactics and critical thinking, but teaches your kid patience and discipline. Sure, there’s also online chess, but nothing beats real-life chess with tangible pieces you can hold and move around.
Bicycle. Can’t get enough of the Great Outdoors? After you’re done with the Frisbee, get on your bike and enjoy the scenery and the fresh air. A bicycle company called Razor has even reinvented the classic three-wheeler and turned it into one free-wheeling, swift experience called the Rip Rider 360 (only $85 at Amazon). The 360 degrees capability (don’t worry, it’s safe) certainly puts an edge to your kid’s ride.
Origami. It’s not a toy nor a game, of course. More of an art and a puzzle in one. Origami, the art of paper folding, teaches discipline, exactitude, neatness, and carefulness. (You gotta make the folds neat.) It’s time you and your kid sat down in a quiet corner and attempt to make a thing of beauty and wonder with a flat piece of square paper. Origami supplies and origami beginner’s books are available online.
Kites. Yes, kites. Kites are nifty toys you and your kid can play with. Whether you choose to make kite-flying a competitive game or something you just do on a leisurely Sunday, the important thing is that you’re in it together, soaring high. And no online games can do that.
Lego. Actually, anything that lets your kid use his/her imagination to build things with has to be a best toy. For that matter, K’NEX, Lincoln Logs, CoasterDynamix (a construction toy that lets your kid build roller coasters), Matchitecture, Marble Run are just some of the best toys out there. For sheer classic fun, there’s the incomparable Lego bricks, hailed as the Best Toy in the World, by the scientific community. Heck, even without that recommendation, it’s still fun to play with Legos.
Those are just seven good games that don’t require batteries. We haven’t even begun to cover baseball, Monopoly, Boggle, yo-yo, Visionary board game, Uno Stacko, and many, many others that let your kid interact with others. So give that PSP a rest for a while, and start playing a real good game.