Toys to Keep Kids Busy While Waiting—That Aren't a Phone
Not many people have an easy time waiting, especially parents, and that's mostly because of their kids. Some say it's because they have no sense of time; others say it's because they need near-constant stimulation. But whatever the reason, whether it's at the doctor's office, on an airplane, or at a restaurant, to a kid, any time spent waiting can seem endless.
If you're wondering how to entertain kids while they wait, we are here to save the day with a few portable toys to keep kids busy.
Age: Up to 5
Best for toddlers and younger, this satisfies their itch to take things out of a basket, then put them back in, then take them out again. And because they're soft, they won't bounce all over the place when they (inevitably) fall to the floor.
You'll never run out of paper with this tablet, one of the most useful toys to keep toddlers busy. It works with the included stylus or simply a finger, as long as you wipe the chocolate off first.
A set of dominoes can entertain kids of just about any age. Younger kids will have fun stacking them and building small empires with them, while older kids will enjoy learning variations of the classic game.
Activity books are great because they encourage exploration while sitting in one place—and the good ones sneak some learning into the fun. These books are geared towards early school-age kids, but you can find activity books for kids (and adults) of just about any age.
Always a classic, a deck of playing cards holds infinite possibilities for entertainment, no matter what the age. This deck glows in the dark, so you can play in the low light of an evening flight, and it's waterproof, so spilling something on them won't mark them and ruin games of Go Fish.
Fun for parents and kids to do together, this is a different—and neater—spin on paint-by-numbers, swapping stickers for the brush and paint.
Something about dropping and counting the stones can make a kid obsessed with mancala, a game with iterations that cross cultures and continents. This one folds neatly in half to keep its little stones secure.
Age: 6+; younger with supervision
Building with blocks is fun, but they inevitably fall apart and scatter. Eliminate this inconvenience with magnetic blocks that stick together more tightly than an early-aughts boy band.
Magformers Rainbow Set $49.98
Things to keep kids comfortable (and occupied) on a flight.
Never let them go barefoot, and other tips for flying with kids from a veteran flight crew
Kids learn and develop different skills and interests throughout various stages of development. Each toy needs to match up to your child's age, interest, and skill set.
Whether you're an aunt looking for an entertaining yet educational gift for your young nephew or a grandfather shopping for a new gadget for a tween girl, we can help you.