8 Screen-Free and Educational Toys for Kids

Screen-Free and Educational Toys

I’m sure many of us have lost count of how many times we have heard these are unprecedented times and some may have lost count of the hours of screen time children are having. With kids spending more time at home, having anything but a traditional school experience, and attention spans decreasing, there is a stronger than ever need for educational, screen-free toys. Many toy companies have debuted new products to engage kids at home and here are some of our favorites:

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Screen-Free toys

Combining the magic of origami, the ease of building blocks, and the power of magnets, Clixo is the essence of modern, minimalist play that offers limitless creative possibilities. Clixo allows children to transform lightweight, flexible pieces from 2D into 3D, clicking inventive ideas into infinite possibilities that can be worn, stuck on the fridge, or even tossed like a ball. The colorful, twisting and interlocking shapes comprised of reinforced paper and durable magnets encourages improvisation, experimentation, and out-of-the box thinking. Parents will love that Clixo encourages kids to be as imaginative as possible and all Clixo Packs come in eco-friendly recycled bamboo packaging that is biodegradable and compostable. Kids will love the endless entertainment of the creative process as well as the fun of playing with their unique creations. 

Circuit Explorer by Educational Insights helps curious kids learn how to engineer simple circuits with these off-the-board space-themed circuit playsets, including a Rocket, Rover, and Deluxe Base Station. The sets combine creative imaginative play with STEM fundamentals. Circuit Explorer’s kid-friendly, 3D design makes it easy to snap the pieces together in the correct order to instantly receive feedback and interactive results to know they are on their way to a galactic journey, such as light, motion, or sound, championing a child’s creativity while encouraging STEM learning and honing problem-solving skills. Parents will love that they all feature real-working, kid-friendly 3D circuit pieces designed specifically with safety in mind and kids will love that each set also comes with friendly astronauts, robot figures, and stickers, so they can customize their sets and launch into hours of space-age adventures. 

Young explorers can travel the world and see everything in it with Leap Frog’s Magic Adventures Globe. Using the stylus, children can tap on the interactive learning globe and experience new places, languages, cultures, animals, geography, habitats, and more through high-quality BBC videos. Featuring an integrated video screen, animations and live-action videos fully immerse kids in the curriculum to provide a better understanding of the world through more than 5 hours of videos. They can also play three interactive games called Around the World, Quiz Show, and Where in the World to explore the globe, challenge a friend and solve mysteries. Parents will enjoy all the fun kids have while learning about the world and kids will enjoy great fun exploring the world while staying at home.

Put Me in The Story uses the power of books to bring people together. Through stories, we can dream and discover, make and share memories, and connect with those we cherish the most. From first steps to birthday parties to graduation, we want to inspire those oh-my-gosh, can’t-stop-smiling moments that create lifelong memories. By putting growing readers in the middle of the action, Put Me In The Story creates an instant, profound connection to the story, the moment, and the grown-up who made it possible. When kids see themselves in the middle of the action, when their favorite super heroes ask them to join the team by name, when the princesses they pretend to be during playtime ask them about their dreams for the future, children feel an instant, profound connection to the story — and reading in general. We work with bestselling authors, award-winning publishers, and blockbuster brands to shape each personalized story into the best reading experience possible.

 

Snap Circuits MyHome is designed to inspire kids of all backgrounds and interests to learn about how electricity in their home works. Kids ages 8+ can build a house or city building with real, working, 3-D circuits, just like they use every day. With colorful base grids to spark creativity, kids can make their structures their own, all while learning how electricity travels and powers their home. Learn about security systems, automatic lights, alarms, motors that power appliances, and more! MyHome answers questions like: How does the electric company get power to my home? How does power travel inside my walls? What happens when I turn on a light? What happens when the power goes out.  Parents will love that these educational STEM toys will have kids learning by doing and having fun, too.

Thames & Kosmos CREATTO Light-Up Crafting Kits are a simple yet versatile building system that consists of just two primary components that can be woven together into countless 3D creations. The plastic tiles interlock quickly and easily for all skill levels. Each Creatto kit includes assembly instructions for four different configurations, but the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Add strings of colored LED lights to illuminate your works of art from the inside out. Creatto is available in three fun sizes: mini, medi, and maxi. Kids can choose to build a Moonlight Elephant Safari; Magical Moose & Forest Friends; Starlight Kitty & Cutie Crew; Shimmer Shark & Ocean Pals; or Sparkle Unicorn & Friend. 

Crayola STEAM Science Kits are not only educational but fun. Each kit is designed to teach kids various science experiments behind four different themes: Paper Flowers, Space, Liquid, and Gross using water-based experiments. We especially enjoyed the Paper Flowers Science Kit where colors bloom before your very eyes! Using the magic of physics and capillary action, this hands-on educational toy lets kids learn about the science of water “wicking” as they create colorful paper flowers. $19.99

Botley 2.0 helps kids as young as 5 learn to code through 100% screen-free play. Botley 2.0 is a friendly coding robot that has all-new tricks and functions that provide endless hours of screen-free STEM fun, helping kids learn hands-on coding and critical thinking skills without the need for a phone or tablet. Botley 2.0 knows multiple ways to code right out of the box— code him to move in six directions, play music, and even put on a light show! Discover Botley 2.0’s 16 fun interactions— transform him into a train, police car, ghost, and more! You can even test your memory with the lights and sounds of a game of Botley Says! Your little coders can build coding sequences of up to 150 steps, and go on adventures with a built-in sensor that lights up Botley in the dark! Kids will be solving their first coding and STEM challenges in just minutes!

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Child's Play NY Virtual Classes

<p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f0d8558c-7fff-41d5-daea-321d9ce61efc" style="white-space: normal; font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Child's Play NY is a Brooklyn-based company founded in 2009, committed to offering a diverse array of theater arts classes for children. They believe studying the art of acting encourages kids to be even more creative, collaborative and compassionate human beings. Since its inception, Child's Play NY has touched the lives of hundreds of students, worked inside dozens of schools and is consistently ranked as among the top theater arts programs. </span></span></span><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is the 2019 winner of Brooklyn Family's Choice award for Best Performing Arts Class.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall/Winter 2020-21 Virtual Class Guide</span><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">:</span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Make a Movie Class</span></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Experience creative fulfillment and movie magic with Child’s Play NY! Kids get to make and star in their own film, with professional actors, directors and designers. From development to design to editing choices too, kids can take ownership over the creative process. Their friends and family get to celebrate their accomplishments at a final watch party premiere! Deep project-based learning and peer-connection is at the heart of this 9-week experience which can be done remotely or in-person.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall and Winter Virtual Classes</span></strong></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-left: 36pt; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><strong>Hogwarts School (grades 1-3)</strong>: Come get sorted into your favorite house, jump on your Firebolt and let’s make some magic! Class culminates in a movie montage featuring our original scripted work from the session.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: underline; text-decoration-skip: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Create Your Own Class</span></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Make your own custom group to support social-emotional growth and play. Child’s Play NY provides a dynamic teacher and their lauded curriculum that puts peer-interaction at the front and center. Custom classes are a special way to nurture what your child loves most and share that excitement with their friends, in-person or online.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Playwriting (Grades 4-6)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Students will use their creativity, compassion and confidence to build a story they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Individually, each student will craft a play, and together they will workshop their scenes, exercising their acting, directing, and most importantly, imagination skills. Over the course of the sessions, students will learn the basics of playwriting and be able to present any and all parts of their theatrical story. All classes will include individual assignments and collaborative opportunities. Each day will be structured so that all participants have the chance to learn and study other writers’ work, write for 10-15 minutes and share their words with each other. By the end of the semester they will have used their bodies, intellect and imagination to come up with an original play. By being confident, vulnerable and creative with each other and actively supporting and encouraging each other’s work, students will emerge with meaningful connections to each other and a strong sense of their writing and collaborative abilities.<br />Class culminates in a montage and packet of students’ original work.<strong><br /></strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Musical Theater Lab (Grades 4-6)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Learn how to be a triple threat in this dynamic class for budding performers with Child’s Play NY. Students focus on songs, dances and characters from Broadway’s most celebrated and kid-friendly shows. They work alongside professional performers with years of experience bringing their passion to children. Class culminates in a movie showcase of scenes and songs.<br />Join for the full session, or enroll as a drop-in!<strong><br /></strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>Shakespeare Scene Study (Grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12)</strong></div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Young people become confident with Shakespeare’s world, language and characters as they learn how to interpret a role with technique and courage. Classically trained professional actors assist the players in their physical, vocal and emotional transformations. All Shakespeare teaching artists are classically trained professional actors and have performed Shakespeare both on and off Broadway and in regional theaters across the country.</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Students jump into the worlds of Shakespeare in this robust mash-up of improvisation and classic text scene study class. After learning the plot and characters from several plays, they rehearse and memorize scenes from the original text. New material, devised by the cast, adds a contemporary through-line to their show and highlights the universality of Shakespeare’s themes.<br />Class culminates in a movie showcasing their work.</div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </div> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong>The Big Twist: A New Musical (Grade 1-4)</strong></div> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <div style="caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">In this acting class, students get to perform a brand new musical based on The Wizard of Oz.<br />The Wicked Witch of the South wants to return Oz to a time when WITCHES reigned supreme, and all was evil. Summoning a dark magic Tornado, the Wicked Witch of the South sends Oz hurtling into an alternate Oz. With the Yellow Brick road destroyed, the Wizard left powerless, and the citizens of Oz scattered to the Wind, our heroes are forced into unlikely partnerships to stop the Witch and restore the world to order. The Wizard of Oz meets The Tempest.  Class culminates in a premiere of a movie starring the students, filmed over the last few days of the session.</div> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; background-color: #ffffff; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"> </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-57c50323-7fff-79ce-175a-5e25408c0e29"></span></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-84ebe141-7fff-03c2-24cf-fead86e88df2"></span></p>

USC Gymnastics & Baseball Training Facility

<p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{">We offer sports activities, after school programs, birthday parties & private lessons for kids ages 3–13 years! Our gymnastics classes are a great way to keep your child active and healthy. We strive to empower and challenge children through the sport of gymnastics.</span></p>

Young Actors at Strasberg

<p>Young Actors at Strasberg offers a comprehensive array of acting programs for students in grades 2 – 12. Classes provide kids and teens with a foundation in Lee Strasberg's Method Acting and the tools to succeed in the professional industry – all while maintaining a fun and playful environment. Programs are tailored to encompass students at all levels, from those just beginning their acting journey to Broadway veterans and professional child actors. Young Actors at Strasberg alumni include Lady Gaga, Sophia Lillis, Angelina Jolie, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Rosario Dawson!</p> <p>Young Actors Programs are available online and in-person at our New York Campus, located in Union Square. Saturday, After-School and Online classes are offered during the traditional school year (Fall, Winter, and Spring) and Monday through Friday day camps and intensives are held in July and August.</p> <p><strong>About The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute:</strong></p> <p>Founded in 1969 by Lee and Anna Strasberg, The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute is the only school that teaches Lee Strasberg's work in its complete and authentic form. The Institute's goal is to provide students with a craft that will help them create a reality and respond truthfully in imaginary circumstances, regardless of the style or form of material being used. LSTFI is proud to have award-winning alumni from around the world working as writers, directors, and actors in all mediums.</p>